Here is the contextual sentence:

Pregúntenle a la top model Lineisy Montero, quien, junto con sus compañeros, saltaba entre cada foto para calentarse el alma.

My understanding of calentarse is that it connotes the idea of getting mad, angry, etc. I intuit that in the above sentence, in this context, calentarse is referring to figuratively warming one's soul. However, I do know that these photos that are referenced in the above sentence were taken in very cold weather wherein the attire wasn't appropriate for the temperature. Is it warming their soul figuratively or their body literally? I'm not able to verify this usage of 'calentarse' in this context.

Any guidance will be greatly appreciated.

2 Answers 2


My understanding is that she wanted to get physically warm, especially since you state that the photos were taken in a cold environment and attire was not warm enough.

"Calentarse el alma" is not really an idiom, but I think it was used to stress the models were really cold. In Spanish we have idioms like

Estar calado hasta los huesos: to be soaked to the bone

I guess that you could compare that to the expression "chilled to the bone". Your bones don't really get cold or wet, but it feels like it, or it is a good way of describing the feeling.

Also, your soul is supposed to be inside your body. So "calentarse el alma" is a way of saying "warming the inside" or "warming to the bone".

It is worth mentioning that it could be used figuratively. If instead of a model in a cold environment you have said that she heard a really inspiring poet, you could have used (or stretched) the expression to mean, not getting mad or angry, but comforted, inspired, etc.

  • 2
    In the same vein, I've been known to use the phrase tener frío en el alma when the weather is gray and cold. The obvious antidote to frío en el alma would be to find a way to calentar(se) el alma.
    – pablodf76
    May 18, 2017 at 10:46

Calentarse might mean to get angry in the right context, but that's far from the most common meaning. The most common would be to warm up, for example

Déjame calentarme los pies antes de salir otra vez.

Here's an example chosen at random from the internet: Cómo calentarse los pies fríos en la cama (eHow en Español)

In your quote, the model does need to warm up literally, hence the hopping.

However, one could take a figurative meaning as well: to warm the heart. Popular culture magazines love double meanings. (I looked up the original article, and in this case, they did not set up the figurative meaning very well.)

Typically, the figurative meaning would not be reflexive, but to make the expression work as a double meaning, the reflexive pronoun needs to be added.

(It should be noted that one has to be a bit careful with calentarse and caliente in certain contexts, to avoid inadvertently suggesting sexual excitement.)

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