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Published on: Grammar Bites

The many Spanish equivalents of ‘toast’

The English term ‘toast’ can have different equivalents in Spanish, depending on whether we’re using it as a noun, verb, or idiomatic phrase. Let’s take a look at the main Spanish equivalents of ‘toast’!

1. Toast as in Tostar / Tostada

When we’re referring to the action of toasting a piece of bread, that is, using heat to make it brown and warm, or we’re referring to the final product (ie, toast), we use el verbo ‘tostar’ or el sustantivo ‘tostada’:

  • Me encantan las tostadas con manteca y dulce de leche. I love toasts with butter and dulce de leche.
  • Cuidado, no tuestes demasiado el pan o se pondrá muy duro para comer. Be careful with over toasting the bread or it’ll be too hard to eat.
2. Toast as in Brindar / Brindis

When we’re talking about raising a glass to honor someone or mark a special occasion, we use the equivalents ‘brindar’ (verbo) and ‘brindis’ (sustantivo):

  • A la medianoche brindamos con champaña para celebrar el Año Nuevo. At midnight we toast with champagne to celebrate the New Year.
  • Los niños pequeños hacen el brindis con jugo o ponche de frutas. Kids join in the toast with fruit juice or punch.
3. Toast as in Calentar

When we use ‘toast’ as a verb to refer to the action of warming up a body part or an object, then we prefer to use el verbo ‘calentar’:

  • En invierno a ella le gusta calentar un poquito sus calcetines antes de ponérselos. She likes to slightly toast her socks before wearing them in winter.
  • Ellos pusieron sus manos sobre la estufa para calentarse después de jugar en la nieve. They placed their hands over the stove to toast them after playing in the snow.
4. Toast as in Héroe / Estrella

We often use the term ‘toast’ to refer to someone’s fame, as in the phrase ‘to be the toast of the town’. In this case, we use the Spanish equivalents ‘héroe / heroína’ o ‘estrella de…’:

  • El equipo argentino de fútbol ganó la Copa Mundial después de 36 años y son los héroes de todo el mundo hispano-hablante. The Argentinean soccer team just won the World Cup after 36 years and they’re now the toast of the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Con este nuevo invento ella es la nueva estrella de la comunidad científica. With this new invention, she’s the new toast of the scientific community.
5. To be toast as in Estar en problemas

We can also use this term in the colloquial phrase ‘to be toast’ to express that we’re screwed, dead, doomed. In this case, we can convey the same sentiment with the expressions estar en problemas/perdido/jodido/frito: 

  • Si mis padres se enteran que perdí el móvil, estoy frito. If my parents find out I lost my cellphone, I’m toast.
  • ¿Chocaste el coche de tu padre? ¡Estás perdido! You crashed your father’s car? You’re toast!


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