Humor

Un dólar y pico

Informant: Liz is a 24-year-old student born and raised in Southern California. Her mother is from a town near Guadalajara, Mexico. Liz returns to Mexico sometimes to visit family, but speaks Spanish at home.

Main Piece:
Original: “¿Cuanto le regreso el cajero al pato después de que le dio 5 pesos por una volsa de semilla de 3 pesos 25 centavos? Le regresó un dólar y pico.”

Translation: “How much did the cashier give back to the duck after he paid 5 pesos for some seed that cost 3 pesos and 25 cents? He gave him a dollar and change.”

Per the informant, “the joke is funny because, in Mexico, pico can mean either ‘change’ or ‘beak’, like a duck’s beak. So it’s a pun, although it doesn’t translate that well into English”

Background Information about the Performance: The informant was told this joke by her cousins when she was in Mexico.

Context of Performance: This joke is told between people when bored or just as entertainment.

Thoughts: I thought this joke was interesting because it resembles another joke in English, namely: “What did the duck say to the waitress? Put it on my bill” or something similar. That such a joke can exist cross-linguistically is notable. The joke is also a good example of how poorly puns translate into other languages, as this joke makes very little sense in English.

 

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