An English speaker’s perspective

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Bujía

» by in: Nouns

I feel completely in my element when talking to my friends in Spanish. But when I have to go to the hardware store, or auto parts store, I feel pretty ignorant of the language. Bujía is one of those words that makes me feel like I have a long way to go. Bujía is a spark plug.

Reading a couple of dictionaries, it seems like bujía can have something to do with a light bulb. I have not figured out what it could be, or how it is used. I don’t think it is a light in general, but a specific kind.

Cojín

» by in: Nouns

The word cojín commonly is used for a cushion on a chair. A cojín can be a throw pillow, or a removable cushion. It might also mean a permanent cushion, but I have not been able to find reference to that.

There is another use of the word cojín that seems to be less common. It is used for the packaging that trial size shampoo or soap comes in. Like hotel shampoo packets.

Fanfarrón

A show-off is a fanfarrón. This is a boastful person, or a braggart. It can also be used to describe a loud mouthed or arrogant person.

The feminine form is fanfarrona (without the accent).

The verb form of the word is fanfarronear and means to boast, brag or show off.

Macanudo

» by in: Adjectives

I heard my friend use the word macanudo for the first time the other day. From what I discovered since then is that I have probably heard this word many times, but never realized it. Now I hear it everywhere. Macanudo is definitely a colloquial term that is not used everywhere in the same way.

Macanudo is an adjective that means great or fantastic. It can be applied to people or things. When used for a person it can mean easy going or enjoyable. It can also be used as an interjection when responding to a question. It would mean Great! or Sure!

From what I gather, macanudo is used by older people more than younger people.

Patente

Patente, as an adjective, is patent with the idea of being clear, obvious or evident.

As an adverb it means clearly, or obviously.

As a feminine noun (and the reason I found this word interesting) it is a patent in the sense that we English speakers think about the word when applied to a registered idea or product. It can be used to mean a transportation tax, or a license plate. Any kind of registration (driver’s license or car registration) can also be called a patente. Also a registration fee paid to an association or organization can be a patente.

Alpaca

» by in: Adjectives

Last week I was in a Sign Language class in Argentina when we were learning different colors. One of the colors that came up was alpaca. I had never heard of alpaca as a color, only as an animal.

I finally got a chance to look it up. Alpaca is nickel silver, or German silver. As far as what color it is, I would imagine that it is a dull silvery color. But I am not entirely sure on that. Apparently nickel silver, or alpaca, is a common metal used in tableware here in Argentina.

Parlante / Bocina

» by in: Nouns

Someone who speaks is a parlante. Someone who speaks English is an angloparlante. Those I knew, but last week I heard a new use for the word and that is a speaker, as in the thing in the radio that you hear the sound coming from.

In Mexico the word we used was bocina to mean a speaker for sound. Both Mexico and Argentina have their oddities. I figured the use of parlante in Argentina was an Argentina-ism. However, doing research on this, it is Mexico that is the odd one. Mexico is the only country that uses the word bocina to mean a speaker.

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