The limits of my language means the limits of my world. 
– Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

aprendiendo españolMy first “real word” in Spanish was siempre (always), appropriate because I feel I will always love the language. I also learned nunca (never), after which the language grabbed me and has never let go. As with any grasp, there may be struggles; with words they come as mispronunciation, misspelling and improper use. Here are some favorite and not-so-favorite Spanish words:

Avergonzado - embarrassed. A good word to use after you apologize for asking a man if he is embarazada

Berejena - eggplant. A fun word to say: “kh” the j, a (personal) favorite sound in Spanish

Bienvenidos - welcome. A beautiful word that spills from the mouth easily.

Camarista - housekeeper. A good word to know in a hotel. Cama means bed, rista means of an organization or occupation. Be sure to tip well!

Desafortunadamente unfortunately. Oh! I love this long, tongue-twisty word when said directly and with intent.

– pregnant. A favorite not only for its unusual pronunciation, but because it sounds like “embarrassed.”

Naranja – orange (fruit and color). I have always struggled with the pronunciation of this word. ¡No me gusta la palabra naranja!

Rico – rich, expensive, or delicious.  May also be used as a lover’s term for sensual. Roll the rrr at the beginning, to add a little spice.

I’m a huge fan of Méxican Spanish slang, including these words I learned while living in México:

Abarotte - a small tienda, or corner store, independently owned, that may sell everything from candy to beer to diapers

Botanos - complimentary snacks served in bars with drinks, ranging from hot dog slices to olives to palomitas (popcorn)

Cawama - giant bottles of beer that you return to the aborotte in exchange for a few pesos off the next one

Chattara - junk food; snacks like chips or duritos (wheel shaped rice crisps), often served with hot sauce and límon

Garrafont - large, exchangeable, plastic: 20 liter bottles of drinking water, common in most households

¡Hijole! – excited expression for “alright!” or “oh boy!” may also mean “Son of a …!” (excitement, not insult)

¡Orale! - literally translates as “Pray to Him,” means OK or understood, often in exclamation

Palomitas de Maiz - popcorn translates literally to “small doves of corn.” A lovely way to say my favorite food!

I am currently living in Barranquilla, Atlántico in Colombia and learning Colombian Costeño slang:

A la Orden - “at your service,” Colombians say this for many things, when ordering in a restaurant, or complimenting someone’s jewelry, which I still can’t figure out – does it mean I can wear your necklace? Thanks, lady!

Bacano - cool. Often used to describe people, or something you own, like Restaurante Bacano

Chevére - really great! A fun word to say about nearly anything, from a good time to an article of clothing

Crispeta - popcorn. Very different from the Méxican way to say my favorite food. This sounds like breakfast cereal to me.

Mazorca – fat corn. Big pieces of chunky corn on or off the cob, often grilled until brown and crisp.

Regalame – “gift me” not a wrapped present, more like “give me.” Guys say, “regalame tu numero de telefono.” Simple and direct!

The Many Words of Aic3la

Confessions of a scatterbrain at it's best....

No Particular Place To Go

We're baby boomers who are currently in Central America and have been traveling since September, 2012 after opting out of the "American Dream" and selling everything. Life as long-term travelers has challenged and changed us in unexpected ways, greatly enriched our lives and proven to be far more than we'd hoped for...

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