Ubiquitous words

Uber is one of those words that is now universally known as the car firm that you can call up anywhere, anytime and you will get a cab to take you any place you like. It has had a couple of changes though from its German meaning. When it first came to my attention in English it was being used to be mean ultra or exceptional as it was a foreign word to most who didn’t know what it meant so it was special and therefore it could mean anything in advertising terms. In German I learnt that it was just a lowly common garden variety word meaning above as in uber teche being a simple phrase saying above the table.

Kinder Bueno is an unusual word as it combines German and Spanish. Kinder is German for children and Bueno Spanish for good yet it enabled me to make a funny joke about my husband being a good child that’s why he got a kinder bueno ice cream without him getting the joke whatsoever. Another marketing joke that most I don’t expect realise as to them it’s just a chocolate bar.

Mojo is another phrase popularised through its use in the Austin Powers Austin’s mojo movies of the 1990’s. This one may have jumped onto the Spanish bandwagon as that language was popular in songs later on in the decade especially. Mojo as defined by Austin was his sexual energy had been stolen so he could no longer woo women. In reality mojo is just the word for sauce although most of us would recognise salsa for sauce instead.

Adelante is another 90’s word that got its spot in the sunlight through the hugely popular Sash Sash – adelante song of the same name. It was rave culture and dancing under the influence of drugs means you are unlikely to care what the song is about since the beat and rhythm is more important. Club music is often stripped back to the bones and this song invites you to come on in. However if you don’t know Spanish you might never twig that adelante means precisely that.

Have you got any examples of your own to share with me? If so drop me a line in the comments section.

Best wishes

Angela