The Meaning of Bodega: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever visited a bodega? This article will teach you the meaning of bodega and how to use this Latin American word.

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

If you have been to a city with a large Latin American population, you may have seen a sign for a bodega and wondered what it meant. 

This article will teach you all about what a bodega is, where you might find a bodega, and where the term bodega comes from. It will also provide you with alternate terms for a bodega and how to say bodega in other languages.

What Does the Word Bodega Mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, a bodega is a small mercantile establishment that practices the retail sale of goods. Often, bodegas function as small grocery stores or convenience stores. 

These stores are popular in Latin America, the Caribbean, and densely populated cities with large Hispanic populations like New York City and Los Angeles. In Spain, the term bodega is used to refer to a wine shop.

What Is the Origin of Bodega?

According to Dictionary, the term bodega originates from the Latin apothēca, which means storehouse. This Latin word comes from the Greek apothēkē storehouse. The Greek term originates from the Greek apotithenai, Greek apotheke, and Ancient Greek ἀποθήκη

This is also where we get the English word apothecary. The term bodega was first used in Latin American Spanish but began its English usage in the mid-1800s.

How Can Bodega Be Used in a Sentence?

The word bodega is a noun that references a small grocery store or convenience store. By studying the below example sentences containing the word bodega, you can learn how to use this new word in a sentence. 

Next, try writing your own example sentences that contain the word bodega to solidify your understanding.

Example #1: The Bodega Owners

The bodega owners were very popular in the neighborhood. Everyone trusted their beer and wine shop for the best goods, and they always gave the children bags of chips. They loved that the community could congregate around their small shop.

Example #2: Shopping at the Bodega 

We stopped by the bodega for cigarettes, soda, and sandwiches, and chatted with the store owner, Leo. As a young child, he moved to New York City, and his father sold groceries in the same store.

Example #3: Working at the Bodega

We moved the crates around on the concrete floors in the back room of the bodega. Unfortunately, we were losing daylight and had to get the goods on the shelves by the end of the day. It was not easy work to run a local bodega, but it was very rewarding.

Example #4: The Reopening of the Bodega

I was excited to see that the bodega and deli was open again. Unfortunately, the long-dormant beachside refreshment stand was closed due to COVID, but the owner Sonny and his sidekick finally reopened it. It was a popular small Hispanic shop among young people.

Example #5: Missing a Local Bodega 

When Aphrodite moved away from the city, she missed her local bodegas and other small stores that sold household items. She felt a connection to the Hispanic communities that she no longer had. Threads of guilt for moving away hit her in 15-minute intervals and she could barely get an hour’s sleep.

Example #6: Bonding Over the Bodega

The small bodega near Columbia University plays an unintentional role in bringing the student population together. It tugs at your heartstrings to see how a store run out of a random house can bring people from all over the world together, from New Yorkers to international students.

What Are Translations of Bodega?

Since the word bodega is a loan word from the Spanish language, it is often simply written as bodega in other languages. However, some world languages use their own translations of the word bodega. 

By studying this list of translations of bodega from Nice Translator, you can learn how to day bodega in other languages. Do you notice any pattern with which languages use the loan word bodega and which languages have their own words for bodegas?

  • Thai: เครื่องร่อน
  • Russian: бодега
  • Croatian: bodega
  • Basque: lodegr
  • Spanish: bodega
  • French: bodega
  • Slovak: bodega
  • Finnish: boodega
  • Japanese: ボディェーガ
  • Hungarian: bodega
  • Chinese (PRC): 博登卡
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 博登卡
  • Hindi: बोडेगा
  • Korean: 식품 잡화점
  • Bulgarian: Бодега
  • Malayalam: ബോഡെഗ
  • Amharic: ቦዶጋ
  • Dutch: Bodega
  • Gujarati: બોડેગા
  • Swedish: bodega
  • Arabic: بيدتاجا
  • Welsh: bodega
  • Ukrainian: бодега
  • Estonian: bodega
  • German: Bodega
  • Turkish: Bogega
  • Catalan: celler
  • Marathi: बोडगा
  • Greek: bodega
  • Latvian: bodega
  • Hebrew: בודהה
  • Kannada: ಒಂದು ಬಗೆಯ ಹಕ್ಕಿ
  • Serbian: бодега

What Are Synonyms of the Word Bodega?

If you did not grow up in a city with bodegas, you may not know what a bodega is. However, if you use the word bodega and the person you are talking to is confused, you can clarify the meaning of the word bodega using one of the synonyms that are listed below from Power Thesaurus.

  • bar
  • bazaar
  • booth
  • candy store
  • convenience store
  • corner store
  • country store
  • deli
  • deli counter
  • delicatessen
  • department store
  • dive
  • food mart
  • food shop
  • food store
  • fruit stand
  • general store
  • grocery
  • grocery store
  • groggery
  • market
  • place
  • retail food store
  • store
  • supermarket
  • trading post
  • vault
  • wine bar
  • wine cellar
  • wine shop
  • winery


The word bodega is a noun which refers to a small grocery store or convenience store. Bodegas are often found in cities with high Latin American or Hispanic populations. The word bodega is Spanish and Latin in origin. In Spain, a bodega is a type of wine shop.

Have you ever visited a bodega? If so, what did you purchase at the bodega? Was the bodega you visited in your home country or somewhere else?


  1. Bodega Definition & Meaning | 
  2. Bodega | Nice Translator 
  3. Bodega synonyms – 101 Words and Phrases for Bodega | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Bodega definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary