10 Jun 2012

Word of the Day: Chivo

The word chivo literally translates to 'male goat'. In Argentine spanish (at least, but I cannot attest to the vernacular of other goat domesticating or non-goat domesticating Spanish speakers), chivo is used in an array of other contexts. Meter el chivo- put in the goat, refers to someone who cheats on their partner, and pasar el chivo- pass the goat, is often used by television and radio stars to self-publicize other the information about their

But by far the most popular use of chivo is related to pungent and unbearable human odor. Que olor a chivo-- It smells like goat, basically translates to it smells like human filth. Or, estoy achivando-- I'm goating, means I'm sweating up a storm. Especially in the hot and sticky months of summer, you will start to encounter goats all over the place in common conversation. The roots of such a curious expression are illuminated instantly the moment you meet a male goat, which I did today.

When raising goats for milk and cheese production, one often tries to separate male and female goats except for the moment of reproduction. The male secretes a powerful and putrid odor that will impregnate the taste of the female's milk if they remain in close contact over long periods of time.

Besides exuding rank aromas, male goats are also have rather questionable hygiene. The hormones that cause them to have such strong odors are excreted in their urine. More than just attacting the opposite sex, these odors also cause arousal for the male goat himself. So his natural reaction-- pee all over himself in order to provoke permanant self-stimulation. See this wizardly goat's yellow beard. It should be white...if you catch my drift.

While their men are foul and funky, a lady goat is quite a refined specimen. Easily stressed by noise and commotion, she can stop producing milk at the drop of a hat. One solution: when on they are attached to the breast pumper, Cabras de Cafayate plays classical music in order to cover the noise made by the machinery. Soothed by the lilting melodies, the ladies go on lactating without a hitch.


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