Sunday, 14 April 2013

Escarches and Cowabunga

This past week I was doing oral practice of questions with the word favourite (British spelling, Blogger) in them with one of my little students. One of the questions was 'what's your favourite word?' The first thing that popped in my head was 'home'. Later on while on facebook, I came across this cartoon, and have now decided that cowabunga is my favourite. Cowabunga! Spring has arrived. Cowabunga! I'm happy that today is the second day I can say my windows are clean and I don't have to look out through all the spots to see. Cowabunga! I've just come in from a walk and am wet, but not from the rain. It's because I wore a long-sleeved jersey and a jacket in 24º C (about 75ºF) weather. I know I put on too many clothes, but I couldn't convince myself to take off my jacket and carry it.

The origin of the word cowabunga is really interesting. I hope some of you remember 'Howdy Doody' and his friends like Chief Thunderthud whose first word was always 'cowabunga' although it was spelled 'kowabonga'. I learned other interesting facts about one of my favourite childhood programmes, such as it being a pioneer for early colour TV, not that my younger brother, sister and I would have seen it in colour. We still had a black and white set when the Beatles first made their appearance on TV.  Howdy Doody fans who later became surfers took over the word cowabunga for themselves, and now the cartoon has aliens using it! Cowabunga!

As for the word 'escraches', I don't know if it is to be found in the Royal Academy of Spanish dictionary. Nevertheless, not a day goes by without hearing it or reading about it. It's a word that was first used in Argentina to refer to the people who went to a politician or dirty war criminal's workplace or home and began a protest, sometimes posting a description of this person's 'crimes' on the walls outside his home. Some of us remember all those people who 'disappeared' in Argentina during the dictatorship. In Spain the 'escraches' are members of an anti-foreclosure group and direct their protests against the ruling Popular Party. The other day the Vice President, who has a 17-month-old child, said she could understand them heckling her in her workplace, but not in her private life, and I agree 100%. Yesterday I saw a video of an 8-year old 'escracher' following a politician around in the Tennessee Capitol building. I felt bad for the little girl. She couldn't have understood what was going on. I know she was prompted to say what she did. Unfortunately, in the case of escraching here, I fear that one of these days a tragedy is going to happen at such a protest. 

Hope my fears don't pan out, but I do hope everyone has a cowabunga week.


  1. Cowabunga! A great post again today!! That's a good word, indeed! :)

  2. I had read your post yesterday and for the rest of the day anything that was exiting I used the word Cowabunga to describe it. Walt goes, is this the word of the day? LOL! Great post..have a great week, Brenda!

  3. lol...............great read...........from now on my favourite ( English spelling) word is Cowabunga. What a fabulous word, although I have no idea who Howdy Doody or Chief Thunderthud were. Maybe you should do a blog on them too.... :-))

    Thanks for all you comments Brenda, as you know I've been a bit on the busy side recently but seem to be getting sorted now.