Here’s a short Spanish lesson about five common Spanish words that you will often hear: chantaje, aporte, echar en cara, azotea and resaca.
So, let’s cover 5 Spanish words or phrases that you may hear used in Latin America. NB: are not taught in your typical Spanish course.
1. Echar en cara – to throw in someone’s face
The saying “echar en cara” literally means “to throw in one’s face.” It is the equivalent to the English saying “to throw in one’s face.”
Yo sé que me compraste un carro pero no me lo eches en cara.
(I know that you bought me a car but don’t throw it in my face.)
2. Chantaje – blackmail, extortion
The word “chantaje“ is used in Latin America not only to refer to financial blackmail or financial extortion but also emotional blackmail. In other words, “chantaje” commonly refers to a form of psychological manipulation.
Yo pensé que el carro era un regalo. Pero es un chantaje porque quieres que yo te haga un favor.
I thought that the car was a gift. But it’s blackmail because you want me to do a favor for you.
Here’s the verb form of the word: chantajear
Paola está haciendo la tarea de Juancito porque la chantajeó diciendo que si no lo ayudaba, no jugaría nunca más con ella.
Paola is doing little Juan’s homework for him because he blackmailed her by saying that if she was
not going to help him he would not play with her ever again.
And here’s the adjective/noun form of the verb: chantajista
En realidad, eres muy chantajista.
In reality, you are very blackmailing.
3. Aporte – contribution
Mi aporte a la empresa será el mobiliario de la oficina.
My contribution to the company will be the office furniture.
Instead of the word “aporte” you can also use the Spanish word “contribución.” But in Latin America, I find that the word “aporte” is more commonly used.
4. Azotea – rooftop terrace
Interestingly, I heard the word “azotea” used last night when I was watching one of my favorite movies dubbed over in Spanish: Hangover. You remember the scene near the end of the movie where they find their friend on a rooftop with an awful “quemadura de sol” (sunburn).
The Spanish-language version of the movie Hangover is called ¿Qué pasó ayer? (What happened yesterday?)
Me subí a la azotea para instalar la antena.
I went up to the rooftop terrace to install the antenna.
5. Resaca – hangover
The Spanish word that is most frequently used in Latin America for “hangover” is “resaca.” With that said I want you to be aware that I have NEVER heard the word “resaca” used in Colombia when referring to a hangover.
“Resaca” can also mean undercurrent:
La resaca lo alejaba de la orilla rápidamente.
The undercurrent was quickly moving him away from the shore.
In most of Colombia, including here in Medellin, the word for hangover is “guayabo.” For example:
Ella tiene mucho guayabo.
She has a very bad hangover.
When I lived on the coast of Colombia I noticed that in the coastal cities of Barranquilla and Cartagena they used another phrase for “to have a hangover:
Estar en guayabado
Esta mañana estaba en guayabado.
This morning I had a hangover.