GOATS are not exactly gregarious creatures. They are happiest aloof, left to themselves. Often when we are ashamed, we feel like doing the same. For that reason in Guatemalan Spanish chivearse has come to mean to become embarrassed.

“Me alegró ver que mi traida no se chiveó cuando la presenté a la familia.”

Translation: “I was happy to see that my girlfriend didn’t get embarrassed when I introduced her to the family.”

“Cuando a Juan se le preguntó si le gustan las hamburguesas, se chiveó porque es vegetariano.”

Translation: “When Juan was asked if he likes hamburgers, he got embarrassed because he’s vegetarian.”

Check out the use of chivearse in the following tweet:

Translation: “Did he sneak a peek at my photos in Facebook or what? Jajaja. I feel so embarrassed.”


Cats get embarrassed too

Another Guatemalan term that has a similar meaning to chivearse is amishado. In Guatemala cats are known by the term mish, a term inherited from the country’s many Mayan languages. Cats, much like goats, are known for their aloofness. Someone that is said to be amishado, then, is shy or bashful. 

Example: “Elena es tan amishado que cuando vienen visitas, sale corriendo a su cuarto para esconderse.”

Translation: “Elena is so bashful that when guests come, she takes off running to her room to hide.”

Here’s another example from the Twitterverse:

Translation: “Oh, no! Now OPM (Otto Pérez Molina, Guatemalan President) says: ‘I wish I had the judge here for me to explain myself,’ but when he is before the judge, he gets all bashful.”