Published on March 8th, 2011 | by Mark Chesnut
How to Say “Drinking Straw” in Spanish (at least 12 ways to do it!)
|How many words can you think of for “drinking straw”? In Spanish there are lots!|
It’s such a simple little device; just a piece of plastic that allows you to suck a tasty bit of fruit juice or soda pop from the glass to your mouth. In English — as far as I know — there’s just one term for it that’s universally understood: Drinking straw, or perhaps just “straw.” Ask for a straw at any English-speaking McDonald’s, and they’ll know what you’re taking about.
Such is not the case in the Spanish-speaking world. I collect regionalisms like other people collect postcards, and I have yet to find an everyday item that has many different translations in Spanish (other than, perhaps, a few bedroom-oriented terms which aren’t appropriate for this blog).
“This is one of my running jokes, because I used to wait tables at a Dominican restaurant and we would get a lot of different nationalities,” says Sonia Virginia, who is now a senior account executive at Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications in Miami. “I would sometimes have to run through all eight before they knew what I was talking about.”
So prepare yourself before you walk into that Kentucky Fried Chicken in Mexico or that Burger King in Puerto Rico, and you’ll be sipping pretty before you know it (click on the name of each country for additional travel tips and reviews):
Argentina: pajita (watch how you use this word in other countries!)
Dominican Republic: calimete
Spain: caña, pajita
Please let me know any terms that I’ve left out!