As you know, equis is the name of the letter x. However, as an adjective it conveys the idea of disappointingly ordinary or unimpressive. It’s perfect for dismissing something — or someone — as unworthy of your attention.

  • Un partido equis. This could refer to one of those small, inconsequential political parties that receives state funding but has no chance of being influential, much less of winning.
  • Es equis. He’s plain, ordinary, conventional, without redeeming qualities. Basically, someone who doesn’t meet your standards.
  • Una fiesta equis. A disappointing party with lame music, uninteresting people, no alcohol. To emphasize that the party was boring or tedious, you could say it was pesada or — more crudely — de hueva.
Taxi, Mexico City

Taxi, Mexico City

  • You can modify equis with intensifiers: muy equis, bastante equis, súper equis
  • Equis can modify a verb: Canta equis. He’s not a great singer.
  • The form is invariable: su fiesta equis, sus fiestas equis
  • It comes in handy as a one-word response:
    ¿Qué tal tu día?
  • In formal situations, choose a standard alternative: un partido equis un partido sin importancia, un partido cualquiera

Un tache

The kind of x used for crossing something out would not be una equis but rather un tache, from the verb tachar, cross out. On a form, you can indicate your selection by writing un tache ✗ instead of una palomita ✓.

Una tacha

The feminine counterpart, una tacha, refers to a hit of the recreational drug ectasy, nicknamed X in English.

One Reply to “Equis”

  1. Very informative and interesting. I am taking my first year Spanish II final exam today, and now I have new conversational material to lighten the mood with my instructor. Thanks for sharing.

    MRA: Good luck. Speaking of exams, we often use the verb presentar. Presentar un examen = take an exam. By the way, this post about equis was the very first one I wrote (a few years ago, not the date shown here).

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