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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Loco’

You've probably heard the word loco before, but do you know all the different uses for it?

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

It can mean to be mentally insane:

  • La vecina se volvió loca después de la guerra. Finalmente la tuvieron que internar.

          My neighbor went insane after the war. She was taken to a mental institute she was taken to a mental health institution

 

It can also mean to be crazy or wild

 

  • Mi primo estuvo en Miami una semana y se volvió loco. Estuvo de fiesta todo el tiempo.

              My cousin went to Miami for a week and went crazy.  He was partying the whole time.

 

Here are some other great phrases that useloco that you might not be familiar with.

 

  • Los adolescentes a veces hacen las cosas a lo loco.

              Teenager sometimes do things without thinking.

 

  • Después del concierto el público empezó a aplaudir a lo loco.

               After the concert the public started clapping  wildly.

 

  • Cada loco con su tema

               To each his own.

 

  • Su respuesta me dejó loco

               His answer drove me up the wall.

 

  • Llevan 2 días juntos pero dice que está loco por ella.

              They've been together for 2 days but he says that he is crazy about her.

 

  • Esta loco perdido

              He is completely mental.

 

  • ¿Me tomas por loco?

               Do you think I'm mad?

 

Pronunciation:

Lo-co

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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