Spanish word(s) I love: michelín

Today’s word: michelín

Say the word a few times, and perhaps it’ll conjure images of this guy:

The Michelin Man

The Michelin Man

And you’re well on your way to understanding this word’s meaning already.

Michelín means roll of fat or spare tire, and it’s used like, “Tengo un michelín por todo el pan que he comido!” (I have a spare tire because of all the bread I’ve eaten!)

I like to think it’s a little bit impossible not to acquire un michelín after living in Barcelona for four months and indulging in bread, wine, potatoes and lots and lots of olive oil.

Have you heard this word in other Spanish-speaking countries? Is it used in other ways?


Spanish word(s) I love: montón


un montón de postre!

Today’s word: montón

Montón means lots & lots, similar to mucho, but used to express extremity. I’ve heard it used in the following ways:

  • un montón de gente = tons of people
  • un montón de cosas que hacer = tons of things to do
  • un montón de tráfico = lots of traffic
  • un montón de tiempo = tons of time
  • un montón de ruido = lots of noise

My online dictionary tells me montón can also be used to mean the following:

  • ordinary, average … as in, un hombre del montón (“just an average guy”)
  • to stand out from the crowed … as in, salirse de montón
  • there were lots of potholes … as in, tenía baches a montones

Another fun fact: I don’t think it has any relation (can someone correct me if it does?), but there’s also a pueblo in Zaragoza, Spain called Montón. The best part? It only has around 150 inhabitants, not tons & tons.

Spanish word(s) I love: copa

As I study Spanish, I come across words that have usage and/or subtle meanings that I love, so I’ve decided to start a semi-regular post series on the blog called Spanish word(s) I love. I promise I’ll make mistakes in usage so don’t go quoting me on anything, but perhaps you’ll be as entertained as I’ve been by the Spanish language.

Today’s word: copa

copa de vino

¿Quieres tomar una copa?

Copa means cup or glass, as in copa de vino (glass of wine). It’s used in other drinking-related phrases, such as:

  • tomar una copa = have a drink
  • ir de copas = go out drinking
  • beber una copa de más = have one too many drinks

It’s also used for:

  • Copa Mundial = World Cup
  • copa de sombrero = crown of a hat
  • copas (de baraja) = one of the four suits in a Spanish deck of cards

And my favorite: como la copa de un pino, which literally translates to “like the crown of a pine (tree)” and is used in the following idioms:

  • Él dijo una mentira como la copa de un pino = He told a whopper of a lie.
  • Es una idiotez como la copa de un pino = That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

What do you think? ¿Qué bueno, no? Stay tuned for more nerdy, idiom-filled fun …