escabechina

El bosque está hecho una escabechina, con ramas y arboles rotos por todas partes.

escabechina [noun, f] – disaster, destruction, massacre

The forests in our area of Madrid have been completely decimated after last month’s big snow storm. The paths are still strewn with fallen branches because the forestry services (cuatro gatos) have a ton of work to do, clearing broken trees and lopping branches.

My friend Silvia said our favourite local pine forest was “una escabechina“, which tickled my word radar and sent me scrabbling for my pen (well, OK, it’s my phone these days).

Here’s the RAE dictionary explanation for escabechina:

De escabechar.

  1. f. coloq. Destrozo o estrago. U.t. en sent. fig. Le hicieron una escabechina al cortarle el pelo.
  2. f. coloq. Abundancia de suspensos en un examen.

So, escabechina means a scene of total destruction or a disaster zone. And other dictionaries mention the word “massacre” too.

It’s also used in the figurative sense, (as indicated by the weird-looking dictionary acronym “U. t. en sent. fig.“) in the example above. (“The hairdresser made a total botch job of his hair”.) There’s that word again, botch job, chapuza. Ha, I love it!

Dear reader, bear with me as I may go quiet for a month or two now. I’m cooking up an exciting new project that scares me and excites me in equal measure (as my amazing coach-friend-mentor Kelly Pietrangeli says dreams should do!)

I’ve given it my all in the Podcasting for Business Facebook group over the last few days, as I’m hoping to win a free place on the Start Your Podcast In Six Weeks course by the fabulous Lynsay Anne Gould next week. I’m aiming to start a podcast in a couple of months, especially for people who may have struggled to learn Spanish the traditional way, with all sorts of weird and wonderful (and slightly wacky) tips and tricks to take people from beginner to fluency with ease (and lots of fun!) There. I’ve said it. So now I’ve got to do it. Eek.

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Vocab

Spanish

cuatro gatos (four cats) [idiom] – very few people, hardly anyone

U.t. en sent. fig. [usado también en sentido figurado] – also used in the figurative sense

chapuza [noun, f] – botch job

English

decimate [verb] – [lit] diezmar; destrozar

strewn [p.p. verb “to strew”] – desparramado, esparcido, tirado

lop [verb] – cortar (ramas)