Habla Hasta por los Codos

MR is a student at Carleton University but currently lives in  Texas with her family. Her parents are both Mexican immigrants and she was born in Canada, but they have all lived in the United States for over a decade. She is a linguist who speaks multiple languages. 

 ‘habla hasta por los codos’

MR- if someone who can talk and talk and talk forever, or someone who can talk to rocks, you’d say ’habla hasta por los cados’, which means that they could talk even with their elbows. Instead of their mouth they use their elbows would be a more literal translation of it. I don’t know where it came from but I first heard it from my mom, and since she’s from Mexico City I’ve always assumed it was a more popular phrase there.  

ANALYSIS: In every culture, some people never seem to know when to stop talking. This specific phrase reminds me of English terms like ‘chatterbox’ or ‘gabber’, which are used to describe a similar type of person. It’s a universally understood metaphor to describe a person who exists throughout every culture. The saying highlights the cultural value of knowing oneself and being able to read social scenarios. People who talk too much or talk over others are looked down upon, and often seen as brazen and self-centered. Metaphors like this one emphasize the resentment that is fostered toward self-serving individuals. Typically, people who can talk and talk and talk are not very good listeners, and many don’t enjoy it when a person only wants to talk about themself and never listens to what others have to say. The commonality of metaphors about these types of people showcases the importance humankind puts on being able to listen and communicate with others properly. Having playfully negative remarks to make about these people allows them to be made aware of their brazen talkativeness while also spreading a message about what is socially correct. While it is unclear how long this metaphor has been around, it has been popular within Mexican culture for many years and continues to be used, being spread to new generations.