10 Spanglish Words Which Are Fun to Use
Knowing how to speak Spanish will give you a foot up in many parts of the world. Not only does it offer you a gateway for working and traveling in South America, Mexico, and parts of Europe, but it is an excellent segue-way into learning other similar language like French and Italian. But you don’t necessarily have to travel far just to put your Spanish skills to good use; the U.S., with its massive Hispanic population, is a gold mine of opportunities for those who can speak the language. Beware though, over time Spanish in the United States has mixed with English to form what we fondly call Spanglish. In fact, Spanglish has become such an intricate part of a lot of Hispanic culture in the U.S. that you’d be hard-pressed to get by without knowing a few words to sprinkle in with your Spanish (or English). Not to worry, Spanglish is a fun and easy language to learn, so read on to pick up 10 Spanglish words to add to your vocabulary today!
1. El parking = The parking lot
Correct Spanish alternative = el estacionamiento
It shouldn’t be too hard for you to pick up on the fact that many Spanglish phrases are really just interesting combinations of English and Spanish words. You’ve probably learned el estacionamiento is the proper Spanish term for parking lot, but in many states with heavy Hispanic influence you can just say el parking and be done with it!
2. El shopping = Mall/Shopping complex
Correct Spanish alternative = el centro commercial
This particular phrase has become so popular, in some areas of Mexico it’s replaced el centro commercial! I can kind of see why, though. El centro commercial is a bit of a tongue twister while el shopping is both easy to remember and easy to say.
3. Googlear/Gugulear = To Google something
Correct Spanish alternative = buscar en Google
There are many words and phrases which have to be added into the language dictionary in order to accommodate how important technology has become in recent years. Words like Google are entirely new additions to our lexicons so it’s interesting to see how people tend to use words like these in different languages. Spanglish is obviously no exception!
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4. Parquear = To park (a car)
Correct Spanish alternative = estacionar
Yet another awesome example of an English word which is molded to take on Spanish features. Of course, don’t dare use parquear in places like Mexico or South America because people will just look at you funny!
5. Vivaporu = Vick’s VapoRub
Correct Spanish alternative = (wouldn’t ya know!) Vivaporu
This is a particularly fun word to just say out loud to yourself if you are looking for a good giggle. According to legend, Vivaporu can cure all your ills – no matter how serious. Unfortunately, if you go into a pharmacy in the U.S. and ask for vivaporu the sales person will probably just give you a really confused look (unless they’ve got some Spanglish know-how!).
6. Konfleis = Cornflakes
Correct Spanish alternative = cereal
Now, konfleis may sound like a weird version of cornflakes, but this magical word is actually meant to be used when talking about any and all types of cereal. Eating Lucky Charms for breakfast? The Spanglish version is konfleis. Having Coco Puffs? You guessed it, they’re also konfleis.
7. Jevy = Heavy
Correct Spanish alternative = pesado
A lot of people claim that the Spanglish version of heavy is actually spelled exactly the same way, but others tend to remove the a so those of us not fluent in Spanglish can actually tell the difference. Either way, remember to pronounce it like heavy but add some…er…Mexican flare to the accent to get it just right.
8. Jamberger = Hamburger
Correct Spanish alternative = hamburgesa
I’m sure many a Latino has facepalmed while wondering how exactly this tasty Spanglish delight was born. I don’t know about you, but for some reason hamburgesa sounds a lot closer to hamburger. And yet we ended up with jamberger instead.
9. Cachup = Ketchup
Correct Spanish alternative = catsup
If you’re looking to add some condiments to your jamberger, you won’t get far by asking for ketchup. Look at it this way, if ketchup and catsup had a wayward tryst, cachup would be the product of that. More cachup on your jamberger?
10. Pari / Paree = Party
Correct Spanish alternative = fiesta
Heading out this weekend to have some fun? If you are, let me tell you right now you won’t be heading to a fiesta. No sir, it’s pari or nothing. Come on, chant with me: pari, pari, pari!
Do you know any fun Spanglish words or phrases? Share them with us in the comments section!