pluma vs. boligrafo vs. lapicero...

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by AlexanderSupertramp, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. AlexanderSupertramp Senior Member

    US English
    What's the proper way to say pen in espanol? pluma vs. boligrafo vs. lapicero
  2. babep Senior Member

    Catalan/Castillian/English (Mallorca, Spain/ex-10 years USA)
    In Spain
    pluma = fountain pen
    bolígrafo = pen, ballpoint pen
    lapiz, lapicero = pencil
  3. mnewcomb71 Senior Member

    Detroit, MI
    USA - English
    And in Spain, we often hear "bolï" for pen.

    Tienes un boli?
  4. fsabroso

    fsabroso Moderadiólogo

    South Texas
    Perú / Castellano
    Well, this is something confuse, even for a Spanish speaker.
    Why, because the countries call "pen" in different ways:
    Chile: Lapiz (pen), because the pencil is called lapiz grafito.
    Perú: Lapicero
    Mexico: pluma

  5. Mirlo

    Mirlo Senior Member

    Castellano, Panamá/ English-USA
    To tell you the truth you can also use:
    We use it that way in Panamá we also know the term:"bolígrafo"
    but is kind of formal.

    pencil holder= lapicero
  6. ojitoschulos68 New Member

    U.S español/ingles
    i use lapicera as pen. my parents are mexicans and I know Mexicans mostly use the word pluma for pen but certain sections of mexico use different words = lapicera o lapicero
  7. ERASMO_GALENO Senior Member

    Lima limón
    Perú, Español

    As you see, the are different translations for pen all over Latin America and Spain. Here in Peru, as Felix said, we use lapicero. Maybe bolígrafo would be understood by more people than the other single options.

  8. laubaar New Member

    Buenos Aires
    English, USA
    And just to add to the confusion:

    Ecuador = esfero
    Argentina = birome
  9. Charis Member

    en algunas partes de Mexico
    pluma, lapicero y boligrafo es lo mismo y serían: pen
    portaminas seria el lapiz de puntillas: propelling pencil o mechanical pencil
    y lapiz de grafito, de madera y de esos que se les saca punta: pencil
    Aunque en otras partes pluma es pen y lapicero: propelling o mechanical pencil :confused:

  10. rq554 Senior Member

    Peru Spanish
    Yo siempre he estado acostumbrado a utilizar "lapicero" como la traducción de "pen", pero como hay tanta confusión prefiero usar bolígrafo que se entiende en todos los países
  11. Escalador Senior Member

    Ciudad de Guatemala
    Español de Guatemala
    Si usted dice bolígrafo, en todos lados entenderán lo mismo. La traducción que yo utilizaría para pen es bolígrafo.
  12. lmariano4.6 New Member

    Castellano de Argentina
    Hello mister. In Argentina, we say "Birome", in honour to Laslo Biro, the hungarian inventor who creates the ballpoint pen around the 40´s. His wonderfull creation was made in Argentina.
  13. sergio11 Senior Member

    Los Angeles and Buenos Aires
    Spanish (lunfardo)

    It depends on what you mean by pen. It often happens that the extent of a word meaning in one language is not the same as in another one, so that word forms cannot be translated by word forms, but meanings are translated by meanings, and five different meanings of a word in one language may have five different translations in the other language.

    A pen is an ink-based writing instrument. It can be a dip pen, which you dip in ink in order to write, such as a quill, a cane, or a stylus, or it can be a reservoir pen, where the ink is contained in a reservoir inside the pen: such are the fountain pens and the more modern ballpoint pens, roller point pens and all the other variety of newer pens, of which there is a large selection. By contrast, a pencil is a graphite writing instrument, not ink-based, and again, whether it is real graphite or any of the newer synthetic materials is indifferent for this purpose.

    Pluma literally means feather, and the name was adopted when the pen used to be a goose feather, that is, a quill. Nowadays, pluma by itself is the metal nib of the pen. By extension, the whole pen is often called a pluma. In many countries it is called a lapicera, instead of pluma.

    The proper name for the pen, meaning by pen the instrument that holds the metal nib, is portaplumans, very little used, but nevertheless the correct name.

    In Argentina we call lapicera both the fountain pen and the dip pen. We call pluma the nib itself. However, if you call pluma the whole pen, as it is done in other countries, nobody looks at you as if you were a Martian: everybody understands you.

    In Spanish, a pencil is called lápiz, and a pen is called lapicera. The different kinds of pen have different names.

    Thus, a fountain pen is called a lapicera fuente, lapicera estilográfica o estilógrafo, or simply a fuente. The most common name is a lapicera fuente.

    A ballpoint pen is called lapicera a bolilla, bolígrafo or birome. The most common name in Argentina is birome, as Imariano said, in honor of László Biró, its inventor.

    In some countries, the pen is called lapicero instead of lapicera, but lapicero is technically a pencil holder, not a pen.

    All of these meanings and usages have been checked with different diccionaries and the Dictionary of the Real Academia Española.

    I hope it helps, or maybe it confuses you more. Forgive me if it is the latter.

  14. Dulcechaska Senior Member

    English - United States
    I just wanted to comment - boligrafo isn't the most understood in my experiences. I translated a school supply list and some of the Mexican parents did not understand boligrafo - they thought it was some kind of notebook. They told me I HAVE to use lapicero. Since lapicero is also confusing, I think I am just going to change it to boligrafo/pluma on the list.

    Sorry if that just made things more confusing.
  15. Alex5 Senior Member

    Spanish and Catalan - Spain, Catalonia

    En España, Pen: Boli, bolígrafo.

  16. Darío Anselmo

    Darío Anselmo Senior Member

    COSTA RICA - Spanish
    Idéntica situación nos sucede a los costarricenses. 'Lapicero' es lo que usamos cotidianamente para pen, y también se dice 'bolígrafo' en un registro más formal. :thumbsup: Nunca empleamos la abreviación "boli" porque para nosotros eso es otra cosa: es el nombre de esa bebida congelada que va dentro de una bolsa plástica alargada (tema para otro hilo).

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