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17 Interesting Spanish Words That Can’t Be Directly Translated Into English

17 Interesting Spanish Words That Can’t Be Directly Translated Into English

Do you ever struggle to find the word you are looking for? You know exactly what you mean – but annoyingly enough there isn’t a word for it.

If you can relate to this, you might not be thinking in the right language. Often other languages have the perfect word while English falls speechless due to cultural differences. Check out 17 interesting Spanish words that don’t have an English counterpart below.

1. Cariño

‘Cariño’ describes feeling love for someone who isn’t your partner or your crush, such as the love you feel for your best friends, family and co-workers.

2. Gula

Ever wanted to eat something because it looks delicious, even though you are not hungry? ‘Gula’ describes the feeling of wanting to eat just because the food tastes good, even if you are already full or not hungry.

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3. Botellón

‘Botellón’ is a group of youths who meet in a public area to socialize and consume alcohol. The youths buy the alcohol from local stores as a cheap alternative to an expensive night out. The phrases literally means “big bottle.”

Most people have walked past teenagers who are getting tipsy in the park, but there isn’t a word in the English language to describe this gathering. Now you can use the Spanish equivalent!

4. Madrugada

‘Madrugada’ refers to the period between the middle of the night and early morning, which is roughly between 1AM and 4AM.

5. Pena Ajena

This Spanish word means feeling shame on behalf of another person (even if that person doesn’t actually feel ashamed.) Perfect for when your friend accidentally trips over!

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6. Sobremesa

‘Sobremesa’ describes the time spent after lunch or dinner talking to the people you shared the meal with.

7. Empacho (Mexican Spanish)

Most of us have experienced Empacho – the uncomfortable, distended abdominal pain that you feel after eating too much food. It isn’t as bad as indigestion or food poisoning, although it can result it vomiting, bloating, diarrhoea and flatulence. It simply means feeling really, really full – so rather than being an infection, the pain is self-inflicted.

8. Duende

This Spanish word describes a climactic show of spirit in either a performance or a work of art. It is often applied to flamenco dancing or bull-fighting.

9. Empalagarse

‘Empalagarse’ is a Spanish word that refers to the strange, fluffy sensation your tongue has after you have eaten too much sweet food. This is the perfect word for people with a sweet tooth!

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10. Fiambre

‘Fiambre’ refers to food that is prepared for spirits and the dead. Fiambre is often a salad, and it is prepared yearly to celebrate Day of the Dead.

11. Atolondrar

Most people have probably felt ‘Atolondrar’ – to become so overwhelmed by something that you become distracted and careless. After a long day of emails, phone calls, texts, work, meetings and deadlines, you may find yourself making silly spelling mistakes and errors.

12. Consuegro

If you are close to your family, ‘Consuegro’ is a useful word to know; it describes the relationship between two people whose children are married to each other. For instance, your mother and your mother-in-law are consuegros.

13. Friolero

A ‘Friolero’ is a person who is especially sensitive to cold weather and temperatures.

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14. Merienda

A ‘Merienda’ is a light, quick meal that is eaten between lunch and dinner, normally in the late afternoon. It is normally considered a meal for children, and if adults eat at the same time they don’t refer to the meal as merienda.

15. Conmoción

‘Conmoción’ is the emotion held in common by a group or gathering.

16. Te quiero

Lots of people will wish there was an English equivalent to the Spanish word ‘Te quiero’; it is a way to tell someone that you care about them. It is more meaningful than ‘I like you’ but less meaningful than ‘I love you’, and is often used between close friends.

17. Lampiño

‘Lampiño’ describes a man who struggles to grow facial hair, and has very little or none at all.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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