“picar” and (some of) its several meanings in Spanish

Today I am talking about the verb “picar”, which is a verb with several (and very different) meanings.

Today, as you know,  I am talking about another verb, yes, another that has several meanings, so many that I have had to select just a few of them, I have chosen the ones I thought were more common and that they might be more useful to Spanish students.

Before jumping into today’s blog, I would love to ask you something tho, actually a few things:

1-do you know what “picar” means?

2-if I would ask you what is the meaning of “picar” what would you say?

3-How many different meanings of “picar” can you come up with?

I want to think a little bit about these questions.

Have you done so?

Ok, then we are ready to start.

“picar” and (some of) its several meanings in Spanish

1-It is to puncture or to poke a surface, normally with something sharp.

That is why we refer to the things that birds and mosquito do to us as “picar”

Me ha picado un mosquitoI have been biten by a moquito.

2-A nuisance cause by an itch,

Me pica el brazo-my arm is itchy.

Me pica la garganta-my throat is itchy/tickly.

3-The action we do with a pick.

Los mineros usaban pico y pala en las minas-miners used pick and spade in the mines.

4-Cut something in (very) small pieces.

Pica la cebolla para la ensalada-Chop the onion small for the salad.

5-The burning sensation is the mouth when we eat something spicy,

No puedo comer jalapeños porque me pican, son muy picantes para mi-I can’t eat jalapeños because they burn, they are very spicy for me.

6-To eat small amounts of food.

No tengo hambre porque he estado picando.-I am not hungry because I have been snacking.

Or like my mother used to tell me when I was having some cheese, ham or bread before dinner

No piques, que luego no vas a cenar-Don’t snack, or you won’t eat dinner later.

7-When the sea is rough we use this verb

El mar hoy está picado-The sea is choppy today.

Or if it is something that we can see when we are relaxing on the beach

El mar se está picando-The sea is getting choppy

8-To annoy someone,

It is normally among siblings,

De pequeña me gustaba picar a mi hermana-When I was Little I liked bothering my sister.

9-A person who gets angry or annoyed,

Mi amigo se pica cuando pierde-My friend gets annoyed when he loses.

The person who gets angry is “un picón”, so we could also say mi amigo es un picón cuando pierde-My friends is annoyed when he loses.

10-To provoke someone,

Los amigos de Eva la picaron para que canatra-Eva’s Friends provoked her to sing.

11-To get intrigued,

If your friend is telling you something how her last date went but then she stops and say I will tell you when I see you you could say:

Nooo, ahora me pica la curiosidad, ¡cuéntame!Nooo, now I am intrigued, tell me!

12-To fall for something,

If I am joking and you believe what I am saying I will say

¡Has picado! –You have fallen for it!

13-to bite/to take the bait,

When you are fishing if a fish takes the bait you will say: ¡ha picado!-It has bitten!

Ok, I think you have enough meanings of “picar” for one day, so we are just going to leave it there. But before you go away, remember that practice makes perfect so leave a comment

-with a sentence using one of the meaning of “picar”

-and let me know if you know any other meanings for “picar”

I love hearing from you. Also if you would like to support my work and say “gracias” in a different way would you treat me to a coffee? You can do that here and apart of making me very happy I would really appreciate it 😊

Last but not least, if you want to have a look to this content on video format, head over to my YouTube channel, where you can find the video for this blog here. It is totally in Spanish, which will be a great listening practice.

Have a great day and…I will talk to you soon

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