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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

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.

romantic names spanish
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
My fatty 
 

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.
 
 
My half an orange
 

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash
 
Don’t worry, the person referring to you as mi media naranja doesn’t want to bleed or squeeze you dry. The expression means my better half or my soul mate.
 
 
Little pigeon
 

 Photo: Ingrid Taylar/Flickr 

 

Fear not, your partner will not think you’re comparing them to a mucky city bird. Pichoncito/a, ‘little bird’, is sickly sweet but not offensive.
 
 
La parienta 
 

Archive photo: Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash
 
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.
 
 
My soul 
 

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
 

Photo: Feans/Flickr
 
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.
 
 
My love/darling
 

Photo: Emiliano Horcada/Flickr 
 
The golden oldies never die. Mi amor and cariño are still the most common pet names used by Spanish couples.
 
 
My sky
 
Photo: Jinhan /Flickr
 
For the lovebirds who are on a high, mi cielo or just cielo is an endearing pet name to use.
 
Tesoro
 
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‘my precious’ in The Lord of the Rings, but in Spain referring to someone as tesoro is a classic, perhaps slightly outdated way, of calling them darling. 
 
Corazón
 

Photo: Sunshinecity/Flickr
 
Literally meaning heart, it’s usually used without the mi at the start.
 

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SPANISH HABITS

¡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.

¡Salud! The different ways to say cheers in Spanish

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 me gustaría 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.

READ ALSO: Why does the birthday person pay for everyone’s food and drinks 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!)

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