Monday, 4 February 2013

Cuchillo


Today's WOTD is: "cuchillo" = knife
In Spanish, “cuchillo” is a masculine noun of Latin origin, which means knife.



Synonyms of “cuchillo” are:
  • Navaja”, which may be used to refer to a penknife/ pocket knife. The noun “navaja” may also be used to refer to a razor clam.
  • Puñal”, which may be used to refer to a dagger.

The alternative expression “arma blanca” is often used as a generic term meaning a knife or another similar sharp object.

Some related Spanish words in common use are the feminine nouns “cuchillada”/ “puñalada”/ “navajada”and the masculine noun “navajazo”. Each one of these nouns may be used to refer to a knife blow, that is a stab/ gash/ slash.

A couple of related Spanish action words/ verbs in common use are “acuchillar”/ “apuñalar”, which mean to knife/ to stab.


False Friends (Falsos Amigos)
Please note that the noun 'cuchilla' also exist in Spanish. However, you should note that, although “cuchilla” has a very similar meaning, blade (razor blade/ box cutter, etc.), these two words should not be used as synonyms.


Please note also that the English colloquial expression “to go under the knife” (meaning to have surgery) is not usually translated literally into Spanish. The Spanish term for a scalpel/ surgical knife is “bisturí”.


Some commonly used expressions with the word “cuchillo”or related words are:
  • Acuchillar por la espalda (to stab from behind/ in the back);
  • A punta de navaja (at knife point);
  • En casa de herrero cuchillo de palo* (a shoemaker's son always goes barefoot);
  • Llevar a cuchillo (to put to the sword);
  • Navaja barbera (cut-throat razor);
  • Navaja de afeitar (cut-throat razor);
  • Pasar a cuchillo (to put to the sword);
  • Señor de horca y cuchillo (lord of the manor/ absolute ruler**);
  • Tú eres el cuchillo y yo la carne (I will do anything for you/ I am your servant);

* Spanish proverb
**NB Expression with source in Middle Ages when a lord of the manor could have absolute power (life and death) over his vassals.

Some examples of the use of the word "cuchillo" or related words are:
  • El cuchillo es uno de los elementos básicos de la cubertería occidental (the knife is one of the basic elements of western cutlery);
  • El joven fue trasladado al hospital con herida de navaja (the boy was taken to hospital with a knife wound);
  • La víctima presentaba heridas por arma blanca (the victim had stab wounds)
  • La víctima había recibido una cuchillada (the victim had received a stab wound);
  • La víctima había recibido una navajada ((the victim had received a stab wound);
  • La víctima había recibido un navajazo (the victim had received a stab wound);
  • La víctima había sido apuñalada (the victim had been stabbed):
  • La víctima había sido acuchillada (the victim had been stabbed);
  • En estado grave tras ser acuchillado por la espalda (seriously injured as a result of being stabbed in the back);
  • En estado grave tras ser apuñalado por la espalda (seriously injured as a result of being stabbed in the back);
  • La joven fue atracada a punta de navaja (the girl was mugged at knife point);
  • Es bien sabido que en casa de herrero cuchillo de palo (it is well known that the shoemaker's son goes barefoot);
  • Después de la batalla, los vencidos fueron llevados a cuchillo (after the battle, the defeated troops were put to the sword);
  • Algunos barberos todavía usan la navaja barbera (some barbers still use the cut-throat razor);
  • Algunos barberos todavía usan la navaja de afeitar (some barbers still use the cut-throat razor);
  • Después de la batalla, los vencidos fueron pasados a cuchillo (after the battle, the defeated troops were put to the sword);
  • En la Edad Media, el señor de horca y cuchillo era dueño absoluto de su vasallos (in the Middle Ages, the lord of the manor had absolute power over his vassals).
  • Recuérdalo, tú eres el cuchillo y yo la carne (remember, I will do anything for you/ I am your servant);

Love-Spanish.com loves the word "cuchillo" in the YouTube clip: BACHATA- OPTIMO - EL CUCHILLO

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

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

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