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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish word of the day: ‘Cantamañanas’

Today's word comes from the Spanish Golden Age, when Spanish literature flourished.

Spanish word of the day: 'Cantamañanas'
Photo: nito103/Depositphotos

The composed word: canta (to sing) and mañanas (mornings) is colloquial and describes an informal, irresponsible person who does not deserve credit. It means in other words to be a loudmouth. A 'cantamañanas' person can also be a fantasist. Let's see some examples:

 

  • – ¡Os voy a invitar a todos a cenar!

Dijiste hace un mes lo mismo y aún lo estamos esperando. ¡Eres un cantamañanas!

I'm going to invite everyone to dinner!

You said the same thing a month ago and we're still waiting. You are such a loudmouth!

 

  • Le hace falsas promesas a todos, no te fíes de ese cantamañas.

He makes false promises to everyone, do not trust that loudmouth.

 

  • Ella siempre fantasea con el amor y las relaciones y sus amigas le llaman cantamañanas.

She always daydreams about love and relationships and her friends call her a fantasist.

 

 

Pronunciation:

kahn-tah- mah-nyah-nahs

Check out our other word of the day posts

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: The eleven most annoying Spanish false friends of all time

 

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SPANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Incendio’

You’re probably familiar with this word but do you know how it’s different from ‘fuego’ (the Spanish word for fire)?

Spanish Word of the Day: 'Incendio'

The word fuego is probably one of the first words that Spanish language learners learn. 

It’s the most general word to refer to fire, as in the product of combustion.

It can be used when asking someone for a lighter (¿tienes fuego?), or the fire that burns on a bonfire or a campfire (el fuego de la hoguera), the flames of a fire (las llamas del fuego) and even in the sense of gunshots when someone shouts ‘hold your fire! (¡Alto el fuego!).

And it’s also the first word people will exclaim if a fire breaks out – ¡Fuego! (Fire!).

But when a fire is out of control, Spanish speakers rarely use the word fuego to describe this conflagration (yes, that’s a formal way of referring to an extensive fire in English). 

Instead they will call it un incendio (a fire) or el incendio (the fire). If it’s a wildfire or forest fire, they call it un incendio forestal.

That’s not to say you can’t use el fuego to refer to the fire in the general sense, but technically speaking if it’s a fire that’s broken out in a building or a forest fire that’s raging you should use the word incendio.  

There’s also the verb incendiar, to burn down or set fire to, in the active sense of someone choosing to burn something which sees the flames spread. You can also say prender fuego.

Or in the passive sense, as in a forest catching fire, incendiarse.

An example of the word ‘incendio’ in the Spanish press, with the headline reading “Spain’s fires leave two dead and more than 30,000 hectares destroyed”.

Examples:

Un incendio forestal en Barcelona ha arrasado miles de hectáreas de bosque.

A wildfire in Barcelona has destroyed thousands of hectares of forest. 

Los bomberos intentaron apagar el fuego en un edificio de la Gran Vía pero al final el incendio se cobró tres vidas.

The firefighters tried to extinguish a fire in a building on Gran Vía but in the end the blaze claimed three lives. 

Es un pirómano, ha incendiado un hermoso bosque porque le gusta ver cómo las cosas arden. 

He’s a pyromaniac, he set fire to a beautiful forest because he likes to see things burn.

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