I'm struggling to find a proper translation for "ballooning/spiraling" as in "ballooning public debt". Basically, it's about something growing very fast. Ideally, I want one word, an adjective, nor a verb. Creciente doesn't quite capture the speed of it. Explosivo might get closer but I am not convinced, as the key is not about violence but increasing speed. Desbordado doesn't sound appropriate either. A two word solution might be crecimiento acelerado. Do you have a suggestion for one word?

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    Qué te parece ‘exponential’? – Traveller Apr 17 '20 at 7:11
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    @Traveller: It would be "exponencial" in Spanish. But it would be "crecimiento exponencial", that is, two words. – Charo Apr 17 '20 at 11:04
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    I would discourage the informal use of 'exponential' to mean 'very fast' when one talks about a variable that can be measured, since it has a specific mathematical meaning (growing as fast as fixed quantity exponentiated to a value that is proportional to time) which becomes shadowed by its imprecise counterpart. This is true both in Spanish and in English. – Guillermo BCN Apr 18 '20 at 13:48
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    I totally agree with you, @GuillermoBCN. In the same way, "crecimiento muy rápido" and "crecimiento acelerado" don't have the same meaning. – Charo Apr 18 '20 at 14:14
  • @Charo, sure, that is another good example. – Guillermo BCN Apr 18 '20 at 14:16

¿Qué te parece el verbo disparar? En el propio DRAE aparece un ejemplo parecido al tuyo


  1. tr. Dicho de una cosa: Incrementar o hacer crecer sin moderación algo.
    La demanda disparó los precios

growing very fast = crecer sin moderación algo

ballooning public debt = disparando(se) la deuda pública

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    Would it not be deuda disparandose since ballooning is intended as an adjective? – mdewey Apr 17 '20 at 14:16
  • @mdewey I was not sure about the exact use intended by the OP. But in that case it should be "disparada" (participio), instead of "disparando" (gerundio). – RubioRic Apr 17 '20 at 15:06
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    I am fairly sure an adjective is meant here. The sentence might have been The country experienced a ballooning public debt. To be fair I would not have used spiralling in the same way, things are usually described as spiraling out of control. – mdewey Apr 17 '20 at 15:14
  • @mdewey Yes, an adjective is meant. – luchonacho Apr 17 '20 at 16:21
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    También funcionaría: "Con la deuda pública disparándose,..." – Guillermo BCN Apr 18 '20 at 13:51

Could it be "deuda pública astronómica" or "deuda pública asfixiante" as it's choking the economy or society.

Also, "deuda pública galopante" implies that the debt is increasing fast


While it may not carry some of the connotations that "ballooning" (growing rapidly as if you were inflating a balloon) or "spiraling" (show a continuous and dramatic increase) have, the DRAE includes "sobrecrecer"


Exceder en crecimiento o crecer excesivamente.

As an advantage, it is one word.

[...] la sobrecrecida deuda pública

[...] la sobrecreciente deuda pública


How about "aumento fulminante"? This might be a little closer to ballooning than aumento explosivo. It's still a little more violent than a balloon, but a little less so than explosivo.

  • Thanks but this is two words. Also, the word is not to be used as a verb. – luchonacho Apr 17 '20 at 16:23
  • @luchonacho Fulminante is an adjective. – RubioRic Apr 17 '20 at 16:40
  • @RubioRic Yes but the frase would be "aumento fulminante de la deuda publica", instead of e.g. "deuda publica explosiva". – luchonacho Apr 17 '20 at 20:53

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