Eleven Spanish words the English language needs to adopt right now
Some Spanish words are so good at perfectly describing a feeling, experience or person you have to wonder why the English language hasn’t adopted them yet. The Local has chosen eleven linguistic gems that should be immediately adopted into the English language.
- Espabilar: To liven up, to come to one’s senses, to get one’s act together, to wise up, to get a move on, to wake up! “¡Espabila!¡Qué vas a perder el vuelo!” (Get your arse in gear or you’ll miss your flight!)
- Maruja: a traditional working-class housewife who enjoys gossiping about her neighbours and eavesdropping on others. She’s the informal broadcaster of radio patio, the so-called courtyard radio where most of the chitchat takes place. “Menuda maruja estás hecha, deja de chismorrear” (You’re such a maruja, stop gossiping).
- Estrenar: to wear or use something for the first time. “Hoy estreno mis nuevas zapatillas rosas” (I’m wearing my new pink sneakers for the first time today). It can also be used for a film or play that’s premiering.
- Cachondeo: Lack of seriousness. This may refer to messing about in a positive sense, as in “Nos pasamos la tarde de cachondeo” (We spent the afternoon mucking about) to a more negative “menudo cachondeo de gobierno” (this government is a joke).
- Pagafantas: Literally meaning Fanta buyer, it usually refers to guys who buy drinks for girls and treat them nicely, but never actually get remotely close to sealing the deal in the relationship sense. “No seas tan pagafantas, deja de mimarla”, (Don’t be such a pagantas, stop spoiling her).
- Guiri: (Urban Dictionary def.) a somewhat pejorative term for a foreigner, usually a tourist, who happens to be in Spain and stands out as being pretty obviously not a local. The term is usually used to refer to fairer-skinned people from the likes of Great Britain, Germany or the US, for example.
- Autónomo: A registered self-employed person, independent, self-sufficient. The word also refers to freelancers and contractors. “Los impuestos para los autónomos en España son un cachondeo.” (Taxes for self-employed people in Spain are a joke).
- Trapichear: to eke out a living by buying and selling, to carry out shady deals, to wheel and deal. “Siempre son los mismos trapicheando en la plaza”, (It’s always the same ones wheeling and dealing in the square).
- Empalagar: To feel sick from eating too many sweet things. “No me gusta el merenge, es demasiado dulce y empalaga”, (I don’t like merengue, it’s too sweet and it makes me feel sick”.
- Desvelado: Unable to sleep because you are kept awake by someone or something. “El llanto del bebé consiguió desvelar a todos” (The baby’s crying succeeded in keeping everyone awake).
- Entrecejo: The space between the eyebrows.