Thursday, 12 July 2012


Today's WOTD is: "rayo" = ray

In Spanish, the noun "rayo" is a masculine noun of Latin origin which means ray. The noun “rayo” is also commonly used to refer to:
  • A bolt of lightning;
  • A sharp/ quick thinking person;
  • A wheel spoke;

Some commonly used expressions containing the words "rayo" are:
  • Como un rayo (like grease lightning/ like a shot);
  • Echar rayos (to be fuming/ to be raging);
  • Echar rayos y centellas (to be fuming/ to be raging);
  • Estar alguien que echa rayos (to fuming/ to be raging);
  • Mal rayo te* parta (go to hell!/ sod off! - cursing)**;
  • Que te* parta a un rayo (go to hell!/ sod off! - cursing)**;
  • Rayo de esperanza (ray of hope);
  • Rayo de luna (moonbeam);
  • Rayo de luz (ray/ beam of light);
  • Rayo de sol (sunbeam);
  • Rayo laser (laser beam);
  • Rayos cósmicos (cosmic rays);
  • Rayos gama (gamma rays);
  • Rayos infrarojos (infra red rays);
  • Rayos ultravioleta (ultra violet rays);
  • Rayos X/ Rayos equis (X rays);
  • Tubo de rayos catódicos (cathode ray tube);

*NB The curse may be directed to oneself or other people by changing the personal pronoun “te” to another relevant one, such as “me”/ “le”/ “nos”/ “os”/ “les”.
**NB The expression may also be used to express: I don't give a damn about you/ him/ her/ etc.

Some examples of the use of the word "rayo" are:
  • Esa moto va como un rayo (that motorbike goes like a shot);
  • Pedro echa rayos (Pedro is fuming);
  • Pedro está que echa rayos (Pedro is fuming);
  • Nos queda un rayo de esperanza (we still have a ray of hope left);
  • La persiana deja entrar un rayo de luna (the blind allows a moonbeam in);
  • La persiana deja entrar un rayo de luz (the blind allows a beam of light in);
  • La persiana deja entrar un rayo de sol (the blind allows a sunbeam in);
  • El rayo laser tiene muchas aplicaciones (laser rays have many applications);
  • Los rayos cósmicos proceden del espacio exterior (cosmic rays come from outer space);
  • Los rayos gamma no penetran la atmósfera (gamma rays don't penetrate the atmosphere);
  • El espectro electromagnético incluye los rayos infrarojos (the electromagnetic spectrum includes the infra red rays);
  • El espectro electromagnético incluye los rayos ultravioleta (the electromagnetic spectrum includes the ultraviolet rays);
  • El espectro electromagnético incluye los rayos X (the electromagnetic spectrum includes the X rays);
  • El televisor tradicional solía incluir un tubo de rayos catódicos (traditional TV sets used to include a cathode ray tube); loves the word "rayo" in the YouTube clip: Un rayo de Sol Los diablos con letra

For more on the word "rayo", visit:

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

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