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

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16
votes
4answers
80k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does saber mean both “to know” and “to taste”?

Español Cuando estudiaba español, estaba muy confundido cuando aprendí que saber significa "to know" y "to taste". Los dos verbos en inglés me parecen muy diferentes. ¿Cómo puede ser esto? ¿Cuál es ...
12
votes
4answers
8k views

“True” meaning of “por cierto”

I have always thought of the expression of "por cierto" as meaning "certainly" or "surely." It certainly "looks" that way (for certainly). And even Google Translate gives it that meaning, as well as ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Difference Between “Computadora” and “Ordenador”

Español Ví un cartel fuera de una tienda que decía: "Computadoras y ordenadores" en un cuadro "cubano" fuera de New York City, En un principio, creo que ambas palabras significan "computer". Pero, ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
583 views

Chorizo como sinónimo de ladrón

¿Por qué en España la palabra "chorizo" es coloquialmente usada para referirse a los ladrones?
9
votes
3answers
21k views

¿Qué significa en Argentina “al pedo”?

He escuchado y leído a argentinos decir "al pedo", por ejemplo, "estoy al pedo". Es evidente que NO se refiere a "estar pedo", que significa "estar borracho" en algunos sitios. ¿Qué significa "estar ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

¿Qué significa 'va' en “Nos vemos después, ¿va?”

Hoy, por chat, una amiga (de México) dijo: Nos vemos depués, ¿va? Entiendo "Nos vemos después", pero qué significa "va" en este contexto?
9
votes
2answers
808 views

What is the spanish translation for “Account” when referring to a user account on a website?

The English > Spanish translation of account on Google Translate comes up with various forms of the word cuenta. However, the Spanish > English translation of cuenta returns words relating to ...
9
votes
1answer
166 views

Plug vs Socket: Interchangeable?

Many dictionaries that I have looked at online seem to use enchufe as a word that is interchangeable for the English words plug and socket, which are two related, but distinct objects. Some ...
8
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
712 views

¿Qué significa “siempre sí” y “siempre no”?

Este fin de semana estaba en un hotel con una amiga esperando a otros amigos para salir juntos. Mi amiga dijo a la recepcionista: -"Estamos esperando unos amigos. ¿Usted puede avisarnos cuando ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

¿Qué significa la expresión “a lo que te truje chencha”?

¿Cuál es el significado de la expresión "a lo que te truje chencha"?
8
votes
3answers
751 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
411 views

¿Qué tipo de palabra es «alto»?

En las intersecciones, es común ver una señal roja y octagonal que dice "alto", el mismo tipo de señal que en inglés dice stop. En inglés, stop es un verbo imperativo, pero no creo que haya un verbo ...
8
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
672 views

Condescendiente / Condescendant

Oh surprise, Condescendant has a very different meaning in English compared to Spanish. Condescendant: Assuming a tone of superiority or a patronizing attitude Condescendiente: adj. Que ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

¿Qué significa “de pe a pa”?

¿Cúal es el significado de la siguiente expresión "de pe a pa"? Por ejemplo: Tienes que aprenderte esto de pe a pa.
7
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?
7
votes
1answer
270 views

¿Cuál es el origen del frase “media naranja”?

He oído la frase "media naranja" unas veces, y puedo entender el contexto, que significa una pareja o novia, por ejemplo. Pero quiero saber el origen de esa frase. A mi, ese frase me parece muy rara. ...
7
votes
3answers
683 views

What is the difference, if any, between “nunca” and “jamás”?

Friends tell me there is a subtle difference between the two, and that jamás is a little stronger, a little more definitive a statement than nunca. Both mean "never"—but are there any measurable ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Usage of fea and rico

I'm learning Spanish with Rosetta Stone. The lesson I am currently on has two examples that I don't completely understand. La leche está fea El pan está rico "Fea" seems to be translated ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
326 views

How come “chulada” in Spain is almost an antonym from it's meaning in Guatemala and Mexico?

I just find utterly curious that chulada has almost opposite meanings depending on the country. chulada. (De chulo). f. Acción indecorosa, propia de gente de mala educación o ruin ...
7
votes
1answer
293 views

¿Hay diferentes palabras para el hermano de una esposa, y el esposo de una hermana?

Sé que la traduccion de la frase “brother-in-law“ es “cuñado“. ¿“Cuñado" se refiere al hermano de una esposa, el esposo de una hermana, o los dos?
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?
7
votes
2answers
385 views

¿Es redundante la expresión “suele ser frecuente”?

Español He oído a menudo la expresión “suele ser frecuente”. ¿Es redundante? ¿Suena bien a pesar de la redundancia? ¿O bien suena mal y sería mejor decir solo “es frecuente”? Por ejemplo: Suele ...
7
votes
2answers
933 views

What's the meaning of the Mexican expression “se te va el avión”?

Example: Te lo dije tres veces y de todos modos no lo hiciste. A ti ya se te va el avión. ¿No te acordaste de tu cumpleaños? La verdad es que a ti ya se te va el avión. What does it mean? ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

¿Qué significa “tuanis”?

¿Cuál es el significado de la palabra tuanis? ¿Se escribe tuani o tuanis? ¿En cuáles regiones se usa? Y, ¿es una palabra muy informal, o se puede usarla en otros contextos también?
6
votes
3answers
26k views

What does it mean when a girl says “te quiero” in this context?

I've been... seeing this girl for about half a year. We're not officially together, but we're pretty playful and there's a lot of flirting. We like each other.. She speaks fluent english but is a ...
6
votes
5answers
543 views

¿En qué países la palabra “coger” tiene connotaciones sexuales?

En algunos países hispanoparlantes la palabra coger tiene connotaciones sexuales. La RAE indica "Realizar el acto sexual", pero el problema es que es una expresión malsonante, marcada fuertemente como ...
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
2answers
1k views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre comer y comerse?

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre el verbo normal comer y su forma reflexiva comerse? Si los significados son iguales, ¿cuál es la diferencia de connotación? Y, ¿se usa el reflexivo de la misma manera en ...
6
votes
2answers
105 views

¿Cómo se llama la característica que tiene el español, y otros idiomas, por la que las vocales siempre se pronuncian de la misma manera?

Me gustaría saber cómo se llama cuando los sonidos de las vocales escritas suenan siempre de la misma manera al pronunciarlas. Una vez me topé con la definición, pero esta vez no tuve mucha suerte en ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between “ser casado” and “estar casado”?

I have read that both ser and estar can be used with casado to give different connotations to the phrase "to be married." What exactly are the differences, and when would you use each verb?
6
votes
10answers
6k views

¿Qué significa “sollado”?

Soy colombiano, y en Colombia se utiliza bastante estar "sollado". Lo que quiere decir que uno está más o menos relajado, más o menos feliz. Sin embargo eso es un significado ambiguo y tácito, me he ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
107 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. ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
279 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
237 views

Difference between “igual” and “como”

I was listening to Carlos Varela's "Una Palabra" and noticed sometimes he uses "igual" for "like" and sometimes "como". I am knowing that "igual" is used more similarities, but what separates it from ...
5
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
520 views

What is the ingredient “royal”?

I bought a cake like snack in Costa Rica called Gato Guayaba. I was trying to figure out what was in it, so I read the following ingredients list: Ingredientes: Margarina, huevos, royal, azùcar, ...
5
votes
2answers
902 views

What's the meaning of “carne mechada”?

My friend and I were discussing 'carne mechada' - I've only ever heard the word in conversation and I thought it meant 'mixed' but according to our google searching it's a little more specific. Can ...
5
votes
2answers
15k views

Significado de “presente” en una carta. ¿Se escribe dos puntos después del destinatario?

Por ejemplo, suelo encontrar los encabezados de las cartas como sigue: Cierta ciudad, Cierto país, ...
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.
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Difference between “volver” and “regresar”

I understand that both "volver" and "regresar" can mean "to return" as in: Tengo que regresar mañana... Tengo que volver mañana... Is there any difference between these two words? If so, ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

¿Donde se crió? o ¿Donde crió?

I was listening to a conversation and heard the question, '¿Donde se crió?', and the reflexive caught me by surprise. Checking my dictionary didn't help much. Although 'criar' and 'criarse' are both ...
5
votes
2answers
382 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. ...