Speaking of socks, have you heard the one about the Spanish-speaking tourist who went into an American department store to buy socks? His English was…so so. Turns out he found his way to the Men’s Wear department where a young lady offered to help him.
“Quiero calcetines” said the man.
“I don’t speak Spanish, but we have some very nice suits over here.” said the salesperson.
“No, no quiero trajes. Quiero calcetines.” said the man.
“Well, (still unsure) these shirts are on sale this week.” declared the salesperson.
“No, no quiero camisas. Quiero calcetines.” repeated the man.
“I still don’t know what you’re trying to say. We have some fine pants on this rack.” offered the salesperson, beginning to lose patience.
“No, no quiero pantalones. Quiero calcetines.” insisted the man.
“These sweaters are top quality.” the salesperson probed.
“No, no quiero súeter. Quiero calcetines.” said the man.
“Our undershirts are over here.” the salesperson fumbled more frantically.
“No, no quiero camisetas. Quiero calcetines.” the man repeated.
As they passed the underwear counter, the man spotted a display of socks and happily pointed them out as he proclaimed “¡Eso sí que es!”
“Well, if you could spell it, why didn’t you do that in the first place?” asked the exasperated salesperson.
Review: This is an old one. I first learned of it from a neighbor, a gentleman from Bolivia who taught Spanish. Spell out S-O-C-K-S, and unless you’re from parts of Spain in which case you won’t need this trick, you’ll be accidentally uttering a phrase in Spanish, which can roughly be translated as: that’s it or that’s correct or that’s right.