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Spanish words that have different meanings in different countries

Spanish words that have different meanings in different countries

Spanish is spoken as a primary language in 20 countries across the world. It is not surprising therefore that Spanish has evolved, resulting in unique words, accents and slang specific to different countries.

Today we look at certain words which have different meanings in different countries. And watch out - some of these Spanish words mean something completely innocent in one country, and something not-so-innocent in another!

Coche

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This means 'car' in Spain. However, in Guatemala, it is slang for 'pig.'

Chivo

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In most Spanish speaking countries 'chivo' means goat. However in Uruguay and Argentina it is the armpit smell.

Tengo olor a chivo - I have armpit odour.

Coger

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'Coger' means 'to take' in Spain, however, it is also slang for fornicating in Guatemala.

So 'coger el coche' means 'to take the car' in Spain, but will mean something completely different in Guatemala!

Chucho

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In Guatemala, 'chucho' is what they call dogs. However, in Honduras this means 'stingy' and in Chile it means 'jail.'

Fresa

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'Fresa' is used in some Spanish-speaking countries to refer to a strawberry. However, in Mexico, 'fresa' is also used for someone who is rather fancy.

Guagua

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In Chile, 'guagua' means baby. However in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico it is a 'bus.'

Jugo

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In Latin America, 'jugo' translates as 'juice.' However, in Spain this is the liquid that comes out of meat. ('Zumo' is used for juice in Spain).

Saco

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In Spain, 'saco' refers to a large bag. However, in Dominican Republic and Panama, 'saco' is a jacket.

We hope you enjoyed this week's blog and if you would like to improve your Spanish further, try a free Spanish lesson with one of our teachers!

Education and social work in Guatemala
Spanish Regular Verbs in Present Indicative Tense