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pelo?

Spanish translation: pelo / cabello

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:hair
Spanish translation:pelo / cabello
Entered by: Andrea Bullrich
Options:
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15:06 Sep 5, 2001
English to Spanish translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: pelo?
I didn´t want to convolute "Cutie Pie´s" question, but the past couple days there have been a couple "pelo/cabello" wars, and I would sincerely like a clarification. No insults, please, only explanations of when it is appropriate to use these two terms. For example: "Te queda bien el pelo/cabello corto." "Esta mañana me lavé el pelo/cabello." "Ella se tiñó el pelo/cabello." "Me compré un producto muy bueno para el pelo/cabello." Is there any time when pelo (especially in Spain, although I´d like to know the rules for everywhere) cannot be used completely interchangeably with cabello? If so, what´s the difference? Thanks a million! These questions have left sincere doubts in my mind. :)
AngelaMR
In Mexico, regarding register of pelo vs. cabello
Explanation:
A quote from "Cassell's Colloquial Spanish" (1980, 3rd edition) by A Bryson Gerrard:

<begin quote>
PELO: 'hair', in a wide sense including the fur of an animal. Dictionaries give you *cabello* but this is almost obsolete in Spain and considered rather *cursi* in Buenos Aires. </end quote>

NOT IN MEXICO! the whole register of this pair of words is shifted over perceptibly towards the formal. You might refer to your own hair disparagingly as pelo (although cabello would be fine, not cursi at all), but you would be taking quite a liberty to call someone else's hair "pelo", it is "cabello" unless you are speaking very informally and/or intimately. For instance if you are on "usted" terms with someone, the hair on their head is *definitely* cabello.
Selected response from:

GoodWords
Mexico
Local time: 09:29
Grading comment
Excellent! Succinct, meaningful answer! I appreciate everyone's responses as they were all very helpful in clarifying my doubts!!! :) Thanks, GoodWords!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
na +4Some information
HANRATH
na +3let's look it up :-)
Patricia Lutteral
na +2cabello o cabelleraLafuente
na +1Más información capilarolv10siq
na +1In Mexico, regarding register of pelo vs. cabello
GoodWords
na +1Pelo/Cabelloadradas
na +1More information...
Andrea Bullrich
naCabello = Pelobea0
naPelo o Cabello, that is the question.
Camara
naCabello es más "formal"bea0


  

Answers


9 mins peer agreement (net): +4
Some information


Explanation:
This I'm sure:

At least in Spain, you must NEVER use "cabello" if it is not located in the head.

Hope it helps!!

HANRATH
Spain
Local time: 16:29
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in CatalanCatalan
PRO pts in pair: 1262

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Andrea Bullrich: : )))
2 mins
  -> Thanks!!

agree  bea0: That´s true. :)
7 mins
  -> Thank you!!

agree  Andrea Cerdido Casal: de acuerdo con eso y también con lo dicho sobre el registro formal/informal
18 mins
  -> ¡Gracias!

agree  olv10siq
6 hrs
  -> Thank you.
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14 mins
Cabello = Pelo


Explanation:

Cabello y pelo significan lo mismo.

Por ejemplo:

Me corté el cabello/pelo.

En este caso, pelo debe ir en singular. Si pusiera "pelos", no se estaría refiriendo a la cabellera como un todo, sino a otros tipos de vello corporal, o a una parte del cabello.



Espero te sirva.





bea0
United States
Local time: 10:29
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 79
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20 mins
Cabello es más "formal"


Explanation:

En contexto formales, cabello queda mejor que "pelo". Lo que no quiere decir necesariamente que "pelo" sea un término vulgar.

bea0
United States
Local time: 10:29
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 79
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21 mins
Pelo o Cabello, that is the question.


Explanation:
Estimado Angelote:

Para mí es muy simple, por ejemplo: mi novio tiene pelo en el pecho (aparte es un hombre de pelo en pecho)y el día que le encuentre un cabello más le vale que sea el mio!

Del diccionario de VOX

cabello (l. capillu)

1 m. Pelo que nace en la cabeza del hombre, y conjunto de todos ellos: ~ merino, el crespo y muy espeso.

pelo (l. pilu)


1 m. Filamento cilíndrico, de naturaleza córnea, que nace de la dermis de la mayor parte de los mamíferos.
2 Conjunto de pelos que cubren el cuerpo o una parte del cuerpo, esp. conjunto de los cabellos del hombre:


Camara
United States
Local time: 10:29
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 162
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22 mins peer agreement (net): +1
Pelo/Cabello


Explanation:
Angelote,

Your question is absolutely correct! In Buenos Aires, in informal talking we say "pelo" and not "cabello", just because it is the way we talk (Rioplatense spanish). For example: ¡Qué lindo tenés el pelo! (We DO NOT say: ¡Qué lindo tenés el cabello!. In TV ads and depending on the context they also say "pelo" most of the time, but the product's labels use "cabello", for example: "Shampoo suave para cabellos teñidos" instead of "Shampoo suave para pelos teñidos". That would sound...you know...ackward.
However, in some Argentine provinces they use "cabello" because they do not speak in "Rioplatense" Spanish.
This is a matter of context, region and some other things that other pros will surely explain. I understand your confusion... Good luck!

adradas
PRO pts in pair: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Patricia Lutteral: opinadoras, las argies! menos mal que estamos de acuerdo :-))
22 mins
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24 mins peer agreement (net): +1
More information...


Explanation:
En este caso directo desde Buenos Aires, Argentina.

En primer lugar estoy de acuerdo con HANRATH, si no está en la cabeza no es cabello seguro, es pelo (o pelos) en el habla informal, y vello en el habla técnica (o cuando la depiladora nos da miedo y queremos quedar bien con ella!!!)

Entonces, hablemos de la cabeza. En el uso diario, oral y escrito, hair es pelo: me lavé el pelo, me corté el pelo, me teñí el pelo, se me cae el pelo. En el lenguaje escrito, si se trata de pares (dos amigas que se cuentan, por ejemplo por mail, que se fueron a cortar el pelo, etc.), también se usa pelo. En cambio cuando el intercambio no es entre pares se puede llegar a oír o a ver "cabello", que de todos modos suena un poco forzado, o rebuscado, o demasiado formal, pero que es apto para lo que le decía a Cutie Pie (!): para las etiquetas de estos productos, para algunos tipos de publicidades...

Espero que te aclare un poco el panorama...

Andrea Bullrich
Local time: 12:29
Native speaker of: Spanish
PRO pts in pair: 1650

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  olv10siq
6 hrs
  -> Gracias!!!
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39 mins peer agreement (net): +3
let's look it up :-)


Explanation:
Wow, two pages for "pelo" in Manuel Seco's Diccionario del Español Actual!

Strictly speaking, "cabello" is hair grown in a human head - not in human cheeks or chin. "Pelo" is "filamento de naturaleza córnea que nace en la piel de algunos animales, esp. en los mamíferos"; some other "filamentos" in "plantas" and also in "tejidos"; and also "conjunto de los pelos que crecen en la cabeza".

So, I think you're asking about usage. I'll speak for Argentina, our colleagues will surely add to this.
In Argentina, you SAY "pelo", lavar/cortar/teñir el pelo. But for hair products labels, in ads on TV, the more "formal" way is "cabello". No strict rules, though. However, I think that using "cabello" in oral speech is rather unnatural.
So, when is "cabello" wrong or not interchangeable? when it is not A)human; or B)in/from somebody's head.

Regards,

Patricia


Patricia Lutteral
Argentina
Local time: 12:29
Native speaker of: Spanish
PRO pts in pair: 1564

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxlefki
33 mins

agree  olv10siq
6 hrs

agree  Andrea Bullrich
14 hrs
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4 hrs peer agreement (net): +2
cabello o cabellera


Explanation:
En México, utilizamos el término cabello o cabellera para hablar de lo que todos tenemos (o desearíamos tener) en la cabeza.

Usamos la palabra vello para referirnos a todo lo demás.

Para nosotros, la palabra “pelos” tiene otros sentidos, (algunos de ellos un poco vulgares) por ejemplo:

Si queremos decir que alguien viene despeinado, decimos “traía unos pelos.....”

Montar a caballo sin silla de montar : “Montar a pelo”

Tener el 100% de seguridad de algo “Tener los pelos de la burra en la mano”

No andarse con rodeos: “No tener pelos en la lengua”

Si algo gusta mucho, como una película, se dice “Está de pelos...”

Quedarse a punto de lograr o de sufrir algo: “Me quedé (o estuve) a un pelito de ....”

En fin. Nada de esto es recomendable decirlo enfrente del jefe ni de la suegra.

Saludos,


Lafuente
PRO pts in pair: 104

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxOso: Un abrazo Lafuente!! :^)
53 mins
  -> gracias, igualmente...

agree  olv10siq
1 hr
  -> gracias
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7 hrs peer agreement (net): +1
Más información capilar


Explanation:
Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con mis colegas sobre el uso de la palabra pelo o cabello. Pero si te sirve de ayuda aquí te van una serie de modismos españoles:DE MEDIO PELO, modo de zaherir a las personas que quieren aparentar más de lo que son o para referirse a algo de poco mérito o importancia. ECHAR PELILLOS A LA MAR,olvidar o quitar importancia a las viejas rencillas.ESTAR UNO HASTA LOS PELOS,estar harto o cansado de alguna persona o de algún asunto. NO TENER UN PELO DE TONTO, ser listo y avisado. NO TENER PELOS EN LA LENGUA, hablar claro y sin tapujos. NO VER O NO VÉRSELE EL PELO A UNO,denotar la ausencia de una persona en los lugares a donde solía acudir.PONÉRSELE A UNO LOS PELOS DE PUNTA, sentir pavor, pánico. POR LOS PELOS, en el último instante ( cogió el tren por los pelos, aprobó el examen por los pelos, llegó a la cita por los pelos).
Podría pasarme toda la noche hablando sobre este tema y no terminaría.
Espero que ésto te haya aclarado la duda.
Saludos

olv10siq
Local time: 07:29
Native speaker of: Spanish
PRO pts in pair: 1987

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Andrea Bullrich
8 hrs
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15 hrs peer agreement (net): +1
In Mexico, regarding register of pelo vs. cabello


Explanation:
A quote from "Cassell's Colloquial Spanish" (1980, 3rd edition) by A Bryson Gerrard:

<begin quote>
PELO: 'hair', in a wide sense including the fur of an animal. Dictionaries give you *cabello* but this is almost obsolete in Spain and considered rather *cursi* in Buenos Aires. </end quote>

NOT IN MEXICO! the whole register of this pair of words is shifted over perceptibly towards the formal. You might refer to your own hair disparagingly as pelo (although cabello would be fine, not cursi at all), but you would be taking quite a liberty to call someone else's hair "pelo", it is "cabello" unless you are speaking very informally and/or intimately. For instance if you are on "usted" terms with someone, the hair on their head is *definitely* cabello.

GoodWords
Mexico
Local time: 09:29
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1947
Grading comment
Excellent! Succinct, meaningful answer! I appreciate everyone's responses as they were all very helpful in clarifying my doubts!!! :) Thanks, GoodWords!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Andrea Bullrich: Ahora faltaría decirle a Cassell que en Buenos Aires "cursi" ya fue!!! : )
12 mins
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