LATINO VOICES
09/30/2015 04:37 pm ET Updated Oct 01, 2015

How One Spanish Letter Totally Changes The Meaning Of These 9 Words

Respect the “ñ”!

The letter “ñ” gets no respect.

Pronounced "enye," the fifteenth letter in the Spanish alphabet is often misused or completely left out of Spanish (or Spanglish) text messages, captions and social media status updates, be it due to human error or autocorrect. Either way, this is a huge problem.

When you replace an “ñ” with "n", you can completely change the meaning of certain Spanish words and names. Oftentimes, those little swaps can be the difference between expressing a sweet sentiment and making a total fool of yourself. But don't just take our word for it, see for yourself.

These nine words take on completely different meanings when you replace the “ñ” with the regular ole letter "n". Can you think of any others? Share them in the comment section below. 

  • Año versus Ano
    “Happy New Anus," said anyone who has ever texted “Feliz Ano Nuevo” to loved ones on New Years. Oops! The w
    Getty
    “Happy New Anus," said anyone who has ever texted “Feliz Ano Nuevo” to loved ones on New Years. Oops! The word they were likely looking for is año, which means year. Ano, as you may have guessed by now, means anus.
  • Moño versus Mono
    Do not caption your YouTube hair tutorial "Ballerina mono on fleek" unless, of course, your pet monkey is totally on poi
    Getty
    Do not caption your YouTube hair tutorial "Ballerina mono on fleek" unless, of course, your pet monkey is totally on point -- or en pointe. Otherwise, you're going to want to slap a tilde (squiggly line) on that "n". Moño is the Spanish word for bun.
  • Coño versus Cono
    Type cono when you mean coño and you’re essentially doing what that ducking jerk autocorrect does anytime you tr
    Getty
    Type cono when you mean coño and you’re essentially doing what that ducking jerk autocorrect does anytime you try to type the f-bomb in a text. That's because coño is a Spanish curse word. Cono, however, is just the Spanish word for cone.
  • Ordeñar versus Ordenar
    To ordeñar is to milk something, like a cow, a goat... or anything that has nipples. To ordenar, however, is to o
    Getty
    To ordeñar is to milk something, like a cow, a goat... or anything that has nipples. To ordenar, however, is to organize, order or arrange something. Totally different!
  • Campaña versus Campana
    Campaña is the Spanish word for campaign. Remove the tilde and you get the Spanish word for bell. That said, do you th
    Getty
    Campaña is the Spanish word for campaign. Remove the tilde and you get the Spanish word for bell. That said, do you think ringing campanas whenever someone misspells "campaña" will help deter them from making the same mistake again? Just a thought. 
  • Uña versus Una
    You can't paint your unas, people, because una means one. You can, however, paint your uñas, aka your nails.
    Getty
    You can't paint your unas, people, because una means one. You can, however, paint your uñas, aka your nails.
  • Montaña versus Montana
    Montaña means mountain in Spanish. Montana is a U.S. state. Here's a fun fact: Montana is a derivation of the Lat
    Getty
    Montaña means mountain in Spanish. Montana is a U.S. state. Here's a fun fact: Montana is a derivation of the Latin word "montaanus" which means mountainous. 
  • Ñame versus Name
    Ñames (aka yams) by any other name will still taste as yummy. But ask your significant other to pick up a couple of "n
    Getty
    Ñames (aka yams) by any other name will still taste as yummy. But ask your significant other to pick up a couple of "names" from the market, and you'll both be bitter when he or she comes home empty handed and confused. 

  • Peña versus Pena
    And last but not least: This is Michael Peña -- spelled with an “ñ”! Without a tilde his last
    Mun2.tv
    And last but not least: This is Michael Peña -- spelled with an “ñ”! Without a tilde his last name becomes pena, the Spanish word for pity -- which is what it is when people drop, swap out or flat out ignore the “ñ”.

 

Also on HuffPost:

PHOTO GALLERY
15 Reasons Every American Should Learn Spanish
CONVERSATIONS