Children naturally play with language as they learn, experimenting with Spanish rhyme and rhythm. In English, they say “See ya later, alligator” and “After a while, crocodile”. They also make up rhymes and sayings with their friends. The expressions are often nonsense. Children say them for the sound of the language. There are lots of Spanish rhymes like this, and children enjoy learning them because they are fun to say. These are some of the first spontaneous interactions in Spanish that I hear between students.
Many of these Spanish rhymes are used to greet someone and are based on the word hola. Children say them with enthusiasm and affection. These are some of the most common. The translations sound ridiculous, of course. I only include them for meaning.
¡Hola, crayola! / Hi, crayon!
Hola, cacerola. / Hi, pan.
Hola, caracola. / Hi, conch.
Hola, radiola. / Hi, juke box.
Hola, ratón sin cola. / Hi, mouse without a tail.
Hola Manola, ratón sin cola. / Hi Manola, mouse without a tail.
This is a very common exchange between kids in Spanish. If you want to hear the phrases pronounced, I was playing with a text to speech website and you can just click on them.
¿Qué te pasa, calabaza? / What is up with you, pumpkin? / What is the matter, pumpkin?
Nada, nada, limonada. / Nothing, nothing lemonade.
To say good-bye, the expressions are based on Spanish rhymes with adiós and ciao. There are some of the most common:
Adiós, granito de arroz. / Bye, grain of rice.
Adiós, carita de arroz. / Bye, rice face.
Adiós, corazón de arroz. / Bye, heart of rice.
¡Chaito, pescadito! / Bye, little fish!
Ciao, bacalao. / Bye, codfish.