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Salchicha is a hot dog or a sausage.

I met someone a few months ago who knew a little Spanish and one of the words she knew was that salchicha meant sausage. She insisted that there must be a different word for hot dog. It was humorous to me to hear her argue her position that there had to be two different words for the two different items. While there are other words that can be used, salchicha is the one word we use for both in our part of Mexico.

Then this week I was talking with another friend who has a Cuban background. We were ordering pizza and I told him to get salchicha on one of the pizzas. He could not figure out why I wanted hot dog on a pizza and not chorizo (another word for sausage). He too was convinced that I needed to use two different words, but a different set of words.

All through the Spanish speaking world there are different ways to say the same thing. It happens in English too, we just don’t realize it.

  • 1

    In spanish there are distinctly different meanings for the words “salchicha”, “chorizo”, and “pancho” (which means hot dog, also known, more literally as “perro caliente”).
    “Salchicha” is generally used to refer to the Frankfurt type of sausage, while “chorizo” refers to another thicker type of sausage, made with grinded seasoned pork meat. In the other hand the meal known as hot dog (a “salchicha” inside a specially baked piece of bread seasoned with different sauces) is named “pancho” or “perro caliente” in spanish.
    Remember, when in doubt about spanish terms always refer to the Real Academia Española, which is the linguistic organization in charge of defining meanings and uses of the spanish language.

    morpheus on April 10th, 2008


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