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Ten brilliant Spanish reinventions of everyday English words

The Local · 4 Sep 2015, 15:29

Published: 04 Sep 2015 15:29 GMT+02:00

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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.
Story continues below…

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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