In this answer to this previous question of mine, the answerer used the phrase

Antonio se hirió donde la espalda cambia de nombre.

as an example of a milder version of

Antonio se hirió en el culo

I'd never seen "donde la espalda..." before and it made me chuckle. However I'd like to understand its exact place in on the social usage scale.

My questions:

  1. Am I right in thinking that the meaning of the expression "donde la espalda cambia de nombre" is the approximate Spanish equivalent of the English expression "where the sun doesn't shine"? (Seems pretty obvious, but I'd better check to be sure.)

  2. How scandalous is it to use that expression? Would it cause great offense in anything other than very friendly, informal company? The English equivalent is fairly tame.

  • 1
    Your assumption is correct. The expression is rather humorous, and should be avoided in very formal situations, although there is nothing aggressive in it. Nov 26, 2011 at 13:49

1 Answer 1

  1. That's exactly what it means.

  2. Actually it isn't that offensive nor gross as you are thinking, it's used kinda softly on Radio and T.V. (at least in Colombia and Peru) as a way to means what it means.

  • 1
    Efectivamente, en España ocurre lo mismo. En situaciones normales no posa nada por reemplazar "culo" por otras palabras como "trasero", "pompi", "posaderas", etc. Pero en programas de radio o TV rara vez dejan pasar la oportunidad de hacer un chiste fácil y decir "donde la espalda cambia de nombre" o alguna otra expresión similar.
    – Nexus
    Nov 26, 2011 at 19:13
  • 1
    About the first answer, I would say they are not exactly the same. According to several sources (Urban Dictionary, Wiktionary):"Where the sun doesn't shine" means "anus", whereas "donde la espalda cambia de nombre" refers to the buttocks.
    – MikMik
    Dec 28, 2011 at 10:03
  • I have heard / read more often "Donde la espalda pierde su nombre"
    – user12422
    May 11, 2016 at 21:50

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