Every language has words that have no direct equivalent in English, and Spanish is no exception. As one of the world’s main languages, with a long history, multiple influences (in particular Arabic and Latin) and speakers all over the world, it’s no surprise that Spanish has some terms and concepts that give a fascinating insight into the language and culture. Sometimes they’re neologisms brought into the language by a technological advance and sometimes they are culturally bound and unique to the specific country. Other times they’re just interesting or make us laugh and it is with this in mind we’ve decided to list a few of our favourites:
Literally meaning “overtable”, this term refers to the time spent talking while sitting at the table after a meal. A common Spanish pastime.
If a bank holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday (in Spain, bank holidays aren’t always on Mondays or Fridays, as they are in the UK), it’s a common practice to take the day between the bank holiday and the weekend – literally speaking, the “bridge” between.
Mostly used for flamenco dancers and singers, “duende”, which literally means “elf” or “goblin” is used to refer to a natural, mysterious charm shown by some artists that defies explanation.
This verb means to use something for the first time, or to debut it – the premiere of a film in Spanish is called the “estreno”, coming from this word.
Literally meaning “Sunday-maker” a dominguero is a person who normally goes out on Sundays and bank holidays. Generally, domingueros go to the countryside or beach to barbeque or picnic. Think “Sunday driver” in English.
Derived from from “frío” (Spanish for cold), this refers to a person who is very sensitive to cold.
Literally meaning to peacock oneself, this one is used to say that someone is showing off or parading around, like a peacock flaunting its feathers.
Got a favourite Spanish word to share with us? Leave a comment below and let’s see if we can find some new words to add!