Landa Henríquez - Mujer Cuarenta

Celebrating women of a certain age, Mujer Cuarenta is an invitation to party, dance, fool around and enjoy life, Caribbean style. Listen in:

Baila y canta y vive sin pena, si te enamoras, en hora buena.
Dance and sing and live without worries, if you fall in love, good for you.
[Caption 8, Landa Henríquez > Mujer Cuarenta]

"En hora buena" literally means "at a good hour," but it's understood as a congratulations -- as in, "Good for you!" or "Congrats!" You hear this in Spain and throughout Latin America -- from the Caribbean coasts down to the Southern Cone.

When it's used as a noun, "enhorabuena" is usually written as one word. For example:

Todo el mundo quería darle la enhorabuena después del partido.
"Everybody wanted to offer congratulations to him after the match."

But as an interjection, you'll see both "en hora buena" and "enhorabuena" (both are correct). Here are a few more examples:

En hora buena, Elena, tu hija es hermosa.
"Congratulations, Elena, your daughter is beautiful."

¡Llegaste! ¡Enhorabuena!
"You arrived! Congratulations / At last!"

Queremos que Julio venga enhorabuena, porque ya han pasado dos semanas.
"We want Julio to finally come back, because it's already been two weeks."

Note that in the last example above, "enhorabuena" is an adverb, modifying the verb "venir." In this usage, "enhorabuena" comes closer to its literal meaning of "at a good hour."

Meanwhile, Spanish has two other congratulatory interjections: "Felicidades" and "Felicitaciones." There's some overlap between the three words, but "enhorabuena" and "felicitaciones" tend to congratulate accomplishments or achievements while "felicidades" might celebrate an occasion like a birthday. For proficient Spanish readers, there's an interesting discussion here.

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