17 Spanish Words that Don’t Technically Exist but We Use Every Day
Being bilingual is a blessing – and confusing. What happens when you can’t exactly translate a word? You make up your own. Here are a few we’ve spanglishized and use all the time.
1. Chequear – to check something, like a reference.
If you chequé the dictionary you will not find chequear. However, we all know that the word is one of the most commonly used words in our modern vocabulary with our elders.
2. Taggear – to tag someone on social media.
Seriously? Taggear is becoming a word? What’s next, “posteando” statuses? As the nature of technology evolves, we have to come up with ways to create language around them.
3. Yarda – a yard or lawn.
“Mami, Luis and his friends won’t let me play en la yarda.” It is not at all a real word in the proper sense but it is a real word to us and that is what really counts.
4. Flirtear – to flirt.
It’s been so long since someone flirted with me, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the right word. However, it very well might be the right word if someone was willing to flirt with me.
5. Estoquieando – stalking, you know, like most of us do.
We also use this to talk about estoquieando on Instagram. There is something so satisfying about being able to dig deep into your crush’s Instagram and figuring out their likes and dislikes.
6. Marqueta – the market.
This is lazy. Mercado is shorter and it’s the proper word. However, it is a word we have all used because it just comes out that way an that’s just fine.
7. Parquear – to park, usually like a boss.
I’m almost there. Estoy parqueando. What makes this even funnier is that whoever says this has likely not even left the house yet
8. Chance (chan sey) – chance
If you can’t make up a word just give the English word a Latino pronunciation. That usually does the trick.
9. Bloque – a neighborhood block.
If only we all lived en el mismo bloque as Mr. Roger, we’d all have a proper vocabulary. I’m just saying. But, given our fun loving culture, I’m sure Mr. Roger would have understood the playful language.
10. Bildin – a building.
Or edificio. It is kind of amazing when you realize that we have created a language out of two langauges in an attempt to better talk with our family. Sometimes it is the little things like that that can make a relationship with your abuela that much more special.
11. Lonche – lunch.
Abueltia: ¿Qué comiste para la lonche hoy, mija?
Me: Nada. And when did you learn lonche?
Isn’t it sweet when your family takes an extra step to make sure everyone is included in the conversation.
12. Mopear – to mop.
I don’t even care that this word exists, tbh. Nothing can make this chore anymore fun. Call it what you want…like torture. You will never know the terror of mopping in a frenzy before mom gets home.
13. Lockear – to lock.
Because atrancar is so 2014. Honestly, though, who else grew up with this one? It seems like a really common word when it comes to Spanglish-speaking families.
14. Carpeta – a carpet.
Wait? Haven’t we been making fun of people for making words Spanish by adding an ‘o’ to the end? When did we become just like them?
15. Vaquear – to vacuum.
This is like mopear. We don’t care unless the word gets rid of the task altogether. Unfortunately, it won’t so we will just keep mopeando and vaqueando until mom is satisfied.
16. El Tiki Tiki – any electronic device from a GameBoy to your phone.
Our abeulas and parents are quick to just call any handheld electronic device el tiki tiki. It’s a lot like how every game system is called a Nintendo.
17. Echoping – shopping
Shopping with mom can be crazy hectic. But we all know that she will do whatever she can to spoil her babies and that is what we are all here for.