We are all familiar with many greek and latin roots whether we know it or not. I will bring up the ancient languages prefixes/suffixes to help you remember the upper body in Spanish.
Watch out, when you see the tag ‘TEACHABLE MOMENT!,’ it likely means you are going to make a connection that is already familiar to you.
The Upper Body in Spanish
TORSO (BODY) = EL TRONCO
(MNEMONIC) How to remember TRONCO:
If you looked at the human body like a tree. Our legs would be the roots, our head would be the crown, and our TORSO would be the TRUNK (TRUNCO).
SHOULDER = EL HOMBRO
(MNEMONIC) How to remember HOMBRO:
NOTE: The way to say ‘man’ in Spanish is HOMBRE.
I remember growing up in New York during the ‘Guido’ era. Those guys were always calling each other ‘BROS.’ They were always in the gym and had massive SHOULDERS. Those men were HOMBROS.
COLLARBONE = LA CLAVÍCULA
According to Webster’s Dictionary, the CLAVICLE is a bone of the shoulder girdle typically serving to link the scapula and sternum. It is also called the COLLARBONE.
(MNEMONIC) How to remember CLAVÍCULA:
Referring to the COLLARBONE as the CLAVICLE makes you sound COOLER. (CLAVÍCULA)
ARMPIT = LA AXILA
The Spanish word ‘AXILA’ can be linked to the Latin root prefix, ‘AXILL-’ which pertains to the ARMPIT. AXILLA also happens to be another word for ARMPIT in the English language.
(MNEMONIC) How to remember AXILA:
If something is auxiliary, it means that it offers support. Well, I like to think of the ARMPIT that is AUXILIARY (AXILA) to the shoulder joint.
ARM = EL BRAZO
(MNEMONIC) How to remember BRAZO:
The worst part about breaking your ARM is not wearing a BRACE OR (BRAZO) cast. Not being able to do the things you normally do is quite terrible.
BICEPS = BÍCEPS
(MNEMONIC) How to remember BÍCEPS:
No mnemonic here.
The only thing to heed here is the pronunciation. The Spanish BÍCEPS would be pronounced as BEE-CEPS.
TRICEPS = TRÍCEPS
(MNEMONIC) How to remember TRÍCEPS:
No mnemonic here.
The only thing to heed here is the pronunciation. The Spanish TRÍCEPS would be pronounced as TREE-CEPS.
FOREARM = EL ANTEBRAZO
(MNEMONIC) How to remember ANTEBRAZO:
NOTE: The Spanish word for BEFORE is ANTES (Perhaps you can remember this easier by thinking of the word ANTERIOR.
The FOREARM may well be called the BEFORE-ARM. In that way, you can put together that the Spanish translation for the FOREARM is the ANTES-BRAZO (ANTEBRAZO).
ELBOW = EL CODO
(MNEMONIC) How to remember CODO:
It is almost as hard to make a Mnemonic for the ELBOW as it is to lick your ELBOW. This is the best I COuld DO (CODO).
WRIST = LA MUÑECA
(MNEMONIC) How to remember MUÑECA:
NOTE: MUÑECA is also the Spanish word for Doll.
When I am rich, I am going to be like the Irish Conor McGregor. I am going to buy some of the most expensive WRIST watches MOONEY CAn buy.
HAND = LA MANO
The Spanish word ‘MANO’ can be linked to the Latin root prefix, ‘MANU-’ which pertains to the HAND.
A useful example of this prefix in action is the word MANUALLY. As in, I bought my furniture from IKEA yesterday. But it is going to take me days to put it together MANUALLY.
(MNEMONIC) How to remember MANO:
Manuel is by far the best carpenter in town, he builds everything by HAND, but his work always seems as if it comes from a large MANUFACTURER (MANO).
BREAST // CHEST = EL PECHO
The Spanish word ‘PECHO’ can be linked to the Latin root prefix, ‘PECTOR-’ which pertains to the BREAST or CHEST.
A useful example of this prefix in action is the word PECTORAL. PECTORAL is a word that modifies to express a relation to the CHEST or BREAST. The connection between the prefix, ‘PECTOR-,’ to the Spanish word ‘PECHO’ becomes more obvious when you change the ‘H’ to a ‘T.’
(MNEMONIC) How to remember PECHO:
Men are so predictable. After a few weeks of bench pressing and working on their PECS, they want a PICTURE of their CHEST. They all want PEC-TURES (PECHO).
NIPPLE = EL PEZÓN
(MNEMONIC) How to remember PEZÓN:
When I was younger, there were these tiny candies called PEZ. A NIPPLE kind of looks like a little PEZ ON the breasts.
STOMACH (ABDOMEN) = EL VIENTRE
(MNEMONIC) How to remember VIENTRE:
As soon as we get to the restaurant, the first thing that is going into my STOMACH is the shrimp. I love that curVY ENTRE.
NAVEL // BELLY BUTTON = EL OMBLIGO
The Spanish word ‘OMBLIGO’ can be linked to the Latin root prefix, ‘UMBILIC-’ which pertains to the NAVEL.
A useful example of this prefix in action is the word UMBILICAL. The word UMBILICAL can also be defined as ‘a pipe or cable connecting someone or something to a source of essential supplies.’
(MNEMONIC) How to remember OMBLIGO:
A baby, while in the womb, gets its nutrients by way of the UMBILICAL (OMBLIGO) cord which is attached to the NAVEL // BELLY BUTTON.
WAIST = LA CINTURA
(MNEMONIC) How to remember CINTURA:
NOTE: The English word CINCTURE (CINTURA) refers to a girdle or a belt.
You wear a CINCTURE Around your WAIST.
BACK = LA ESPALDA
(MNEMONIC) How to remember ESPALDA:
They have been best friends forever. No one watches his BACK like HIS PAL DOES (ESPALDA).
TAILBONE = EL COXIS
(MNEMONIC) How to remember COXIS:
The Spanish word for the TAILBONE gets a whole lot easier to remember when you realize that in English we also call it the COCCYX. Alter the pronunciation to fit Spanish phonetics, change a few letters around, and you can now say COXIS.