As a non-native speaker of Spanish, it’s a given that certain words will occasionally throw me for a loop during the course of a conversation. What I don’t generally expect is that those words will be from my own language! A number of words such as chequear (to check) and frizar (to freeze) have passed seamlessly from English to the domain of Spanglish; however, the meanings of other words and phrases have morphed substantially, creating confusion among native English speakers.
Here’s a brief list of English words with alter egos in Spanish that I’ve encountered here in Argentina. Try to imagine the words being spoken with a Spanish accent to get the full effect.
un shopping…..a mall
el living…..the living room
un lunch…..a buffet of hors d’oeuvres and finger foods/sandwiches
un tupper…..a Tupperware container or any plastic food storage container
un after office…..a happy hour
un ticket…..a receipt
un country..…a gated community
un jogging…..a pair of sweatpants, sweats or a tracksuit
tuning…..customization (usually in reference to cars)
un brushing…..a blow-out (hair)
un slip…..men’s bikini briefs
Have you ever been stumped by an English word or phrase that’s been adopted by the Spanish language?