It's hard to know which word should be used in which country.

Some countries use only one term, some others use 2 or 3 with different meanings, and some other ones give one of the terms another meaning or even the opposite meaning.

It becomes very hard to understand.

I already know that "sándwich" is used in Spain (and in most countries), but not "emparedado".

In Spain, it seems that they have the two words "sándwich" and "bocadillo", but not with the same kind of sandwich -- so what's the difference and how did it come about, etymologically?

There's also "sanduche", "sanguche" (Guatemala, Argentina), "sangüich", etc.


3 Answers 3


According to the Diccionario de Americanismos, the following are generic terms for sandwiches:

And in Spain:

Note that some terms may refer to specific types of sandwich/specific fillings in certain regions.

  • Any particular reason you didn't want to add to the community wiki answer I started? That's how we usually handle questions of this type. Otherwise things can get really messy with a dozen different answers. Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 17:13
  • In Mexico torta and sándnwich are not he same thing. It's similar to the case you posted with Spain. Also in Mexico the we call pastel to what other countries call torta. An also tortilla in Mexico is different from the tortilla in Spain.
    – Krauss
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 11:23

In Spain you use bocadillo for a baguette-looking piece of bread with something inside it. Common as school lunch or on trips. Bocata is synonymous/slang for the same thing.

A sándwich is a typical American sandwich. A square flat piece of bread, often with ham and cheese in it.

  • mazunki, thanks for posting the information about Spain. Would you do me a favor and transfer it to the Community Wiki post? Generally, when we are trying to cover the entire Spanish-speaking world, we use a Community Wiki post for everything. Otherwise, things get too messy. Thanks. Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 4:52
  • México: torta (tradicional), sándwich (por la influencia de EEUU)

  • España: sándwich, bocadillo

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