Friday Five – de aposta, consolador, aporrear, cotorra, apodos

I decided to add something of structure to this blog and institute a regular feature on Fridays: the Friday Five. Wherein I’ll simply share five (of the many) words I picked up in the week that especially caught my eye/ear. Maybe it seemed super useful, maybe my boyfriend was dumbfounded that I didn’t already know such an important and ubiquitous word, or maybe it fascinated me for no easily explainable reason. Could come from either conversation, TV, or reading. Feel free to share words you learned this week, too.

1. De aposta – on purpose, deliberately

I’d always said a propósito, but Sr. Vocabat says this is even more common here, especially orally. He was a little disappointed I didn’t know it already.

2. Consolador – dildo

Ahem. I learned this in this blog post, and I was enthralled by the connection with consolar. A consoler, a consolation. Not what I would have guessed.

3. Aporrear/se – to bang, hit; to bang (your finger, foot, elbow, etc.)

I have a bad habit of always banging into Sr. Vocabat. If it’s not him, it’s the furniture. Or the walls. Or the cabinets. This word will (sadly) come in handy.

4. Hablar como una cotorra – to talk nonstop, to be a chatterbox

A cotorra is a kind of parrot. Use this phrase to describe the chatty Cathys in your life, those who talk your ears off, the ones who are wearisomely verbose.

5. Colacho, Caliche, Mechas– nicknames for Nicolás, Carlos & María Mercedes, respectively

I’m always intrigued when I learn the names that nicknames (so common here) derive from. When I first heard Mechas, I was totally confused, only knowing that mecha means “wick.” Learning to recognize (nick)names can be very useful.

_________________________________________________ Non-natives, what’s your experience with these words? Had you heard them before? How have you heard them used? Where? If you’re a native Spanish speaker, anything to correct, clarify, comment on or concur with?


15 responses to “Friday Five – de aposta, consolador, aporrear, cotorra, apodos

  1. De aposta, is also used when refering to something done on a dare.


  2. Love the structure! I was right there with you on “a propósito” – thanks for the upgrade. As far as Consolador… well… um… Good to know.


    • I’m really not sure how widespread the use of “de aposta” is, so I would just keep echoing what you hear. If the native speakers around you use a propósito a lot, I’d stick with that. In the blog I usually only write about words I’ve heard for a long time now and feel that I have a very good handle on– when they’re used, who uses them, etc. I’m going to break away from that with the Friday Five and write about what I’ve been hearing, but that doesn’t mean I give them any kind of seal of approval for appropriateness everywhere. Use with caution! And if you do get any feedback on it from your construction worker clients (mostly Mexicans, I imagine), let me know! Whether it’s blank stares, laughter, or their jaws dropping because they’d never heard a gringo talk the way they really talk before and now they think you’re the bee’s knees… :)


  3. The only word I’ve heard is consolador, all the other ones are new to me. I can’t wait to run these by my Columbian friends!


  4. Oops, a couple more things.

    You mentioned “apodos” in the title, but I don’t see it in the post. Or am I just blind? I think you meant to mention it in your discussion of nicknames.

    And I totally forgot that to mention that while I’ve never heard “Hablar como una cotorra”, I have heard a variation…”Hablar como un loro”. There’s also “hablar por los codos”. The latter may be a Mexican thing.


    • Hi Rodney,

      First of all, thanks so much for checking out my blog. Like I said, I’ve always liked yours so much– so much that I just had to replicate it with my own observations. I hope you continue to find it useful. I had noticed in your posts that you have a good deal of Colombian friends, so hopefully they can give you feedback on anything you read here. Let me know if they ever have any nuances to add or don’t agree with something– could be that I misunderstood something, could be that it’s very regional (I’m in Medellín), or it could even be that it’s too “new”, since language is always changing and they might be a little out of touch with the latest language “trends” since they’ve been in the US.

      I already knew the word “apodo;” I just wrote that to make the title more succinct. What I learned was those three specific apodos, which, when I heard them, I had no idea what name they corresponded to (or what they referred to at all). We also use the other two phrases here. I think it’s “hablar hasta por los codos,” actually. I’ll consider it a compliment when someone here says that about me someday– although I’m quite the talker in English, I unfortunately can often be as quiet as a mouse in Spanish! Am trying to progress toward parrot-status :)


  5. Hola Vocabat,
    Keep in mind that a word used in one Spanish speaking country may have a different (and sometimes vulgar) meaning in another. As an example in Colombia ‘bizcocho’ means ‘cake’, while in another it may mean the same as ‘beaver’ in English slang.
    ‘Sapo’ in Spanish means ‘toad’. In Colombia the same word is also used as slang to describe a ‘snitch’ as well as the afore mentioned ‘beaver’.
    My point is; nubies should excercise some caution when using their newly learned vocabulary.
    I hope this doesn’t discourage you. I truly enjoy reading your blog. This last blog taught me the slang for Nicolas. This happens to be my son’s name. He wasn’t too happy with the way it sounded.


    • Hi,

      Thanks for the pointers. I knew about bizcocho and sapo and a host of others, but of course will have to be careful to avoid future language snafus. Please feel free to add any nuances at any time to help me and other readers avoid these landmines.

      Yes, newbies definitely have to be careful! At the same time, it’s not the end of the world if someone does meter la pata. Actually, it’s not even a question of “if,” but “when,” isn’t it? (And this goes for all languages) Sometimes these fears keep people back from ever speaking, however, which is really unfortunate. I mostly want to focus on empowering learners with more fluent and colloquial language, with some caveats on the side when necessary. They will learn the rest with time and their own experience.

      Thank you for the kind words about my blog. Is there somewhere we can read you? Are you currently living in Colombia or somewhere else?

      How interesting that I “taught” you Colacho. Of course, there are many other nicknames for Nicolás, as with all names. I don’t find that one particularly pleasant– Nicolás is much nicer :)


  6. Beautiful blog, Katie. Well done, friend! What a delight!


  7. Thanks! The idea is for everyone to share what they’re learning. What you got? I should have you guest post some day about the wonders that watching telenovelas will do for your Spanish. Seriously!


  8. consolador. that is rich.


  9. I have been trying to find a spanish phrase that describes me. My wife always says I talk to much, not because I chatter away all the time, but because if you ask my a question about subject X I will also talk about subject Xa Xb Xc Xd…..ect.

    I was wondering, would “Hablar como una cotorra” work for this?


  10. Pingback: Dirty laundry, first load | Vocabat

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