Blind spot or punto ciego

While the term is the same in English and in Spanish, our Spanish speakers might have had a slight advantage on this one. Used in everyday language, ‘blind spot’ is an area where a person’s view is obstructed, particularly when driving. However, the term comes from the medical lexicon and refers to a light-insensitive area where the optic nerve enters into the retina.

In Spanish, the commonly used term is punto ciego, and in medical lingo we can also find mancha ciega, which directly matches the English term. A more technical synonym is escotoma fisiológico, and this brings us to an even more interesting parallelism:

In English, ‘blind spot’ is also used figuratively as “an area in which one fails to exercise judgment or discrimination“, whereas in Spanish we find the term escotoma mental, used in the field of psychology with a similar meaning: An intellectual, affective or sensorial area that has disappeared from a person’s consciousness.