I have heard the following sentence in the Narcos TV series:

Dios, otra vez me cogió la noche.

Context: A family is having breakfast at a table. The father enters the room in a hurry and asks what time is it. The wife tells him it is almost 7 am and he says the sentence above.

What does "cogerse la noche" mean here? I thought that expression meant "to get dark", but that doesn't make sense here. Maybe "to be late" ? Is it a Colombian regionalism?

  • Note: it is not cogerse la noche. It is coger (a alguien) la noche. Otherwise, the conjugation would be "*se cogió la noche". – wimi Jan 17 '20 at 9:59

Some sentences of Narcos could be found in DAMER (diccionario de americanismos). In this case, even if the abbreviation doesn't correspond to the country (it shows Cuba, but in Colombia it has the same meaning), you could see in coger in the expression ñ3

Coger la noche.
i. loc. verb. Cu. Hacérsele tarde a alguien.

(loc. verb. = locución verbal)

Note, "Hacérsele tarde a alguien" means that someone is getting behind schedule, that is, getting late.

Cu. indicates it is the meaning in Cuba, but as I said, Colombia (at least) has the same meaning.

  • I think you hit the nail on the head here. +1 from me! – aparente001 Jan 20 '20 at 4:56
  • 1
    What does "hacersele tarde a alguien" mean? "to be late" ? – Alan Evangelista Jan 20 '20 at 10:59
  • @AlanEvangelista - "Se me hizo tarde" means "I'm running late" and "I've gotten behind schedule." – aparente001 Jan 21 '20 at 5:45

I think this must be equivalent to a similar sentence which is used in Mexico (because in Mexico, coger has a sexual meaning, which one generally tries to avoid, in polite conversation):

Otra vez me agarró la noche.

It means:

  • Night caught up with me.

In other words:

  • It's gotten dark already [and I wasn't ready for it].

It happened to me the first time at age nine, when I visited a friend's house and lost track of time. When I left, the sun was just setting and it was dark by the time I got home. (The rule was, Be home by dark.) Now, I try to beat the dark so I won't have trouble with night driving. There are lots of reasons one might want to finish something up, or leave to go somewhere, before night falls.

Note, in this sentence, we do not see a reflexive or pronominal verb. We see that the subject is "la noche," and "me" is an indirect object, used because the falling of the night affects the person who is speaking.

Here is a similar expression:

La propuesta me cogió de sorpresa. (The proposal caught me by surprise.)

(Again, in Mexico one would use agarrar in place of coger.)

I thought of some ways to say it in English:

  • Night caught me [before I could do such-and-so]

  • Time got away from me

  • I ran out of time

  • As I had mentioned in the question, I already know that "cogerse la noche" can mean "to get dark", but it is early morning when this sentence is said. I think that the implied meaning is that "the speaker lost track of time in the night before and he went to bed late". – Alan Evangelista Jan 17 '20 at 9:32
  • @AlanEvangelista - Perhaps you could lay out more context for us, along with a link and a time stamp. I have always seen it mean "It got too late and I didn't have time to do (something or other)." // Here, we are not working with "cogerse." Here, we are working with "cogerme." – aparente001 Jan 17 '20 at 15:29
  • @AlanEvangelista - sorry, I forgot to say, yes, I would assume the speaker is talking about last night. – aparente001 Jan 19 '20 at 4:47

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