18 April, 2009

¡Cuerpo a tierra!

In one of the language forums I frequent someone asked for a translation for ¡Cuerpo a tierra! This is an expression used in the military or when there is a dangerous situation. Loosely translated it means body on the ground a.k.a. on the ground face down taking cover.

Since I was not sure of the translation, I explained the context and the situations where one would use this expression to my English-native-speaker fiancé. "Is "duck" used in this context?" And what do I get as a confirmation? He starts singing: duck and cover, duck and cover, you know Bert the turtle. Of course I am looking at him confused. I have no idea who Bert is, nor that it is a turtle. A few seconds later I am watching this video:

It seems that this video was shown at schools to teach children about the possibilities of an imminent attack on the U. S. back in the fifties and sixties, during the peak of the cold war. One learns something everyday...
¡Cuerpo a tierra! = Duck and cover.

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