The musical duo The Tyets, pronounced aunts as they say themselves, are kicking it. Their latest hit is the song Olívia, where they rightly announce that they will be uncles to a girl who will bear that name, but before that the big hit was Coti x coti. This temarro, best song of the year at the RAC105 awards that were handed out last week, is full of singularities, which is why it has become an emblematic piece.
The song talks about gossip, about doing laundry by blowing it up, and uses two words from current slang, which in Spanish are also called: salseo and coti. The first is Castilian, needless to say, and alternates between Catalan speakers with salseig, and dipping bread in it. The second, on the other hand, has a very curious history.
The word coti is a shortening of gossip, which is an adaptation of the Spanish cotilleo. In turn, cotilleo derives from cortilla, which is a small coat, a piece that protected the body, a kind of bulletproof vest from the Middle Ages. This military precedent became over the centuries a piece of women's clothing, the corset, which in Catalan is still used as a synonym for girdle. In Spanish, on the other hand, it has stopped being used and is now called corsé.
So, in Spanish la cotilla or el cotilla, as a synonym for tafanera or tafaner, and cotilleo, as a synonym for gossip, have lost their initial referent. In Catalan, the words cotilla and cotilleig, although borrowing the meanings from Spanish, do connect with the original word, la cotilla. And by popular usage, gossip has become the everyday abbreviation, which is the most widespread word in young people's slang.
In the song Coti x coti, The Tyets elevate it to another category, in a piece that mixes reggaeton with fragments where the whole couplet sounds, especially with the characteristic sound of the tenora, and the song becomes a sardana. L'Elèctrica Dharma, which is now just celebrating half a century of life, has kept the tenor as one of its identifying sounds, and now it's The Tyets who are reviving it for new generations. The tenora is a "wooden wind instrument, typical of the sardana couplets, similar to the oboe but with more serious notes", according to the DIEC definition.
Of all this, what is most curious is the interest that has aroused among young people in learning to dot the sardana. With minimal knowledge, with short and long steps, it is enough to join without fear any circle that is dancing it. It is one of the great things about this popular dance, accessible, open and with improvised participation, unlike other exhibition dances. Yay!