Barcelona Tourist and Expat Guide – I'mMovingToBarcelona

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING TO BARCELONA

VOCABULARY TIPS: SPANISH WORDS THAT IN REALITY ARE BRAND NAMES

I was quite surprised that here in Spain, a lot of brand names are widely used to name common things. I dig a bit into it and found out that some of these words are already forming part of official Spanish language.

It happens if the word is recognized by RAE Real Academia Española. And we have to admit that they keep up with the pace of the spoken language and add new words every year. Sometimes even few times a year. In 2005 they’ve made 9.029 changes in the dictionary. In 2012 they added words like espanglish for Spanglish or friki for freak. Everything gets espanisized.

Strange words for simple things

Coming back to the main subject, we can get to know which brand was commonly used or the first one to arrive, just by the names the Spanish give to certain objects:

Túper or Táper

– plastic food container – comes from Tupperware®, and they use it for all food containers you normally take your lunch to work in,

Clínex or Klínex

– tissues – from Kleenex®, is commonly used for tissues, always plural “los clínex”,

Bambas

– snickers – comes from probably the first successful company making cloth shoes. Today it is used for snickerszapatillas“.  It gets even more funny when you check the real brand name and discover their products:

Wamba Bambas Spanish for snickers

Wamba Bamba

You probably got used to it already… the fact that Spaniards pronounce equally letters B and V, for them there is no difference. So they themselves sometimes make spelling errors with words containing those letters in Spanish or English. I think that somewhere there should be an explanation of why Wamba® became Bamba 😉

This one is recognized by RAE – bamba definition.

Pan Bimbo

– toast bread – form the most popular company, Bimbo®,

Pan Bimbo toast bread

Pan Bimbo toast bread

Papel Albal

– aluminium foil – from Albal® brand,

Papel Albal aluminium foil

Gusanitos

– corn snack – brand of Risi® company, popular snack in Spain,

gusanitos Spanish snack

Gusanitos Spanish snack

Típex

Remember the indispensable tool of school times?

– white correction tape, pen, fluid – from Tipp-ex® brand,

Tipp-Ex tipex

Tipp-Ex tipex

Tiritas

– sticking plaster – from company Tiritas®,

tiritas sticking plaster

tiritas sticking plaster

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