Y el ganador es.....
Well, the votes are in, and the winner is no surprise, at least not to this adopted española. The fact that Spanish speakers, largely here in Spain, chose love, and liberty and peace, and life and hope....may seem a cliché, but it isn't. I live alongside people who wear their values on their sleeves.....and who think of words as much more than words. I have no better way to describe my reaction than to say, yep, I would have guessed they'd choose those words....and smile for living here.
The words that received the most votes, in order, were:
1. Amor (do I really need to translate that?)
2. Libertad Liberty
3. Paz Peace
4. Vida Life
5. Azahar Orange blossom
6. Esperanza Hope
7. Madre Mother
8. Mamá Just like it sounds. Mum, mom, take your pick.
9. Amistad Friendship
10. Libélula Firefly, one of my favorites
The top 26 words, and all the reasons voters gave for choosing them are posted (in Spanish, of course) at the Escuela de Escritores site. They are a little hard to find; scroll down a bit, keeping an eye to the left side of the home page.
They comment that many of the 100 most chosen words are words of Arab origin, such as alféizar (windowsill, despite my earlier mortifying error misidentifying it here, isn't it gorgeous?), azahar, albahaca (basil) and ajedrez (chess). When I look back at my own list of favorites I see I, too, chose lots of Arab influenced words - like almohada (pillow) and berenjena (eggplant), ojalá and now let's add albaricoque (my much-loved apricots).
Mmmm, gives me a hankering to hear Arabic spoken...
A smiling aside: I have just discovered that another of my favorite Spanish words -favorite because it amuses me - also has Arab roots. Fulano, or fulanito, as I usually hear it, means, more or less, "what's his name".