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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Tiquismiquis’

We all know someone who deserves this moniker. Maybe you might even use it about yourself!

Spanish Word of the Day: 'Tiquismiquis'
Photo: nito103/Depositphotos

It can be used to describe someone excessively fussy or a stickler for things being right.

The noun is often used to describe someone who is picky about food.

This word generally has negative connotations but not always, in certain circumstances it is good to be labelled a perfectionist!

Here are some examples:

  • Javier  es un tiquismiquis. Siempre mantiene la casa inmaculada.

        Javier is fussy. He always keeps his house spotless.

  • Con respecto a la puntualidad, el jefe es un tiquismiquis.

       When it comes to punctuality, the boss is a stickler.

  • Después de tantos tiquismiquis los políticos hicieron lo contrario a lo que dijeron que harían.

      After all their fussing the politicians did the opposite of what they said they would do.

  • Soy tiquismiquis. Siempre me decepcionas

     I’m fussy. You’ll always disappoint me

  • Es un tiquismiquis para la comida

       He’s a very picky eater


via GIPHY

Pronounciation:

Tiki-smeek-is

Check out our other word of the day posts

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SPANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Chachi’

Who would’ve thought that there’s a word used all the time in Spain that has something to do with Winston Churchill? Or so the story goes. 

Spanish Word of the Day: 'Chachi'

Chachi is a colloquial way to express approval for something or someone, in the sense of it/them being cool, awesome or great.

It’s mainly a word used by young people in Spain, so saying it to your bank manager or boss may raise an eyebrow or two, but it’s in no way derogatory or rude.

There’s even the expression ¡Chachi piruli Juan Pelotilla! that was popularised by a 90s’ kids show on TV called Telebuten, but it’s now a rather outdated way of saying ‘cool’ in Spanish. 

Chachi is certainly a rather bizarre sounding word and Spain’s Royal Academy actually has it recorded as deriving from chanchi (which nobody uses).

Linguists are not 100 percent certain about the origin of the word but there are two very interesting theories. 

The first is that chachi was first coined in the southern coastal city of Cádiz during World War II, at a time where hunger among locals and contraband at the port were both rife.

Smuggled goods from nearby Gibraltar were considered of the utmost quality as they came from the United Kingdom, and the story goes that Gaditanos (the name for people from Cádiz) referred to these bootlegged products as ‘charchil’, in reference to UK Prime Minister at the time Winston Churchill.

Over time, charchil became chachi, a slang word which (if the story is true) came to mean ‘cool’ across Spain.

Other philologists believe that chachi comes from Caló, the language spoken by Spain’s native gipsy or Roma population. 

Chachipé or chachipen reportedly means ‘truth’ or ‘reality’ in this language spoken by 60,000 people across the Iberian Peninsula.

This could’ve been shortened to chachi and gone from being used like chachi que sí/claro que sí (of course) to chachi to mean ‘cool’.

Whichever theory is true, chachi is a great word to add to your arsenal of Spanish vocab. 

There’s also the Spanish word guay, which has a very similar meaning to chachi; we reviewed it here.

Examples: 

Carlos es un tío chachi. 

Carlos is a cool guy.

¡Pásalo chachi!

Have a great time!

La verdad es que es juego de mesa muy chachi.

The truth is it’s a very cool board game.

¡Qué chachi! Van a hacer un concierto en la plaza.

How cool! They’re going to hold a concert in the square.

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