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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish Word of the Day: Previo

Here is a very handy Spanish word to talk about prior or past events.

Spanish Word of the Day: Previo
Photo: Deposit Photos

We are bringing new words every week, but you might want to go back and take a look at palabras previas!

So today's Spanish Word of the Day means exactly that: previous. However, as you will imagine 'previo' has more meanings in Spanish. Let's see some examples:

–        La semana previa al viaje nos enteramos de que estaba embarazada.

The week prior to the trip we found that I was pregnant.

–        El ejercicio previo al examen fue muy difícil de resolver.

The exercise prior to the exam was very hard to complete.

–        El candidato debe tener experiencia previa en un puesto similar.

The exercise prior to the exam was very hard to complete.

–        Un empresa puede despedirte sin aviso previo.

A company can make you redundant without prior notice.

To finish, in a football context 'la previa' is everything that happens before the game (usually involves alcohol).

–        Ellos están en un bar con la previa.

They are in a bar before the game starts.

In Spain there are plenty of football theme songs to spice up 'la previa' like for example:  Mi gran noche or Maradona.

Pronunciation: preh-bee-oh

LAE Madridis the leading Spanish academy in Madrid and is accredited by the Instituto Cervantes. It offers Spanish courses for all levels and also has Spanish classes for kids and families. For more information on our Spanish courses contact [email protected].

 

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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 that was popularised by a 90s’ kids show on TV called Telebuten, but it’s now a rather outdated way of saying ‘cool’ in Spanish.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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