Basque Country


Try out your Basque

The 6 nicest words in Basque

What is it that makes a word especially nice? It is probably a mixture of its sound, its meaning and the associations each of us makes in our head. That’s why it’s impossible to make a single list of the nicest words in a language. Even so, we present a few in Basque here. We hope you like them and that by the end of your trip you’ll have learnt some new words you like, too.



This is a girl’s name and also one of our most romantic verbs. Want to declare your love in Basque? Say, “Maite zaitut.”



Pronounce this word slowly and you’ll see how it seems to flutter. It means “butterfly”, though they are also called “tximeleta”.



Water, the most basic element, has this simple, sonorous name in Basque: “ur”, just two letters to represent the whole origin of life.



This means “cute”, “smart” or “dressed up”. It’s one of those words that fill your mouth when you say them - and flattery that any woman would like to hear.



This is a delicate, soft word, just like the constant light rain it refers to. Nowadays it is also used in Spanish. In Basque it is a well-loved word and it is said that Bilbao, for example, would not be the same without its zirimiri.



“Heart” in Basque. As in many other languages, it refers not only to the vital organ, but has an important metaphorical meaning. “Bihotz oneko” (good-hearted) is that which is noble, and “bihotz hautsia” (broken heart) is what you have when you’ve been let down. The famous singer-songwriter Mikel Laboa used to sing a beautiful song called “Antzinako bihotz” (Archaic Heart), with part of the lyrics in German.