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The -azo/aza Suffix

The Spanish -azo/aza suffix is mostly used as an augmentative, an affix that reinforces the original word. It may also be used to denote a hit or blow given with (or to) the object to which the suffix is attached. Let's find some examples in our Spanish videos.

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In a new installment of the Argentinian telenovela Yago, we hear the protagonist using the -azo/aza suffix as an augmentative, by far its most common use:

 

Fue un gustazo, Lucio. -El gusto fue mío.

It was a great pleasure, Lucio. -The pleasure was mine.

Captions 74-75, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 6

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Other common examples of this use are solazo (harsh sun), golpanazo (big hit), and cuerpazo (big body, mostly used figuratively as "great body"). 

On the other hand, a puñetazo is a hit given with a puño (fist):
 

Yo digo que es como un puñetazo en el estómago.

I say it's like a punch in the stomach.

Caption 33, Festivaliando - Mono Núñez - Part 8

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In the same fashion, a porrazo is a hit given with a porra (club, baton). Probably due to its unfortunate frequent use, porrazo has come to mean any kind of hit, even a self-inflicted one or one not precisely administered with a club:  

Me di un  porrazo en la cabeza.
I gave myself a thump on the head.

Some other common examples of this use of the -azo/aza suffix are manazo (a hit given with the hand), cabezazo (a hit given with the head), trancazo (a hit given with a bar, or any hit by extension), cañonazo (a canyon shot), latigazo (a hit given with a whip), and codazo (a hit given with the elbow).

Now, as we previously said, the -azo/aza suffix is also used to express a hit given to the object represented by the word to which the suffix is appended. A good example is espaldarazo (a hit given to the back), which is only used figuratively to mean "support," as in te doy el espaldarazo (I give you my support). In Mexico and El Salvador, you will also hear the expression dar un madrazo (to hit the mother of something or someone, that is to hit really hard). Of course, as with many slang expressions that refer figuratively to motherhood, madrazo is not a polite expression, but extremely common:

 

A madrazos, en una palabra grosera.

With blows, to use a bad word.

Caption 37, ¡Tierra, Sí! - Atenco - Part 1

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By extension madrazos are also insults, harsh words:
 

... sino que nos dice un madrazo.

... but rather he says something harsh to us.

Caption 5, Región mundo - Paso a paso - Part 3

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