7 Vote

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My dear Mexican friend, the one that came up with "Echarle comal y metate", just told me today that she had been down with "la gripa". So I asked her if that's the word they always use for "a cold" in her area, and she said yes.

The word I use is "la gripe". In Puerto Rico they have a delightful term that is "La Monga", which is the #1 excuse for not going to work there.

So, the question for today is: what other terms do you know for "a cold", either in Spanish or English?

You are welcome to contribute terms that are not strictly "a cold", but that also refer to non-specific illnesses that serve as an excuse to skip work, school, or an engagement. Please provide a brief explanation of how your term is used!

15 Answers

1 Vote

In spain:

resfriado, influenza, más bien técnico, trompazo (argotwink)

  • I'm a bit surprised that there weren't more options offered for "work-skipping illnesses". Oh well. - Gekkosan Apr 27, 2010 flag
1 Vote

How funny, look.

gripa. 1. f. Col. y Méx. gripe.

  • Yes... My friend is a veritable mine for Mexican slang jewels. I suspect her use of the word is highly regional - Gekkosan Apr 15, 2010 flag
1 Vote

Estoy resfriado -- I have a cold (Mexico and Guatemala)

1 Vote

I have heard mormado, but I think that this may be more like stuffed up (because of a cold).

There is also catarro

1 Vote

In England we say "the lergy" for example ...

"I can't come to work today boss (cough cough) I've got the lergy.

......non-specific illnesses that serve as an excuse to skip work, school, or an engagement......

Yes. Exactly that!

  • lol, we say that too, or just 'the lerg' :) - Kiwi-Girl Feb 26, 2011 flag
1 Vote

Any Mexicans out there please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure that I've heard "la gripe" used by Mexicans to mean "the flu".

I've definitely heard "la gripa" to mean "a cold".

Estoy mal. I'm sick.

Tengo tos. I've got a cough.

Me duele la garganta. My throat hurts.

Tengo calentura. I've got a fever.

Me siento fatal/horrible/terrible. I feel awful.

1 Vote

I've got some kind of flu bug.

1 Vote

I've heard that gripa and gripe are two different things. I've heard that one is cold and the other is flu. I don't think this explains it. I've heard gripa from Mexican people. Many Spanish dictionaries don't have gripa listed. My theory is that, yes, gripa and gripe are the same thing no matter what anyone says. Also, Mexican people tend to use gripa to mean runny nose. "Tiene tos, dolor de cabeza y gripa. Empezó con la gripa el lunes. El miércoles empezó a toser."

Catarro is a cold, mormado is stuffy nose. También se dice nariz tapada. This is all just based on what I've heard working in a hospital.

  • Well hey! How cool that you unerthead this old thread! Thanks! - Gekkosan Feb 26, 2011 flag
1 Vote

¡Vivan elpolaco y elespañol! En Polonia tenemos "grypa" que significa exactamente lo mismo que en México. Solo hay que reemplazar 'y' con 'i' y.. voilá! Por eso decimos que la palabra inglesa 'gripe' es un 'amigo falso' para polacos aprendiendo inglés.

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  • Me gusta tus imagen. - Lise-Laroche Feb 26, 2011 flag
  • Esa es una buena cara de "no puedo ir a trabajar hoy" :-) - Gekkosan Feb 26, 2011 flag
  • Exacto, no hay que decir nada :) Gracias por corrección. - bomberapolac Feb 27, 2011 flag
1 Vote

Here's one I bet you haven't heard, but was a very common expression in our family....the muligrubs. It's an archaic word that generally means feeling crummy.

  • Is it good for not going to work? :-) - Gekkosan Feb 26, 2011 flag
  • You bet!! Just the faintest threat that you might throw up on someone will back them off from forcing you to go... - Echoline Feb 26, 2011 flag
  • So you call is and say: "sorry, can't go to work today, I've got the mulgrubs"? :-) - Gekkosan Feb 27, 2011 flag
1 Vote

In my neck of the woods, a lot of people use 'la diarrea' as an excuse for not going in to work.

  • Ok... even if their stomach is perfectly fine, hm? Funny that; diarrea seems to me like a less "glamorous" illness. :-) - Gekkosan Feb 26, 2011 flag
  • in NZ that would be 'the runs' :) - Kiwi-Girl Feb 26, 2011 flag
  • Well, the runs is not very glamorous, either- :-) Do people call in sick stating they have "the runs"? - Gekkosan Feb 27, 2011 flag
1 Vote

Now I'm not so positive if 'grip' is un amigo falso because I believe it also is another word for 'the flu' in English: also 'grippe'. But saying 'he had the grip' is probably not used so much anymore.... If you are thinking of it as 'I have a gripe with you' then definitely, un amigo falso! (But this could also be all wrong, I am easily confused....)

1 Vote

The crud, feeling generally bad.

Taking a mental health day, feeling crazy, sick of work, or wanting to stay home with your sweetie to enjoy each others company.

Under the weather, anything from worn out to hung over.

Dead, too dead to come to work but maybe I'll feel better tomorrow.

  • Ok, those are very good. I like "the Crud" :-) - Gekkosan Feb 27, 2011 flag
1 Vote

In Nicaragua, resfriado means a minor cold with a stuffy nose, cough etc. Gripe is the flu, and includes things like a fever and muscle aches along with cold symptoms and lasts longer.

The difference is similar to the USA, where a lot of people say they have the flu, but really they just have a cold. The flu will knock you out for a few days and you feel terrible.. a cold is just an annoyance mostly.

  • Ok, but when people just don't feel like going to work, and they need a conveniently credible, but not serious "illness", what do they use? - Gekkosan Feb 27, 2011 flag
0 Vote

yes gripa is communly used in mexico

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