Home| Photos| Newsletters| Reflections| About Me| Guestbook| Español

Reflections

I called this section "reflections" for lack of a better term. Later on it will be filled with a variety of different topical entries.

What is Happening in my Country?November 7, 2008

The Sharing ChurchJune 1, 2008

PovertyNovember 15, 2007

Honduranisms and RegionalismsMay 11, 2008

I titled this listing "Regionalisms in Honduras" because not all of the terms on my list would be specific to Honduras; some would be used in other countries as well. However they shouldn't be universal Spanish--or I at least felt like the way the word is used here seemed different. Some words might be used in more rural settings or by less educated people. Let me know if anything needs to be corrected. Enjoy!

n.= noun, m.=masculine, f.=feminine, adj.=adjective, v.=verb

¡chiva! interj. "watch out!"

¡ea! Hey! wow! (expressed when seeing something impressive)

¿Qué pedo? "What's up?" (avoid use in polite conversation; from "pedo"--fart)

bolo/a adj. drunk

cabal adj. Exactly

"cien lempiras cabales"-- "100 lemps even"

cabuya n.f. any sort of string or band

calzoneta n.f. (athletic) shorts

casaca n.f. Lies, nonsense

catracho/a n.m/f. Honduran

chamba n.f. work

chambear v. to work

chambrear v. to gossip

chambre n.m. piece of gossip

champa n.f. hut without walls, with thatch roof, common on beaches

chapear v. to cut (grass, with a machete)

chatarra n.f. scrap, junk; comida chatarra --junk food

chavacán (-ana) adj. Screw-off

"chavacanear" -- "to screw off, mess around"

chele/a adj. light-skinned --a common nickname

chepear v. to cheat, copy off someone (the way most students survive the Honduran educational system)

chepia n.f something copied off someone

chepo n.m. cop (probably not the word to use to a cop's face)

chibola n.f. ball

chimbo n.m tank (of propane)

chinear v. To hold, to have someone on your lap

chingüín n.m. Child (perhaps a southern word)

chucho n.m. dog

chuco/a adj. dirty

cipote n. kid, young person, someone acting young/immature (generally applies to young people until they get married or turn thirty, whichever comes first)

clima n.m. weather

Ex. "me pegó la gripe por el cambio de clima" --"I got a cold because of the change in the weather"

compa n.m. (from compadre) dude, man, buddy (used to address a guy friend, but I think with more feeling of camaraderie)

costar v. (aside from ordinary meaning, "to cost") to be difficult, to require

Ex. "Mucho cuesta cruzar la frontera" --"It's very difficult to get accros the border"

cuando las nubes echen lluvia lit. "When rain falls from the sky", fig. "When we have more money"

cuño/a adj. Stingy

de huida "in a rush"

"se fue de huida"-- "he rushed out"

de repente "then," "it so happens," "maybe," "really"?

Ex. "Cuantas veces hacemos promesas y de repente no las cumplimos" --"How many times do we make promises that in the end we don't keep"

de un solo all at once

dentrar --Confusion of entrar and dentro

dundo/a adj. dumb, idiot

está de miedo "it's cool"

estoy hule "I'm broke"

foc --a word imported from North American movies. Used innocently by kids without concept of the severity of the word in English

fresa or fresón adj. stuck-up, full of themselves, preppy (someone who buys expensive things or dresses really fashionably)

fresco n.m. pop (or soda, as the Eastern dialect calls it)

galera n.f. Stand or something covered by a roof

guácala interj. "gross!" ("¡Qué asco!")

guajeado/a adj. Dressed-up

güiro/a n. kid, young person

"¡Esos güiros sí son tremendos!" -- "Those kids are a handful!"

hombre Interjection --Generally used to convey the obviousness of what you say, agreement, or excitement. Meaning depends on inflection.

"¡sí hombre!" -- "of course!", "oh yeah!"; "¡no hombre!" (almost /nambre/) -- "of course not!", "come on!"

hoy/ahora/ahoy adv. today --These three words are basically synonyms, ahoy being a blending of the first two. The term "ahorita" is normally used to say "(right) now." However, hoy/ahora/ahoy are used to say now as opposed to a moment ago.

"Ahoy podemos dentrar, ¿va?" -- "Now we can come in, can't we?" "Antes la colonia era bien caliente, pero hoy no." "The neighborhood used to have lots of gang activity, but not anymore"

jalón n.m. ride, hitch --from "jalar" v. to pull, haul

macaneado/a adj. tough, difficult

macanazo a whole lot, a blow; from macanear to hit, give a blow

maciso/a adj. Cool (used of things, not sure you can say it of people)

malear v. to make mad, annoy (to corrupt or harm, by the dictionary); maleado/a mad

manudo/a adj. reckless (driver)

mara n.f. gang

onda n.f. Roughly "ambiental feeling," "flow" (there's no good equivalent in my English vocabulary)

"¿Qué onda?" -- "What's up?"; "Agarrar la onda" -- "Know what's going on"; "Es mala onda esa profe" -- "That teacher's a drag"

papada n.f. Thing, often in negative sense--"piece of junk"

papi/mami n.m/f. Dad(dy)/mom(my) --used along with papá/mamá to address people (strangers) in the street (sir, mister/ma'am)

"Péguese bien allí por favor, papi" -- "Squeeze in there more please, buddy"

parar bola v. to pay attention, notice, esp. "notice" in a romantic sense

"Esa mujer está enamorada de él, pero no la para bola" -- "That woman is in love with him, but he doesn't notice her"

pelado/a adj. Naked, or poor

pichingo n.m. cartoon, drawn caracter, doll, even effigy

pisto n.m. dough (money)

pucha/púchica Gosh! Dang! Damn! (but not offensive)

(It is a softened form of a stronger word, just as "dang" or "shoot" are)

puyar v. to poke or give a shot to (it may be sort of a child's word)

sapo/a adj. Suck-up, snitch, tattle-tale, overly-curious?

trieño/a adj. dark-skinned

tumbado/a adj. cool

una sola (para) all the way (directly) (to)

vaya pues "OK," "alright," (very common; never used as a question)

viera(s)(n) (que) "you should've seen", "you won't believe..."

"¡Viera que cólera me dió!" -- "If you had just seen how furious that made me!"

vos you, used frequently as a vocative (to address someone); "¿Qué es eso, vos?" -- "what's (up with) that?"

--this is the more common informal "you" in Honduras, as opposed to "tú." It is used in peer relationships or also by parent/teacher/authority figure with a child or someone under them. Conjugated forms are the same as tú except in present indicative/subjucative (drop off -mos of the "we" form and add -s and accent mark) and imperative (drop off -r of infinitive). It's conjugated forms are related to those of "vosotros" in Spain.

zancudo n.m. mosquito

I suspect these might not be so specifically Honduran

fijarse v. (ordinarily "to notice") commonly untranslatable, used to give excuses, or interjected after saying something you want to emphasize, or as a filler word

"Fijate que no puedo, vos" -- "I just can't do it, dude"

cachete n. m. cheek

"cachetón" -- "big cheeks, fat-faced"

valerle a uno v. To not care

"me vale" -- "what do I care?"

maña n.f. Habit, often bad or vicial habit

mañoso/a skilled (at making trouble) "Es maña que tiene" -- "He always does that!"

llegarle a uno v. to really like

"¡Esa película sí me llega!" "That movie's the stuff for me!"

chancleta n.f. Flip-flop or sandle

fregar v. to annoy, bother

"¡fregués vos!" -- "shut your trap!"

conchudo/a adj. person who takes or graps things that aren't theirs, freeloader (by the internet)

haragán (-ana) adj. Lazy

Grammar:

e-i confusion --Sometimes the e and i vowel are interchanged-- especially in verbs ending in -ear/-iar

"cambéalo" instead of "cámbialo," "pior" instead of "peor", "manijar" instead of "manejar"

habemos "There are … of us" --Used in place of hay when one wants to include oneself in the group.

"Habemos muchos en el culto de esta noche" -- "There's a lot of us here at this worship service tonight"

haiga --Used as the subjuctive of haber (and hacer?). Possibly a confusion of the forms haya from haber and haga from hacer

mi...(use of possesive before family titles) (This may be true in general in Spanish, and not just Central America for all I know) In Honduras, a possesive pronoun (or definite article) must always be placed before the title of a family member (mamá, papá, tía, abuela, etc.), unless directly addressing the person in question. So a son, when talking to his sister about his mother will say "mi mami" and not just "mami." In contrast, in English, you omit the possesive pronoun any time talking about a mother, uncle, grandpa, etc. with someone from your family. For example, I call my mother "mom" when talking to my sister. If I am talking to a cousin, I say "my mom" (since my cousin doesn't have the same mother), but I may say simply "grandma" (since we do share the same grandmother).

¿va? --A particle for forming tag questions, analogous to "¿no?"; "really?", "isn't it?" My long-shot guess is that it is a shortening of "¿verdad?"

ve interj. "I mean..."

"Dijeron que vendrían el viernes--ve-- el sábado"-- "They said they would come Friday--I mean Saturday"

ImmigrationJuly 9, 2007

The Blessing of GodJune 3, 2007

Questions not all Frequently AskedMay 18, 2007

El MuditoMay, 2007

QuotesFeb 12, 2007

The Mencía familyMarch, 2007

Updated June 22, 2008