Here is a useful glossary for the reader’s reference and general list of words and phrases I could not have survived without during my first couple of years in Spain. Claramente, it is a work in progress.

abuelos – grandparents. Very proud, super generous and couldn’t manage without grandparents. All in the UK, so sadly not available for baby sitting in Southern Spain.

acequia – community managed system of irrigation channels running through the land.

Alcade – the mayor

ayuntamiento – the town hall

blogging machine – my ‘precious’ MacBook Pro. Otherwise known as the Skype machine, Waybuloo machine, Charlie and Lola machine, Blogging machine or Google machine depending on current deployment.

bombona – gas canister. In this case butane gas for the stove.

bubble bath – cava in the bath

cabestrillo – sling or in my case a very gorgeous scarf

campo – countryside. field

camarilla – clique

como siempre – as ever or as always. As in mi hija tiene hambre, como siempre my daughter is hungry, as ever.

consultorio – the doctor’s surgery. A bit like the Wild West when it comes to queue etiquette. Vital vocab: ¡Hola todos! Hello everyone. ¿Quién es la ultima? Who is the last in the queue? Soy la ultima. I am the last in the queue and most importantly I am before you.

cortijo – farm house. typical of Andalucía

del dia – of the day. As in Menu Del Dia – good value two or three course lunchtime set menus often including cerveza or vino.

desfile – to parade or process around town on fiestas

dientecitos – little teeth. Great fun in Spanish is to add ica, illo, illa, ito, ita to the end of words to indicate smallness or affection. As in pobrecita poor little thing she is teething.

disfraz – fancy dress

Duérmete Mi Niña – go to sleep little girl, a very lovely Spanish lullaby from our current fave rave bebtime CD Canciones de la cuna

enpadronamiento – the process of registering on the padron – electoral role – with the local town hall. Once done you are described as enpadronado

fiestas – all the excuse that Spaniards need to make more noise than usual and sprinkled liberally throughout the calendar

el Fontanero – the plumber. Quite romantic I think – suggests that he/she will come to fix your fountains.

¡frutas! – the clarion cry of the fruit and veg lady as she passes through the village. Similar to ¡pesca’o! the call of the fish man. El panadero only has to bib his horn and flash a smile.

guapo/guapa – as in tu hija es muy guapa your daughter is gorgeous (I hear it all the time of course) or el panadero es guapo the bread man is a hunk

guardería – kindergarten equivalent in Spain

gordita little fatty, as in qué gordita what a gorgeous plumptious little girl

gweilo – Cantonese slang for foreigner that literally means ‘ghost man’. Occasionally a term of endearment, more often a derogatory term.

intercambio – language exchange. A great way to get in some free conversation practice.

ITV – MOT equivalent. Sorting out the ITV for your car in Spain is a bureaucratic marathon for the bravehearted

lo siento – much used phrase by me meaning I’m sorry. The literal translation is I feel it

más o menosmore or less. Very useful phrase

me gusta – I like. Or literally it pleases me

el medico – not very tricky this one. He is of course the doctor. In my case a well-meaning mumbling Frenchman tucked away in a rural Andalucían practice who may well – though I can’t confirm – have a phobia of touching people.

mofletes – gorgeous squidgy little baby cheeks

Mr B – aka Totally Smitten Daddy (TSD) of Bibsey

naranja del día – orange of the day. The game of intricate footwork we play when out on our walks round the hillside. Object: to get the orange round the circuit without sending it into the acequia.

parental advisory – a ‘too much information’ warning to loved ones that they read on at their own peril. This is a bit like a ‘keep out’ sign on a teenagers bedroom door, or maybe the unspoken etiquette relating to a lady’s knicker draw/bedside cabinet… if you don’t want to know, then best not to look.

plazeta – small square where people may gather or park their cars often appears to be little more than a widening in the road… place to stop and serenade my napping baby if you are a marching band during Semana Santa

pobrecita – poor little thing.

por supuesto – of course – as in soy un madre perfecta por supuesto I am a perfect mother of course

recién nacido – newborn

rubio/a – blonde.

serio – as in ¿en serio? seriously?!

¿Sabes? – You know?

Semana Santa – Easter week. See fiestas above.

Totally Smitten Daddy (TSD)–  aka Mr B the Daddy of Bibsey

Urgencias – the Emergency Department. I am no stranger.

¡Venga! ¡No puedo! – “come on!” “I can’t!” sounds of a Spanish maternity ward at night.

WFHD –  work from home dad. You know when you think that you have invented something? I thought that this acronym was a very clever invention of mine… just googled it. Not I’m afraid.

zaftig – kind description of my post partum figure. Origin: yiddish zaftik juicy, succulent, from zaft juice, sap, from German saft

zapatos – shoes

zapatillas – slippers of course