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  #1  
Old May 25, 2006, 04:51 AM
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spanish joke

hi guys

i received this Spanish joke in my email yesterday and it confused the hell out of me, fortunately today i got a translation but i was wondering if someone could explain some of the syntax that is used. The joke is:

¿Cuál es el colmo de un gallo?

Pedir lapiz teniendo plumas

which apparently translates as

What's the height of stupidity for a rooster?
To ask for a pencil with so many pens at hand.


The joke being that plumas means pens and feathers so it's not a joke that translates well


First off what is the meaning of colmo ? On this site it says 'last straw' on the email it says 'height of stupidity' so that's a bit confusing.

Secondly when do you use cuál and when do you use qué ?, i thought cuál meant which so this also threw me.

Next is the use of pedir at the start of the punch line, is it common to use a verb in its infinitive form like this because this is the first time i've seen it.

thanks for any help clearing this up.

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  #2  
Old May 25, 2006, 07:01 AM
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Re: spanish joke

"colmo" jokes are a set form of jokes, similar to the way we have "knock-knock" jokes, "blonde" jokes etc in English. Colmo can be:

last straw
height of stupidity
climax
limit


So...

What's the limit/height of stupidity/last straw for a rooster?
Asking for a pencil when he already has so many pens/feathers.


Which as you already mention, doesn't translate, because English uses two different words for pens and feathers.

Here are a couple more "colmo" jokes I remember:

¿Cuál es el colmo de Narciso Flores?
Que su hija se llame Rosa.


(Narciso means daffodil)

¿Cuál es el colmo de un albañil?
Que se llame Armando Paredes.


Albañil is bricklayer or construction worker. Armando/armar means to put together or assemble and paredes are walls. But Armando can be a first name and Paredes is a last name.

About the use of cual. It's normally taught that it means which, but you basically have to learn how cual/que are used in Spanish because you can't always just use them in place of which/what in English (the rules are a bit different).

The use of an infinitive like that, is the same as the gerund (the -ing form of a verb) in English. In my translation I put asking, to ask is also correct. In this case, pedir, asking and to ask are all nouns, serving as the subject of the sentence.

Hope that helps
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  #3  
Old May 25, 2006, 07:26 AM
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Re: spanish joke

Here are a few more "colmos" for you to practice with. If you need help understanding them, just ask. Anyone else have any good colmo jokes?

¿Colmo de la mala suerte? Tirarse en un pajar y clavarte la aguja
¿Colmo de un sastre? Tener un hijo botones
¿Colmo de un asesino? Matar el tiempo
¿Colmo de un forzudo? Apretar una moneda hasta que la cara saque la lengua.
¿Colmo de un ordenador? Que su operador estornude y pille un virus.
¿Colmo de un caballo atropellado? Ser pura sangre.
¿Colmo de un flaco? Cruzar los brazos y parecer signo de veneno.
¿Colmo de los colmos? Perder un imperdible
¿Colmo de un Jorobado? Estudiar derecho
¿Colmo de un caballo? Tener silla y no poder sentarse.
¿Colmo de los colmos? Vivir en la capital de Suecia. (esto-colmo)
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  #4  
Old May 25, 2006, 08:20 AM
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Re: spanish joke

¿Cuantas estrellas en el cielo?

Sin cuenta.

This probably doesn't sound funny, but "sin cuenta" (without count or countless) sounds alot like "cincuenta" (50). This is the joke. I found it interesting. ;D
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  #5  
Old May 25, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Re: spanish joke

That's a good one Eric, hadn't heard it before
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Old May 26, 2006, 02:10 AM
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Re: spanish joke

thanks for the explanation, i meant to reply yesterday but never quite got round to it. I like the Armando Paredes one, it's funny to think there might be people with that name.
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  #7  
Old May 28, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Re: spanish joke

Yes, the Armando Paredes one, I heard it years ago, but I thought it was pretty funny and I've remembered it and retold it many times.
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  #8  
Old June 02, 2006, 02:46 AM
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Re: spanish joke

does anyone know anymore Spanish jokes ?? The only other one i can vaguely remember is :

Cuando mi abuelo tenía sesenta años el médico recomendó anduviera 5km cada día. Ahora tiene ochenta años y no sabemos donde está.

I hope i got that right
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  #9  
Old June 02, 2006, 02:58 AM
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Re: spanish joke

Un amigo que le dice al otro:
-Te llamo por la cortadora de césped.
Y le dice el otro:
-pues se te escucha muy bien.

-----------------------------
- Papa, ¿que esta mas lejos... Madrid o la luna?
- ¿Tu ves desde aquí Madrid, imbécil?
------------------------------
En un juicio. Dice el fiscal al acusado:
- A ver, ¿por que disparo dos tiros contra su suegra?
- ! Porque no tenia mas balas!
************************************
"Almirante, quince barcos aproximándose."
"¿Una flota?"
"Flotan todas!"
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  #10  
Old June 05, 2006, 12:13 PM
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Re: spanish joke

This one does not work too well written, but it is not too bad vocally given. Either way here it is:

Habia una madre de sapos, y quiso tener una foto de sus hijos. Entonces los llevaron a un fotografo. Se sentaron los sapos, listos para la foto, y la madre dio cuenta que sus hijos eran bocones. No quiso que salieron asi, entonces pregunto al fotografo que puedieron hacer. El les dijo, "digan algo dulce, como 'miel' o 'azucar', para que no salgan como bocones". Entonces les conto a tres y todos los sapos dijeron, "MermeLAda".

Emphasis on the LA...
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