The Language of Chocolate

Ah chocolate, that little sinful delight that you can pretty much find in every corner of the globe. Eat it, drink it, wear it or even play with it, you simply can’t get away from it. Since it’s National Chocolate Week I was curious to find out where the word ‘chocolate’ actually comes from.

Unfortunately there isn’t really a concrete answer that states its exact origins. Some believe it comes from the Aztec (Nahuatl) word ‘chocolatl‘ which referred to a substance produced from the seeds of the cacau tree. Others believe the Spanish coined it from the Mayan word ‘chocol‘ (hot) and the Aztec word ‘atl‘ (water) when early explorers came across a beverage made from the seeds.

It only goes to show how far back the beginnings of chocolate as we know it are embedded into our history. If you’re looking for interesting ways to use the word chocolate in other languages, here are a few to start you off with.


If you ever come across something or someone that you find utterly useless, then the expression ‘as much use as a chocolate teapot‘ might come in handy. Science has even proven how useless a chocolate teapot really is.

In French, you might use the phrase ‘tablettes de chocolat‘ to refer to a particularly svelte and toned looking man. There are some things about the French language that I just love.

Es el chocolate del loro‘ in Spanish literally translates to ‘the parrot’s chocolate’, but is in fact referring to the insignificance of a small amount of money when compared to a much larger amount. I’m still trying to work out where the parrot comes into this, though.

And if you find yourself in a particularly confusing situation that defies all sense of logic and cohesion, don’t hesitate to swap the English idiom ‘it’s all Greek to me’ for the Dutch ‘daar kan ik geen chocola van maken’ which translates to ‘I can’t make chocolate of that’.

Do you know any other chocolate based expressions? Do let us know! I’m sure they’ll be positively delicious…



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