Definition or explanation of the exact meaning of a word/phrase/idiom.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (4)

3
votes
2answers
611 views

esperar: wait vs. hope vs. expect

The verb esperar (e.g. Estoy esperándolo.) can be used in at least three senses: to wait for to hope to expect In English, these all mean very different things: I'm waiting for you to ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

challenge: desafío vs. reto

The English word "challenge" can be translated to Spanish as desafío (desafiar) or reto (retar). Is there any difference between these words, or are they exact synonyms? If there is a difference, when ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Does pelón/pelona mean bald or hairy?

I have heard pelón (or the feminine pelona) used to both refer to someone who has no hair and someone who has a lot of hair. Is there any way of distinguishing whether pelón means bald or hairy, or is ...
5
votes
2answers
332 views

What is the difference between “Entrometido” and “Entremetido”?

The definition of entrometido in the rae just sends you to entremetido. Is there a real difference between the two? And if there isn't then why are there two words with exactly the same meaning. ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

“después que” vs. “después de que”

Along the lines of another question I asked, what is the difference between después que and después de que? Is the situation the same as for antes? When are they synonymous, and when is one correct ...
3
votes
1answer
760 views

“antes que” vs. “antes de que”

What is the difference between the phrases antes que and antes de que? When should each be used? Are there contexts where one is correct and one is incorrect, or are they completely synonymous?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the meaning of “Y yo voy y me lo creo”?

What's the meaning of "Y yo voy y me lo creo"? I encountered it in a Spanish novel. With 146,000 Google.es hits, it seems to be a set expression. Context helps, but doesn't remove all doubts.
3
votes
3answers
653 views

Latinoamérica, Hispanoamérica, or Sudamérica?

Latinoamérica, Hispanoamérica, Sudamérica or other? For someone living in Venezuela or Chile, for example, what term would I be most likely to hear to describe countries south of the US? The terms ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Translation of “awkward” (as in “an awkward situation”)

In English, the word "awkward" can be used to describe a situation that is uncomfortable and embarrassing (but neither word seems to fully describe what "awkward" describes). What is the best ...
0
votes
4answers
389 views

What is the best way to refer to those of Spanish descent or language?

In English there are several ways to refer to people who speak Spanish or are from a Spanish-speaking country: Hispanic, Latin, Latino, Chicano, Spanish-speaking, etc. What equivalent terms exist in ...
4
votes
7answers
3k views

Meaning and connotations of “gringo”

In the US, "gringo" is usually understood as a disparaging reference to a foreigner (see the Merriam-Webster definition). What exactly does gringo mean in Spanish? Is it neutral, or does it have ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

What does the slang “cerote” mean?

I know this is a slang expression from Central American people. I don't remember the context but it was something like: Eres un cerote! (from a pretty angry girl) I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean ...
1
vote
2answers
348 views

Spanish words for cap, cover, lid, etc

What Spanish words can be used to describe a cap, cover, lid, or top (in other words, something placed on top of something, usually to close an opening)? What is the difference between tapa and tapón? ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What does “chepa” mean in Nicaraguan Spanish?

What does the word chepa mean when used to refer to a person in Nicaraguan Spanish? What are some examples of how it is used?
3
votes
2answers
20k views

Translation of “ni modo”

The phrase ni modo is used in many varieties of Spanish to mean many different things. What are its possible meanings? Which meaning is most common (i.e. which meaning would you assume if ni modo was ...
5
votes
1answer
618 views

A good word for “quest” in Spanish

The translation for Quest is "búsqueda" but it just does not work properly. In English we say "I'm on a quest for the holy grail" this is not quite the same as "I'm searching for the holy grail." So ...
2
votes
1answer
591 views

Literal and metaphorical translation of “duende”

I have read that duende can mean both a mythical creature or, metaphorically, a kind of magical sensation to something. What exactly does duende refer to in both senses? How would both of these senses ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Speakers' location in determining venir vs. ir

In English, we use the word "come" very loosely (at least in day-to-day spoken English): Want to come over to my place later? Can I come over to your house for New Years'? Can you come meet me at ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Best English translation of “conmoción”

I was told the Spanish word conmoción refers to a strong feeling of shock or emotion shared by a group of people rather than an individual. It seems like English doesn't have a single word or phrase ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

When does sólo have an accent?

When does the word solo have an accent (tilde) on the first o (sólo)? When does it not?
2
votes
1answer
673 views

Translating “I don't trust you” (said casually)

I have heard that confiar is a strong word, implying trust and confidence in someone or something. What then is the right way to translate more casual uses of the word "trust"? For example, let's say ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the “lo” in “pasarlo bien” refer to?

The phrase pasarlo bien means something like "to have a good time" in sentences like, "Lo pasamos muy bien anoche." What does the "lo" in this phrase refer to? Does it replace an actual noun, or is it ...
5
votes
2answers
537 views

Usage of “ver(se)” for “to seem/look” (te ves, se te ve, te veo, etc.)

The verb ver can be used in a few different constructions to convey how something looks or seems: Te ves bonita. Se te ve mal. Te veo bien. For the reflexive constructions, the WordReference entry ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

What's the meaning of the expression “nada que ver”?

What's the meaning of the expression "nada que ver"? In which countries is used? Here are some examples: Lo que dices no tiene nada que ver con lo que estamos discutiendo. Conversation between ...
15
votes
4answers
73k views

Bonita, linda, hermosa, bella, and guapa: what's the difference?

I've seen all of these used to mean 'pretty', although 'hermosa' seems to mean beautiful and 'guapa' seems to mean handsome. Are there any subtle differences them? For instance, in English being ...
-4
votes
1answer
5k views

Why does “no sé” mean “I don't know?” [closed]

If "no" means "no", and if "se" means "is", why does "no sé" mean "I don't know"? This has been a bit of stumbling block for me as I learn the language. I as learn how to learn, I like to know the ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I say “colmo” properly in English?

There is an expression in Spanish to denote something that is absurd or unexpected. Usually it can be the maximum expression of expertise and talent. I wondered about this mainly because in Spanish ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

What does the Mexican term “predialazo” refer to?

There's a word whose definition has been requested on Wiktionary (perhaps by me but I can't remember) that seems to be mostly used in Mexico if you Google for it: predialazo But it's not in the ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

What exactly is “repocheta”?

Another food related question I collected on my trip through Central America five years ago is repocheta Again it's not in Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Larousse Gran Diccionario, Google Translate, or ...
4
votes
4answers
297 views

What does “sobadito” mean?

Here is one more food word I collected in Costa Rica: sobadito In my notes I have only written that it has some connection with food. It's from about five years ago so I don't recall anything ...
3
votes
3answers
792 views

What is “surime”?

I've been trawling through my collection of interesting Spanish words and found one more wich is not in the DRAE, Wiktionary, Larousse Gran Diccionario, Wikipedia, or Google Translate. surime My ...
3
votes
1answer
305 views

What does “tracatera” mean?

I've been collecting unusual Spanish words for years. I've been going through them to find any that are not in my dictionaries and found this one: tracatera f It's not in the DRAE, it's not in ...
8
votes
3answers
726 views

Words that mean different things in the preterite

There are some verbs that seem to have quite distinct meanings in the preterite tense. I don't know whether they also seem to change meanings to native speakers or if it just seems completely natural ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Definition of escuela and colegio

Spanish has two generic words for school: escuela and colegio. I have heard different explanations for what phases of schooling each word refers to. For example, I've been told that colegio refers ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Age range of niño, chico, muchacho, joven, etc

Spanish has several words for referring to children: niño/niña chico/chica muchacho/muchacha joven Some dialects add others like chavo or chavalo. What are the approximate age ranges these words ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

What is apercibido?

Today I looked for the word desapercibido in the RAE and found the following: desapercibido, da. adj. No apercibido. Now, I know what desapercibido means, but then I was curious about ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

Was the word “bomb” only used as slang in Chile and only in the '80s?

In the hit novel Mala honda by Chilean author Alberto Fuguet I remember the word "bomb" being used a lot. It's obviously a slang word. I think it was only used in dialogue. I got the impression it ...
6
votes
1answer
257 views

What's the origin of the Panamanian word “biñuelo”? Is it merely a corruption of “buñuelo”?

I was in Panama about five years ago and there was a common deep fried street food called "biñuelo". Of course there's a regular Spanish word "buñuelo" which means fritter. So is "biñuelo" just the ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

What does “barrocanrolera” mean?

In the novel Los años con Laura Diaz by top Mexican author Carlos Fuentes there is a word, "barrocanrolera", which is not in the DRAE, the Gran diccionario Larousse, Wiktionary, or Google Translate. ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

“Maje” (or “mae”) in Nicaraguan Spanish

What does the word "maje" (pronounced "mae") mean in Nicaraguan Spanish? Could the word be considered offensive, and, if so, in what contexts is it appropriate to use?
3
votes
3answers
5k views

“Dale pues” in Nicaraguan Spanish

In Nicaragua, the phrase "dale pues" is very frequently used. What does the phrase mean, and in what contexts can it be used?