Originally Posted by drew21close
They usually use suelo for floor but it really means soil or ground.
I expect it really means both things. Itīs just one of those interesting cases where one language habitually makes a distinction that the other one doesnīt, or where one language thinks more generically than the other.
A few other similar cases that have struck or surprised me:
- puerta is both "door" and "gate"
- escalera is both "stairs" and "ladder"
- puerto is both "pass" (as in a mountain pass) and "port" (as in seaport)
- manija, mango, manivela, asa are all just "handle" in english
- mochuelo, buho, lechuzo, autillo are all different kinds of owl in english. There is not really a generic word "owl" in spanish. You would have to say something wordy like ave rapaz nocturna to capture the meaning.
- querer is both "want" and "love"
- seņor is both "mister" and "lord" as in "our lord jesus"