Es de Roberto

Albures and other types of wordplay can be fun but exasperating for learners — especially if you turn out to be the butt of a joke you can’t understand. So it makes sense to be as prepared as possible. Frequently, only one part of a known phrase is stated; the funny part — the part you are expected to understand — is left unsaid. One particular type of pun works as a play on the names of people. Here are three that I have heard.

Está con su amigo Andrés

The opener está con su amigo Andrés is the first part of a rhyme that finishes with el que viene cada mes. This is a reference to menstruation. So you could say está con su amigo Andrés to mean that she, the woman under discussion, is on the rag, is menstruating.

Diablero, Central de Abastos, Mexico City

Diablero, Central de Abastos, Mexico City

Es de Roberto

Es de Roberto, literally, this belongs to Roberto, is an expression used to indicate that an object under discussion is of stolen origin. Roberto sounds like robado, hence the connection. If you just bought a bicycle and you tell you friend that es de Roberto, that means that you bought a stolen bike. Esta bici es robada. Stolen goods are frequently sold in tianguis. By saying that the object es de Roberto rather than using the word robado outright, you soften the awkwardness of admitting that that you own stolen property.

Cita con Manuela

Tiene cita con Manuela. Manuela is close to mano, so this expression means that the subject has a date with his hand. That is, he has no date at all. He’ll have to go home and jerk off, masturbate.