Testing, testing and swapping in the context of COVID-19

The verb "testear" appears in the "Dictionary of the Spanish language" (DLE) with a reference to the third entry of "testar", the meaning of which is to "subject a person or thing to a test or control". Tacitly included here is the subject of the test mentioned in the title of this column.

Although "testing" and "testing" are of legal use, since they are copies of the English language (from "to test"), they can be combined in those same contexts with words that are more traditional in the Spanish-speaking region, such as checking, analyzing, test, examine.

The noun testeo (‘action and effect of testar’), which was also created by the influence of the English “to test”, can also be replaced by more Spanish voices, among which are verification, analysis and examination.

With regard to "swapping" and "hisping", in the "DLE" they are registered with the meanings of "spraying water with hyssop" and "spraying with hyssop".

On the other hand, "hisping" appears in the "Dictionary of Americanisms" (DA) with the meaning of ‘moistening the palate or throat with a piece of cloth soaked in a liquid, for healing purposes. In the "DA" there is also the name hisopeado, which is the action and effect of hisopear.

In these dictionaries, the meaning of ‘using hyssop to obtain a sample of the throat or nasopharyngeal region’ has not yet entered, meaning that should not be underestimated, as it is currently very widespread in some Spanish-speaking countries. (F)

SOURCES: Dictionary of the Spanish language (electronic version), Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of doubts (2005) and Dictionary of Americanisms (2010), from the Royal Spanish Academy and the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language.


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