“Ponte Trucha.” That’s Mexican slang for “get ready,” “be on your toes,” or “be alert.” I’ve mostly heard this in popular songs, though elsewhere too. And until I looked it up I always wondered why they were singing about trout.
I’m not sure how trout became the “fish of readiness,” and I frankly find it kind of hysterical. Don’t sharks seem somehow more prepared for the unexpected? Maybe flying fish? But trout somehow snapped up this particular linguistic prize. Given that it’s slang, you’re likely to never hear “Pongase trucha” or “ponganse trucha,” either for that matter.
But we’ve got funny expressions about seafood in English too. Why are clams so happy? Most of the clams I know have been sautéed in garlic, white wine, and lemon juice and are mingling with linguini just before I scarf them down. In Spanish they say “Feliz como una lombriz.” Given that most people don’t eat worms, I think they’ve got a much better chance at happiness than clams anyway. I know that the worms in my compost bin seem to be pretty happy with their diet of table scraps.
And one of these days, I’m going to “ponerme trucha para estar feliz como una lombriz” when I make my next trip to DF. Until then, saludos.