Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Vela

Today's WOTD is: "vela" = candle




In Spanish, “vela” is a feminine noun of Latin origin, which may be used to refer to the following:
A candle.
A wake
A sail
The sport of sailing






A related Spanish action word/ verb is “velar” which may be used to refer to any of the following actions:
  • To stay awake
    • To keep a vigil;
    • To have a wake;
    • To guard someone/ something
  • To cover something fully/ partially, that is
    • To veil
    • To mask
    • To conceal
  • To expose a film ruining its contents

Some commonly used expressions with the word “vela” are:
  • A toda vela (in full sail/ at full canvas/ at full speed ahead);
  • Alzar velas (to set sail);
  • Apagar una vela (to blow out/ to put out a candle);
  • Barco de vela (sailing boat/ ship);
  • Buque de vela (sailing boat/ ship);
  • En vela (awake/ sleepless)
  • Encender una vela (to light a candle);
  • Encender una vela a Dios y otra al diablo (to hedge one's bets);
  • Estar a dos velas (to be broke);
  • Hacerse a la vela (to set sail);
  • Largar velas (to set sail);
  • No darle a alguien vela en un entierro* (to remove someone's right to speak);
  • Poner una vela (to light a candle);
  • Poner una vela a Dios y otra al diablo (to hedge one's bets);
  • Quedarse a dos velas (to become broke);
  • Vela latina (latin sail);
  • Velar por los intereses de alguien (to watch over somebody's interests);
  • Viento en popa a toda vela (in full sail/ at full canvas/ at full speed ahead);

*NB Used almost exclusively in the form of a question, for example ¿A ti quien te ha dado vela en este entierro? Meaning: who asked your opinion?/ shut up!

Some examples of the use of the word "vela" are:
  • Anoche velamos a nuestro amigo y hoy lo enterramos (last night we had our friend's wake and today we bury him);
  • En algunos paises la mujer tiene prohibido velar su rostro (in some countries women are not allowed to cover their faces with a veil);
  • Al abrir la cámara hay que evitar que se vele el carrete (when opening the camera you have to avoid the spool getting exposed);
  • El negocio va a toda vela (the business is going full speed ahead);
  • Finalizados todos los preparativos el buque alzó velas (all preparations completed, the ship set sail);
  • El viento me apagó la vela (the wind blew out my candle);
  • En Egipto se empezaron a construir barcos de vela hace miles de años (sailing boats began to be built in Egypt thousands of years ago);
  • Un buque de vela de cinco mástiles ( a five-masted sailing ship);
  • He pasado toda la noche en vela (I have been awake all night);
  • Si se va la luz enciende una vela (if the lights go out, light a candle);
  • A ti te gusta encender una vela a Dios y otra al diablo, ¿verdad? (you like to hedge your bets, don't you?);
  • Estamos a dos velas (we are broke);
  • Colón se hizo a la vela en el Puerto de Palos de Moguer (Columbus set sail from el Puerto de Palos de Moguer);
  • La expedición largó velas el día 5 de agosto de 1492 (the expedition set sail on August the 5th 1492);
  • ¿A usted quien le ha dado vela en este entierro? (who asked your opinion?);
  • Voy a poner una vela a Santa Rita (I am going to light a candle to St Rita);
  • A ti te gusta poner una vela a Dios y otra al diablo, ¿verdad? (you like to hedge your bets, don't you?);
  • Nos quedamos a dos velas (we ended up broke);
  • La vela latina es una vela triangular (the Latin sail is a triangular shape sail);
  • Tu abogado vela por tus intereses (your lawyer/ attorney looks after your interests);
  • El negocio va viento en popa a toda vela (the business is going full speed ahead);

Love-Spanish.com loves the word "vela" in the YouTube clip: Apagar tres velas

For more on the word "vela", visit: Wordreference.com/ Vela

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

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