SHARE
COPY LINK

LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

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.

Bridge:

  • 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? 

 

Pronunciation:

/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.

READ ALSO: 

 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

SPANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Labia’

No, this Spanish word doesn’t refer to a part of the female anatomy as it does in English. 

Spanish Word of the Day: 'Labia'

If you live in Spain or have visited the country, you’ll know that Spaniards have no difficulty in chatting to pretty much anyone, even complete strangers.

They are habladores (talkative), sometimes parlanchines or charlatanes (chatterboxes), and a select few suffer from verborrea, which is the official term for someone who talks excessively.

But how about those who are so good at speaking that they can sweet-talk pretty much anyone into doing what they want? 

There’s an expression used to describe them, although it’s not an adjective. 

If you say that someone tiene labia in Spanish, it means that they have the gift of the gab. 

That’s right, labia does not refer to that part of a woman’s genitalia, which in case you were wondering are called labios vaginales in Spanish. 

Tener labia is generally considered something good in Spain, and refers to a type of loquacity, confidence and charm when speaking that has the capacity to persuade and engage. 

It may be that the person is a bit cheeky (pillo or caradura) but because they’re a smooth talker with labia they can get away with it.

Tener labía therefore doesn’t denote arrogance, it’s choosing the right words, being capable of improvising, of being heard, of making people laugh, all with ease. 

Labia isn’t slang or a colloquial word, so therefore it can be used in all social contexts. Other more formal synonyms are verbosidad, elocuencia or locuacidad, but they don’t have quite the same clout as labia

Examples:

Alberto tiene mucha labia, para él ligar está tirado.

Alberto really has the gift of the gab, he finds it super easy to flirt.

Tienes mucha labia, deberías trabajar de comercial.

You’ve such a smooth talker, you should work in sales.

SHOW COMMENTS