The most romantic nicknames to woo your Spanish sweetheart
Are you a fatty, half an orange or just somebody's darling? The Local gives you the most affectionate romantic names to call your Valentine (with some exceptions), from the classic to the hilarious terms of endearment.
Published: 24 January 2020 11:00 CET Updated: 14 February 2022 12:14 CET
Fatty, little pigeon or half orange are some of the more orignal ways to refer to your other half in Spanish. Photo: sept commercial/Unsplash
Photo: Chris Pirillo/Flickr
No, you won’t get a slap or an evil look if you call your Spanish lover a gordi. This pet name for lovers is commonly used regardless of people’s weight. Say gordo/a (just straight fat) and the outcome of your name-calling may be very different.
Word of warning, gents – this is not a loving term to use with your wives or girlfriends. The English equivalent is ‘the missus’ and in Spanish parienta can also be understood as a relative.
Photo: Emily Haun/Flickr
It sounds deep, but the term mi alma is used more often by Andalusian grandmothers who bump into you in the street than by young people in relationships. A similar but more suitable name Spanish couples do use is mi vida (my life).
My little insect/bug
Don’t be put off by the pet name bicho or bichito. Depending on your partner’s behaviour, you can decide whether you want it to be a dung beetle or a ladybird.
Photo: Emiliano Horcada/Flickr
The golden oldies never die. Mi amor and cariño are still the most common pet names used by Spanish couples.
Photo: Jinhan /Flickr
For the lovebirds who are on a high, mi cielo or just cielo is an endearing pet name to use.
Photo: Pau Llopart Cervello/Pixabay
Mi tesoro might be what Spanish-dubbed Gollum calls ‘my precious’ in The Lord of the Rings, but in Spain referring to someone as tesoro is a classic, perhaps slightly outdated way, of calling them darling.
Literally meaning heart, it’s usually used without the mi at the start.
¡Salud! The different ways to say cheers in Spanish
You may be familiar with the basic way Spaniards say ‘cheers’, but there are other Spanish expressions and habits associated with clinking glasses and making a toast that you’ll be happy to learn.
Published: 12 September 2022 15:17 CEST
Life in Spain comes with plenty of get-togethers and celebrations, and although alcoholic excesses are not generally part of the Spanish culture, booze will be a part of almost all social occurrences.
If you’re a foreigner who’s made Spain their new home, it’s therefore important to familiarise yourself with the language and idiosyncrasies that are part of such occasions.
Let’s start with the word for a toast, in the sense of honouring someone or something with a drink.
The noun for this is un brindis, which apparently originally comes from the German ‘bring dirs’, meaning ‘bring thee’ (as in, I’ll ‘bring thee’ a drink, a speech, etc.). There’s also the verb brindar, which means to toast.
So if you want to give a toast in Spanish, you should start off by saying megustaría proponer un brindis por… or me gustaría brindar por… (I’d like to make a toast for) and once you’ve finished your speech you should raise your glass and for example say ¡Por los novios! (for the newlyweds) or ¡Por Juan! (for Juan!).
When it comes to clinking the glasses, Spaniards will often use the interjection chinchín, an onomatopoeia which pays heed to the sound, but it’s really the same as saying cheers.
The most common word used in Spanish to say cheers is ¡Salud!, which means ‘health’, in the same way as the French say santé and the Germans gesondheid. Spaniards may also direct their toast specifically at the person they’re drinking with by saying ¡A tu salud! (To your health!).
You may be happy to learn that Spaniards don’t take the custom of looking into the other person’s eyes while clinking glasses or drinking quite so seriously as in other European countries, where the failure to do so carries the penalty of seven years of bad sex (ouch!).
A quick glance at the person you’re cheering with will go down well, however, as direct eye contact is the standard in social situations in Spain.
What is considered to bring bad luck in the bedroom is toasting with a non-alcoholic drink in Spain, so consider yourself warned.
Catalans have an interesting version of the Spanish cheers – ¡salut i força al canut! – which translates to ‘Cheers and strength to the purse’ in order to wish health and wealth, although some people wrongly assume it’s meant to wish people good virility.
While we’re on the subject, there is a very common cheering expression used in Spanish to do with rumpy pumpy.
After cheering, whether by raising a glass or clicking glasses, many Spaniards will then take their glass and quickly place it down on the table before lifting it again to take a swig.
Bemused foreigners will then be reminded that el que no apoya, no folla, ‘the one who doesn’t place it (the glass) down, doesn’t have sex’.
Does it make it any sense? Nope, but it does get a few laughs, and before long you’ll find yourself quickly tapping the base of your drink against the table through force of habit.
Another interesting habit that foreigners in Spain tend to find amusing is when a group of friends in a circle move their glasses in four different directions whilst saying ¡Arriba, abajo, al centro y para dentro!, which means ‘up, down, to the centre and inside’, the latter being when you drink.
So there you have it, ¡Salud a todos! (Cheers to everyone!)