The most common Spanish word for pineapple, piña, (PEE nya), (i.e., the piña in piña colada), is unfortunately close to a number of other Spanish words that have nothing to do with tropical fruit. Below is a list of words similar to la piña one should not ever mix up when speaking Spanish. The consequences could be unforeseeably disastrous.


Do not mix up these words
  • piña - pineapple


  • penar* – to punish or receive punishment (suffer)
    (hence)
    (yo) peno - I punish/suffer
    (tú) penas - you punish/suffer
    (vosotros) penais - you (informal, plural) punish/suffer
    (él/élla/Usted) pena - he/she/You punish/suffer
    (ellos/ellas/Ustedes) penan - They/You (plural) punish/suffer
    and
    la penasorrow, or penalty


  • el pino – pine, pine tree
    (hence) el pinar – pine grove


  • peinar – to brush/comb/style (as, hair)
    (hence)
    peina – (s)he combs/styles (as, hair)
    la peina – the hairstyle


  • la peña – group of friends, social club


  • la pinga – "prick" or "dick" (i.e., slang/offensive for penis)


  • el pene – formal/clinical word for penis

In addition to referring to pineapples themselves, piña also refers to any spiky, pineapple-like fruit,* such as that found in the center of the blue agave (also called maguey) cactus. Sugar from the blue agave's piña is used in the manufacture of tequila.

By the way, in Argentine Spanish, the word used for 'pineapple' is nearly the same as in French: (el) ananá, (vs. French l'ananas, which appears to bear a relationship to the English word banana).


Sources:

- Personal experience,
- http://fida.da.gov.ph/Maguey8.html
- http://www.ianchadwick.com/tequila/production.html
- http://www.learn-spanish-help.com/argentine-spanish.html
- Wordreference.com
- "banana", Merriam Webster Online (www.m-w.com)
- *Thanks to jmpz for the gentle clarification

Pi`ña (?), n. [Sp., orig., pineapple, pine cone.]

1.

(a)

The pineapple.

(b)

Piña cloth or the fiber of which it is made.

2. Also Pi"na (pron. also &?;). (Metal.)

A cone of silver amalgam prepared for retorting; also, the residuary cone of spongy silver left after the retorting.

 

© Webster 1913


Pi`ña (?), n. [Sp., orig., pineapple, pine cone.]

1.

(a)

The pineapple.

(b)

Piña cloth or the fiber of which it is made.

2. Also Pi"na (pron. also &?;). (Metal.)

A cone of silver amalgam prepared for retorting; also, the residuary cone of spongy silver left after the retorting.

 

© Webster 1913

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