You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Spanish’ tag.

A dance in which people move in a line while holding on to the person in front of them. American Spanish < Spanish “congo”=referring to anything from the Congo, a former kingdom on the west coast of Africa.


Stubborn and unreasonable refusal to change your ideas or behavior. Spanish “los intransigentes” applied to the extreme Republicans in Spain during 1873-74 < Latin “in-“=not + “trans”=across + “agere”=to act.

A lively Spanish dance and/or a loose waist-length jacket open at the front. Spanish “bolero.” Uncertain origin, perhaps related to Spanish “bola,” a reference to spinning around in the dance.

A small gift, given as a bonus or thank you. Louisiana French “lagniappe” < Spanish “la napa”=the gift, bonus.

The hard shell on the outside of some animals such as a crab, lobster or turtle. Spanish “carapacho”=upper shell of a tortoise. Uncertain origin, possibly “caparazon”=horse’s body armor < Latin “capara”= a hood.

To hand over or come up with money. Spanish “pogale”=to put down < Latin “poner”=to bet, wager, put.

A tray, used for handing refreshments or for presenting letters, visiting-cards, etc. French “salve”=tray for presenting food to the king < Spanish “salva”=a sample of food < Latin “salvar”=to make safe.

A light veil, often of black lace, worn by women especially in Spain) over the head and covering the shoulders. Spanish “mantilla”-little cape < “manta”=blanket.

A wine shop or cellar; a small grocery store in an Hispanic neighborhood. Spanish “bodega” < Latin < “apotheca” < Greek “apotheke”=a store.

A symbol (~) found above Spanish vowels indicating a “nj” sound. Spanish “tilde’ < Latin “titulus”=an inscription (title) above an object labeling it.

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