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Noah Body
09-15-2009, 05:59 PM
I'm ashamed to say that, while a born Texan, my high school Spanish is failing me. I need a term that illegals from Mexico might use when referring to evil or deadly spirits or ghosts or vampires that are allegedly preying on them when they try to come across the border. Babelfish gives me such terms as bebidas espirituosas mortales or fantasmas mortales which certainly sound good to me, but would they be accurate?

A thousand thanks.

~*Kate*~
09-15-2009, 07:07 PM
I speak some Spanish and those seem... clunky. But I'm far from fluent. I pinged a friend and her husband, who is Costa Rican, and her suggestion:


I would say that there isn't really a specific term to define a "deadly" spirit, you would treat it like you do in english... just describe the ghost. Fantasma mortal would be a deadly ghost, or fantasma malvada, or fantasma maléfica... or esperitu, or vampiro..what ever you want to use there.


Malvada seems like a good one.

Noah Body
09-15-2009, 07:28 PM
I thank you...

Deb Kinnard
09-16-2009, 02:05 AM
There's also brujo or bruja for "witch". Another term I remember from Mexican-dialect is hechi to describe a malignant spirit, but this may be a localism and not valid for what you want.

You could use ánimo malvado for "evil spirit."

"Vampire" of course is chupacabra.

Kitty Pryde
09-16-2009, 02:13 AM
I'm ashamed to say that, while a born Texan, my high school Spanish is failing me. I need a term that illegals from Mexico might use when referring to evil or deadly spirits or ghosts or vampires that are allegedly preying on them when they try to come across the border. Babelfish gives me such terms as bebidas espirituosas mortales or fantasmas mortales which certainly sound good to me, but would they be accurate?

A thousand thanks.

ROFL! bebidas espirituosas mortales means ghostly fatal beverages. That's spirits as in vodka, rum, and tequila :roll:

fantasmas mortales is deadly ghosts. or spirits. That works.

The word I always knew for ghost was espiritu. Check out: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/evil I'd say espiritu malo or espiritu maligno. But maybe wait for an actual spanish speaker to come through :)

Kitty Pryde
09-16-2009, 02:15 AM
"Vampire" of course is chupacabra.

Chupacabra is goat sucker! That's a very specialized form of vampire :D (chupa=suck, cabra=goat) Vampiro for your regular vampires who don't exclusively attack goats.

Noah Body
09-16-2009, 04:51 PM
ROFL! bebidas espirituosas mortales means ghostly fatal beverages. That's spirits as in vodka, rum, and tequila :roll:


Gotta love Babelfish! :D

backslashbaby
09-17-2009, 12:05 AM
:ROFL:

I'd go with fantasma or espiritu [sp?] but I'm not a native speaker.

Bruja always struck me as literally 'witch,' as in not a spirit at all.

melaniehoo
09-17-2009, 12:08 AM
My husband (whose Mexican and knows a thing or two about this) says he has no idea what you would call that. He says if anything it would be "angels looking out for us" and the evil spirits, or devils, are what's waiting across the border.

backslashbaby
09-17-2009, 12:11 AM
Here's a link on the terms I mentioned themselves:

http://espanol.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080122184519AAtOPM2

So, I'm getting that espiritu might be too much like alma - it might not seem scary at all but more spiritual.

MattW
09-17-2009, 12:11 AM
El cucuy or something similar might be more culturally specific, while less accurate to the needs of your story. If the characters don't know what it is, they would assume it's the devil they already have a word for.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuco

melaniehoo
09-17-2009, 12:12 AM
El cucuy or something similar might be more specific culturally, while less specific to the needs of your story. If the characters don't know what it is, they would assume it's the devil they already have a word for.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuco

Ooh, that's a good one. I've heard that described as the Mexican equivalent of the Boogeyman.

Noah Body
09-17-2009, 05:22 PM
Oh that's nice, thanks!

Tsu Dho Nimh
09-19-2009, 07:29 PM
If you are near a river, La Llorona is nice to use. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Llorona

She's only dangerous to wandering children.

Ghosts are fantasmos.

beqs
09-20-2009, 07:49 AM
I'm Mexican (but not illegal!)

Unsure of whether what you're looking for is a specific legend/belief of crossing wetbacks, I can tell you what some of the words already suggested mean, and how to spell them correctly:

demonio - demon
espiritu - spirit
fantasma - ghost
bruja - witch
vampiro - vampire
monstruo - monster
diablo - devil

La Llorona - she's a wailing lady pining for her kids
El Chupacabra - an allegedly real 'monster' or animal which sucks the blood of cattle and sheep at night

Feel free to ask me more specific stuff, I'd be happy to help.