What is the Spanish word haiga? Is it a properly conjugated form of a verb? Or a regional variant or improper conjugation? Where/when is it used?

  • 2
    I think it's pretty much like "thunk" (as past participle) in English. It's not unheard of, it follows an existing conjugational pattern (that of "caer" in Spanish or "to drink" in English, for example), but is deemed incorrect and substandard (and would make you look illiterate). Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 15:02
  • @JuanPabloCalifano: Great comparison! That makes a lot of sense.
    – jrdioko
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 17:23
  • @JuanPabloCalifano are you saying that in Spain caer means to drink or that pale often conjugate both wrong?
    – Unrelated
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


It is a regional variant of "haya" (first and third singular person, subjunctive present of the verb "haber"). You will hear that word from some people with low education in a natural manner, and also from well-educated people in an informal conversation, either trying to make a joke or just put emphasis on the word by pronouncing it incorrectly (especially when "haiga" is pronounced slowly).

If you find that word in a written document, it will probably be part of a dialogue, in which case you should probably assume that the character is not well educated.

According to the dictionary, "haiga" it is also a noun, an informal word for a big, ostentatious car. However, this is the first time I hear about that meaning, and I'm a native speaker of Spanish. Maybe it's just a local word in some country, and this origin might be irrelevant since the word is not used very much (that, according to the diccionary as well).

  • 2
    I don't know if this story about the origin of "haiga" as "big car" is true, but it is funny.
    – MikMik
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 6:43
  • 1
    +1 Haiga is.... VERY incorrect.
    – Jose Luis
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 6:49
  • @MikMik Sounds logical to me :p
    – Jose Luis
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 6:50
  • If you want a specific example of its use in written dialogue, you could take the Aragonese campesinos of Incierta gloria by Joan Sales. (I suspect the intention there is to convey something similar to the impression conveyed in the original Catalan text by them speaking in Aragonese). Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 19:04
  • @MikMik That's the explanation I heard when I was a child. I remember thinking that 'aiga' was a legit brand of car like, say, Ferrari or Rolls-Royce until somebody (probably my dad) told me that it was simply a jocular name for expensive cars coming from the idea that newly rich people would order a new car as '¡el más caro que haiga!'. The word was certainly common in Spain until the early 70's. Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 13:20

Depends on the context.

Haiga - big/posh car (slang)

Haiga - A common incorrect conjugation of the verb 'haber'. I have seen this been used a few times when the person really wants to say 'haya'.

  • 3
    Haiga as a car, is an obsolete term nowadays.
    – pferor
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 23:09
  • you should find out about the etymology of the usage for a car because it is funny. I don't consider that to be slang... maybe a mockery or so
    – eduyayo
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 2:08

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