Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Today's WOTD is: "regalo" = present

In Spanish, “regalo” is a masculine noun of uncertain origin. The Spanish noun”regalo” is thought to have its origins in the French, “régal” and Italian, “regalo”. However, the French and Italian nouns are often thought to have their origin in Spanish! The English meaning of “regalo” is present. The plural form of the noun, “regalos” is common use (especially at Christmas!).

The Spanish noun “regalo” is also often used to refer to:
  • Something obtained at a ridiculously reduced price (a bargain/ a steal);
  • A source of pleasure (a treat/ a delight);

A related Spanish describing word/ adjective is “regalado”/ “regalada” which may be used to describe something as being given/ donated/ given away.

A related Spanish action word/ verb is “regalar” which may be used to mean to give (as a present)/ to gift, to give away (to sell at ridiculously low price).

Some commonly used expressions with the words “regalo”, “regalar” or “regalado”/ “regalada” are:
  • A caballo regalado no se le mira el diente (don't look a gift horse in the mouth);
  • Cheque regalo (gift voucher/ cheque);
  • Comprarle un regalo a alguien (to buy a present for someone);
  • Regalo de aniversario de boda (wedding anniversary present);
  • Regalo de boda (wedding present);
  • Regalo de compromiso (engagement present);
  • Regalo de cumpleaños (birthday present);
  • Regalo de reyes** (Christmas present);

*NB Most first names in Spanish-speaking countries are the names of saints. A person's “santo” (“saint's day”) is the day in which the saint a person is named after is celebrated. The “saint's day”celebration is also known as “onomástico”/ “onomástica“. It is customary to give presents to a person on his/ her “saint's day”.

*NB In most Spanish-speaking countries it is the three Wise Men (Reyes Magos) who traditionally deliver presents to children, who wake up to presents on the morning of the 6th of January.

Some examples of the use of the words "regalo", "regalar" or “regalado”/ “regalada” are:
  • En ese sorteo me tocó un cheque regalo (I won a gift voucher in that raffle/ lottery);
  • Voy a comprarle un regalo a mi madre (I am going to buy a present for my mother);
  • ¡Qué regalo de aniversario de boda más bonito! (what a lovely wedding anniversary present!)
  • Este es el regalo de boda de mi tía (this is my aunt's wedding present);
  • Me encantó el regalo de compromiso (I really loved my engagement present);
  • ¡Qué regalo de cumpleaños más bonito! (what a lovely birthday present!);
  • ¿Todos esos son tus regalos de reyes? (are all those are your Christmas presents?);
  • ¿Me lo regalas? (will you give it to me -free/ as a present?);
  • Esto me lo regalaron por mi santo (I got this as a present for my saint's day);
  • Por mi cumpleaños me regalaron ropa (I was given clothes for my birthday);
  • Me he ganado todo lo que tengo, nadie me ha regalado nada (I had to work to earn what I have, I didn't get anything for free);
  • Regálame los oídos con tu voz (treat/ delight my ears with your voice);
  • A ese precio, esos zapatos están regalados (at that price, those shoes are a steal/ a bargain);

Love-Spanish.com loves the word "regalo" in the YouTube clip: Regalo para el dia de la Madre.

For more on the word "regalo", visit: Wordreference.com/es/en/ Regalo*

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

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