Language Resources

Word of the month... Zalamero

Do you have a classmate or colleague who is dedicated to flattering people to such extremes that it makes you feel sick? This would be a “zalamero” (slimy)

But this section is to tell you more about the word and explains its origins. In terms of the word “zalamero”, we can say it comes from the word “zalama” (demonstration of affection) and that this in turn originates from when Spain was Muslim. “Zalama” is the evolution of the greeting assalám ‘alík, that is Hispanic Arabic that means “peace be with you” which was accompanied with a bow. Over the course of time, the bow became a gesture of pure adulation, and therefore, uncomfortable for many.

Don’t think that a “zalamera” person necessarily has bad intentions; a lot of the time it is just excessive admiration or an uncontrollable desire to be liked. Be patient.

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