Every country has a flag, food and symbols that identify them. But what about a single word?
During the 6th International Congress of the Spanish Language (VI Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española) celebrated in Panama, the blog Papeles Perdidos, created by the newspaper El País, published an atlas of the representative words of Spanish-speaking countries. They asked 20 writers which word they consider “best reflects your country.” The storytellers, poets and essayists responded with what they consider the most authentic words from their country, and this the word from Nicaragua:
Nicaraguan Spanish Word: CHUNCHE
Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramírez, concludes that the Spanish word that best represent his country is chunche. This word has more than one meaning: “It is a thing that represents many things: a versatile object, furniture, appliance, tool, vehicle… and also to a woman’s private parts. In addition, chunchito means ‘rear end.’”
Lee Jamison, author of Nicaraguan Spanish: Speak Like a Native!, also defines chunche as a “thingamajig,” and that it is one of the most important words in Nicaragua:
“If you only learn one word from this entire volume, learn this one! It means that whatchamacallit or that thing. It is an awesome word because it can rescue you from those awkward moments when you can’t think of the specific word for a particular object.”
Check out these other Nicaragua Spanish Slang Word articles.