As we are based here in the Spanish Canary Islands, we thought we'd take a quick informal look at five words that originate and are used locally in place of more traditional Castilian words: Guagua
The word “guagua” means bus
and is used officially throughout the Canary Islands instead of the Castilian word “autobús” as used in mainland Spain.
Pronounced “wah-wah”, the word is considered onomatopoeic by some, meaning it sounds like what it describes. In this case, the sound of the bus engine, or its klaxon perhaps.
The word “guagua” is also used throughout Cuba, Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean. Baifo
“Baifo” is a type of Canarian goat.
The goat is synonymous with Fuerteventura, the 2nd
largest of the Canary Islands. Whilst “cabra” (the Castilian word for goat) is still used day to day, “baifo” is a common alternative seen locally. Papa
“Papa” is Canarian for potato,
and is used extensively in place of “patatas”.
It is commonplace to see “tortilla de papas” (Spanish omelette), “papas fritas” (chips) and “papas arrugadas” (wrinkled potatoes) all offered on the menu. Millo
“Millo” is the Canarian word for corn,
typically referring to sweet corn, and can be used in place of “maíz” which is the word normally used in Castilian Spanish for corn. Cholas
When in the Canaries, one is never far from the beach. So of course we will be requiring our “cholas”.
“Cholas” are flip-flops (beach sandals),
the classic beach shoe. Worn by many year-round, due to the clement weather enjoyed.