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darse de navajazos

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Here is the sentence from Trafalgar:

Yo me figuraba que las escuadras se batían unas con otras pura y simplemente porque les daba la gana, o con objeto de probar su valor, como dos guapos que se citan fuera de puertas para darse de navajazos.

The end of the sentence is what's confusing me: like two (handsome) men who met outside to stab each other? Is that right? Why does it say "darse de"? Can we use this construction with a different word, like "darse de puñetazos"?

1919 views
updated NOV 17, 2008
posted by Natasha

6 Answers

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James said
Like when you used to say "I call you out" back when I was in school.

Our phrase was "I'll see you outside" but yes, the same thing.

updated NOV 17, 2008
posted by Eddy
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Lo entiendo ahora. ¡Muchas gracias a todos!

updated NOV 17, 2008
posted by Natasha
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Patrick S Elliott said:

I was figuring that the armies battled one another purely and simply to win or with the objective to test their bravery, like two gentlemen that meet outside doors to settle it with stabs (a knife fight? or jabs').

You have misinterpreted les daba la gana, which means "just because they felt like it." Dar la(s) gana(s) is the verb phrase.

The "se citan" here means that the two men set a time and place for their duel. Like when we used to say "I call you out" back when I was in school (some men never grow up).

The "darse navajazos" is not really a set phrase, and literally means "to give each other slashes."

Other than these comments, I think Patrick's translation is pretty good.

updated NOV 17, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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I wondered that, but wasn't sure . . . sounds like what Eddy is suggesting, as well.

Patrick S Elliott said:

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updated NOV 17, 2008
posted by Natasha
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I was figuring that the armies battled one another purely and simply to win or with the objective to test their bravery, like two gentlemen that meet outside doors to settle it with stabs (a knife fight? or jabs').

Could it even be a duel'

updated NOV 17, 2008
posted by Patrick-S-Elliott
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I know "darse a" means to take to. Can only find "darse de si" which means to stretch.

Could this be something like (two valient men, outside, settling "it" with knives). Just a guess.

updated NOV 17, 2008
posted by Eddy
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