Posted by: janecronin | August 22, 2011

A great Spanish word – male and female dovetailing


I admit this is not the most common of words, but I liked it so much when I learnt it, that I feel inspired to share it with the world at large.  The word is:  “machihembrar”.

This comes from “macho” meaning male (not male chauvinist, just biological male) and “hembra” which means female.  These are the words always used about animals, but also apply to humans in the biological sense.

Those who are “handy round the house” will already be aware that male and female are terms used to describe plug and sockets and similar connections, for obvious reasons.

Well, the other day I was teaching English to some Spanish students of architecture, who started telling me how the Eiffel tower was constructed, using the term “machihembrado” to describe the slotted in joints.  Well, the only translation I can find for this is “dovetail”, although not being an architect, builder, or technician of any sort, I don’t know whether they are the same thing. 

Good word though ….

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