Cool Spanish Words That Don’t Exist In Engish
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A fun part of learning any new language is the moment when you come across certain words that simply don’t exist in your native language. In this post, we are to list 35 cool Spanish words that don’t exactly exist in English.
Cool Spanish words to describe people
1) Consuegro, consuegra
The father-in-law or mother-in-law of your children is known as your consuegro or consuegra.
2) Concuñado, Concuñada
The husband or wife of your brother-in-law or sister-in-law is your concuñado or concuñada.
3) Comadre and compadre
The godmother of your children is your comadre, while the godfather is your compadre. You can also use either word to describe someone who you consider a really good friend.
An adjective to describe a man who doesn’t have a lot of facial or body hair.
(random, we know)
5) Mocho or Manco
A word for a person who is missing an arm or is one-handed. You can also use this adjective for animals who are missing leg too.
A person or animal with one eye.
A person who either only has one leg, or only has one functional leg.
8) Friolento or friolenta
This one can have two meanings, depending on the context. It can refer to someone who is sensitive to the cold, or someone who is cold-blooded.
The word that Spanish speaking countries in the Americas call those who were born in the United States.
10) Tocayo / Tocaya
A person with the same name that yours. (which I guess is similar to “namesake” in English)
Used to describe people who want to be rail against everything, be it leading a military coup, or encouraging their co-workers to ask for a salary raise at work.
A word for a person who will do any job, but almost always does it wrong or cuts corners. For example, a guy who fixes a car engine with plastic tape.
Someone with a few teeth missing. This word is most commonly used with kids.
A cute word for a cuddly person, or someone who enjoys giving and receiving love. You’ll hear parents use it with their children who tend to be very mimosos.
Cool Spanish words to describe feelings or emotions
15) Te quiero
When saying te quiero, you aren’t necessarily saying that you are in love with the person, but that you appreciate them and care a lot about them (not to be confused with te amo, which is “I love you’).
16) Vergüenza ajena
When someone else starts doing something very embarrassing or out of place, and you know that it’s making everyone feel uncomfortable you say sentí vergüenza ajena which would be similar to “I was cringing”.
17) Mamitis / Papitis
Let’s imagine that you have a child who refuses to be separated from you, whether it’s to go to school for the first time or for a couple of minutes, we would say that the baby has mamitis or papitis. You can also say abuelitis if the children don’t want to leave their grandparents.
18) Desvelado or Trasnochado
You can use either word to describe someone who perhaps didn’t have a good sleep the night before, and the next day, looks tired or really sleep deprived.
Cool Spanish words to describe things people do
The word comes from the noun pavo which means “turkey” (yes, the bird) and for some reason, this word works like an adverb to describe someone who shows off a little too much. For example, entering into a room making noise, laughing way too loud, and acting like a movie star.
This word means to address someone informally (i.e. using the pronouns tú instead of usted). Remember, in Latin America, we use usted when talking respectfully to elders, or people with a certain professional rank that is superior to us (e.g. your boss).
Sobremesa describes the moment when you’ve finished having lunch or dinner, but everyone is still at the table chit-chatting, or maybe drinking some sweet digestive liquor or coffee.
The closest thing to merendar in English would be “snack on” or “having a snack”. It describes eating something, normally after lunch but before dinner, and it’s usually something sweet. Similar to tea time in the UK.
That feeling when you are wearing new clothes, shoes or an accessory, and you walk with a little bit of extra swag. For example, if you go out to buy a new dress for your friend’s wedding, then on the day of the wedding, you are going to “estrenar” your new outfit.
Recoger is to pick up or collect someone, but now, recogerse is used when it’s late, and you decide that you should go home.
Normally people say: Hora de recogerse, which means “time to go home”.
When you have to wake up in the morning, at an unreasonable hour (perhaps the sun isn’t even out), you can use the verb madrugar, which means “to wake up early”.
Pasear is simply going for a walk without any hurry, specific objective, or any idea of being somewhere at a certain time. Similar to going for a stroll.
So the next time if a friend asks you ¿Quieres ir a pasear?, just say “yes”.
Arreglar means “to fix”, but the reflexive form arreglarse is used to describe the whole ritual from bathing, dressing, combing your hair, shaving, putting on makeup etc to get ready to go somewhere.
Finally, some random, cool Spanish words
28) Color de hormiga
This directly translates as “ant color”, but has a completely different meaning. Since regular ants usually have a dark color, the expression color de hormiga is used to describe a situation that is very dark, or difficult.
29) Buen provecho
The equivalent to “Bon appetit” in French, which in English would obviously be something simple like ”enjoy your meal”.
To say that something is not yours and belongs to someone else.
Also used when you are clueless about something. For example, if you are talking about a topic that you don’t have a clue about, that that something would be ajeno to you. Similar to the way you’d describe certain topics as “alien to you” in English.
No need to say “the day before yesterday” in Spanish, as it can be described in this single word.
This word normally translates as bridge, but it’s also the word for a long weekend thanks to a public holiday on a Friday, or Monday.
Many companies in Latin America divide the monthly salary of their employees into two payments, and pay them every fifteen days. These payments are called quincena.
Ready for a really random one?
Ok, entrecejo is the word for the space between your eyebrows.
This is a cute word to finish on.
It can refer to something that is overly sweet, so much so that you cannot eat it (maybe it’s a donut, for example).
It can also be used to describe someone who overly affectionate, whether it’s physical (hugs and kisses) or emotional (clingy), to the point that it becomes annoying. You can say that he or she is very empalagoso.
Ps, make sure to check our original post on 35 random words, from several different languages that don’t exist in English.