Monday, November 2, 2009

Words that are better in Spanish and words that are better in English

So, I've kind of been thinking about this post for awhile and I'm sure as soon as I post it (meaning tonight at 2 a.m.) I'll think of a ton more but an abridged list will have to do for now.

Here is my very unofficial and highly subjective list of words that are better in Spanish. And then my list of words that are better in English. As well as a list of words that are equally beautiful in both languages.

Better in Spanish

Leche meaning "milk". For some reason, I absolutely can not stand the sound of the word milk. It's those two consonants, the l and the k, somehow meshing that just sends the skin on the back of my neck crawling. Meh. This is the reason I refuse to see the Sean Penn movie, "Milk". I just couldn't bear hearing everyone keep saying that word.

Tiraste un pedo meaning "You farted". Ok, the secret's out. I'm over the age of 8 and yes, bathroom humor still cracks me up. I know it will until the day I die and I'm ok with that. Really.

However, the best part about the phrase tiraste un pedo, is that you're really not just saying you farted. Rather, you're saying, "You threw a fart." How awesome is that.

Todo el Mundo meaning "everyone". When I first leaned this particular turn of phrase, I was reading a dialogue about a 5 year old children's birthday party. And they said, "Todo el mundo came to the party". I remember going to Leo and being like, ok, this book is ridiculous. Obviously the whole world didn't go to this little kid's birthday party. Maybe his aunts and uncles, a few cousins possibly but certainly not the whole freaking world. And said spouse, was like, "Oh, that's just how we say everyone." Talk about an overstatement.

Better In English

Toes which in Spanish is "dedos de los pies" which translates to "fingers of the toes". This just sounds wrong (and quite scary, to be frank) on so many levels.

Peacock which, arguably, isn't the greatest word ever. Until you hear the Spanish. Which is pavo real which translates to royal turkey. Peacock's looking a bit nicer now, no?

Shorts in Spanish translates to pantalones cortos or "short pants". Now I didn't grow up in a British boys-only boarding school, but if I had I imagine I'd wear pantalones cortos and probably get my ass kicked 24/7.

Words that are Equally Beautiful (or Horrid) in Both

Butterfly= Mariposa

Pantano =Swamp (meh...)

Manteca= Lard (I found this one out the hard way halfway through a burrito at one of the more "traditional" burrito shops in town. I say gross in both languages!~


  1. I love this list! Really hysterical ;-) I like your humor! Peacock definitely does sound better, I agree about milk, and "tiraste un pedo" also makes me laugh. Not only did you make me laugh, but you also taught me a few words/phrases that I didn't know. Mariposa: I never knew it meant butterfly, for example! Cool post :-)

  2. haha how do you think peacock is better? It has cock in it. I personally prefer peahen.

    In English I like words that have a lot of consonants, like strengths or switches.

    I like to learn words in Portuguese and Spanish that just don't exist in English, but need to. Like "sinvergüenza" in Spanish or "folgada" in Portuguese. (Did I tell you about "folgada"? You use it to describe people that are lazy/rude/have a sense of entitlement, so like, most rich Brazilians. Like if there's a long line at the bank and some snobby old lady tries to cut in the front, eveyone in the line will call her "folgada.")

    I miss our chats like this!

  3. Thanks guys :D

    Sinverguenza is a good one. We do need a word like that in English!