Hombre and mujer are the Spanish words for "man" and "woman," respectively, and are used in much the same way as their English counterparts.
Although both words can be used for a male or female, respectively, of any age, they are most often used to refer to adults.
Also, el hombre, like the English "man," can be used to refer to Homo sapiens, the human species. Example: Científicos dicen que el hombre es el resultado de largas etapas evolutivas. Scientists say man is the result of long evolutionary stages.
Hombre or mujer can also be used to refer colloquially to one's spouse.
Hombre and mujer can also be used as interjections, much as "man" can be used in English: ¡Hombre! ¡Qué emocionante! or ¡Mujer! ¡Qué emocionante! Man! How exciting!
Following are some common phrases using hombre or mujer. Some of them that are listed only with hombre can also be used with mujer but the feminine usage is rare. Also note that while a few of the terms may appear sexist, they are intended to reflect the language as it is used and not necessarily as all feel it should be.
Common Phrases Using Hombre or Mujer
- de hombre a hombre, de mujer a mujer - in total sincerity
- hombre/mujer de confianza - right-hand man/woman
- hombre de entereza - man who is cool and composed
- hombre del saco - boogeyman
- hombre/mujer de negocios - businessman/businesswoman
- hombre de paja - figurehead
- hombre lobo - werewolf
- hombre medio / mujer media - average man/woman, man/woman in the street
- hombre/mujer objeto - person valued for his/her sex appeal and little else
- hombre público - man with social influence
- hombre rana - frogman
- mujer de su casa - housewife
- mujer fatal - femme fatal
- mujer pública/perdida/mundana - prostitute
- ser mucho hombre - to be talented
- ser mucha mujer, ser toda una mujer - to be exemplary in character
- ser muy hombre - to be strong and brave
- ser poco hombre - to be a coward