Saturday, 7 January 2012


Today's WOTD is: 'cintura' = waist

In Spanish, the noun 'cintura' is a feminine noun of Latin origin, the main meaning of which is waist. The noun 'cintura' may be used in Spanish to refer to both the waist of a person and  the waist of a garment.

A related Spanish noun is 'cinturón' which is commonly used to refer to a belt (see expressions and examples below).

 Some commonly used expressions containing the word 'cintura' or 'cinturón' are:
  • Abrocharse el cinturón (to fasten one's belt).
  • Adelgazar la cintura (to reduce the waist line).
  • Apretarse el cinturón (to tighten one's belt).
  • Cinturón de castidad (chastity belt).
  • Cinturón de lastre (weight belt).
  • Cinturón de ronda (ring road/ bypass road/ beltway).
  • Cinturón de seguridad (safety belt/ seat belt).
  • Cinturón industrial (industrial belt).
  • Cinturón azul (blue belt-martial arts).
  • Cinturón negro (black belt-martial arts).
  • Cinturón verde (green belt).
  • Coger de la cintura* (to grab round the waist).
  • Meter a alguien en cintura (to bring somebody to heel/ to set on the straight and narrow).
  • Quedar bien de cintura (to fit well round the waist).
  • Quedar grande de cintura (to be too big round the waist).
  • Quedar pequeño/pequeña de cintura (to be too small round the waist).
  • Tener cintura (to be adaptable/ able to deal  with problems which may crop up).
  • Tener de cintura (to measure round the waist).
  • Tomar de la cintura* (to grab round the waist).

Examples of the use of the word 'citura' and 'cinturón' are:
  • ¡Abróchense los cinturones de seguridad(fasten your seatbelts!).
  • Tengo que adelgazar la cintura (I have to reduce my waist line).
  • En los tiempos que corren hay que apretarse el cinturón (in the current situation, there is a need for tightening belts).
  • Los buceadores suelen usar cinturón de lastre (divers often use weight belts).
  • El cinturón de ronda circunvala toda la ciudad (the ring road goes round the entire city).
  • Es obligatorio llevar cinturon de seguridad (wearing seat belts is compulsory).
  • Un cinturón industrial rodea casi toda la ciudad (an industrial belt surrounds almost the entire city).
  • Pedro es cinturón negro de karate (Pedro is a karate black belt).
  • En el cinturón verde no está permitido edificar (buildings are not allowed in the green belt).
  • La tomé de la cintura* (I grabbed her round the waist).
  • No me quedó mas remedio que llamarlo al orden y meterlo en cintura (I had no option but to call him to order and set him on the straight and narrow).
  • Esos pantalones te quedan grandes de cintura (those trousers are too big round your waist).
  • Hace falta tener cintura para salir adelante (you need ability to deal with problems if you are to succeed).
  • ¿Cuánto tienes de cintura? (what do you measure round your waist?).
*NB In some specific countries in Latin America, "coger" has a sexual connotation. That localisation does not extend to the whole of Latin America nor Spain, where "coger" is not only widely used, but is perhaps the more commonly used. If in doubt, you could use "tomar" instead. loves the word 'cintura' in the YouTube clip: Son Rosado - Mueve la cintura mulato

For more on the word 'cintura', visit: Cintura

*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “cintura” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

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