One sometimes hears children say gomitar in place of vomitar. Is this a valid word in any dialect of Spanish, or is it just a mistake that children make?

2 Answers 2


Gomitar (as well as its derivations gomitador, gomitadura, gómito etc) was historically considered standard Spanish, and is recorded in dictionaries from 1495 to 1869 (beyond 1721 with the note that its use was "antiquado" 1).

Nowadays it is not used in any prestige dialect, however, it does still survive in some rural dialects of American Spanish2 3. Specifically:


I. 1. CR, Pe, Bo, rur; vulg; Mx, PR, vulg; pop; ES, Co, rur; Ch, pop. Vomitar.

It also exists as:

  • a loan word in some American languages2
  • the standard word in Ladino5 6 (which split off from Old Spanish when the word still had currency in the 15-16th century)

Interestingly, though it hasn't survived in Peninsular Spanish it is found in some dialects of neighbouring Catalan4 and Portuguese5 6.


1. Nuevo Tesoro Lexicográfico de la Lengua Española
2. A Grammar of Huallaga (Huánuco) Quechua, David Weber (p.476, n.43)
3. Diccionario de americanismos: gomitar
4. Diccionari català-valencià-balear: gomitar
5. Vocabulario portuguez & latino, Bluteau (1721)
6. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gomitar


There's a nice recent article (in Spanish) on this topic in El País:

Agüelo, nochegüena o güelta son formas comunes en la lengua poca elaborada para referirse a abuelo, nochebuena o vuelta; los ejemplos se dan muy comúnmente cuando sigue el diptongo ue pero también en otros casos como golver, gomitar o gofetá para volver, vomitar o bofetada.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.