Solo para variar un poco, I hereby present you some of my favorite words in Spanish. Some of them because they’re beautiful, others because they’re fun to say, others because I like how they’re used or their meaning, and others because they just have a je ne sais quoi about them.
inmiscuirse (to interfere, meddle)
amanecer (to dawn; wake up; spend the night somewhere)
tiquismiquis (fussy, finicky)
papeleo (paperwork; red tape)
cachimba (smoking pipe)
pecueca (stinky feet smell)
ensimismado (lost in thought; into yourself)
gordinflón (fatty, fatso)
mojigato (prudish; prude)
noctámbulo (night owl)
tinieblo (secret boyfriend)
acuatizaje (water landing)
tertulia (get-together, gathering)
diluir (to dilute)
tampoco (neither; come on)
ya (already; yet; no more; right)
tararear (to la-la-la; to sing to oneself)
imagínate (just imagine)
pues (well; um; then; because)
vaina (thingamajig, whatchamacallit; headache, drag; pod)
kumis (kumis- kind of yogurt)
colindar (to adjoin, abut)
floripondio (gaudy decorative flower, great flowery thing)
ojalá (I hope, let’s hope so)
apenas (barely, hardly; as soon as)
ay (oh; ow, ouch)
mijo/mija (my son, my daughter; sweetie, darling)
quiubo (what’s up?, hey; what is it?)
What are your favorite words in Spanish? Surely you’ve fallen in love with several, just as I have. These are just the tip of the iceberg, la punta del iceberg, of my favorite words. I’m kind of longing to buy a Spanish dictionary and just read it de cabo a rabo. There are so many words whose acquaintance I’ve yet to meet, and others that I’ve certainly forgotten. Whether you’re a learner as well or a native speaker, please share the ones that have sent you swooning. I shared 35 (!)– surely you can think of a handful that have caught your fancy.
Native speakers, are there any words in the list that you’ve never heard or seen before? A few are Colombian Spanish; others might be highly literary or old-fashioned. We don’t discriminate around here. Also, feel free to comment on your favorite English words. My favorite is “colloquial” and my second favorite perhaps “insouciantly.” I’m just brimming with word lust over here–who needs a boyfriend?
Update, October 2013: Want more words? See part two here.