In general a "rinconada" is an incoming angle formed at the intersection of two houses, two streets, or two roads.

In geography a "rinconada" is the land between two mountain branches.

In the next image I tried to do a draw of it, the spiral shows the place that I'm referring to, where some houses could be settled, for example.


UPDATE: I take the image shared by @Mari-LouA where I mark in red what is the closest place to what I'm asking for, and I have added the translation for "gully": quebrada

enter image description here

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    Are you looking for the English word for the geographical idea or the houses/roads idea? What is the scale... is it the area between two distinct aingle mountains or between two long ridges? Is it something glaciers made like in Switzerland (hindreds of meters across between two aretes) or is it a large valley? Is it angled at the bottom? Does it have a stream or a river at the bottom? As to houses/roads, where two roads meet is a 'corner' which is the translation for 'rincon'. How do two -houses- meet? is it the angle of two walls?
    – Mitch
    Dec 21, 2020 at 15:59
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    @Cascabel Yes, actually, in my question is translated exactly that definition. Dec 21, 2020 at 19:59
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    From your explanation, it kinda does sound like a valley, maybe a small valley? 'Hollow' might work. It's a common geographical term used in place names eg 'Sleepy Hollow'. 'cwm', the classic scrabble word, is really a 'cirque' which is a bowl like area that opens to a valley between two ridges that slope down. 'Valley' works for any (not small) size depression between two ridges, from 10's of meters to 1000's
    – Mitch
    Dec 21, 2020 at 22:03
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    You excluded valley in your first response to @Mitch "because a valley is a large expanse at the foot of the mountains" but my understanding of "valley" is that it's a pretty semantically open noun that could encompass almost any kind of geographical depression. It seems you have a pretty specific type of depression in mind, but I'm not sure there is a specific English word (even a technical geographical term) for your sense of "rinconada"
    – nohat
    Dec 22, 2020 at 2:10
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    I could not find crook applied specifically to geography but it seems to refer only to the curve, while hollow appears as one of the many terms related to valley, and this one does designates the "space between". Dec 25, 2020 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


In Appalachia, where I grew up, we referred to a smallish valley (hollowed out area) in a mountain range (not down at the bottom of the mountain but between two taller areas which is what the illustration looks like)as a "hollow" which we pronounced "holler". People settled in hollows because they generally had creeks in them (were probably formed by creeks, actually) and were somewhat protected from the elements, and consequently towns grew up there.

So, country singer Loretta Lynn's famous tune says that she was born in "Butcher Holler", which is a town in Kentucky (technically Butcher Hollow, KY).

The problem with offering this word as a translation is, in my experience, people don't use it much in conversation any more. It's found more in place names now. We are more likely to say "5 miles south on Hwy 70" if we are referring to a geographic location. But if you used this term in my region, we would certainly know what you meant.

Another option might be "cut", which is a passage between two taller areas in a mountain range

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    +1 It's still in use in place names and literature. I think this is a better resolution of the question ... Dec 25, 2020 at 18:43
  • I have asked the OP to un-slect my answer and check off on yours...our purpose here is not to gain rep...it is to provide a compendium of English Usage. Dec 25, 2020 at 21:09


a bent part of something, esp. the inner part:

Ex. Kids should learn to sneeze and cough into the crooks of their elbows.


A rinconada is...

Ángulo entrante que se forma en la unión de dos casas, calles o caminos, o entre dos montes.


This seems to mean the inner part of the angle, inter-section, etc.

enter image description here

The above description clearly notes the similarity between ridges of a mountain and an arm.

enter image description here

From This is Capetown, by David Briggs

It is possible there is another term in use by cartographers that I am not aware of, but I have heard writers use the phrase to describe small villages sheltering in the protected part of mountain ridges.

...and just for Christmas...

enter image description here

  • Interestingly, and kind of Christmasy, crook is also used for the Shepard's and the Pharaoh's stick, except the Pharoah also had a flail. Dec 21, 2020 at 21:39
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    I don't think crook is used in geography. It is very poetic, but likely would not be understood geographically without context. In English 'corner' = SP 'rincon' is more like a general area 'Why don't you visit my corner of the world' no literal implication of 'corner' as an angle between two meeting walls.
    – Mitch
    Dec 21, 2020 at 21:55
  • I will come back to edit this later. I also think "Hollow" and "Fold" can work here... Dec 22, 2020 at 20:20

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