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Published on: Saying of the Day

10 Spanish Words That Have No English Translation

The Huffington Post compiled a list of 10 Spanish that don’t have an exact equivalent in English:


1) Sobremesa: That moment after eating a meal when the food is gone but the conversation is still flowing at the table:

La sobremesa de los almuerzos de los domingos es muy divertida. We always have a lot of fun talking after Sunday luch is over.


2) Estrenar: To wear or use something for the first time:

Estoy estrenando zapatos, ¿te gustan? I’m wearing this pair of shoes for the first time, do you like them?


3) Pena Ajena/Vergüenza Ajena: To be ashamed or embarrassed on behalf of someone else, even if they don’t share the feeling.

Sus bromas son muy malas. ¡Me da vergüenza ajena escucharlo! His jokes are terrible. I feel embarrased for him everytime I hear him tell one.


4) Anteayer: A one-word way of saying the day before yesterday. A shorter version of “antes de ayer.”

Fuimos al cine anteayer. We went to the movies the day before yesterday.


5) Desvelado: Unable to sleep or to be sleep deprived.

Estuve desvelado porque el perro no paró de ladrar toda la noche. I didn’t get any sleep last night because the dog wouldn’t stop barking.


6) Tuerto: A man with only one eye.

En las películas siempre hay un pirata tuerto. In the movies, there’s always a one-eyed pirate.


7) Friolento/Friolero: Someone who is very sensitive to cold.

Él es tan friolento que en verano no tolera el aire acondicionado. He is so sensitive to the cold that he can’t tolerate air conditioner in the summer.


8) Te quiero: A way to tell someone you care about them. When romance is involved, more meaningful than an “I like you” but less meaningful than an “I love you.” May be used as “I love you” in non-romantic relationships.


9) Merendar: To have or to go out for an afternoon snack, typically milk, coffee, or tea and sweet treats.

Los niños fueron a tomar la merienda a la casa de la abuela. The kids went to their Grandmother’s house for their afternoon snack.


10) Tutear: To treat someone informally by addressing them as “tú” instead of the more formal “usted.”

Tutéame, por favor. ¡Me haces sentir viejo! Don’t treat me so formally; you’re making me feel old!


Text adapted from: The Huffington Post