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Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's a "heina" in the song Santeria?

I've heard the song "Santeria" by Sublime probably a hundred times in my life, but I never stopped to listen to the words, really.   For whatever reason, XM's Lithium channel has been playing this song non-stop, so I finally decided to tune my ears in a little closer, which makes it easier to sing along at full volume in the car.

Twice in the first verse he says the word "heina" as in "Wait till I get back to find a heina of my own." Now, for better or for worse (I'm thinking better) - I'm not very plugged into the Long Beach-ska-surfer-heroin scene, but I'm guessing this is some kind a slang for girlfriend or the sort.   It's kinda Spanish, but it's not a word in Spanish.

However, phonetically, it's a word in Portuguese.   "Heina" is how Brazilians would pronounce "reina" - which means "queen" in both Spanish and Portuguese.   So I'm guessing this actually slang stolen from Portuguese.

I knew my study of Romance languages would come to good use someday.

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