Caca

So, I’m doing an after school project with my wife’s fourth-graders. We meet in small groups three times a week to collaboratively write non-fiction books. My Thursday afternoon club chose to write about soccer.

One of the kids (who wanted to write about basketball, but got outvoted) is researching and writing about famous soccer players. Today she was very excited to get started because she’d researched and written about three new soccer stars for our book. She read the first two pieces to us, no problem. Then she started the third one, about Brazilian soccer phenom Caca.

The Latino kid in the group starts snickering. I say, “What?”

“You know what that means?”

“Yeah, it means feces in Spanish. But in Brazil they speak Portuguese. It doesn’t mean feces there.”

“No, that’s not what it means.”

Okay, now I was stumped. I’m pretty rusty on my Spanish, but I know the curse words cold. I struggled for a moment for a way to talk about it without saying the literal translation. “It means feces, crap.” (I hope I don’t get my wife in trouble for saying “crap” to her fourth graders.)

“No, it means something way, way worse.”

“What?” I asked.

I got nothing but giggles in reply.

“It means what comes out when you do a number 2, right?”

“Yes!” the kid screamed. “It means poo!”

I tried to use the opportunity to explain what “feces” means and the difference between colloquial and scientific terms, but it was hopeless. They’d all dissolved into giggles.

4 thoughts on “Caca

  1. Well, he sure does have an unfortunate name. Though it’s Kaka, not Caca. And the stress is on the last syllable. However, in Russian as well as in Spanish, it does mean the same.
    I have to admit, I too had my share of giggles when I first heard it.

  2. Hi Julia G.

    Thanks for visiting! For whatever reason (probably the age of the books we found in the school’s library), this kid was writing about Caca, rather than Kaka. And the missing accent mark was pure laziness on my part–I don’t know how to place one in Blogger. Hmm, I bet I could copy and paste from Word? Cacá Yep, that works. I’ll get it right next time, sorry about that.

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