A spanish friend of mine recently text me calling me "elementa" which i could only think meant element but it doesn't really mean anything in english to call someone that... he then called me "esquirol" which i found out meant scab!!! Is this some sort of term of endearment in spanish?? As its not a good thing to call someone in a scab in english and it doesn't make sense that he would call me that!
  • Rebis

    Senior Member
    Spanish Spain Madrid
    "Esquirol" makes reference to history, when workers started figthing for their rigths and going on strikes "huelgas". I half remember i read that some workers went on a strike asking for improve their work conditions, and the company employeed workers from a willage called esquirol to substitute them, making the original workers lost their work.
    When a strike is convoked for workers and some of them dont go on it, and instead go work, they are called "esquiroles."
    About "elementa", its an polite way to insult you. He´s just insulting you but trying to look superior not using bad words.

    Maybe you have now an enemy between your workmates...


    Senior Member
    Funny question. I have always used elementa as a term of endearment although sometimes implying some sort of mild criticism. Hardly ever could it be considered as an insult
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    Senior Member
    "Elementa" no existe en español, aunque pueda escucharse en algúna expresión familiar.

    Esquirol, como sinónimo de traidor, será insulto cuando se trate de una calumnia.



    Senior Member
    Spanish & AE
    Sorry mate, but "elementa" is used in Spain (not Mexico) in colloquial contexts when referring to females. The closest English term would be: wicked. Cheers.


    Senior Member
    Spain - Spanish
    I do think esquirol can be used in a friendly way.

    Imagine you are hungry or dying to take a break and ask a workmate to join you but he'd rather stay in to do some more work. You could call him esquirol (never meaning to hurt him.)

    Or let's say among a group of girlfriends that have always used the same brand of perfume there is one that suddenly starts using a different one. The rest of them have the legitimate right to accuse her of being a esquirol. :)D)


    thanks for all the responses :)

    The last post makes sense... as he called me esquirol after asking if i was going out this weekend and i said no i had to much work to do and he was trying to persuade me just to go thats possibly why he called me it!

    Im sure he was not saying either of the words in an offensive way :D
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    Senior Member
    Castellano (Español)
    7. m. Individuo valorado positiva o negativamente para una acción conjunta. Pedro es uno de los mejores elementos con que contamos.
    ¡Menudo elemento es Fulano!

    Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados
    Elemento/a is widely used in Spain. Its meaning varies depending on the intonation and the context, from the insult to the endearment.
    The same applies to "esquirol". The context determines whether it is an insult or a joke between friends.

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