Speed and bacon

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A while ago we sent out a newsletter explaining a pretty cool expression used in Spain about mixing up two clearly different sheep breeds. It’s somehow equivalent to the English expression “comparing apples to oranges.” Today, we wanted to talk about another similar expression in Spanish: confundir el tocino con la velocidad (lit. mixing up [uncured] bacon with speed). Unlike “apples and oranges,” it’s often reversed: confundir la velocidad con el tocino.

So, when someone is comparing two items or topics that are incommensurable, you can always tell them:

¡Estás confundiendo la velocidad con el tocino!

It makes a lot of sense, since they are two very different concepts. Here are the definitions for both nouns, in Spanish, from RAE’s DLE:

velocidad (f): Magnitud física que expresa el espacio recorrido por un móvil en la unidad de tiempo, y cuya unidad en el sistema internacional es el metro por segundo (m/s).

tocino (m): Panículo adiposo, muy desarrollado, de ciertos mamíferos, especialmente del cerdo.

It’s a cool expression, isn’t it?

Bacon_in_a_pan
Tocino. / Joy, CC BY 2.0
Speed-01
Velocidad. / Galileo Galilei

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