Leo and I usually speak Portuguese at home; we just started off that way and now it feels the most comfortable, but with Canada looming large, Leo has been buckling down and working on his English. Every day, I give him an assignment out of one of my English exercise books, and every night we correct his work and try to keep our conversations in English.
And after a few lessons, I am proud to say that Leo is moving right along! My husband also has an extensive English vocabulary... but, unfortunately, most of it consists of words I wish he didn't know.
This has nothin' to do with my "virgin ears," I promise, but the man is fluent in four-letter exclamations, even correctly punctuating English phrases with obscure profanity.
During Thursday's "English class," he whipped out "douchebag."
"DOUCHEBAG, honey?!" I shrieked, "really?! How in the world to you even know that word?!"
He shrugged "those the first word we're learn in English."
"Do you even know what that means?" I asked.
"Oh yes!" he said, and proceeded to give a proper explanation of the etymology of "douchebag."
I was floored.
Ok, everybody thinks it's fun to repeat a few swears in a new language. I think of one friend who knows how to eloquently (and graphically) request superlative intercourse in several languages -- not because she's slept her way across the world, mind you, but because what else do you have to discuss after several bottles of wine with a table full of fellow UN interns? (Our study abroad in Geneva was obviously chock-full of important cultural exchanges.) That sort of thing is all in good fun, but knowing the exact definition of "douchebag" is a rare achievement.
"Everyone learns a few bad words," I told Leo, "but how in the world do you know so many?!"
"I'm told you," he said, with large, innocent eyes, "those the first word we're learn in English because the first job is always construction! I'm arrive one day and they say 'hey, douchebag!' and I'm ask 'what is douchebag?" He shrugged, obviously nonplussed.