For members


REVEALED: The best new Spanish words added to the dictionary in 2022

Spain’s Royal Language Academy has officially added 3,000 words to the Spanish dictionary over the course of 2022. Here are 11 of the best you need to learn, with explanations and examples.

spain new words dictionary 2022
The term 'garciamarquiano' has been added to the Spanish dictionary to refer to something that is characteristic or reminiscent of the ‘magic realism’ writings of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez. (Photo by Rafael Quiroz / AFP)

Mamitis: colloquial way of talking about the excessive attachment and favouritism a child has for their mother. Papitis is also used when referring to a dad, and there’s been some controversy as it hasn’t been included in the dictionary.


Raúl tiene un serio caso de mamitis. No se quiere despegar de su madre.

Raúl has a serious case of ‘mumitis’. He doesn’t want to leave his mother’s side.

Micromachismo: A misogynistic microaggression. According to Oxfam, some examples of this are choosing pink for girls and blue for boys, for a man to always pay the bill, saying that women and men can’t be friends and not using inclusive language.


Irene Montero quiere acabar con los micromachismos en el trabajo.

Irene Montero wants to get rid of misogynistic microaggressions in the workplace.

Puntocom: The same as spelling out ‘dotcom’ in English. Although anglicisms are becoming more prevalent in Spanish tech talk, there are still words Spaniards prefer to translate, such as buscador for a search engine.


La búrbuja puntocom causó estragos en la bolsa.

The dot-com bubble caused havoc in the stock market.

Conspiranoia: A noun which is a combination of the Spanish words for conspiracy and paranoia, referring to the tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. The adjective is conspiranoico/a


Es bastante conspiranoico, cree que las torres gemelas las derrumbó la CIA.

He’s quite the conspiracy theorist, he thinks the Twin Towers were blown up by the CIA.

Garciamarquiano: Characteristic or reminiscent of the ‘magic realism’ writings of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, similar to how Kafkaesque or Orwellian are used. Cortazariano, used to denote similarity with the work of Julio Cortázar, has also been added.


Es una situación garciamarquiana en la que no se distingue la realidad de la ficción.

It’s a ‘Garciamarquesque’ situation where truth can’t be told apart from fiction.

Rular: A colloquial verb used to say that something is working or moving.


Esto no rula, ¿seguro que no está roto?

This isn’t working, are you sure it isn’t broken?

Potar: A slang verb to say vomit, similar to saying puke or barf in English. There’s also the expression echar la pota. Pota is vomit as a noun.


¡Ni se te ocurra echar la pota en mi coche!

Don’t you dare puke in my car!

Portuñol: A combination of Portuguese and Spanish, similar to how Spanglish is used to refer to a mix of English and Spanish.


Yo la verdad que chapurreo el portugués, más bien hablo portuñol.

In all honesty I fumble through Portuguese, if anything I speak ‘Portuñol’.

Sesión golfa: ‘Naughty’ performance or screening at a theatre, cinema, nightclub or otherwise held after 1am and usually of an adult nature.


Puedes esperarte todo tipo de locuras durante la sesión golfa en la Sala X.

You can expect all kinds of madness during the naughty hour at the Sala X.

Gusa: A colloquial way of saying hunger. It could be derived from the expression matar el gusanillo, which means to take the edge off your hunger (although its literal translation is ‘to kill the worm’).


¡Qué gusa tengo! Estoy que me como un jabalí.

I’m so hungry! I could eat a wildbore. 

Cuarentañero: A forty-something person, cuarentañera to refer to a woman. How this wasn’t already in the Spanish dictionary we don’t know, as it’s common to also say veinteañero (twenty-something), treintañero (thirty-something), cincuentañero (fifty-something), sesentañero (sixty-something) and so on. 


Es una cuarentañera con tres hijos pero eso no le ha impedido ser jefa de una empresa.

She’s a forty-something woman with three kids but that hasn’t prevented her becoming a company boss.

Member comments

  1. Qué gusa tengo! Estoy que me como un jabalí.
    I’m so hungry! I could eat a wildbore.

    Is that similar to a “wild boar”? Or does it have a bigger hole in it…

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Spanish Word of the Day: ¡Zasca!

Here's a word which is used in Spanish to silence someone who’s done or said something wrong. 

Spanish Word of the Day: ¡Zasca!

Zasca is a word which is used to imitate the sound of a quick movement or bang, usually in the form of a punch or slap.

So although it is up to interpretation whether it mimics the sound of a blow, it works kind of like an onomatopoeia. 

The closest English equivalents are ‘Pow!’, ‘Bang!’ or ‘Boom!’. It can also sometimes be shortened to just zas.

You don’t usually use zasca as a noun in Spanish in the sense of saying ‘I heard a loud bang’.

It’s rather used as an interjection, when describing a situation, for example ‘Se dió la vuelta y …¡Zasca! Le pegó en toda la boca. (He turned round and…Pow! She punched him right in the mouth).

However, in more recent times zasca has come to be used as a ‘verbal punch’, a quick, sharp and clinical response to a comment or criticism. 

It’s what in English is often called a clapback or comeback, a bit like saying ‘Boom!’ or ‘Take that!’. 

There’a popular meme circulating the Spanish internet featuring an old-timey comic Batman slapping Robin, with the word zasca replacing what in English would often be ‘pow’, and then an accompanying comment that explains what the slap is for.

Zasca started being uttered as such in social media and forums, but it’s usage is so common now that you’ll see it used very often in Spanish newspapers and websites, with headlines such as ‘the best zascas on Spanish TV this year’ or ‘flurry of zascas for Spain’s PSOE party”.

Spanish language group FundéuRAE, a branch of Royal Spanish Academy, has therefore recognised its new usage as a noun in modern Spanish to describe this verbal comeback.

So the next time you want to highlight that someone just got ‘their arse handed to them’ with an effective comeback, remember that ¡Zasca! hits hard.


Parecía que el ladrón se iba a escapar pero de repente – ¡Zasca! – El policía le metió un porrazo.

It looked like the thief was going to get away but all of a sudden ¡Whack! The police officer hit him with his truncheon.

¡Zasca! ¿A qué duele cuando se demuestra que te equivocas?

Take that! It hurts when you’re proven wrong, doesn’t it?

Santiago Abascal se ha llevado un zasca de la hostia cuando desmontaron sus bulos sobre la inmigración.

Santiago Abascal was shot down in flames when his lies about immigration were dismantled.