All of Your Business

Expand Your Espanol

abuela – grandmother

ahorita – “little now” (literal translation); implies something will happen in a little while

Al mal tiempo, buena cara. – In bad weather, keep a good face.

alebrijes – (pron: ah-lay-bree-hays); fierce, magical creatures which inhabit a person’s dreams; also a style of artwork created by Mexican artisan Pedro Linares Lopez in the late 1930s; these brightly colored sculptures are still made and sold today

amiga – friend

amor – love

beso – kiss

bonita – pretty

buena fortuna – good fortune

bueno – good (literal translation); also how Mexicans answer the phone (instead of saying “Hello?”); one source indicates it’s a shortened form of other greetings (“Buenos dias” or “Buenas noche”); other sources say it began as a method of testing the phone lines to ensure a connection was good

cabello – hair

¡Cielos! – literally “Skies!”; a mild exclamation like “Dear me!” or “Good heavens!”

cuídate – loosely translates “take care of yourself”

¿Como estás? – How are you? (informal; used with family)

chancla – slipper or house shoe (literal translation); refers to a flip-flop in Mexico; used by some mothers as a “disciplinary resource” in the same way other parents might use a belt

Con dinero baila el perro. – With money, even the dog dances.

concha blanca – Mexican sweet bread roll covered in a cookie crust; traditionally flavored with vanilla or chocolate; concha translates literally as “shell” which is what the pan dulce (sweet bread) resembles

coyote – shortened term for coyotaje; people who transport undocumented immigrants into the United States

¿Cual es su nombre? – What is his name?

Dios mio – my God

dulce – sweet

Elegir es renunciar. – To choose is to renounce.

feliz – happy

fortuna grande – big fortune

grosero – rude, unpleasant person

guapo – handsome

¿Hablas español? – Do you speak Spanish? (informal)

hecho en Tejas – made in Texas

hola – hello

¿La familia es todo, verdad? – Family is everything, right?

los cuatros – the foursome (loose translation)

lotería – lottery

¿Mande? – Say that again?; the socially acceptable way to say “Pardon me?” in a conversation; in Mexico, used instead of ¿Qué? (What?)

mezcal – a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant

mijita – little girl (term of endearment)

muy bien – very good

nada – nothing

pandilleros – a street gang

¿Qué hora es allá? – What time is it?

¿Qué onda? – What’s up? (loose translation)

quinceañera – (pron: keen-sey-ah-nyair-uh); a “coming-of-age” celebration for Hispanic girls when they turn fifteen; it begins with a formal religious ceremony and ends with an elaborate reception that includes many traditions similar to a wedding

un regalo de Dios – a gift from God

sobresa – niece

taqueria – Mexican restaurant or café specializing in tacos

tarde – late

Te amo. – I love you. (spouse or lover)

Te quiero. – I love you. (extended family, close friends, boyfriend or girlfriend)

tía – aunt

todo – all