-"Chin** tu Madre, pinc** cabro**", say it! Go on, SAY IT!
-Don't you want to speak Spanish? Just say it to that guy over there.
-What does it mean?
-Nothing, it's just like, "hey, how's it going man?" Just go say it to him.
In the little town where I grew up in Oregon, this was a common "right of passage" for the 9 year-old white kids in my neighborhood. The older, cool Mexican kids in Junior High were always eager "teach" Spanish to the little elementary school kids. Even the Russian speaking punks would get in on the game:
-Say "pizd**", it means hello in Russian. Go on, SAY IT!
Inevitabley, some poor sucker would go up to a Mexican or Russian oldster and try out his new vocabulary, only to get yelled at or worse. Behind the nearest tree, his new "friends" could barely contain themselves. Yup, another stupid little white kid. Sucker! I'm sure these same jerks were once young immigrants on the receiving end of that same trick. Just getting back at someone less experienced felt good.
It's a little sad, however, when these child's games continue into adulthood. What happened, didn't you get it out of your system in middle school?
-Watch, we'll get the dummies to say "conyo" when they bring their gramma in to get a sandwich.
-Hi, I read in Westword that you have this great Cuban sandwich.
-Oh, which one? (sly grin, wink, wink)
-I think you call it the "eye kon-ee-oh"?
-Oh, you mean the Conyo? Say it, CON-YO!
-Thanks! Yes, I want UN CONYO!
Cue the laughter, the kitchen staff is rolling on the floor. "Otro pi*** gringo pidio un Conyo!" (Another f'ing gringo wants a CU*T!)
Despite Johnathan Shikes assurances in his Westword review that "Aye Conyo means something like Goddamnit in Spanish"; a simple Google search will get you this definition:
I. Literally, translates to what has sometimes been termed the most obscene word in the English language "c*nt"...
II. Usually used as a passionate, emphatic expletive (see f*ck!, sh*t!, d*mn!, etc..). Significantly more vulgar than "mierda" (sh*t).
e.g. Conyo, hombre, ella sabe! transl: F*CK man, she knows!
Now, I know that the Spanish language is not monolithic. I understand that how a word is used in Spain, might not be the same as how it is used in Mexico or Cuba. But, no matter how you present it, "cu*nt" is not a word most of us would be using casually when ordering a meal with the family. I also realize that people have the freedom to say whatever they want, even if others might be offended. But what I don't get is the need to make unwitting customers say words that they might not say if they understood them.
Going to an establishment, whether it be a restaurant or another service provider, is an act of trust. We trust that our host will treat us with respect, that they will provide us with what we are requesting, and that they will not fool us. If I am lactose intolerant and I order something at your restaurant because I'm told it is non-dairy, will you sneak in some cheese just to watch me get sick? Yeah, you might think it's funny watching me run to the bathroom like my hair was on fire, but it's not nice.
I don't think I'm being a prude here. I'm just asking for respect.