I came across the Mexican expression “dar el avión”, which can be translated to either “to give the cold shoulder” or “to stand (someone) up”.
[ES] Me dijiste que me ayudarías con mi proyecto, pero al final me diste el avión y nunca apareciste.
[EN] You told me that you would help me with my project, but in the end you blew me off and never showed up.
What is the origin of this expression?
I found several web pages which explain the meaning of this expression, but none which explains its origin. For example, this blog post states that
Los origines de esta breve frase son desconocidos, pero actualmente todos sabemos su significado.
I also tried asking ChatGPT 3.5, and got the following answer (adapted):
It is believed to have originated in the early 20th century, during the time of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). In those times, Mexico experienced significant political and social turmoil, and many people were looking for ways to escape the difficult circumstances.
However, not everyone had access to airplanes or the means to travel by air. Therefore, some individuals would use the excuse of "giving the airplane" (dar el avión) to avoid commitments or obligations. They would promise to meet someone at the airport or arrange a flight for them, but then never show up.
However, as we know, LLMs like ChatGPT are known for their “hallucinations” and I was not able to verify this etymology.