Spanish vocabulary

I'm moving to Barcelona: Spanish vocabulary that comes from brand names

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Looking for 'típex' or a 'clínex'? You can thank brand names for these words that have found their way into the official register of the Spanish language.

I was quite surprised that here in Spain a lot of brand names are widely used to name common things. I dug into it and found that some of these words already form part of the official Spanish language.

This happens when a word becomes recognised by the Real Academia Española (RAE). The RAE seems to have been keeping pace with the spoken language by adding new words every year – sometimes even a few times a year. In 2005, they made 9,029 changes in the dictionary. In 2012, they added words like espanglish for Spanglish or friki for freak. Everything gets espanisized.

Strange words for simple things

Coming back to the main subject, we can easily find out which brand was commonly used or the first one to arrive in the country just by the names the Spanish give to certain objects.

Túper or Táper

A plastic food container, which comes from the word Tupperware®. The name is used for all food containers in which you normally take your lunch to work.


A name for sneakers that probably comes from the first successful company to make cloth shoes in the country. Today the term is also used to refer to zapatillas. It gets even funnier when you check the real brand name and discover how their products look.

Bambas Snickers Pan Bimbo

A term for loaves of bread from the popular company Bimbo®.

Pan Bimbo bread in Spain

Papel Albal

Name for aluminium foil from brand Albal®.

Papel Albal aluminium foil

Clínex or Klínex

A commonly used name for tissues, following the name of brand Kleenex®. They're Los clínex in plural form.


A name for any corn snacks, derived from popular Spanish snack brand Risi®.

Gusanitos Corn snacks


Remember that indispensable tool we had for school? Here they call white correction tapes, pens or fluids tipex, after brand Tipp-ex®.



A name for sticky plasters used for wounds, coming from company Tiritas®,


Reprinted with permission of I'm moving to Barcelona.

Logo Lucas and Sofia recently moved to Barcelona and love living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But it's even better to have somebody to guide you at the beginning of your adventure. Based on their learnings, they created, where they collect relevant data and interesting facts for other newcomers. It's Spain, it's Catalonia – and things are different here. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram too.

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