Piña, in most Spanish speakers countries except Argentina, means pineapple. Piña it also means pine cone. But in some other countries – now including Argentina – piña means thump, knock or a strong hit.
So, accordingly with this particular meaning, “dar una piña” is to hit someone else, to thump someone. But “darse una piña” is a different thing. Darse, in this case, with this particular extra “se”, means that the verb is reflexive – which means that the subject of the sentence and the object of the sentence refer to the same person – so it could be translated as give to oneself a thump.
Doesn’t sound that logical, right? Well, we use the phrase darse una piña to refer to a crash or to fall or to a hit. If someone was riding his motorbike too fast and crashes into a car we would say that s/he se dio una piña.
– La piña que le dio fue tan fuerte que le quebró la nariz. (S/he hit him/her so hard that his nose was broken)
– Me acaban de llamar para avisarme que Julio se dio una piña con el auto. Parece que está jodido (They just called me to let me know that Julio was in a car accident. It seems serious).
– Pedro iba a los pedos y se terminó dando una piña (Pedro was going really fast and he ended up having an accident)
A whole different thing is when we use the word piña in the phrases “sale como piña” and “va como piña”. This two have a meaning quite similar to the one that gives title to this blog, sale con fritas, and it basically also means that somethings runs fast and smoothly.
If something is a sure thing, we say sale/va como piña. If we want to generate agreement about something, we also say sale/va como piña.
– Caro me dijo que sale como piña el próximo catálogo. (Caro told me that the next catalogue will be ready soon and it will be great)
– Sale como piña noche de caipirinhas este sábado, no? (It would be great a Caipirinha’s night this Saturday, wouldn’t it?)
Attention! Please, take into account that all these uses of the word piña are very very informal, and it’s basically slang. So if you want to properly say to hit, use golpear o pegar, and if you want to inform to a concerned parent that his/her child was in an accident, please say tuvo un accidente.