In New Mexico the Spanish word SAPO, or Toad, has always meant someone who was very lucky. The audience will call someone Sapo when he or she makes a long shot in a Basketball game. You are Sapo if you win the lottery. You are Sapo when you walk away unharmed from an accident. But most people here have forgotten why they use the word Sapo or Toad that way.

Calvin told me he used the word in Madrid, Spain, a while ago and the people he was talking to wondered how he knew about Sapo. He explained the usage in New Mexico and that nobody seemed to know where the word came from.

In Spain many bars used to have a toad-shaped stone container by the bar and people walking in from the street would throw a coin at the toad. To hit the opening was a long long shot and it rarely happened and everyone in the bar would call out “Sapo!” when a person got a coin into the toad. That person also received the pot, that is all of the coins that had been thrown at the toad and which had missed.