A guiri guide to ería
If you’re having a relaxed wander along a high street in Spain, you might find you’re coming across a lot of Spanish words that end in ería – the shop names! Whilst you’ll see plenty of the big-name brands scattered about, if you’re looking for a traditional Spanish shop then look out for those which have names that end in ería. This suffix is added on to a noun, that noun will be the main product of the shop. So if you’re having a quiet afternoon in the city and fancy a coffee to keep up your spirits then you’ll want to have a look around for a ‘café’-‘t’-‘ería’!
This can all be explained with a look back at some Latin. The Spanish suffix ‘ería’ derives from the Latin ‘area’ meaning ‘place of’, so a specific shop is the ‘place of X’. It actually makes a lot of sense! (If you’re interested in a bit of Spanish etymology, you can easily find out about word origins online!) Below is a list of some of the typical shops that end in ería that you’ll find on the high street – see if you can find all of them on your next trip out! This just proves that you don’t have to be registered for Spanish courses or attend a Spanish school to learn the Spanish language – learning resources are all around!
Shops names, the most popular Spanish words that end in ería
- Cafetería – Café: Coffee shop This is the one you’ll probably have come across the most. They tend to be a happy mix of a café and a bar!
- Pollería – Pollo: Roasted chicken shop.
- Cervecería – Cerveza: Brewery.
- Bocatería – Bocadillo: Sandwich shop
- Churrería – Churro: Churros stand. It’s a good idea to try out a few of these, just so you make sure you’ve experienced the best… that’s the excuse we like to use anyway!
- Heladería – Helado: Ice cream parlour. And usually it’s proper artisanal ice cream, yum!
- Frutería – Fruta: Fruit shop. In Spain, the fruit is big, juicy, fresh, and cheap! It’s the best place to buy fruit.
- Papelería – Papel: Stationery shop
- Librería – Libro: Book shop
- Zapatería – Zapato: Shoe shop
- Floristería – Flor: Florist
- Perfumería – Perfume: Perfumery
- Joyería – Joyas: Jewellery shop
The exceptions for Spanish words that end in ería
However, as you’ll be familiar with if you’ve been studying Spanish for a little while, there are always some exceptions… unfortunately the rule is not as simple as adding ería to everything and anything! Here’s a few important examples you need to be aware of:
- Farmacia: Pharmacy – this word actually comes from Greek!
- Supermercado: Supermarket
- Biblioteca: Library
- Banco: Bank
- Estanco: this is where tobacco is sold. If you try looking for a ‘fumistería’, you won’t have any luck!
Spanish words that end in ería, in the following cases, are related to words ending in ‘ero/era’ indicating the person related to the product. For example, from carne (meat) there exists carnicero (the butcher), and it’s the latter form that is then used to create the place name: carnicería (butchers)
- Panadería: Panadero (baker) > Pan (bread)
- Peluquería: Peluquero (hairdresser) > Pelo (hair)
Equally, the reverse doesn’t always work either. Whilst you can identify peluquero within peluquería, sometimes it’s not so simple. We can go back to the word pharmacy again as an irregular to see how you could fall into a trap. As we know, a pharmacy (farmacia) is run by a pharmacist (farmacéutico), as you can see the Spanish words are a bit more of a stretch!
Hopefully, by sharing this knowledge, we’ll have helped you out on your next shopping spree! There’s no doubt that knowing these Spanish words that end in ería will come in handy and you don’t have to study Spanish to be in-the-know!