“Marry Me, Darling, for I Have Cows!” — Picking Up Girls in a Disappearing Tongue

galician girl and cow

Galician is uniquely rich in fixed expressions for that romantic-but-vexing moment when a man sees something he’d like to fuck. Many languages (French and Catalan come to mind) have their own clichéd versions of “do you come here often?” but Galician, in spite of losing its lexical footing a bit as it mixes with Spanish, is balls-out prolific with its pickup lines.

Galician is of course the language of Galicia, a mostly rural area in the northwest of the Iberian peninsula (you are perhaps more familiar with Galician’s southern cousin, European Portuguese, which is very close to being the same as Galician). As a function of Galician’s agricultural context, the language’s pickup lines evince an obsession with tractors (you can be as pretty as one, or as turbo-charged in your humping) and cows (owning them makes you desirable).

Most importantly, this is apparently the only language to have coined an onomatopoeia for finger-banging.

Galician women are known for being agarimosas (affectionate) and also for being decisive — once they set their sights on you they’ll stop at nothing to have you and keep you. But at the same time they can be relatively cold to strangers; my guess is that the following were developed over many evenings of compounding sexual frustration. (It’s certainly not the only example of linguistic creativity born out of misery.)

We’ll finish on a video of a rather inebriated Galician making use of that last item, fuch fuch. This video went viral, giving him renown throughout Galicia; one assumes that as a result of this performance he has never heard the sweet sound since.

Update: This infamous video has been removed from YouTube and then reuploaded a few times; but hopefully the version below will work when you read this. If not, run a search for “fuch fuch”. Update again: the video is removed from YouTube and no longer available anywhere as far as I know. My favorite line from the video: “It’s not polite to talk about people, but…”

I’d like to thank my Galician sources, Marina Sánchez and Xurxo Salgado, for their help in editing and translating these. As I was writing this, Marina was kind enough dispatch a last-minute addition:


I’m in a family dinner right now and they’ve just reminded me of the following:

Pegariache unha lambetada de cona a cu e de cu a cona que non vas a saber si correrte ou cagarte de gusto.

I’d lick you up and down between your asshole and your pussy so much you won’t know if you feel like shitting or coming!

My god, what nonsense!

Thanks Marina. I hope you were able to enjoy the rest of your dinner.


Update: August 25, 2012

Nice to see some new readers: Ola Galiza!

In response to the more negative comments below: Nationalism (or regionalism, patriotism, whatever) is an understandable reaction; it’s also boring. Disagree with something I’ve said? Tell me what I’ve got wrong, and tell me what joking, flirting and sex in Galicia is really like. Just saying that I’m “tirando a nosa cultura polo chan” isn’t so useful.

My readers are not fucking idiots; they do understand that if you actually said these to a Galician girl you’d get (deservedly, and at the very least) slapped in the face.

I loved discovering a few things about Galicia (I’m surprised this isn’t evident to a few of you) and I’m happy to hear more — please continue to share in the comments. I’ve clarified some of the translations based on your comments, though translation is an art and it’s hard to make everyone happy.

And before you go thinking this is all about you, you may want to check out some of my other articles, and learn about the ridiculous ways we screw in other parts of the world, e.g.: sloppy kissing in Brazilstages of sexual conquest in America, losing one’s virginity in Albania, etc.