In Romance languages, compound words are much rarer than in Germanic language such as English, but they do exist.

My favourite kind of word formation in Spanish is the one that results in words such as abrebotellas and espantapájaros which are made by compounding a verb in the third person present singular indicative with a plural noun.

But are there other kinds of compound words in Spanish? I'm sure there are but after wracking my brain all I could come up with was quemarropa which is about as close as you can get to the kind I just described.

Do other kinds of compound exist in Spanish?

(I'm not looking for a complete list, just a yes no answer with either a couple of examples or link or reference with further reading.)

3 Answers 3



I'm listing a few examples from this link (Palabras compuestas):

The Wikipedia article Composición (lingüística) also has more examples.

  • I have a feeling there are even some prepositions or adverbs which are compounds but, again I can't think of any so I might be wrong. Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 14:51
  • 5
    Like 'sinvergüenza', 'contrasentido'?
    – dusan
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 14:53
  • 5
    tentempié: verb + pronoun + preposition + noun. Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 13:55

I have always loved this one, since I first read it in Mafalda as a child: correveidile.
It's a whole sentence in one word.

  • +1 Nice one, I love it!
    – César
    Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 15:50
  • 1
    +1 Indeed, nice word!
    – Icarus
    Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 15:58

Some used in Colombia:

  • Cogeculos: Some situations become a cogeculos when they get out of control. For example: Se armó un cogeculos tremendo.
  • Chiflamicas: A really bad musician. I believe it's the composition of chiflar/silbar (whistle) and micas (mico, perhaps?) Couldn't find anything on Google that would explain how the word came into existence but definitely looks like a composition of 2 words.

Some others:

  • 1
    In Perú, Cogeculos would definitely lower your reputation with the ladies :)
    – César
    Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 15:54

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