One of the most typical existential doubts that a Spanish student can have in English is choosing between hungry /ˈhʌŋgri/  and angry /ˈæŋgri/, mostly due to the pronunciation of the two words. And you can add to that the difficulty of differentiating between the u /ʌ/ and the a /æ/ as Spanish has a composite sound similar to a mix of the two.

One way of remembering the words is to remember that hungry starts with an h like hambre. And remember Hungary can be pronounced exactly the same as hungry but means Hungría. All clear so far?!

But then you find the word hangry and wonder if someone has made a spelling mistake. Well, actually they haven’t. Hangry fits into the category of portmanteau words; ones that combine parts of two words, such as smog (smoke and fog) and brunch (breakfast and lunch). It’s a really economical way of coining new phrases; it’s like two for the price of one in a lexical supermarket.

Hangry is a neologism from the world of psychology and combines…. yes, you guessed it, hungry and angry. In psychology, it refers to becoming angry when you get hungry and needing to satisfy your hunger as soon as possible.

Does that happen to you? Do you get in a bad mood when you’re feeling hungry, and suddenly become hangry? A large part of successful dieting is being able to control this emotion. Have you tried drinking water to reduce your appetite? It works! Really! And now there’s a trend towards fasting. If you tend to get hangry then you’ll need more work before moving onto that.

So, if you’re not a native English speaker, you now have another word to master!

So, do you get hangry? It’s food for thought!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s