Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Sunday July 22, 2012

colar, noun:
to strain; to push in; to gatecrash

The basic meaning of colar is to strain something, such as vegetables or pasta:

Colar los fideos y echar en una sartén.
Drain the spaghetti and put it in a saucepan.

From this basic meaning come two metaphorical meanings. They both use the reflexive form, colarse. First, to jump the line, or jump the queue. Notice how the -o of colar changes to -ue in some cases:

No te cueles.
Don’t jump the line, don’t push in.

The second meaning of colarse is to gatecrash a party.

Me sentí como si me hubiera* colado en una fiesta.
I felt as if I’d gatecrashed a party.

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