Spanish for Newbies – Helpful Hint No. 117
The photo (above) is typical of one you would find in a public or semi-public parking lot in Merida and to the Merida newbie it might be a bit confusing.
If you have studied any Spanish at all, you might recognize the word – sort of – and think “Oh, I remember paloma, which means pigeon, so this might mean male paloma. A palomo!” Alas, you’d be wrong and besides, you’d still be wondering about the ‘lic’ part. I mean it’s not ‘lic’ as in ‘lick’ which could mean don’t lick the palomos, but no.
‘Lic’ is short for ‘Licenciado’ which is a title usually handed out once you have completed some sort of lawyerly career option. Once you have achieved Licenciado status, you can place it in front of your last name and often people will call you simply ‘Licenciado’ instead of using your name. Short version? Lic. Pronounced Lick. With that explanation under our belt, we can therefore deduce that the sign is referring to a Licenciado Palomo; Palomo being his last name.
And there’s that crossed out letter ‘E’ as well, which everyone who has traveled means no E’ing. Seriously though, you have studied some Spanish (maybe you’ve been to España!) and so you recognize the sign indicating no parking. Parking is estacionar in Spanish. So that crossed out ‘E’ means no parking.
Now you must put them together.
It might mean that there is no parking if you are the Lic. Palomo. So should he happen to show up, he most definitely can not park in that space as the sign is personally directed at him. It might also mean that ‘Ey, no licking palomos‘ in that space because that’s how you pronounce the letter ‘E’ en español –Ey. Third option – and this one’s a keeper – is that the space is reserved for a certain Licenciado Palomo, so don’t you go parking your damn car there.
Got it? Good.
2 thoughts on “Spanish for Newbies – Helpful Hint No. 117”
Licenciado is a title awarded to any number of University graduates, along with Ingeniero, Medico and Arquitecto. It is not just for lawyers. The term literally means licensed and is done through the Secretaria de Educación in Mexico City after you finish all the requirements at your university. Titles vary by country in Latin America. In Colombia, university graduates are referred to as Doctor even though they only have an undergraduate degree.
Thank you Jaco – I thought it was just a law thing, this licenciado business. But now that I say it out loud (to myself) I am thinking “Of course” There’s the LAET which always looks funny in front of a persons name and means Licenciado en Administracion de Empresas Turisticas…
Anyway, thank you!