Hacker, wifi, botox—these are now Spanish words

Good luck finding “friki” or “wifi” in any of these.
Good luck finding “friki” or “wifi” in any of these.
Image: Real Academia Española
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Since long before the verb “google” made it into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), English speakers have been eager to find out which neologisms make their way into the linguistic canon. This year the OED added “humblebrag,” “subtweet,” and, amazingly, “amazeballs.

For a measure of English’s global influence, however, you may want to look at some familiar words that have made it into the 23rd edition of the canonical Spanish dictionary, produced by Real Academia Española (RAE), released last week (link in Spanish). Here—in Spanish, remember—you will find “hacker,” “cameo,” and even “establishment.” And like “google” in English, Twitter has found its way into español.

tuit. (Del ingl. tweet). m. Mensaje digital que se envía a través de la red social Twitter® y que no puede rebasar un número limitado de caracteres. (Translation: A digital message of limited character count sent via the social network Twitter.)

tuitear. intr. 1. Comunicarse por medio de tuits. ○ tr. 2. Enviar algo por medio de un tuit. (Translation: 1. Communication by tweets. 2. Sending something via a tweet.)

This new diccionario is full of espanglish. (Real Academia Española)
This new diccionario is full of espanglish. (Real Academia Española)

Thirteen years in the making, the new dictionary adds 5,000 new words. Other words that will sound familiar to English-speakers included are “dron” (“drone”), “birra” (“beer”), and “chat”. Words from other languages were added as well—like “burka” (Arabic), “sunami” (Japanese), and “boutade” (French).

“The purpose of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language,” RAE says in its announcement, “is to gather the lexicon of general usage in Spain and the Spanish-speaking Americas.” The dictionary contains 19,000 “Americanisms,” words particular to countries in Latin America. So it draws heavily on the Spanish of the Americas, where “espanglish” (another new word) is most prevalent.

So if you’re learning Spanish, your vocabulary just got a nice boost. Things will be a bit easier the next time you are discussing plastic surgery, for example: “bótox” is now a word in Spanish.