Tag Archives: name

Spanish Nature Names & Animal Talk

Names Of Things In Nature / Nombres De Las Cosas En La Naturaleza

Animals,

Here you will find the names of trees, flowers and animals in Spanish. Some things in Dominican Republic have names that are different than other Spanish speaking countries. Also, how to use animals traits to describe people and the sounds animals make in Spanish.

A very important Dominicanism to remember is the word vaina. If you do not know what something is just point at it and say la vaina / the thing. This can cover up for many unknown words!

Trees | Animals | Using Animal Traits to Describe People | Animal Talk | El viejo Juancho tenía una granja (Old McDonald Had a Farm), the song |

Trees / Árboles

*Almendra – Almond trees. These trees can get quite large and produce a single fruit inside of a flour type bud.

A beautiful Almendra Tree
A beautiful Almendra Tree

*Almacigo – Mastic tree
*Arce – Maple
*Avellano – Hazel
*Caimito – Star apple
*Cajuil – Cashew
*Caoba – Mahogany tree. This tree is the National Tree of Dominican Republic
*Cedro – Cedar
*Cerezo – Cherry tree
*Flamboyant/ Framboyan – Flame Tree or Royal Poinciana. This tree flowers in late spring/ early summer and is very beautiful with its bright red umbrella of flowers.

A beautiful Flamboyant Tree with it's bright red flowers.
A beautiful Flamboyant Tree with it’s bright red flowers.

*Guasábara – Species of cactus that grows in the barren zones of the Dominican Republic
*Higuera – Fig tree

The Grown In Dominican Republic page.

Animals / Animales

(details about many of the Creatures found in Dominican Republic)

*Ardilla – Squirrel
*Cabron – a large male goat
*Cacata – tarantula-type spider (picture and information about the cacata)
*Chinchilín – blackbird
*Chivo – goat
*Cocuyo or Cucuyo – firefly, lightning bug
*Gallina – chicken
*Huron – ferret
*Mono – monkey
*Paloma – Pigeon
*Pavo – turkey
*Peje, Pecao – fish
*Viralata – used to describe a mixed breed dog, and the way they search for food. “Living out of the can”
*Zorrillo – skunk

Using animals traits to describe people

*Burro – (donkey) a gross person
*Conejo – (rabbit) someone whose front teeth are large or missing
*Jirafas – (giraffes) women who excel because of their high stature
*Leon – (lion) a person who always wants to solve a problem by fighting, using fists
*Gallo/ Gallito – (rooster) a person who always wants to solve a problem by fighting, using fists
*Liebre – (hare) a person that cannot be caught when he flees
*Perro – (dog) one that does not have morals and lacks education
*Puerco – (pig) person with bad hygiene
*Pulpo – (squid) type of person that wants everything to be the way he wants it to be, grabs for all of life
*Ratón – (mouse) someone that is of small build
*Rata – (rat) low person without morals or values
*Toro – (bull) person with great force and resistance, bull-headed

How Animals Talk / Cómo los Animales Hablan

Remember the song Old McDonald Had a Farm (The Spanish version is called El Viejo Juancho Tenía Una Granja is on the bottom of this page)? Well, in Spanish the animals make different sounds. Yes, animals living in Spanish speaking countries also speak Spanish. Even though when hearing a Spanish speaking animal make their given noise the sound is the same in my ear, when it hits a Spanish speaking person ear, I guess, the sound is different. The person who’s eardrums are intercepting the sound interprets the animal talk into their own language.

One really never thinks of an animal speaking a different language until you are confronted with it. When in Dominican Republic try calling a cat or dog the way you usually call them. They will ignore you completely (unless you have food that is). They are probably laughing at you inside their little animal heads!

Remember, the little lip popping, kissy sound one makes to call a dog in one country can (and does) mean Attack! in Dominican Republic. A cat will ignore you completely if you call it as you would in English but as soon as you say misu, misu it (may) then pay you attention. I wonder what Doctor Doolittle would do…..

The bees say buzzz in English and Spanish.
The bees say buzzz in English and Spanish.

*Bee – English = bzzzz / Las abejas hacen en español (the bees say in Spanish) = bzzz
*Bird – English = tweet tweet / Los pájaros trinan hacen en español de españa (Spain) = pío pío, Argentina Spanish = pi pi
*Cat – English = meow / El Gato ladra hace español = miau
*Chick – USA English = peep peep / British English=cheep cheep / Español = pío pío
*Cow – English = moo / Las vacas mugen hacen en español = muuu
*Crow – English = caw / Español = cruaaac, cruaaac
*Dog – English = bow wow, arf, woof, ruff ruff / El perro ladra hace español = guau guau or wow wow
*Donkey – English = hee-haw / Costa Rica Spanish = iii-aah, iii-aah
*Dove, pigeon – English = coo / La paloma hace en español = cu-curru-cu-cú
*Duck – English = quack quack / Los Patos hacen en español de españa (Spain) = cuá cuá / Argentina Spanish=cuac cuac
*Frog – English = ribbit / Spain Spanish = La rana croa hace encruá-cruá / Argentina Spanish = berp / Peru Spanish = croac, croac
*Goat – English = baaah / El chivo hace en español = bee bee
*Hen – English = cackle and cluck / Español = coc co co coc
*Horse – English = neigh or whinny / El caballo relincha hace / Colombia Spanish = iiiiou / Paraguay Spanish = ioohoho / Peru Spanish = iiiiii / Spain Spanish = híiiiiiiiii
*Owl – English = hoo / El búho hace en español = uu uu
*Pig – English = oink oink / El cerdo hace en español = oink-oink
*Rooster – English = cock-a-doodle-doo / El gallo canta hace / Spain Spanish = kikirikí / Argentina Spanish = ki-kiri-ki

The chickens in the tree say ki-kiri-ki
The chickens in the tree say ki-kiri-ki

*Sheep – English = baaah / Las ovejas balan; hacen / Spain Spanish = bee / Argentina Spanish = meeee
*Tiger – English = grrrrrr / El tigre hace Spain Spanish = grgrgrgr / Venezuela Spanish = gggrrrrrrr

(my little joke – Tiger – Dominican person speaking in English “Hey BABY”! IE: definition of a tigre in Dominican Spanish is a person who is a womanizer)

El viejo Juancho tenía una granja (Old McDonald Had a Farm)

translated by Paola Ferate-Soto

El viejo Juancho tenía una granja, iai, iai, oo.
Y en su granja tenía un marrano, iai, iai, oo.
Con su oink, oink aquí, con su oink, oink allí,
Aquí oink, allí oink, en todos lados oink, oink.
El viejo Juancho tenía una granja, iai, iai, oo.

The rest of the verses continue:
Vaca: mu, mu
Pollito: pío, pío
Caballo: neigh, neigh
Oveja: bee, bee
Perro: guau, guau
Gato: miau, miau
Pato: cuac, cuac

Women, Children & Pregnancy

Women, Children and Pregnancy

1. Luck | 2. Parenting | 3. Cures | 4. Menstruation | 5. New Mother | 6. Sex

Bad Luck / Good Luck

*When a baby is just born you say “God Bless You” to prevent the child from getting the evil eye

*Mal de ojo/ The evil eye is especially thought to cause illness in babies. It happens when somebody looks at a child with envy and makes compliments without without saying “God bless you”. If children become sick suddenly and without any physical reason and a doctor has no explanation is is for sure caused by mal de ojo.

*The “Ásabache” is a black hand or fist, sometimes a red and black bean that is used to ward off the mal ojo/ evil eye. Usually worn around the neck, even on a gold chain. Always a good baby shower gift.

*Never remove the ‘asabache’ until someone says it’s nonsense

*Put a small bracelet of beads on the child’s ankle or wrist to ward off evil and to bring prosperity.

*Be aware of brujas/ witches who try and eat babies (the Legend of the Bruja)

*The name is an important part of the person and can be used to bring evil to the person if it is known. Because of this a persons real name is usually kept secret. If your real name is known then you could be bewitched or sold to the devil by a Vendegete, or cursed by a brujo/ witch.This is why nick names, known here as Apodo, are given to children by their parents. These names usually are nothing like their given name but usually has something to do with their appearance. This way, by using the fake name it conceals their true identities from anyone trying to curse them.

*A small bag worn around the neck of little children is filled with garlic to ward off evil spirits, evil eyes and sickness.

*A small piece of black fabric must be tied around the right arm of a new born This fabric draws in and collects negative energy keeping it from the baby.

*In some areas of Dominican Republic prior to baptism they are given a baño/ bath to ward of the evil eye. This bath contains a mashed clove of garlic and three grains of salt added to the Agua Bendita/ Holy Water. This mix is sprinkled on the child.

*If a child dies without being baptized they pass the time playing tricks on humans. For example, when you can’t find your eyeglasses or sewing scissors, even though sure you left them in a particular spot, it is probably because they were hidden by the Duendes.(more on Duendes)

Parenting

*Some parents in Dominican Republic hang a baseball glove on the crib of a newborn baby boy as a good luck charm because they wish him to become a great baseball player.

*If you let a child see his or her reflection before they’re two years old they won’t talk.

*Do not get your baby’s haircut before he is one. If you do he won’t talk!

*If the hammock of the boy is rocked without him in it, this will cause the boy to become crazy.

*When a child bends over and looks at you from between their legs, it is said that they want another little brother or sister.

*Permitting a dog or cat, depending on who is telling the tale, to sleep on a child’s bed will make them not be able to have children.

*Throwing a child’s milk or baby tooth on the rooftop when they lose it will make the new tooth come in strong and straight. (more information on this and the Ratoncito Pérez)

Cures

*If a baby is getting sick or congested take a hair off a menstruating woman’s head and tie it around the babies wrist for 24 hours and the child will not get sick.

*When a baby has hiccups, put a hair from the mother’s head on the baby’s head until the hiccups go away.

*To prevent hiccups when feeding a baby place a string from it’s blanket on the forehead.

*Whenever you say something nice about a newborn you must say que “Dios lo bendiga”/ God Bless. Not doing so may cause the baby to become ill or cause some other catastrophe.

Menstruation

*Do not eat guineos / bananas if you are menstruating.

*Do not squeeze limons / lemons when you are having mensuration.

*Girls during the time of their development cannot eat green fruit or fruta agria / sour fruit.

*If you pass over top of your husband when you are pregnant he will get all the morning sickness.

*A woman having her menstruation cannot enter a freshly seeded field because it will damage the crop

*Pregnant women are prohibited from eat cherries, lemons, codfish, and herring with fried eggs (typical breakfast)

*When a woman has her menstruation she cannot touch any cleaning products because she will get very sick.

Pregnancy

*Have as many babies as you can since they are all born with a loaf of bread under their arms.

*If your are pregnant and you hold a girl, and the baby kicks you will have a girl, and vice versa.

*You must never say no if a pregnant woman asks you for something that you are eating, if you do you’ll get a sty. To be on the safe side ALWAYS ask pregnant women if they would like some want of what you’re eating.

*A pregnant woman should not walk underneath a guanabana tree or eat guanabana as she may lose her child.

A very large Pineapple – Piña

*Pregnant women cannot eat piña / pineapple.

*Do not look at anyone that is deformed while pregnant of the baby will come out looking that way.

*Pregnant women should not go into the ocean.

*If you see a dead lizard in your house a woman will come out pregnant.

*If your face looks rounder, the baby will be a girl, and if you gain weight on your rear end, the baby will be a boy

New Mother

*A new mother cannot have citrus fruits.

*A women after having a child cannot wash her hair hair for 41 days or remove her socks for 41 days after giving birth.

*You must give a woman who just had birth sopa de gallina vieja / old hen soup.

*If you drop a spoon and the bowl of the spoon is up (it looks like a pregnant women) a new family member will be arriving soon.

Sex

*Having sex on a Good Friday (Easter Friday) is a bad thing. People who do, supposedly, will be stuck the rest of the day.

Two Last Names or Apellios

Two Last Names / Apellidos.

The Hispanic culture uses two last names or apellidos. I was not very sure about how it worked or the order of last names. I decided to write it out for myself and others that are confused with this matter. So lets see if we can get this straight.

Lets use the name Felix Billini Duarte (I just made that up).

Felix is the first name and sometimes there is a middle name also but this made up person does not have one.

Billini would be the first last name of the father (apellido paterno) and Duarte would be the first last name of the mother (apellido materno).

The fathers names: the first last name would be the fathers name and the second last name would be the mothers first last name which would also be called the mothers maiden name.

Thus Felix mother was Anna Duarte Sanchez and the father was Antony Billini Cabral.

Now Anna gets married..

Anna Duarte Sanchez married Antony Billini Cabral.

In the old days if Anna wanted to she could add her husbands last name to hers using “de” thus her married name would be Anna Duarte de Billini. But this is not tradition in modern times. Some also put a little hyphen between their last names as Felix Billini-Duarte if they so desire. 

So this is why Felix has the name Billini Duarte. Dads first last name/ apellido paterno first. Moms first last name/ apellido materno last.

Children watching from the stoop of their house
Children watching from the stoop of their house

One more time and faster. Here goes…

Antony Billini Cabral and Anna Duarte Sanchez get married. Now their names are…

Antony Billini Cabral and Anna Duarte de Billini (or she just keeps her own name). They have a bouncing baby boy..

Felix is born…his name is now Felix Billini Duarte.

And the line continues. Do you understand now? Use the 2 first last names for the child. The kid drops the 2 last last names.

Married. The women doesn’t change the last name.

Looking up a name in the phone book

In the white pages a persons Father’s last name is listed first and the Mother’s surname is listed next. As usual, the persons first name is listed last.

ABC order? The same as looking up a name in the phone book. The first last name first, second last name second and their given name is last.Billini Duarte, Felix.

There. Easy is it not?

Multi-Generations of a Dominican Family
Multi-Generations of a Dominican Family