Featured Words – August 2018

August 27, 2018 CODDIWOMPLE

This word originated as English slang, used as a verb to describe the action of traveling in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination. Of course, there is no exact translation to Spanish, but a close one would be deambular con un objetivo.


One of the best examples of characters coddiwompling would be in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” saga.

Uno de los mejores ejemplos de personajes deambulando con un objetivo sería en “El señor de los anillos” de Tolkien.


“Y el narrador de 1615 dice entonces lo siguiente con respecto al deambular de Don Quijote antes de dirigirse a Zaragoza …” – Alfonso Martín Jiménez en “El Quijote de Cervantes y el Quijote de Pasamontes, una imitación recíproca”

“And the narrator from 1615 then says the following with respect to Don Quixote’s coddiwompling before heading towards Zaragoza … “ – Alfonso Martín Jiménez in “The Quixote of Cervantes and the Quixote of Pasamontes, a reciprocal imitation”

August 20, 2018 AVISPA

Spanish word for wasp.  Both words derive from the Latin vespa and define all members of Hymenoptera, a diverse order of insects that comprises about 100,000 described species around the world.  The Italian word is vespa, which was also chosen as the trademark name for the infamous scooter.


My Vespa has a buzzing sound, like a wasp.
Mi Vespa tiene un zumbido como de avispa.


“Anger is as a stone cast into a wasp’s nest” – Pope Paul VI
“La ira es una piedra lanzada contra un nido de avispas” – Papa Pablo VI

August 14, 2018 KILOMETRAJE

A measured distance, in kilometres. In English, the common term is mileage, based on miles. 1 mile = 1.609 km.


El kilometraje de mi carro es mucho mayor de lo que pensé.
My car’s mileage is much bigger than I thought.


“It’s not the years honey, it’s the mileage” – Harrison Ford, as Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
“No son los años mi cielo, es el kilometraje” – Harrison Ford como Indiana Jones en “Los cazadores del arca perdida”

August 6, 2018 UMBRELLA

Invention to stop rain or protect from the sun.  The word comes from the Latin umbra – shaded, and also refers for its shape to umbel – a flat-topped rounded flower.  The word in Spanish is sombrilla – a little shade, also called paraguas – stop water (specifically to stop rain), and sometimes parasol – stop the sun (specifically to provide shade, also used in English.)


My umbrella is double purposed, for rain and for shade.
Mi sombrilla tiene doble uso, para lluvia y para dar sombra.


“A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.” – Robert Frost

“Un banco es un lugar donde te prestan una sombrilla cuando hace buen tiempo, y te la piden de regreso cuando empieza a llover.” – Robert Frost

August 2, 2018 HUARACHE

A word derived from the Purépecha dialect form kwarachi – sandal, modified to huarache or guarache in Spanish, which became accepted in the late 1800s to refer to footwear with flat soles and straps, worn mainly by indigenous people.  Later, it has been used to name a food made of fried corn dough (masa) because of its oval shape and especially its size, similar to the sole of a sandal.


Los huaraches eran de piel o fibras naturales, usados predominantente por los indígenas, pero ahora hasta Nike tiene su línea de “Huaraches Air”.

Huaraches used to be made of leather or natural fibres, worn predominantly by indigenous people, but now even Nike has its line of “Huaraches Air”.


“Ahora verás huarache, ya apareció tu correa” – un dicho popular para indicar cuando una mala persona se topa con otra de su medida, o peor.

“Now sandal, you shall see, for your strap just showed up” – a popular phrase to indicate that a bad person has met someone alike, or worse.

NOTE: The Purépecha are a group of indigenous people centered in the northwestern region of Michoacán state in Mexico, mainly in the area of the cities of Cherán and Pátzcuaro.  Their language, also called Purépecha, has long been classified as a language isolate, unrelated to any other known language – from Wikipedia