Canary islands’ Spanish words: Do you know the Canary Islands’ own language?

canary islands spanish words

This post is also available in: Español

The Canary Islands speak Spanish, don’t be scared, but it is true that they have curious words and other ways of saying certain things that may catch your attention. We teach you some of the Canary islands’ Spanish words, so you can integrate as a Canarian. Come on!


No, here the “agüita” does not refer to the literal water, as you can find in the Surf Camps Lanzarote. The word “agüita” is used as an expression to show surprise.

mount teide of tenerife

We give you an example, when you make the ascent to Teide peak you will surely hear someone exclaim: “Agüita, how high is this!”, and it would be a normal reaction, as it is 3718 meters above sea level.


This word refers to a celebration where food and drink abound. A good example of a tenderete would be the walking route among vineyards in Lanzarote. Where you will be able to drink the authentic Canarian wine.

papas arrugas de canarias
Photo by: Jaume Escofet

It could also apply to any other activity where you can enjoy the food with which delight your palate if you travel to the Canary Islands. The important thing is that you stay full. 🤤


Literally translated as restlessness. Although it may not seem so to you, this word has nothing to do with a calm person. On the contrary, it refers to a restless person who can’t stop for even a second.

It applies a lot to young children, who present a more lively character. Some synonyms for this word could be: unruly, mischievous or boisterous. Don’t you think it’s funny?


This verb refers to a super common activity. When someone is “golfiando” they are actually being gossipy, or trying to pry into some story. This is one of the Canarian words for Tenerife and La Palma.

citizens walking around la palma

A good use of the word would be for example: “There are the neighbors on the 5th floor, they’re always “golfiando” about the neighborhood”.


This is probably the most peculiar word on the list. It’s safe to say that if you hear this word in the movies you’ll know you’re near a canary, can you guess what cotufa means?

Cotufas are common popcorns. Sometimes this word is also used to refer to other types of candy. You may hear it in any of the Canary Islands.

Now that you know the Canary islands’ Spanish words… Do you feel like putting your vocabulary to work by visiting them?

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