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!
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.

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.

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For members


Spanish Words of the Day: En plan 

Saying ‘en plan’ in Spanish is a bit like…

Spanish Words of the Day: En plan 

En plan is used all the time in spoken Spanish when you want to express intention, mode and attitude.

For example, salimos en plan amigos, ‘we went out as friends’. 

Or estamos en plan fiesta, ‘we’re in party mode’. 

Va vestida en plan militar, ‘she’s wearing military-style clothing’.

In essence, it’s a fast and easier way of setting the scene, a versatile means of describing which is like saying ‘like’, or ‘as’, ‘-mode’ or ‘-style’ in English. 

However, the meanings of en plan have expanded recently thanks to young people, who have adopted it a bit like their filler word or pet phrase (what Spaniards call una muletilla). 

En plan is now used similarly to o sea, used to explain in another way or exemplifies what is being said.

READ MORE: What does ‘o sea’ mean in Spanish?

For example, María está desaparecida, en plan no la veo desde hace más de un año.

‘María has completely disappeared, I mean, I haven’t seen her in more than a year’.

It’s also used when you want to express something as if it were a quote. 

El policía me dijo en plan te voy a multar, ‘the police officer was like ‘I’m going to fine you’’.

Therefore, en plan has become a bit like saying ‘like’ when talking in English and joining ideas together or emphasising something. 

It can be a bit exasperating to hear teens use it all the time, as in:

Hablé con Julia en plan buen rollo, y me dijo en plan eres una cabrona, que ya no quiere ser mi amiga, en plan que no quiere quedar más. 

‘I spoke to Julia on like good terms, and she was like ‘you’re a bitch’, she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore, like she doesn’t want to meet up anymore’.

If you don’t believe us, take Robert De Niro’s and Jack Nicholson’s word for it. 

However, en plan can be a very useful tool to get to the point quickly and avoid more complicated sentence constructions in Spanish.