Funny false friends Learning Spanish can be very frustrating at times, but it can also be good fun, and that is my goal with this blog, to make you laugh, or at least smile with some funny Spanish- English false friends, that by the way, they are not as typical as the ones you usually read about.

Not long ago I wrote about some real friends, if you are not familiar with that term real friends are pairs of words that they are really similar, or sometimes even the same (saving the pronunciation differences) in two languages, in this case Spanish and English, you can have a look to some real friends in this blog  have a look, especially if you are feeling a bit down in your Spanish journey because they will make your day.


But today we are talking about the opposite concept, what is it? False friend! And false friend are those words that even when they look similar in your target language and in your native language their meaning could not be more different. A really common one is embarrassed and embarazada, for some reason students keep mixing them up and they are so not the same, as embarrassed that in Spanish is avergonzada, is not the same than embarazada, that actually means pregnant. Funny isn’ t it? That is the good thing about false friends they can be very funny, and in this blog I am not talking about the typical ones, you probably know, but the ones aren’t that common but hilarious, so if you are up for a laugh let’s get into them.

Funny false friends


1-Bombero: bombero opposite what you might be thinking is not someone who fights military planes, a bomber, but someone who fights with fire, as bombero is a fireman.


2-Bigote, although it look like bigot, again the meaning is a bit different as bigote is not a prejudiced person. In fact bigote is not even a person but a thing, as bigote is moustache.


3- Pie, pie, pronounced pee-ay, is very confusing for students too as they see it and think straight away in a nice English pie, but actually pie in Spanish is not that yummy as it means foot.


4-Crudo means raw, but a lot of people confuse it with someone who is a bit rude because its similarity with the English word crude.


5-Delito, I have found several people who use delito when they actually want to say deluxe,  watch out with this one and deluxe is amazing, but delito is something not that good, in fact delito is  a crime, (meaning both felony or misdemeanor) .


6-Emocionado, emocionado can be tricky as has two meaning in Spanish, it means emotional and moved, so in this case excited is all right.


7-Éxito, this false friend was more common in the past, where people thought it meant exit, nowadays not many people get this wrong, and if you travel to Spain you can read pretty much everywhere that exit is salida. Éxito however is success.



8-Preservativo, this one is kind of hilarious too as preservativo many people think means preservative, but that is conservante, preservativo is a condom.


9- Casualidad, casualidad means coincidence in Spanish, so forget about the similarity with casualty, as it is not the same.


Ok and last one a typical one, constipado in Spanish does not mean constipated, repeat, constipado is not constipated, we use constipado in Spanish to say we have a cold, another word to express the same is resfríado. The point is please do not confuse these two words J. I know you probably knew it, but I find it so funny and it is because I confused this two words when I starting to live in Edinburgh and I can’t delete that moment from my mind, as I found (well, I still do) hilarious, the face of my flatmate was priceless. If you want to read my story with this false friend you can read it here, and learn some more funny Spanish-English false friends too.

And that is your Spanish does for today my friend, now it is your turn, leave a comment and let me know


-Had you heard any of the above false friends before?


-Can you share any other hilarious false friends?


-Have any false friends given your grief in your Spanish language?


-Do you have any funny story related to false friends?


Looking forward to reading you.


Lastly but not less important, if you enjoyed this blog and you know someone who could enjoy it too, please do not keep it as a secret, share it! And help me to spread the Spanish language around, I will be forever grateful.

I will write you next week.

Abrazos virtuales

3 Responses to “Funny false friends”

  1. Anuranjani Nagar

    Molestar 🙂

  2. Margaret

    My mind keeps giving me sopa for soap when I know that soup and soap is jabón.


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