Bullfighting is associated with Spanish culture so much that no wonder why there are so many different Spanish words related to it.
If you want to say bullfight in Spanish, you have two possibilities:
Either use (la) corrida or (la) lidia.
(la) lidia means fight…
- (la) lidia: bullfight
But, don’t confuse corrida with fight as well, its primary meaning is run:
- (la) corrida: run
(la) lidia comes from the verb lidiar: to fight.
Corrida originates from the verb correr,which means to run.
As you probably already know “bull” is (el) toro. That’s why the full form for bullfight is actually
- corrida de toros and it is not just any bullfight. By using this word, it is meant that public spectator is present.
Which verb is used to mean “to bullfight”; lidiar, torear or correr ?
In Spanish to fight is “torear” and also “lidiar”
- torear: to fight (bull)
- lidiar: to fight (bull)
Both lidiar and torear can be used to mean to bullfight. As stated above, corrida means run. This word stems fom the verb “correr” which means “to run”. Although corrida is used to mean bullfight, “correr” is not used in this context.
BULL ≠ BULL
If you would like to mean bull in the general sense use (el) toro. But there are other terms used in the context of bullfighting.
For example, the fighting bull in the rings is called either
- Toro de lidia
- Toro bravo. Bravo is an adjective which is used for animals which are fierce. It is also used for people to mean bad-tempered.
!!! Actually, bravo is one-of those false English-Spanish false friends: it does not mean brave.
Vocabulary Related to Bullfighting Process
A corrida starts with ceremonial entry of bullfighters, which is called paseíllo.
A corrida is divided into three parts. Each of this parts is referred to as a “third” as tercios in Spanish.
dos tercios means two thirds
There is a phrase in bullfighting context which means to enter the next third of the bullfight:
- cambiar de tercio → to enter the next stage of the bullfight
How to call the fighter?
The bullfighter is called (el) torero. Torero is a general name; the well-known word (el) matador literally means killer and it refers to the fighter in the ring.