Sunday, 18 December 2011


Today's WOTD is: 'dedo' = finger

In Spanish, the noun 'dedo' is a masculine noun of Latin origin, the main meaning of which is finger. The Spanish noun 'dedo' may also be used to refer to a:
  • A toe* 
  • A finger/ toe of an animal.
  • A small amount of drink (ususally a spirit) in a glass. 
*NB In Spanish we don't have separate words/ nouns for fingers and toes. Fingers are referred to as 'dedos de la mano' and toes as  'dedos del pie'.

 Some commonly used expressions containing the word 'dedo' in them are:
  • A dedo (hitchhiking - in travel).
  • A dedo (undemocratic form of electing someone/ hand picked).
  • Alzar el dedo (to raise a hand to indicate:
    • a wish to speak at a meeting, in the classroom, etc.
    • a nod/ agreement with a proposal in show of hands
  • Chuparse el dedo (to look naive).
  • Cogerse los dedos (to get the fingers burned).
  • Contar con los dedos (use the fingers to count or add up).
  • Contar con los dedos de la mano (to count in very small numbers).
  • Contar con los dedos de una mano (to count in very small numbers).
  • Dedo anular (ring finger - next to the pinkie).
  • Dedo auricular (little finger/ pinkie).
  • Dedo corazón (middle finger).
  • Dedo cordial (middle finger).
  • Dedo gordo (thumb).
  • Dedo índice (index finger).
  • Dedo médico (= Dedo anular/ ring finger - next to the pinkie).
  • Dedo meñique (little finger - the pinkie).
  • Dedo pulgar(*) (thumb).
  • Dedo saludador (index finger).
  • Estar para chuparse los dedos (to be really tasty/ yummy)
  • Hacer dedo (to hitchhike).
  • Levantar el dedo (= Alzar el dedo - see meaning above).
  • Levantar un dedo (to lift a finger).
  • Mamarse el dedo (= Chuparse el dedo - to look naive).
  • Mover un dedo (to lift a finger).
  • No chuparse el dedo (to be alert/ to be awake to possible deception).
  • No mamarse el dedo (to be alert/ to be awake to possible deception).
  • No tener dos dedos de frente (to be stupid).
  • Pillarse los dedos (= Cogerse los dedos - meaning as before).
  • Poner a alguien los cinco dedos en la cara (to slap somebody's face).
  • Poner el dedo en la llaga (to say something which is spot on and may hurt).
  • Ponerse el dedo en la boca (gesture inviting somebody to be quiet/ to shut up).
  • Señalar con el dedo a alguien (to point the finger at someone).
  • Yema del dedo (the tip of the finger).
(*)NB The English word inch (unit of measurement) translates into Spanish as 'pulgada'. The Spanish word/ noun 'pulgada' is related to the word 'pulgar' (thumb). A 'pulgada' is a unit of measurement linked to the length of the thumb. Please note also that the name given in Spanish to the character of children's tales Tom Thumb is 'Pulgarcito' (literally, 'little thumb').

Examples of the use of the word 'dedo' are:
  • El secretario general de ese partido siempre ha sido elegido a dedo (the General Secretary of that party has never been democratically elected but handpicked).
  • Conseguí ir de Madrid a Barcelona a dedo (I managed to get from Madrid to Barcelona hitchhiking.).
  • El que quiera café que levante el dedo (all those wanting café, please raise the hands).
  • ¿Tú qué crees, que me chupo el dedo? (do you really think I am stupid?).
  • ¡Cuidado no vayas a pillarte los dedos! (be careful! make sure you don't get your fingers burned).
  • Las ventajas de esa opción se pueden contar con los dedos de una mano (the advantages of that option are really few).
  • Ese pollo está para chuparse los dedos (that chicken is really yummy).
  • ¡Ten cuidado! a veces es peligroso hacer dedo (be careful! sometimes hitchhiking could be dangerous).
  • Pedro no movió ni un dedo para ayudarnos (Pedro didn't lift a finger to help us).
  • Hace falta no tener dos dedos de frente para hacer eso (you have to be pretty dim to do that).
  • A Ramón le pusieron los cinco dedos en la cara (Ramón had his face slapped).
  • Al acusar a María de haber mentido pusiste el dedo en la llaga (when you acused María of lying, you were spot on).
  • Señalar con el dedo es de mala educación (it is bad manners to point your finger).
  • Ponme sólo un dedo de whisky (I will have just a drop of whisky). loves the word 'dedo' in the follwing YouTube clip: Grupo Encanto - Pulgarcito
For more on the word 'dedo', visit: Dedo
*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “dedo” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

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