Crush – What it is, concept, origin of the term and use in Spanish

We explain what a crush is, the origin of the term in English and how it was used. Also, how it came to be used in Spanish.

A crush is usually an impossible and contemplative love.

What is a crush?

The word crush comes from English, and it is a verb that has meanings associated with “crush”, “crunch” or “crush”, which is why it is common to find it in drinks based on squeezed fruit (such as Orange crush). However, at the beginning of the 21st century, an old use of the term became popular, linked to the world of romance and love, and which has been adopted in popular Internet slang in Spanish, thanks to social networks and 2.0 culture.

In English language, the first recorded meaning of “crush” with a loving meaning dates from 1884, in the journal of the writer Isabella Maud Rittenhouse (1864-1946).

According to certain scholars of the Anglo-Saxon language, this term could come from “mash”Used colloquially at the time to refer to falling in love or flirting, and which according to some etymological dictionaries of the 19th century could come from the Romani term masherava, which translates to “enchant” or “seduce.”

The truth is as of 1913 the phrase “to have a crush on someone to refer to the act of falling in love. However, with the passage of time this use was restricted to Platonic infatuation, also known in English as puppy love.

This is because it is a contemplative, impossible type of love, entirely fascinated by the object of desire and resembling the devotion that puppies feel for their masters.

This last sense is what has been adopted in Spanish in recent years. Thus, “to have a crush with someone” or “someone to be my crush” are common phrases among youth slang that should be interpreted as that the speaker feels a platonic and lasting attraction to that person.

It is common for such statements to be made about film actors, personalities from the world of music or simply famous people, since said unrequited love has youthful and adolescent overtones.