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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish word of the day: ‘Aire’

Today’s Word of the day is aire and is really similar to the English noun air, however it can mean various things when you use it in Spanish with other words or in phrases.

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

'Aire libre' means outdoors:

  • ¿Te gustan las casas con garaje al aire libre?

               Do you like houses with an outdoor garage?

 

'Al aire' means vague, undirected or unfounded:

  •  Lanzas quejas al aire y no las dices directamente a la cara.

               You keep complaining here and there but don't say things directly face to face.

 

'Darse un aire' mean resemblance with other person:

  • Te das un aire al cantante de Queen. 

              You look like the singer from Queen.

'Coger aire' means to catch your breath:

  • El futbolista paró en medio del partido para coger aire.

               The footballer stopped in the middle of the game to catch her breath.

 

'Dejar en el aire' means to leave hanging:

  • Hay que explicar bien todos los puntos durante la reunión y no dejar nada en el aire.

               We have to explain all the points well during the meeting and leave nothing hanging.


 

Here is a Spanish song called Soy Como el Aire for you to watch on YouTube!

Aire soy y al aire
El viento no, el viento, el viento no
Que sin ti soy nadie
Sin ti yo no, sin ti, sin ti yo no

 

 Pronunciation:

ay-reih

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.

 

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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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