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Giving someone a pumpkin

This somewhat odd saying, dar calabazas a alguien, is used in Spain to turn down someone’s offer of love. Apparently, in some areas of Catalonia, the boyfriend who is served pumpkin by his potential in-laws knows that he is not in favour.

And why a pumpkin, you may well ask.
It turns out the pumpkin has long been considered to have an anti-aphrodisiac effect

Pumpkins in Kew Gardens, London, October 2013



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 5 February 2022

Posted as part of Becky’s SquareOdds

25 replies »

  1. This is also true in Ukraine. Some men will choose to ask the family for their daughter’s hand in marriage at night, in case the reply is “no”, then he can walk away in shame with his pumpkin in the dark so others do not see him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story. Thanks Of course here in America pumpkins are for Halloween and Thanksgiving. But when we had Brazilian students visit several made their favorite Shrimp in The Pumpkin. I’ll post a picture some time during Odd Square February


  3. I love odd facts like this. I’ve just returned from lunch with a young friend (in her late 20s) who told me that if you invite a prospective lover to your flat and have pampas grasses on display, it means you are very available! Have I had a few lucky escapes or am I just too old looking for the come-on to work? I’ve got pampas grasses in a tall vase in a corner of my hall and have had many young, and older, men visiting me recently none of whom have shown any desire to throw me on the floor and ravish me!


  4. True or false…who cares., but sounds very plausible. My then future farther in law showed his initial suspicions of me on our first meeting, by setting loose his German Shepherd Guard Dog….luckily it decided that I looked, and after a quick sniff, smelt OK, so with a quick lick we were instant friends….. as far as F in L., I got a straight face, a nod, then he lit a cigarette and vanished without a word. Didn’t get the Pumpkin treatment 🙂 🙂


  5. Who knew that about pumpkins? I might (not sure yet) take that as an inspiration for my oddity today. In German the man gets given a basket if the woman he is wooing does not like him. Not by the prospective in-laws but by the woman in question. I wonder what other “presents” of this nature exist in other languages.


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