Saturday, January 5, 2013

Imbyerna

When somebody declares that he is feeling imbyerna, we instinctively understand that the person is annoyed. In informal conversations, the word has popularly come to express a person’s annoyance towards another person, thing or situation.

Before I decided to write down this post, I have always thought at the back of my mind, if my trying hard Spanish would allow me, that the expression comes from the Spanish word '"invierno" or "invierna" which means winter.

In the novel entitled Nothing Lasts Forever written by the master storyteller Sidney Sheldon, when Ken Mallory was naked and hard, and Kate Hunter just stared and left him all alone, Ken Mallory must have felt imbyerna - literally for feeling wintry with nothing on the body and figuratively for getting angry being toyed by a woman.

But what probable connection is with the annoyed feeling and winter season that they seem to have the same vein in our parlance?

In my own putting of one and one together, probably our ancestors back then were so pissed towards the injustices of Spanish conquistadores that they exaggerated their cold feelings to a complete icy season. Instead of just describing the feeling as cold, they overstated by illustrating it as something winter.

In a short piece in Wikipedia discussing about Tagalog loanwords from the Spanish language, it mentions that some words have acquired an entirely new meaning, such as imbyerna (invierna) once meant 'winter' but is now a word for 'bummer'.

Imbyerna mode. Just cold, not incensed.
Some time during the course of my thesis writing, I asked a close friend to enlist his cooperation in the data gathering since he is working in a SpEd school. After a month, we planned to meet up so I can personally retrieve the questionnaires, which were actually the last batch, as the deadline is lurking horribly on the calendar.

"And the accomplished questionnaires?" I asked with a final sigh of relief.

"Oh, I forgot them in town!" he answered in a totally stunned fashion.

 "Imbyerna!" I cried before he could explain in front of my wintry look.


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