pico y pala

jacks_room

Member
English - England
"Habría que colgar a todos. O mejor dicho: a pico y pala. A pico y pala los ponía yo."

They would have to all be hung. Or to put it another way ___________.I would __________ them

Theonly thing I could think of it use and abuse? Ideally I need a phrase where the words fit together well .

Many Thanks
 
  • riscman

    Senior Member
    English-English
    Is it possible that the sentence refers to retirement?
    Hanging up his tools because he has finished with them - or rather laying them down because they are a bit heavy to hang up.
     

    Magazine

    Senior Member
    Español-España.
    Is it possible that the sentence refers to retirement?
    .
    Hi risc, this sentence is used in Spain.

    a pico y pala: a poner a trabajar en un trabajo duro

    This sentence is based on the fact that people who dig holes, who work with a spade and shovel, do really hard work.


    Habría que colgar a todos. O mejor dicho: a pico y pala. A pico y pala los ponía yo.
    I would hang them all! Or much better: do some had work! I would make them dig holes/do real hard work!

    I guess this guy is talking about politicians:D

    I am aware that the last part is probably not correct. There might be some expression used for this;)
     

    BocaJuniors

    Senior Member
    Spanish & English (parejos y por añales)
    "Habría que colgar a todos. O mejor dicho: a pico y pala. A pico y pala los ponía yo."
    For what I understand, "hanging" in this phrase means "killing someone" using that method. Then, the speaker suggests to bury them ("a pico y pala"), using the old fashioned method of pickaxe and shovel. That is my interpretation at this point, it's difficult to be accurate since there is no more context. Unless the phrase is used as a metaphor in other countries, I don't know. Wait for other opinions, BJ.
     
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    aztlaniano

    Senior Member
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    I would hang them all! Or much better: do some hard work! I would make them dig holes/do real hard work!
    I am aware that the last part is probably not correct. There might be some expression used for this;)
    La frase que buscas es esta:
    I would put them to work digging ditches.
    Y suena bien, pero ¿no sería mejor aún que cavasen sus propias fosas?
     

    Áristos

    Senior Member
    español (España)
    Coincido con mi compatriota.
    Aquí se refiere a trabajos forzados (hard labour). En vez de ejecutarlos, se lo piensa mejor y cree que es más conveniente obligarlos a realizar trabajos forzados en prisión

    Saludos.
     

    Magazine

    Senior Member
    Español-España.
    Hola Áristos, no tenemos contexto pero estoy casi seguro de que habla de políticos. Típica frase mil veces usada:p

    La frase, junto con la idea de risc;) , me parece perfecta.
     

    Áristos

    Senior Member
    español (España)
    Sí, los políticos suelen aparecer en esa frase jajajaja
    También se dice "¡A picar piedra los ponía yo!" :D

    También se usa mucho con los criminales, sobre todo ahora con el tema de la chica esta Marta del Castillo y otros similares. La gente piensa que la pena de muerte es poco castigo para semejantes hijos de p***, y prefieren que sufran en la cárcel y "currando" (laborando, laburando, chambeando,etc.).

    Me uno a la propuesta (aunque habría que cambiar las leyes españolas).

    Un saludo, Magazine y todos los demás, amigazo incluido ;)
     

    aztlaniano

    Senior Member
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    Aquí se refiere a trabajos forzados (hard labour). En vez de ejecutarlos, se lo piensa mejor y cree que es más conveniente obligarlos a realizar trabajos forzados en prisión.
    En este caso la frase más apta (junto a "put them down the mines", de riscman) sería: breaking rocks, como en la canción I fought the law (and the law won):

    Breakin rocks in the hot sun
    I fought the law and the law won (twice)
    I needed money cause I had none
    I fought the law and the law won

    Según Wikipedia, esta canción, grabada por The Clash entre otros muchos, fue empleada por el Ejército de EEUU como arma ofensiva contra Noriega en el sitio a la Nunciatura en Panamá en 1989.
     
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    SpiceMan

    Senior Member
    Castellano, Argentina
    Hi boca, it is obvious that this expression is only used in Spain from what I can see;)
    No, yo entiendo perfectamente que lo que quiere es que se mueran, o mejor, meterlos presos con trabajos forzados...

    ... y lo más cerca de España que estuve en mi vida es Sudáfrica y sólo en tránsito :D.
     

    amarti3183

    New Member
    Spain's Spanish
    Hi. I think the intent of the phrase (Re: "Habría que colgar a todos. O mejor dicho: a pico y pala. A pico y pala los ponía yo.") is this:

    "I'd send them all to the gallows. Or better yet: to forced labor! I'd make them pick rock in a chain gang!"

    If you want to stick more literally to the phrasing...

    "They should all hang to death. Or better yet. A chain gang. I'd stick them in a chain gang."
     

    Mate

    Senior Member
    Castellano - Argentina
    Hi. I think the intent of the phrase (Re: "Habría que colgar a todos. O mejor dicho: a pico y pala. A pico y pala los ponía yo.") is this:

    "I'd send them all to the gallows. Or better yet: to forced labor! I'd make them pick rock in a chain gang!"

    If you want to stick more literally to the phrasing...

    "They should all hang to death. Or better yet. A chain gang. I'd stick them in a chain gang."
    Hey, are you sure you're from Spain?:)
     

    robjh22

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. & English
    Wait. If the speaker really wants them hanged, as in hanged to death, he's not going to say "better yet, make them work."

    How about "better yet, bury them alive"?
     

    Mate

    Senior Member
    Castellano - Argentina
    Wait. If the speaker really wants them hanged, as in hanged to death, he's not going to say "better yet, make them work."

    How about "better yet, bury them alive"?
    Well, no. It's kind of cynical. The speaker is saying that better to put them to death is to put them to work.

    Because in fact it is the worst thing that can happen to them.
     
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