Submitted by SlitchBap t3_yc28u1 in books

This is a quote from Chapter 4 of George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" and after my curiosity led to a quick internet search I cannot find what the censored phrase is. Does anyone know or have better internet sleuthing skills than I, who might be able to find it?

Also, this book is fantastic so far. If you dont know anything about the Spanish Civil War and like History/War than I can't recommend highly enough reading up on this conflict that has been so far overshadowed by the two world wars and completely removed from my american education.



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cavalier24601 t1_itjyj8w wrote

I suspect this is an example of a noodle incident, wherein something referenced vaguely is more intriguing than stating it plainly.


BurnySandals t1_itk4kas wrote

But when Barcelona whores talk about a noodle we all know what they mean.


Goldeniccarus t1_itkq5r1 wrote


Everyone knows the working girls of Barcelona love a good rigatoni.


scuac t1_itk3g3v wrote

Marvel had it with the whole “Budapest” between Natasha and Clint, but then had to go ahead and ruin it by trying to show it.


kn1144 t1_itl1u4g wrote

I felt the same way about Jack Sparrow’s “obviously you have never been to Singapore” line in the first movie. Just such a great WTF moment that they had to ruin by explaining it.


DrSmirnoffe t1_itm1lri wrote

This kinda stuff is the exception to the rule "show, don't tell". Sometimes, it's better to leave things told, but not shown.


JCPRuckus t1_itm3wtu wrote

It's more like, "Hint, don't show".

It's basically the same idea as, "The monster stops being scary once you get a clear look at it". Sometimes the best thing you can do is just give enough to spark the audience's imagination, and let them entertain themselves.


DrSmirnoffe t1_itm7z3p wrote

> It's basically the same idea as, "The monster stops being scary once you get a clear look at it".

This is pretty common in horror games, too. After a certain point, the monster loses its scare potency, and it runs the risk of outstaying its welcome. In the post-Amnesia wave of mechanically-minimalistic haunted houses, where you can only run and hide from the monster (if even that), the monster usually burns out its welcome pretty quickly, and instead becomes an annoying pest since you can't even awkwardly attempt to bash its brains in with a length of old pipe.

With that said, in more traditional horror games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, monsters can retain a more existential fear factor beyond the immediate threat of violence and terror. After all, in those kinds of games you're usually relying on manual saves, so a monster killing you can potentially mean losing more progress than you would if you had an automatic checkpoint shortly before an encounter, thus setting up a sense of existential dread at the prospect of losing progress.

What's more, on top of that, you also tend to have limited ammo that allows you to dispatch monsters, and health items that let you make more mistakes. If you make them especially limited, it sets up a survivor's economy where you dread running out of the things that make life easier, so you have to decide if it's worth risking a hit by trying to slip past the monster, or if it's more worthwhile to expend precious ammo to remove the problem permanently.

You didn't really get that with a lot of Amnesia-imitators, where you could only run and hide from the monster, and your progress was saved frequently and automatically. The right kind of mechanical depth can add enough tension and dread to offset the monster losing its personal scare factor, since if they embody the existential threats of lost progress and resource scarcity on top of mere violence, they're still kinda scary because such threats are universal and intrinsic to the human condition.


zachrg t1_itmbt45 wrote

"and then they made me their chief."


Phlintlock t1_itkbxkx wrote

That business on Cato Nemoidia doesn't count


Harsimaja t1_itmch03 wrote

Pet peeve of mine that keeps happening: I make a jokey ‘meta-innuendo’ in a similar way when someone says something that has an obvious double meaning, alluding to something I could say, and get “Ah but say it! Haha” when it should be obvious I don’t have a specific wording in mind but the general idea is clear.

> “There are a few positions on the table”

> “Haha well you know which ones I’d suggest ;)”/“You know what I’d say to that ;)”

> “Haha ;) Suggest them!/Say it!”

> “Um. Isn’t it a little less lame if left unsaid…?”

I obviously don’t have more specific direct wording in mind - the allusion to it was the specific wording.

Viciously murders the mildly amusing moment, even if they got it and found it funny.


EveryFairyDies t1_itmom9g wrote

That’s why I stick to “that’s what she said” as a rejoinder to any potential innuendo.

> “There are a few positions on the table.”

> “That’s what she said.”


StewitusPrime t1_itnsra1 wrote

That’s when you gotta double down and name off a few in an equally vague way. Stuff like “you know the classics. Give ‘em the ol’ Alabama Fruit Basket, or Italian Chandelier. If you know, you know, amirite!?” If they press further, hit ‘em with the old “If you have to ask, you’ll never know. Now who’s in?”


GrudaAplam t1_itv2hya wrote

They're calling your bluff because you aren't as funny as you think you are. Sorry, but someone had to tell you.


Harsimaja t1_itvj3xw wrote

Aw gee thanks, because you were there and know what was said and how! Even in the cases where the context is flirting and they want me to say something more explicit? Fascinating.


Aethelete t1_itldrep wrote

Likewise, the Venus Butterfly in the TV series LA Law.


Bucklehairy t1_itkrjqt wrote

They said, "hey, baby, wanna fuck?"

You're not supposed to look that up, you're just supposed to be sufficiently seasoned to know that whores say the same thing to sailors in every language.


Flairiart t1_itl6qx3 wrote

I kinda agree but what threw me off is he said one was "OK, baby" not hey.


GodofPizza t1_itm4ta5 wrote

The sailors probably knew what “hola” means. Being submissive and agreeable is key in mainstream sex work, hence “ok, baby.”


chii_hudson t1_itnqgin wrote

“OK, baby” is the reply to whatever the whores said, that is the wit of this passage. The Spaniards knew two expressions, the prompt from the whores and their own reply in English


bondiol t1_itkupfe wrote

oh , behold !! let me take a rare pic.... an intelligent redditor with common sense


coffeeboard t1_itl8xlu wrote

Ok I am dying laughing now. I misread this, I thought the second expression the whores used was "I am afraid the compositors would not print it".


LordsMail t1_itltc4p wrote

It's some deep slang with very interesting roots, and only appears in a small region of Spain to the point it's effectively a shibboleth, but to this day Catalonian prostitutes can be heard saying "I am afraid the compositors would not print it."


chortlingabacus t1_itn6tf1 wrote

Obscure but not used only in a small region, and replying to it with 'Ah, but if it were submitted to the compositers in a different typeface?' is the streetwise way of saying, depending on region, 'How much for full intercourse?' (Catalonia) or 'By the gushing blood of martyrs tortured with excruciating pain, you look like an undercover cop to me.' (Andalucia)


WormsRoxanne t1_itjz63f wrote

That book is great. Got me into Orwell generally as more than the two books you have to read in high school. Down And Out in Paris And London is like Restaurant Confidential 80 years earlier.


throwawayinthe818 t1_itl3kdw wrote

Love that book. “It is altogether curious, your first contact with poverty. You have thought so much about poverty—it is the thing you have feared all your life, the thing you knew would happen to you sooner or later; and it, is all so utterly and prosaically different. You thought it would be quite simple; it is extraordinarily complicated. You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid and boring.”


chrispd01 t1_itltb2h wrote

A great read. I had a job washing dishes in high school and discovered that one. I managed to get most of my stoner colleagues to actually read it ….


[deleted] t1_itmcc3s wrote

It's funny because, to this day, posh boys like Orwell move to the very same parts of the East End he did to play at poverty just like he did.


KrasnyRed5 t1_itjxgil wrote

My best guess would be fuck? As a question but I could be wrong obviously.


hemingwaysfavgun t1_itkm9r6 wrote

dude that is my favorite fkn book I must have read it dozens of times. I went to barcelona and took a day long spanish civil war tour and unsurprisingly, the guide was like "so, who's read homage to catalonia?" and most people raised their hands very quickly.

As I hurried up the steps the Assault Guard on duty at the door barred the way with his long bayonet and demanded ‘papers’. I waved my discharge ticket at him; evidently he could not read, and he let me pass, impressed by the vague mystery of ’papers’


SlitchBap OP t1_itkmjuk wrote

I'm loving it so far, Orwell's realist sarcastic tone makes for one of the best firsthand accounts of war I've ever read.


El-Emperador t1_itm595o wrote

I'm sure it's not the same expression, but I think this is an appropriate thread to discuss some funny trivia.

One of the more common slang terms for a vagina in spanish, and more specifically in the South-western region (West Andalusia, and namely in the Cadiz Bay area) is "chumino". Which is a phonetical loan from the words used by English sailors in the port area: "Show me now".

Now you can't unlearn this.


soilik t1_itmt7nw wrote

Estaba buscando si alguien había comentado esto. Yo tampoco estoy segura pero me apostaría a que es lo mismo. Gracias por tu comment.😊😊😊😊


MissionarysDownfall t1_itl3zfs wrote

My favorite book of all time and one of the better histories from the perspective of the anarchist front in English imho.


Potential_Energy_353 t1_itl3brd wrote

I think of the volunteers who went to Ukraine to fight as being pretty much the same as the volunteers who went to Spain…


Angdrambor t1_itlrc2q wrote

Can't wait to read those memoirs, at least of the ones who live long enough to publish.


Lanky_Fella t1_itogxsj wrote

Eh not really. People fighting in Ukraine are fighting in the name of sovereignty.

People fighting in Spain were specifically anti-fascists, often socialists. They were seeking either a revolution or changed politico-economic system, where Ukraine is fighting to maintain the same system


Potential_Energy_353 t1_itord56 wrote

And their system is democratic, while the invaders are sent by an actual fascist state

The volunteers I’ve talked to didn’t think beyond “a people have been invaded and asked for help”.

So that’s two levels of similarity


Gedunk t1_itla1d1 wrote

On a related note, I'm currently reading a Farewell to Arms and one of the Italian soldiers (Rinaldi) always calls the narrator baby. I thought it was an attempt to make him seem feminine/possibly gay but this post has me second guessing that. Was it actually just a common phrase the Spanish/Italians knew?


Four_beastlings t1_itle1ol wrote

Maybe because it's different enough from Spanish to be memorable? In Spain Spanish you would never call someone "baby" unless you're talking about an actual baby (or a pet). Calling your romantic/sexual partner that has some gross connotations.


stygyan t1_itm9ony wrote

Really? I’ve heard nena and bebé way more than once.


Four_beastlings t1_itmajn0 wrote

Nena for your girlfriend is sort of old fashioned, honestly I've only ever been called that by older relatives and female friends. Bebé for a lover, I've only ever heard it from Latin Americans.


stygyan t1_itmhi9u wrote

Oh well, I live in Madrid but somehow I end up always making out with tourists or migrants lol.


monkeyhind t1_itmqons wrote

What about "Papi?"


Four_beastlings t1_itmrcsh wrote

Papi and Mami are 100% Latin American. It's more normal today because of the high immigration, but anyone would have been grossed out by it 20 years ago (execpt people with a mommy/daddy kink).


radddaway t1_itmt8xl wrote

I’m from Southern Spain and we definitely call people baby a lot. I’m 23 tho so idk if this was a thing that was said before


Four_beastlings t1_itmu1e6 wrote

¿Bebé? La única vez que lo he oído que no fuera a latinos es en el horror ese del bebito fiu fiu. Soy de Asturias y he vivido 11 años en Madrid y 6 en Salamanca...


radddaway t1_ittznam wrote

Yo soy de Murcia y he vivido en Madrid y he escuchado a muchísima gente decirlo, incluyendo a gente de Cataluña, Toledo…


Easy-Concentrate2636 t1_itlfz5c wrote

I’ve been meaning to read this for over a decade. Time to hunt it down in my apartment.


chrispd01 t1_itlteju wrote

I believe this work has the truly great line “once again I was saved by the level of Spanish marksmanship …”


FlaccidRazor t1_itmlwk3 wrote

An expression could be a word or phrase, my guess would be that it's a word that begins with F.


IWillLive4evr t1_ito21py wrote

As Simon and Garfunkel put it, a single-worded poem comprised of four letters.


Cyneganders t1_itkpifr wrote

That book is so good, I even published on it. Sadly so long ago, I don't remember what I did with the paper :(


stop_a t1_itl24vf wrote

If it was for university, check with the school library. They might have a copy.


Cyneganders t1_itl3u5m wrote

Aha, I found it, in my inbox. (I recalled the name of the editor)

"Orwell’s flirt with reality" - I have to read it later to see what I was ranting about at the time. I got good feedback, so perhaps it wasn't a waste of ink!


Cyneganders t1_itl3etn wrote

I live in a different country now! Also, it wasn't for the university magazine, just one mostly populated by student and professors.

It was for the Norwegian magazine Bøygen (name from Ibsen's Peer Gynt) and I knew the editor of the issue. I don't even remember what I wrote, just that I totally loved the novel :)


june_is_cold4 t1_itm85an wrote

Actually the Spanish Civil War is one of the most written-about wars (I don’t know how to express that in English, sorry) of all times! Spanish people won’t shut up about it.

Paul Preston has a pretty decent book about it called “The Spanish Civil War” and you can find it in English if you want to learn more about it :)

But for the lost phrase… no idea, sorry


MrHanoixan t1_itlltfb wrote

I'm going to make a completely uneducated guess that it was "fanny". The American definition means butt, but the OG Brit meaning was female genitals, and it probably would have been censored when this book was written.

The word "blowjob" came later, so to speak.


lil_b_b t1_itm2eme wrote

Crosspost to r/askhistorians!


bamako45 t1_itm6jud wrote

"OK" seems to be pretty universal, or nearly, anyway.


ZereneTrulee t1_itmllkw wrote

You guys are messing me up laughing 😂🤣😅!


llentiesambpernil t1_ito47wm wrote

Probably “fuck” or “fuck me.” As a Spaniard, I can assure you everyone knows that word, even those who have no clue about anything else in English.

Also I’m from Barcelona and love that book!


Zealousideal-Slide98 t1_itm9vje wrote

This makes me think of a story from my childhood. We went to visit the Soo Locks which are in the UP of Michigan/Canada at Sault Ste. Marie. A ship from Greece got stuck in the lock. As they were waiting for the waters to rise so the ship could be freed the sailors were hanging out on the deck with nothing to do. So they kept repeatedly shouting “hello baby” which sounded like “hello bebe” and waving to all of the women walking by. For some reason my family found this hilarious. We still will jokingly say “hello Bebe!” When we see each other.


lodelljax t1_itmuxc1 wrote

I have read it twice. Once when I was in my early twenties, and yes very entertaining. Second a few years after being in Iraq where the book was now sad. Much the same for “For whom the bell toll’s”. I recommend that as a companion book.


mynyddwr t1_itnawuk wrote

When I was a sailor in the sixties the magic and almost universal phrase was "jig-jig"

I'm not sure how reliable a guide Orwell is to the Spanish Civil War. He joined the P.O.U.M. which was an anarchist organization and which got into a fight with the communists in Barcelona. Anthony Beevor has written a useful history of the Spanish Civil War, although Beevor in turn is a Marxian. It is called the "Battle for Spain".

One of the most impressive novels about the war I have read is the Spanish trilogy that starts with "Los Cipreses creen en Dios" and ends with "Un millón de muertos".


SlitchBap OP t1_ito76v4 wrote

Above all Orwell was an idealist turned realist. That's what I love about this narrative, too many other works are saturated with idealism and partisanship.


MasterOfNap t1_ito4c6k wrote

I’ve read Beevor’s book but I don’t recall anything suggesting he’s a Marxist, do you have any source for that?

Orwell is a first-person witness in the war, which means there’s no way he can be perfectly neutral. That doesn’t mean he’s lying in the book though, unless you have some other evidence to support otherwise.


mynyddwr t1_its6omg wrote

I certainly didn't say Orwell was lying, I merely pointed out that Orwell had a particular experience of the war, which was perhaps not consistent with the experience of many others.

Beevor, certainly had a reputation for taking the Soviet line in his earlier work, on Stalingrad and others. Don't forget that British historiography was deeply influenced by Marxism. I said Beevor was a Marxian not a Marxist.


Tundra-Dweller t1_itofyzl wrote

There’s a film directed by Ken Loach called “Land And Freedom” (1995) which I think is based on this book. It’s well worth a watch (but anyone who hasn’t read the book, please do first)


A_Powerful_Moss t1_itol5bw wrote

You should check out Road to Wigan Pier as well. His non-fiction stuff is great


Babbat t1_itlvl7q wrote

Y kill


DEvil2791 t1_itodz3p wrote

I would say it, but reddit’s mods would ban me for sure if I do.


apeiron131 t1_itkdli3 wrote

chumino? (show me now) meaning c+unt


R0l0d3x-Pr0paganda t1_itl4vyf wrote

I'm Puerto Rican 🇵🇷, there are 2 words we use to say a woman's hoo-haa, and please don't down vote. I'm giving accurate info here.


Toto <<yes, that's slang for hoo-haa


apeiron131 t1_itmnio7 wrote

I’m Spanish, and you are right we use those too


R0l0d3x-Pr0paganda t1_itmqbsx wrote

Really?!?! Most of our Spanish comes from the Canary Islands.

But the slangs I mentioned, it's used in reggaeton, and the C one is used with prostitutes. Although I heard it is used in a dirty fashion when you are having sex with someone.

Both are used both ways interchangeably in a dirty fashion. If you say it outloud either you are using it as part of a dirty joke or dirty talk.


tebannnnnn t1_itkpj6k wrote

Why the downvotes? This makes sense


ObiFlanKenobi t1_itkrpm5 wrote

Because he said "english words", chumino no es inglés.

Although I love that word, I find it funny.


apeiron131 t1_itmlca8 wrote

It’s not technically Spanish either, it’s a mispronouncing of show me now but redditors are clearly sensitive little chuminos


ObiFlanKenobi t1_itmrutw wrote

Confirmed by my spanish friends, you are absolutely right.


tebannnnnn t1_itkyicg wrote

He sais English expresions and then that the last one is a word used by the prostitutes. And its still one word in their language.


Lovat69 t1_itk1g5i wrote

Five dollar suckee suckee. Ten dollar anything you want.


That-Requirement-285 t1_itkm71k wrote

So Barcelona prostitutes watched Full Metal Jacket decades before it came out? I’m glad Kubrick was kind enough to do that for them.


__Jank__ t1_itl8cm7 wrote

Maybe it's just lingua franca... trade language all the world over.


Majin-Squall t1_itlizpm wrote

Anyone want to tell him that it was FMJ that copied it from the whores?


That-Requirement-285 t1_itlpnno wrote

Usually prostitutes just say they’re cops and try to arrest me for soliciting sex. Weird.


FridaysMan t1_itlqsqp wrote

That's why you offer to pay them for a nude modelling session first.