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SPANISH LANGUAGE

REVEALED: The best new Spanish words added to the dictionary in 2022

Spain’s Royal Language Academy has officially added 3,000 words to the Spanish dictionary over the course of 2022. Here are 11 of the best you need to learn, with explanations and examples.

spain new words dictionary 2022
The term 'garciamarquiano' has been added to the Spanish dictionary to refer to something that is characteristic or reminiscent of the ‘magic realism’ writings of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez. (Photo by Rafael Quiroz / AFP)

Mamitis: colloquial way of talking about the excessive attachment and favouritism a child has for their mother. Papitis is also used when referring to a dad, and there’s been some controversy as it hasn’t been included in the dictionary.

Example: 

Raúl tiene un serio caso de mamitis. No se quiere despegar de su madre.

Raúl has a serious case of ‘mumitis’. He doesn’t want to leave his mother’s side.

Micromachismo: A misogynistic microaggression. According to Oxfam, some examples of this are choosing pink for girls and blue for boys, for a man to always pay the bill, saying that women and men can’t be friends and not using inclusive language.

Example:

Irene Montero quiere acabar con los micromachismos en el trabajo.

Irene Montero wants to get rid of misogynistic microaggressions in the workplace.

Puntocom: The same as spelling out ‘dotcom’ in English. Although anglicisms are becoming more prevalent in Spanish tech talk, there are still words Spaniards prefer to translate, such as buscador for a search engine.

Example:

La búrbuja puntocom causó estragos en la bolsa.

The dot-com bubble caused havoc in the stock market.

Conspiranoia: A noun which is a combination of the Spanish words for conspiracy and paranoia, referring to the tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. The adjective is conspiranoico/a

Example: 

Es bastante conspiranoico, cree que las torres gemelas las derrumbó la CIA.

He’s quite the conspiracy theorist, he thinks the Twin Towers were blown up by the CIA.

Garciamarquiano: Characteristic or reminiscent of the ‘magic realism’ writings of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, similar to how Kafkaesque or Orwellian are used. Cortazariano, used to denote similarity with the work of Julio Cortázar, has also been added.

Example:

Es una situación garciamarquiana en la que no se distingue la realidad de la ficción.

It’s a ‘Garciamarquesque’ situation where truth can’t be told apart from fiction.

Rular: A colloquial verb used to say that something is working or moving.

Example:

Esto no rula, ¿seguro que no está roto?

This isn’t working, are you sure it isn’t broken?

Potar: A slang verb to say vomit, similar to saying puke or barf in English. There’s also the expression echar la pota. Pota is vomit as a noun.

Example:

¡Ni se te ocurra echar la pota en mi coche!

Don’t you dare puke in my car!

Portuñol: A combination of Portuguese and Spanish, similar to how Spanglish is used to refer to a mix of English and Spanish.

Example:

Yo la verdad que chapurreo el portugués, más bien hablo portuñol.

In all honesty I fumble through Portuguese, if anything I speak ‘Portuñol’.

Sesión golfa: ‘Naughty’ performance or screening at a theatre, cinema, nightclub or otherwise held after 1am and usually of an adult nature.

Example:

Puedes esperarte todo tipo de locuras durante la sesión golfa en la Sala X.

You can expect all kinds of madness during the naughty hour at the Sala X.

Gusa: A colloquial way of saying hunger. It could be derived from the expression matar el gusanillo, which means to take the edge off your hunger (although its literal translation is ‘to kill the worm’).

Example:

¡Qué gusa tengo! Estoy que me como un jabalí.

I’m so hungry! I could eat a wildbore. 

Cuarentañero: A forty-something person, cuarentañera to refer to a woman. How this wasn’t already in the Spanish dictionary we don’t know, as it’s common to also say veinteañero (twenty-something), treintañero (thirty-something), cincuentañero (fifty-something), sesentañero (sixty-something) and so on. 

Example:

Es una cuarentañera con tres hijos pero eso no le ha impedido ser jefa de una empresa.

She’s a forty-something woman with three kids but that hasn’t prevented her becoming a company boss.

Member comments

  1. Qué gusa tengo! Estoy que me como un jabalí.
    I’m so hungry! I could eat a wildbore.

    Is that similar to a “wild boar”? Or does it have a bigger hole in it…

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SPANISH LANGUAGE

Ten Spanish mistakes even Spaniards make

Frustrated with your Spanish? Don't sweat it: Even native speakers sometimes make mistakes. Here we list some of the most common ones - all in the name of making you feel better about yourself of course.

Ten Spanish mistakes even Spaniards make

It turns out English speakers don’t have a monopoly on mangling their language. Spanish speakers pepper their speech and writing with errors too.

A book published by Spain’s Cervantes Institute – Las 500 dudas más frecuentes del español – tackles the 500 thorniest issues faced by native speakers of Spanish.

From spellings, kiosco or quiosco? (you’ll see both) – to accents – porque or porqué? (the second is a noun meaning ‘reason’ or ‘motive’) – this article will help you clear up your doubts about the language.

But basta (or should that be vasta?) with all the small talk. Let’s get on with it.

¿Te escucho mal o te oigo mal?

I’m listening to you badly (‘te escucho mal‘) may sound horribly wrong in English but in Spanish, it’s become so widely used most Spaniards won’t even pick up on this bizarre mistake. The right answer is ‘te oigo mal‘ (I can’t hear you).

Te oigo mal. Photo: Robin Higgins / Pixabay
 

¿Ahí, hay o ay? 

Ouch! Wasn’t Spanish meant to be an easy language phonetically speaking? These three words are almost pronounced the same but may cause some Spaniards a headache when putting pen to paper. Hay (there is/are), ‘ahí‘ (over there) and ‘ay‘ is what flamenco ‘cantaores‘ (singers) scream or what you shout out if you’re in pain.

Ay, I’m being bitten by ants. Photo: Hans / Pixabay
 

Andé o anduve? 

The past simple form of the verb ‘to walk’ (andar) in Spanish trips up many native speakers who assume it to be regular. Right answer is anduve, anduviste, anduvo, anduvimos, anduvisteis, anduvieron.

What is the past simple form of the verb ‘to walk’ (andar)? Photo: 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day / Pixabay

¿He freído o he frito? 

Brain frazzled yet? Well, not to worry because Spaniards often mix up the past participle of to fry (‘freído’) with the adjective fried (‘frito’). Food for thought.

Freído or Frito? Photo: Andrew Ridley / Unsplash

Subir para arriba, entrar para adentro, salir para afuera

In English, this would equate with ‘go up up’, ‘to go inside inside’ and ‘to go out’. It seems redundant, it’s grammatically wrong but the vast majority of Spaniards have used these forms more than once.

Subir para arriba? Photo: Bruno Nascimento / Unsplash
 

El agua, el arma, el hambre

Sometimes the gender (‘el’ or ‘la’) of nouns in Spanish is a bitch, pardon our French. It’s hard enough already for English speakers to label everything as either masculine or feminine, so when you get nouns that end with an ‘a’ but have a masculine pronoun it all gets very confusing. Still, many Spanish mistakenly say ‘este agua‘ or ‘este arma‘ when they should use ‘esta‘. 

El agua instead of La agua. Photo: rony michaud / Pixabay

¿Sólo o solo?

If you haven’t got your head around Spanish accents, rest assured many Spaniards aren’t clear on the rules either. Even the Royal Spanish Academy (the world’s chief body on the Spanish language) can’t make its mind up on whether to include an accent on ‘sólo‘ (only) or just leave it like solo (alone). Feel like you need a ‘café solo‘ (black coffee) now?

Do you need an accent with your café solo? Photo: David Schwarzenberg / Pixabay

Adding an unnecessary ‘s’ to second person past simple forms (‘fuistes’, ‘hicistes’, ‘llamastes’ and so on)

The letter ‘s’ at the end of words may be a relatively unheard sound in southern Spain, but in the rest of the Iberian peninsula, they’re rather fond of it. So much so that many Spaniards add it to verbs where it doesn’t even exist. By the way, it should be ‘fuiste’, ‘hiciste’ and ‘llamaste’.

Some Spanish people an extra ‘s’ onto words. Photo: Muhammad Haseeb Muhammad Suleman / Pixabay

¿Conducí o conduje? ¿Traducí o Traduje? 

Common verbs like ‘to drive’ and ‘to translate’ manage to catch out many Spaniards because of their unexpected irregular form in the past simple. The correct form for both verbs ends in -je, -jiste, -jo, -jimos, -jisteis and -jeron

Do you know how to say ‘I drove’ in Spanish? Photo: Pexels / Pixabay

Han solo

“What on earth is that choice of picture about?” you may ask. Well, this slide is only about one word- Han, solo. Terrible jokes aside, ‘there have been’ is not ‘han habido‘ in Spanish. The correct form is always ‘ha habido‘ but many Spaniards join the dark side. 

Han Solo. Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP
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