Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Puente’

If you live and work in Spain then this will undoubtedly be one of your favourite words!

Spanish Word of the Day: 'Puente'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Wisegie/Flickr

So, what does it mean?

The main and most common translation of puente into English is bridge. Bridge can refer to several things: a “real” bridge, but also the bridge on a pair of glasses and a dental bridge.

Another translation for puente is a long weekend due to a public holiday falling near the weekend. It is called a puente as it was customary that when a holiday fell midweek, you would bridge the gap and also have the days between off as a holiday too. For example, if a Tuesday and Wednesday were public holidays, you would also take the Monday to create a long weekend. This was assumed nation-wide, so much so that many offices would close during that time.

After the Spanish financial crisis, and in order to boost productivity, many holidays were moved to fall on Mondays and Fridays to avoid these awkward days. Now, even when the holiday does not include a 'bridge', long weekends due to public holidays are still referred to as puentes.


  • Condujimos nuestro coche por el puente.

        We drove our car over the bridge.

Long weekend:

  • Este puente voy a ir a la playa.

       I'm going to go to the beach for the bank holiday weekend.



You can also use the verb puentear to mean bypass (cut out the middle-man) or for electrical work when you bridge points of contact.

  • Oye,¿sabes cómo puentear un auto?

       Hey, do you know how to hotwire a car? 



/ˈpwente/, [ˈpwẽn̪t̪e]

This word of the day has been contributed by LAE Madrid, the leading Spanish academy in Madrid. Accredited by the Insitituto Cervantes, it offers Spanish courses for all levels and also has Spanish classes for kids and families.



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Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

This adjective is essential slang talk in Spain, a word with lots of meanings, all of them fairly negative.

Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

Chungo is a colloquial way of saying that something is difficult, dodgy or bad. 

It can be used to describe a variety of scenarios and it’s a great way of talking like a native Spanish speaker. 

You can talk about the weather being chungo if there are ominous black clouds up ahead.

If you’re stepping into a dodgy neighbourhood, then watch out because it’s un barrio chungo

If you bought a hairdryer at the rastro (flea market) and it doesn’t work properly, then it’s clearly chungo, and the seller is just as chungo.

Maybe you’ve just sat an exam with complicated questions, you’d call it un examen chungo.

Or if you don’t feel very well, then you’re the one that is chungo

There’s even an expression to say that things aren’t looking good – la cosa está chunga.

All in all, chungo is a very versatile adjective that you can incorporate into most daily speech even though it’s colloquial. 

Here are some examples to help you get used to using chungo.


Está el tiempo un poco chungo, mejor no vamos a la playa.

The weather isn’t very good today, it’s best if we don’t go to the beach. 


¡Ojo! Es un tío bastante chungo así que no te fíes de él.

Be careful! He’s a pretty dodgy guy so don’t trust him. 


Le has comprado un perfume muy chungo a mamá por el Día de la Madre.

You’ve bought Mum a really crappy perfume for Mother’s Day.


El barrio de El Príncipe en Ceuta es muy chungo, ¡ten cuidado!

El Príncipe neighbourhood in Ceuta is very dodgy, be careful!



Me encuentro un poco chungo, con mareos y nauseas. 

I’m feeling a bit bad, I’m dizzy and nauseous. 


¿Dama de honor cuando el novio es tu ex? ¡Qué situación más chunga!

Maid of honour when the groom is your ex? ¡That’s an uncomfortable situation!


¡La cosa está chunga! El Barça tiene que marcar cinco goles para clasificarse.

Things aren’t looking good. Barça have to score five goals to qualify.