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Jane April 30, 2008 07:04 PM

El colmo...
¡Esto es el colmo!
I know that here in Spain colmo means something like the limit or the last straw, but i´d like to know if it´s used differently in other spanish speaking countries. And if yes, how is it used?

Tomisimo April 30, 2008 10:01 PM

It's used pretty much the same in México.
Es el cooooolmo que te hayas equivocado siendo tan inteligente.
Es el colmo que siendo carpintero no te puedes hacer una puerta.
that's the limit ... that's utterly ridiculous are two good translations.

También he escuchado por ejemplo:
Es el colmo de la elegancia.
It's the height of elegance.

Alfonso May 01, 2008 05:06 AM

Hi, Jane,
You have some more information about el colmo here, without going away from Tomísimo.
The examples David has given to us are also very commonly used in Spain.

poli May 01, 2008 06:46 AM

In English we use epitome (pronounced epítomy) and the height where Spanish speakers use colmo. I notice that epitome is also a Spanish word. Is it synonimous to colmo in Spanish?

This is the epitome of beauty/ This is the height of beauty
This is the epitome of nonsense/ This is the height of nonsense

Alfonso May 01, 2008 09:00 AM

Epítome is completely different from colmo, as epítome is a really formal / academic way to mean abstract (of an article, essay, etc.).

Epítome es sinónimo de resumen, pero se usa mucho más resumen. La etimología griega de epítome lo convierte en una palabra que casi sólo se usa en el ámbito de la Filología.

Alfonso May 01, 2008 09:04 AM


Originally Posted by poli (Post 7460)
This is the epitome of beauty
This is the epitome of nonsense

I understand epitome is used in the previous sentences with the nuance of abstract, which is its Greek meaning. Is epitome commonly used in English?

Elaina May 01, 2008 09:11 AM

The word itself, "epitome" is not commonly used.


Rusty May 01, 2008 09:12 AM

Yes, it is very commonly used.

She is the epitome of beauty. He is the epitome of a hard worker.
But, 'he is at the height of his career' is more common than 'he is at the epitome of his career.'

poli May 01, 2008 09:12 AM

Yes,epitome is common. Because it has more than two syllables less educated people are less likely to use it, but just about everyone understands it. It's common. You can use essence too.
This is the essence of stupidity
This is the essence of brilliance

Se puede usar esencia así. Ejemplo: Eso es la esencia de lo absurdo.

Elaina May 01, 2008 09:14 AM

To tell you the truth, I have not heard that word used in years. I've heard essence, height, etc but not epitome.

Maybe I live in the "wrong part of town".


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