Home VocabularyQuirky vocab The A words can be aggro

The A words can be aggro

by Bernard O'Shea

In English the A words tend to convey intellectual sentiments and mental states: angry, aroused, aspire, assert, apprehensive, activate, against, analyze, advise, agitate, agree, alive, alone, alert, anxious, approve, arrogant, assert, agonise, absurd, accuse, addictive, attack.  Maybe this why the alpha males are called alphas!

Do the A words have the same aggro in my five Romance languages? Let’s flip through my five big dictionaries to assess! Here are words that appeal to me for some reason, mainly for the sound. I hope you’ll find them more amusing than annoying.


abocanhar 1) to bite or bite off; 2) to snap at; 3) tear with teeth; 4) to eat, swallow, devour; 5) to seize possession of; 6) to slander, defame. Homen de má lingua que abocanha toda gente, a foul-mouthed, slanderous man. (Literally, a man of bad language who slanders everyone.)

You’ll remember this verb more easily by thinking of bocamouth in Portuguese.


achaler, to hassle, to bug. Achale-moi pas means don’t bug me!  Practise it on pesky people.


On your travels in Romania,  watch out for un antropofag,  a man-eater, cannibal.

A beer mug with Dracula's face it.

Was Dracula ‘un antropofag’?


una andanada, 1) a broadside or barrage; 2) a reprimand or rebuke; 3) a covered stand. Echar/soltar una andanada, to say something out of the blue


Here’s a word that suits me to an A…  abbuffarsito stuff oneself; the related words are abbuffata, a nosh-up, binge, blow-out; farsi un’abbuffata, to stuff oneself.  Look, here’s an Italian swan…

A swan leaning forward to grab a thick chunk of bread

This swan wants to binge – il cigno vuole abbuffarsi

You can binge on more words related to food in the tasty part of My Five Romances.

The A words can also be appealing

Sing along now… When a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore

Amore is the Italian word for love (and there are variants of that, of course, and lots of songs about love, in other Romance languages).

  • French has accueil, welcome
  • Spanish has acariciar, to caress
  • Portuguese has alegre, happy, joyful
  • Romanian has afectuos, affectionate

That’s all, folks – adieu! M5R

Expand your vocabulary the fun way. See also

The B words are the best
The C words can be cute
D is for devious virgins

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