What nettles you?

“Nettle” (ortiga) you may know. There are many types of nettle, and some mortals drink “nettle tea” (té de ortiga) for its health benefits. People also drink “nettle beer”.

If you touch nettle leaves (hojas) you will get a “nettle sting” (picadura de ortiga) and perhaps a “nettle rash” (urticaria).

“Nettle” has other uses. Sometimes, we have to “grasp the nettle”, that is to tackle or deal with a difficult issue, not to “duck it” (= eludir, equivocar). Perhaps, in Spanish, you would use the idiom (modismo): agarrar el toro por los cuernos.

Sometimes, mortals are “nettled” by things. This word is an adjective, and it means that you are irritated (irritado).

Examine these sentences:

  • Stinging nettles have been found to reduce inflammation.
  • Mr. Sanchez should grasp the nettle and form a coalition government.
  • There are not many things that nettle the Spanish King (no hay muchas cosas que le molesta al Rey de España).
  • If a nettle stings you, rub your skin with a dock leaf (si te pinchas con una ortiga, frótate la piel con una hoja de acedura).

So, without doubt, if you are a mere mortal (simple mortal), you have been nettled by some things, been stung by a nettle, enjoyed a cup of nettle tea, and dealt with a tough issue or “grasped the nettle”.

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