So far I’ve been publishing stories on how to learn Spanish on your own, without the need of a class or expensive textbooks. Once in a while I gather some sites and put them in a post to help learners who struggle to find real materials. All fine and dandy, but I want to do more for you readers, and I’d love to give you something each and every day.

That’s why I’ve come up with the ‘Spanish Word of the Day’ concept. It’s a word. In Spanish. And I post one every day of the week. Pretty simple, huh? The idea isn’t new, but because my name is Ramses and I’m some random dude from the Netherlands that loves real language (e.g. no textbookish stuff which no Spaniard will ever use), I’ll build these posts around slang, new words, expressions, etc. ,etc. Best of all: I provide example sentences, because; what are you without an example sentence for your SRS, right?.

I’ll kick this serie of posts off with one of my favorite words: tío.

Normally tío means uncle, great-uncle (tío abuelo) or rich uncle (tío rico). Obviously, it’s feminine counterpart is tía.

However, the word tío (for men, and tía for women) is often used in Spain as a slang word. In this context it can mean friend (tío), boss (el tío Pedro – in the countryside) or a great guy (un tío grande).

This is what it more or less means officially (or at least according to a bunch of dictionaries).


Todos tus tíos van a venir a la boda.
All your uncles and aunts are coming to the wedding.

Su tía nunca me ha caído bien.
I never really liked his aunt.

¿Ese tío es guay?
Is that guy cool?

Tía, ¡te enrollas como una persiana!
Girl, you talk too much!

¡Qué potra tienes, tío!
You’re lucky, dude!

*Sentences taken from Thematische woordenschat Spaans (Dutch)

That’s it for today. Do you have suggestions or questions? The comments are open!

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Related Posts:
Spanish Word of the Day: payo
Spanish Word of the Day: tronco
Spanish Word of the Day: colega
Spanish Word of the Day: ganas
Spanish Word of the Day: chaval

{ 4 trackbacks }

Spanish Word of the Day: tronco | Spanish Only
January 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm
Spanish Word of the Day: payo | Spanish Only
June 10, 2009 at 2:15 am
Spanish Word of the Day: chaval | Spanish Only
July 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm
Spanish Word of the Day: colega | Spanish Only
September 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

EL Duende November 17, 2008 at 3:32 am

"io" in the Andalucia it's not a short for tio but a bizarre way to say "Quillo" which is itself a contraction of Paquillo.

If you think Spain has slang and is foul mouthed, go to the South (Malaga, Sevilla, etc) you'll hear some shait you can believe. Being called "hijueputa" or cabron is usually a good thing there.

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Ramses November 17, 2008 at 9:57 am

Well, a good friend of mine from Córdoba told me this, so I'll double check. Thanks for the reply though :-) .


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Reply June 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

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Ramses November 17, 2008 at 4:30 pm

I just asked it and it appears that I misunderstood him. It means chiquillo which in turn has more or less the same meaning as tío in this context. Will change it though.


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