My guatero con uña

4 September 2007
5:26 PM

A guatero is a hot water bottle, and pretty much any Chilean who’s not (a) rich or (b) dead uses one in the winter. Like just about any word in Chile, guatero can be shaped to have a double meaning. Once I was talking with long-time Associate friend Elba Toledo who told me she’d let me borrow her guatero, but not her guatero con uña. Her comment was followed by boisterous laughter for those who understood (i.e. not me) and then the explanation: a guatero con uña (literally “hot water bottle with finger/toenails”) is your significant other. Ah, those clever Chileans.

Anyway, I saw this over the weekend and armed with my understanding of guatero con uña, I thought it was pretty funny.

Foot-shaped hot water bottle with toenails

This way even the relationship-challenged can sleep with their hot water bottles with toenails.