Spanish word of the month: Flamenco
When we use this word we all imagine a flamenco singer or dancer giving it their all on a flamenco tablao (flamenco stage). But interestingly, this is one of the words with the highest number of different meanings in Spanish; some of which are very surprising.
Firstly, a “flamenco” is someone from the region of Flanders (now Belgium). One popular legend links this meaning of the word to its definition as a Spanish art form: they say that Andalusian dances were offered to Charles V (who was born in Flanders) to the shouts of “Bailadle al flamenco”. The name has stuck ever since.
Un flamenco también es el ave zancuda rosa que aparece en tantos documentales de naturaleza y que en inglés se denomina “flamingo”.
A “flamenco” is also that leggy pink bird that appears in so many nature documentaries. This is where the English language gets the word “flamingo”.
Surely you have heard an Andalusian lady saying “Hoy no estoy muy flamenca”, which she would say if she was not feeling very well or was a bit ill.
You may have also heard someone say “no te pongas flamenco” in the middle of an argument, meaning “don’t get arrogant or insolent”.
Finally, and last but not least, Cordoba has a delicious specialty dish consisting of pieces of ham wrapped in a slice of pork tenderloin which are then fried and served with mayonnaise and potatoes.
Spaniards clearly get great use out of this word. Well…I guess us Spaniards get great use out of all our words.