I recently read an article on the Huftington post about “piropos” – those clever pieces of prose, hurled by Latin men at passing women in an attempt to catch their attention and their hearts.

The article listed some of the most traditional “piropos”… and completely took them apart with comments like “Oh yes, they went there” or “We’re not sure how this is an effective way to pick up a woman.”

To the author of the article I must say: “I’m sorry, my dear guera, but you don’t get it.”

Piropos are not to “pick up a woman.” There’s no way that with just saying “Hey – what’s your name so I can ask for you for Christmas!” we’ll get somebody’s heart… but for sure we’ll get someone’s attention.

Piropos are designed to break the ice. Their goal is to make the girl laugh… or at least smile. And per human nature we can’t dislike someone that makes us laugh.

Yes, there are other piropos that use vulgarity to shock… The girl will cringe or be horrified… but again, it’s an attention-getting device.

Piropos simplify the courtship – in a way they provide a “coined” way to approach a girl. Even the cheesiest of piropos is better than “Do I know you from somewhere?” or “What’s your sign?”

Once the ice is broken, of course, the real interaction begins.

At the end of the day, the usage of piropos, and how effective they can be to get a girl,  boils down to cultural differences. Both parties must be aware of this particular way to communicate. Traditional piropos will only “work” with women that understand the intent… and that are willing to give the guy a chance.