Thursday, March 31, 2011

TODAY'S CHAMORRO WORD : POT FABOT

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                       Ilek-ña i kato : "Na' gimen yo' leche, pot fabot!"

POT FABOT :  Please

OK, so it's not a word but a phrase.  And it's derived from the Spanish "por favor," or "as a favor."

Different cultures came up with different ways to make a request humbler and milder.  It is thought that "please" is a shortened version of "If you please," meaning "if it pleases you."

Italians say "per piacere," and the French, "s'il vous plait," both more or less meaning "if it pleases you."

One Japanese way of saying "please" is "onegai shimasu" which roughly means "I hope or pray that the thing is done."  Wow.  Very humble.

It's not known how pre-contact Chamorros expressed the concept of "please," or whatever concept came closest to it, or how they made requests milder and more polite.

However.....now that I think of it.....I remember hearing often enough, and loving the expression entirely, when an older person would ask someone else to do something, s/he would say, "Na' magof hao ya un..." meaning "Make yourself happy and...take me to church or buy me pugua' or whatever the case may be."

I love the expression because the connotation, for me at least, is : Do this for me and be happy about it.  Love it!

Many Chamorros today pronounce it "put" rather than "pot," the way I heard it from my mañaina and man amko'.

The phrase "pot fabot," as in other languages, can carry with it different connotations, depending on the tone with which it is expressed.

Jose : Maria, na' ayao yo' fan mit pesos. (Maria, lend me a thousand dollars.)
Maria : Pot fabot! (Are you out of your mind???)

Lele' : Humålom si pendeha gi gima'yu'us yan i kaddada' na bestidu-ña!  Pot fabot adai agon!
(She entered the church with her short dress!  Of all things!)


DON'T SAY "PLEASE" TODAY
SAY "POT FABOT," POT FABOT!

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