Academy of Letters of Uruguay

Like the rest of the language academies of the pan-Hispanic world, this academy aims to:

– Preserve and enrich the Spanish spoken in Uruguay;
– Promote the development and dissemination of the variety of Uruguayan Spanish.

This academy was created by Decree-Law No. 10,360 of February 10, 1943.

Some scholars

Francisco Bauza, journalist, politician and writer, is known for his landmark achievement in Uruguayan historiography, History of Spanish Rule in Uruguay. His other important works include: literary studies, constitutional studies, theoretical and practical studies on the institution of the National Bank, essays on the formation of a middle-class and poets of the revolution. He was highly interested in various issues of his day: economy, social issues, religion, law, pedagogy and literature, and was the first president of the Catholic Workers’ Circle. Renowned for his eloquence, he named was several times as a representative and senator, minister plenipotentiary in Brazil and Minister of Government of his country.

Juan Zorrilla de San Martin, writer, journalist, teacher and diplomat. He was Judge of the Department of Montevideo, elected representative of Montevideo, Catholic activist, founder of the newspaper El Bien Público (The Public Good), and diplomat in Spain, France and the Vatican. He wrote both poems and essays. Among his poems are: Notes of a Hymn, The Patriot Legend, Tabaré, The Epic of Artigas, The Angel of the Charruas, Impossible, Hate and Love, Evergreens, You and I, Hymn to the Tree and Vestal. Among his essays are: Speech at La Rabida, Impact of the Road, Enclosed Garden, conferences and speeches, Details on the History of the River Plate, The Sermon of Peace, The Book of Ruth, Ituzaingó, Artigas, Decline and Renaissance.


A few years ago the Royal Spanish Academy incorporated about 1,000 “Uruguayisms”, analyzed as “1,000 words of Uruguayan Spanish”, by the Academy of Letters of Uruguay. Next is a dictionary that will be published with words and phrases particular to Uruguay, which will include selections such as:

abombado: stupid, inept
bagre: ugly woman
fletar: to reject or eject someone from a place
gaita: Galician, by extension, any Spanish person
garronero: beggar, profiteer
garufa: partying, fun
gurí: young child, son
jabón: fear, fright
luca: one thousand peso bill
mangar: borrow money
morfar: to eat
nabo: silly, naive person

In a previous post, we pointed out the characteristics of Uruguayan Spanish, which is definitely of use to anyone interested in the specifics of this country and its rich language: Original here.

(Versiòn en español: Academia Nacional de Letras de Uruguay)