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Gerald Erichsen

Official Spanish Dictionary Added Words in 2012

By December 28, 2012

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All languages in everyday use are changing constantly, and one of the most marked changes in Spanish in recent years has been the expansion of its vocabulary, much of that growth coming from the adoption of English words. Early this year, the Spanish Royal Academy added about 1,000 words to its dictionary, and many of them will seem familiar to English speakers.

Here are some of the new words you may find interesting; some of them have actually been around for quite a while but have only in recent years gained usage widespread enough to deserve recognition:

  • bloguero, bloguera — blogger.
  • chat — a computer-based chat; charla can also be used. The verb form is chatear.
  • cuentacuentos — storyteller.
  • espanglishSpanglish.
  • euroscepticismo — mistrust of the European Union.
  • friki — freaky (also see the comments below).
  • gruista — someone who operates a crane (grúa) or tow truck.
  • manga — manga (a genre of Japanese comic).
  • matrimonio — The word meaning "marriage" isn't new, but the dictionary now includes a same-sex union as one of the definitions.
  • okupa — an adjective referring to a political movement that advocates the takeover of unoccupied housing. The verb form is okupar.
  • SMS — a telephone text message (from the English abbreviation for "Short Message Service") or the technology by which it is sent.
  • sushi — sushi. As with a few cases of other imported words, the sh is pronounced as in English.
  • teletrabajador — telecommuter.


December 28, 2012 at 9:59 am
(1) sfree says:

Mr Erichsen,

Could you add a pronunciation help for SMS?

Perhaps, it could be or is pronounced ‘mensaje’?

— A Student

December 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm
(2) Sonrisa says:

I’m a female telecommuter. Would “teletrabajadora” be used?

December 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm
(3) Spanish Guide says:


December 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm
(4) Spanish Guide says:

SMS would be pronounced like the letters, ese eme ese, but because of the process of elision, the pronunciation becomes like one word, esemese (ess-em-ESS-eh). In fact, you’ll sometimes (not often) see it spelled that way, and there are at least two companies with texting services that use the spelling of esemese in a trademark. Interestingly, the word could sound a bit like “message” if you weren’t listening too carefully.

January 3, 2013 at 5:58 am
(5) Brian says:

Thanks for the great work you do. I am just wondering about friki. My Spanish friends tell me it means geek rather than freaky. Can you confirm?


January 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm
(6) Jeff says:

@Brian yes Friki means like geek. It is mostly used in Spain

January 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm
(7) Alexandra says:

Is there an equivalent list of words added to the Mexican Spanish Dictionary?

January 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm
(8) Spanish Guide says:

Alexandra — The Academy’s dictionary includes words that are used primarily in Mexico. I’m not aware of a list anywhere of new words that have been adopted in Mexico but not elsewhere, but I wouldn’t be surprised in someone has made one somewhere.

Brian and Jeff — The dictionary definitions of friki include words meaning things such as “strange,” “odd” and “eccentric,” as well as referring to someone who is excessively devoted to something as a fan. So “geeky” (or “geek” when friki is used as a noun) can be a great definition and is quite a good one in many contexts. I appreciate your comments.

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