Photo: Vlad Teodor/Shutterstock

12 Spanish Words With No Exact Equivalent

by Andrea Rocha Jun 28, 2017

1. Jitanjáfora | Nonsense of words that create art

It is a poetic combination of meaningless or invented words with real ones, which take meaning and connotations within context. It is used to express everything because it means nothing.

Example: I’ve got so many things going on in my mind right now, It’s like a jitanjáfora in there.

2. Nefelibata | Cloud walker

A dreamer who lives in the clouds of their own imagination; one who does not abide the conventions of society, literature, or art.

Example: She thinks she can change the world with art. She is a nefelibata, like most artists.

3. Ataraxia | Peace of mind and soul

A lucid state of wholeness and tranquility, an ongoing freedom undisturbed by desire or fear.

Example: He claims the spiritual retreat made him fall into an ataraxia where he has found happiness.

4. Acendrado | Extreme pureness

Something or someone completely pure and flawless.

Example: She truly believed she could find an acendrado love, such as the ones she used to read about.

5. Empalagarse | To be made sick from sweets

Verb that describes being made sick after overeating too many sweets.

Example: It is quite normal to empalagarse after eating too much chocolate.

6. Engentar | To be overwhelmed by crowds

Verb that describes being trapped by a crowd and getting disturbed or anxious.

Example: You just missed him; he said he was engentado from all these people at the concert and left.

7. Friolento | Sensitive to the cold

The feeling of getting cold very easily.

Example: My brother is very friolento. He’s always wearing a sweater.

8. Macho | Pejoratively masculine

Denoting or exhibiting pride in characteristics believed to be typically masculine, such as physical strength, sexual appetite, etc. or a man who displays such characteristics.

Example: He thinks he’s macho enough to do all those dangerous things.

9. Madrugada | Early morning

It is used to express specifically the time elapsed from midnight to dawn.

Example: The incident occurred at two o’clock in the madrugada down Pine Street.

10. Pícaro | Person who is charming to the point of being devilish

A roguish character, charming feature or skill to flirt with a certain malice.

Example: I always knew he was a pícaro, but I did not realize it until he broke my heart.

11. Soponcio | Fainting feeling

A fainting feeling under an overwhelming or stressful situation.

Example: My mother almost had a soponcio when she found out about my grades.

12. Tocayo | Name twin

Someone who has the same name as another person.

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