ascuas [noun, plural] – embers; hot coals
The other day I was trying to explain to Alejandro what a Dutch oven is. “Es una especie de olla que se pone en la chimenea, encima de las…“ (It’s a kind of cooking pot that you put in the fireplace, on top of the…”) And here my vocab let me down. “Ascuas?” suggested Alejandro. Ooh! Plain old brasas was actually the word I was looking for, but ascuas is a great one for my fellow Spanish wordsmiths and language lovers. It’s been lurking in my passive vocab for a while, but I doubt I’d ever produce the word spontaneously since it’s essentially a synonym for “brasas“, which is bound to come out first (on a good day!) And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what this ‘ere blog is all about. My pleasure. 😉
This also reminded me of a conversation I had a while ago with my subtitler friend Marta, who admitted to being “en ascuas“, on tenterhooks, in suspense, impatient to find out what would happen next, when an episode of the TV series we were working on ended on a cliff hanger. Also, my father-in-law, who has an idiom for every occasion, told me there’s an expression “arrimar el ascua a su sardina“, meaning “to look after number one” or “to take [an unfair] advantage“. Now I’m just blatantly trying to squish in some posh expressions before the end of the year, as I promised Alison, my Spanish lecturer friend, I’d do, in my new year’s resolutions. Whoops-a-daisy. Is it that time of year again already?!