Spanish Word of the Day: Empalagoso

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Spanish Word of the Day: Empalagoso
Empalagoso has a negative connotation. Photo: Patrick Fore/Unsplash

Here’s a word that comes up a lot when talking about food in Spain.


Empalagoso/a is an adjective which refers to excessive sweetness, richness or stickiness in both flavour and emotions.  

In other words, something that’s hard to swallow because it’s cloying, mawkish or sickly sweet is empalogoso


So if you’re eating a Spanish dessert that is overly rich and sweet you can’t eat another bite for fear that you’ll throw up, you can describe it as empalagoso.

Some synonyms include demasiado dulzón or azucarado (too sweet).

If you have eaten the empalagoso food all up and it’s left you feeling full, nauseous and uncomfortable, then you can say that you are feeling empalagado/a.

Let’s face it, there are certain foods that have that effect, which means that you can use the verb empalagar to describe what they do, such as los mantecados empalagan.

With regards to a person’s behaviour, empalogoso can be used when someone is being overly touchy-feely, sentimental or fussing over you or someone else too much. 

It could be a young couple that won’t stop French kissing, hugging, calling each other pet names or so on, or a grandparent who fusses so much over their grandkids that their cheeks have turned beetroot red from all the pinching. 

Other adjectives that describe this behaviour can be pesado, molesto, sobón or meloso.

If you hadn’t guessed already, empalagoso has a pretty negative connotation, so choose wisely when to use it, especially if choosing it to describe the food that someone has prepared for you.


No me gusta el turrón, me empalaga.

I don’t like turrón, I find it nauseating.


Has puesto demasiado azúcar en mi infusión, está empalagoso.

You put a lot of sugar in my tea, it’s too sweet.


¡Tienes una novio muy empalagosa!

You have an extremely clingy girlfriend!



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