In the context of the web (e.g. Instagram, etc.) what would be an appropriate translation for label in Spanish?

Would etiqueta be appropriate? How about tag?

  • Welcome to Spanish Language! Given that you mention Instagram, in that social network and some others, if you mean the tags beginning with '#', at least in Spain we have adopted the term "hashtag". If you refer to any other tag, could you please add more details to the question?
    – Charlie
    Sep 6, 2017 at 13:43

2 Answers 2


See, the problem is that "In the context of the web" can mean different things for different people.

  • To you, per your Instagram etc. example, it seems to mean "for website users".
  • To me, as a programmer, it usually means "for web developers".

In web and UI development, label and tag have distinct meanings:

  • label is any piece of text that identifies (shows the name of) a form field or a similar web page element. The text "Your Answer" over the "new answer" text box, for example, is a label.
  • tag is a word that identifies a specific category to which a given entity belongs. The words traducción, vocabulario below your question are the tags that identify the categories into which your question falls.

The use of label predates the use of tag by several years, and I think that the latter entered into use precisely to avoid using label to name the categories too (it'd be kind of confusing then).

For a web user, though, there's no need to make such a distinction because they don't need to know what a (web development's) label is, so users can (and do) use tag and label interchangeably, since they're kind of synonyms everywhere else.

Now, how should they be translated to Spanish?

Well... tag is not a Spanish word according to the DLE. However, that doesn't mean you can't use it. The following is what I recommend:

  • If you're a web developer or are translating a text related to that field, use etiqueta (regular font) for labels, and tag (italics, because it is a foreing word) for tags -- viceversa if the whole text was already in italics.
  • If you don't need to make a distinction between label and tag, use etiqueta for both. Context should tell which is which if necessary.

There are other words, like pegatina (sticker) which could arguably be used for tag in certain contexts, but in most cases it would be weird.

  • 1
    Also when a distinction needs making, tag could also go as simply categoría or even grupo Sep 6, 2017 at 14:13
  • Normally in HTML the label element doesn't traslate and tag term translate as etiqueta.
    – user14069
    Sep 6, 2017 at 18:55
  • @walen: I was trying to be a bit vague with the context not to limit possibilities overly restrictively. Your differentiation of possibilities helps a lot!
    – sophros
    Sep 7, 2017 at 12:25

label in Spanish is used for something physical, while tag is more abstract.

label means etiqueta: that is a sticker or the paper used to show the price of a pair of jeans in a shop (physical). etiqueta can also be used to put something or someone into a group (like a rock band, or a pop band... that's una etiqueta as well), but that's also known as a tag (abstract).

So answering your question, etiqueta is appropriate, but using it as a tag and not as a label.

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