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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Cielo’

This word means 'sky' but not only that.

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

 

  • Hoy, el cielo está despejado.

        Today the sky is clear.

 

It can also mean heaven when speaking about someone that has died.

 

  • Su abuela murió hace poco, ahora está en el cielo.

       His Grandmother died not too long ago. Now, she is in heaven.

 

To be a cielo means to be lovely or an angel.

 

  • Es un cielo de persona, siempre tan amable.

      He's an angel, always so polite.  

 

Here are some fab examples of phrases that use cielo.

 

To fall from the sky at the right time:

 

  • Nos quedamos tirados con el coche. Patricia estaba por la zona y llegó como caída del cielo.

       We've been stranded with the car. Luckily, our friend Patricia was around… she fell from the sky.

 

To lose your train of thought:

 

  • Estaba en mitad de una presentación y se me fue el santo al cielo.

               I was in the middle of a presentation and I lost my train of thought.

 

To leave no stone unturned

 

  • Movieron cielo y marea para encontrar a los desaparecidos.

       They left no stone unturned in order to find the missing people.

 


via GIPHY

 

Here is a famous Spanish tongue twister with the word cielo:

El cielo está encapotado. 

¿Quién lo desencapotará? 

El encapotador que lo desencapó 

buen desencapotador será.

 

Pronunciation:

Cee-el-oh

Check out our word of the day posts

If you’re interested in learning more Spanish, check out courses offered 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 familiesRead their blog for more Spanish!

READ MORE: Five tricks to help you sound like a native in Spanish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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