Ten brilliant Spanish reinventions of everyday English words

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Ten brilliant Spanish reinventions of everyday English words
Spanish uses lots of English words, but not in the way you might think. Photo: Elliot Brown/Flickr

The English language is sweeping across Spain, but not always in the way you might expect. The Local looks at how Spaniards are taking English words, changing their meanings and using them in a way that would have Shakespeare turning in his grave.



Photo: Martin Alvarez Espinar/Flickr

The noun for 'jogging'. Hacer footing means to go jogging.


Photo: Jim Pennucci/Flickr

Widely used to refer to a car park or parking lot. E.g "I can’t find a parking anywhere!"

Hacer zapping

Photo: MjZ Photography/Flickr

Used to refer to channel-hopping or channel-surfing.


Photo: Pierre-Phippe Marcou/AFP

Nothing to do with the drug or a hole of any kind, crack is used in Spanish to describe someone who is great at what they do. So don’t feel offended if a Spaniard calls you a crack, it’s actually quite a compliment!


Photo: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr 

Instead of calling it ginebra y tónica, the Spanish have adopted the English name for the refreshing alcoholic beverage and just dropped the ‘and’ in the middle.


Photo: Flashback Tunisie/Flickr

Derived from the English 'smoking jacket', there is no other word in Spanish to refer to a dinner jacket or tuxedo. The French have a very similar version to it but without the 'e' that Spaniards often put in front of English words starting with 's'.


Archive photo: Shutterstock
No, this has nothing do with going to the gym, or even putting your back into it. Lifting (as in hacer un lifting) is what Spanish call a face lift. 
El Face

Photo: pshab/Flickr
The world's biggest social media site has become so mainstream in Spain that young people often shorten its name to 'El Face'.
El office

Photo: Robert Benner/Flickr
Somewhat confusing that the Spanish use the noun for a workplace to describe a pantry, breakfast room or utility room.

Archive photo: Shutterstock
If your Spanish partner asks whether you want to "echar un quiqui" (pronounced kiki), he or she wants to get down and dirty. This cheeky and light-hearted expression means to have sex and probably comes from the English word "quickie".



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