Spaniards get that cinking feeling

That's enough crowdfunding, marketing and texting, I'm off for some cervezing

They may not be able to pronounce WhatsApp for love nor money, but the Spaniards have no trouble whatsoever getting their tongues around the English -ing suffix, as evidenced by a recent agreeable/alarming (according to your opinion on foreignisms) rise in xxxings here in Spain.

It all started innocently enough. Students of the Castilian lingo will be aware the locals have for years – after tentatively dipping their toes into the -in(g) pool with mitin (meeting) – been talking of footing (jogging), camping (campsite), ranking (as per English), and indeed zapping (channel-hopping).

Once -ing had gained a foothold, there was no stopping it. Consider if you will parking (car park), shopping (shopping centre), estanding or standing* (class, as in alto estanding, "high class"), tuning (car customising), casting (audition), lifting (facelift), piercing (body piercing), crowdfunding, marketing, texting, bullying and trekking (all as per English).

So far so simple – just grab a word from English and throw it straight into the mix as is, or adapt its meaning according to requirements. But it's when the Spanish apply -ing to their own vocab that things start to get really linguistically interesting.

For example, I recently heard the rather sensational huerting (the practice of growing vegetables, etc), the root derived either from huerto (small veg patch) or huerta (market garden).

Equally inventive is tumbing (lying down, from the verb tumbarse, "lie down"), being the antidote to running, and a low-risk alternative to puenting (bungee jumping, from puente ("bridge")). Comparably indolent pastimes include siesting (having a siesta) and sofing (crashing on the sofá).

In the business world we find the budget airline Vueling (from volar (to fly) or vuelo (flight)), and let's have a tip of the hat to Hyundai for its cinking campaign - a really smart piece of work.

To most Spaniards (Andalucia and the Canary Islands excepted), "c" before "i" is pronounced "th" (or θ for those of your familiar with the IPA). Cinking is therefore "thinking", but also plays on cinco (five), and lo and behold, Hyundai's campaign is offering punters a five year guarantee, plus five years' roadside assistance and servicing.

Clever stuff. We'll raise a pint to whoever thought that one up, or rather, we'll indulge in some cervezing. Salud. ®


*Pronounced "estanding" whatever the spelling, due to Spaniards' inability to say "s" + consonant without an initial "e". Consider España, and so forth.

Thanks very much to all my Spanish mates who chipped in suggestions. I'll leave it to readers to work out what hijo puting means, but offer the clue that it's a practice indulged in by local town halls hereabouts.

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