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.
- 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?
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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