When mentioning the name of someone upon whom you wish harm, you can interject a ¡Cruz cruz!, damn him, curse him! The reference here is to a cross or crucifix, perhaps as used for warding off evil. This usage is meant to be humorous rather than religious. For extra effect, you can form a mini-cross with your index fingers.
Upon entering a church, it is traditional for Catholics to make the sign of the cross. Here’s how it is done:
- With your right hand, touch the middle of your thumb to the middle of your index fingers, making a mini-cross.
- While maintaining the contact between your thumb and index finger, briefly touch your thumb to your forehead.
- Then touch your thumb to the center of your chest, then to the left shoulder, then to the right one.
- Finally, touch your thumb to your lips and kiss it.
The whole thing takes just a moment.
I’ve heard this crossing action called persinar, although the accepted word is persignar, with a g.
What’s curious is that some people cross themselves when passing by any church, whether on foot or in a car or bus. They already know where the churches on their route are, so they make the cross without even looking up. If you see a pedestrian suddenly cross himself, look around. There’s a church, perhaps even a very small one, in the vecinity.
I recall seeing two guys on a bench who suddenly crossed themselves. One of them had probably just mentioned the name of a dead person. In this case, the act of crossing themselves is thought to ward off the spirits of the dead.