Wordreference gives abano as the Spanish for a ceiling fan and ventilador for table fan. However, when I looked up abano in Google Image search (my favorite visual way of finding out the meanings of popular foreign words), no ceiling fans were returned. This has gotten me confused. I want to know from native speakers if abano is a word they'd use in common speech or if it's just a bookish term.

I would like to know what word would you use for a ceiling fan in your country (please specify your country too) if not abano. Incidentally, wordreference also gives abanico for a hand-held fan.

2 Answers 2


In Spain, abano is not any kind of ceiling fan but one very specific that I have never seen in real life, only in movies of past times: it is an apparatus with the shape of a peacock tail (abanico). In fact, I had never seen that word before now.

In English both kind of apparatus are referred to with the same word, fan, but in Spanish we use different words for abanicos (with peacock's tail shape that moves back and forwards) and ventiladores (apparatus with blades that spin).

In Spain we call the regular ceiling fans just ventiladores de techo. Based on results from Google, I think in América abano is used for (spinning) ventiladores de techo but I don't know how common is that.

  • Thanks for the clarification. And what would you call a table fan in your country?
    – TheLearner
    Oct 27, 2014 at 11:07
  • 1
    @Amit Schandillia, ventilador de mesa (check images in Google :)
    – Lucas
    Oct 27, 2014 at 11:08
  • 2
    En Colombia le dicen abanico a los ventiladores Oct 27, 2014 at 13:28
  • 3
    In México I've never seen an abano but all the ceiling fans are just ventiladores de techo.
    – Jaume
    Oct 27, 2014 at 13:45

In Puerto Rico the word for ceiling fan is "Albanico". In other countries it is called "Ventilador de techo".

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