Costa Rican Slang

-mae (my): Mae can be used to mean “dude” between friends, or simply to refer to any man or woman (“ese mae te esta llamando” = “that guy is calling you”).

-pura vida(poor-ah vee-dah): Pura vida means “pure life,” but more than anything, it’s a way of life. This phrase symbolizes the Costa Rican idea of letting things go, and simply enjoying life. Use it as an answer to “como estas?” (“how are you?”), or to say “thank you” or “you’re welcome.”

tico / tica(tee-ko/tee-ka): Due to a quirk of speech, Costa Ricans are called Ticos. Since Spanish uses gendered nouns, a Costa Rican man is a Tico, and a Costa Rican woman is a Tica.

Other Costa Rican Slang:

-100 (cien) metros (see-en met-ros): Always remember that “cien metros” means “one block.” Likewise, “doscientos (200) metros” means “two blocks,” and “cincuenta (50) metros”, “half a block” – all regardless of the actual length of the block.

-aguevado (ah-gway-va-doh): bored or boring (synonym of bostezo)

-apuntarse (ah-poon-tar-say): to sign up (for something, like a tour)

-bostezo (boh-stes-oh): bored or boring (a synonym of aguevado)

-brete (bre-tay): work or job

-como amanecio? (coh-moh ah-mahn-es-ee-oh): how are you this morning?

-chunche(choon-chay): thingamajig

-di/diay(dee/dee-ay): With no exact translation, diay is best thought of as an interjection at the beginning of a sentence, similar to “um” or “well.”

-dolor de jupa (dole-or day hoop-ah): a headache

-el chante (el chahn-tay): home (house); place

-estar de chicha(es-tar day chee-chah): to be angry

-estar de goma (es-tar day goh-mah): to have a hangover

-fijate/fijese(fee-hah-tay/fee-hey-say): Another phrase with no exact translation, this is best thought of as an interjection, approximately meaning “would you believe it?”

-guila(gwee-lah): Despite its meaning in Mexico, a guila in Costa Rica is merely a “girl.”

-hijueputa (ee-who-ay-poo-tah) (vulgar): son of a bitch

-la jama (lah hah-mah): food

-jamar (hah-marh): to eat

-jumas  (hoo-mahs): drunk

-la choza (lah choh-sah): home

-que mala nota! (kay mahl-ah no-tah): what a bad person!

-macha (mah-cha): a blond female, usually a foreigner

-mucho gusto (moo-choh goo-stoh): Translating directly as “[with] much pleasure,” Costa Ricans use this in lieu of “de nada,” or “thank you.”

-no entender ni papa (no en-ten-der nee pah-pah): to not understand a word

-no joda!/no jodás!(no hoe-da/no hoe-das): don’t bother me! / leave me alone!

-ojo! (oh-hoe): watch out!

-pura paja(poor-ah pa-hah): crap; bullshit

-pinche (peen-chay): Despite its meaning in Mexico, pinche means “stingy” in Costa Rica.

-por dicha(poor dee-chah): thank goodness

-pulperia(pool-pehr-ee-ah): a small corner store

-que m’iche? (kay mee-chay): what’s up? / what do you have to tell me?

-que pereza!(kay pay-ray-sah): ugh, what a drag! (synonym of “que tigra!”)

-que tigra! (kay tee-grah): ugh, what a drag! (synonym of “que pereza!”)

-salado (sahl-ah-doh): unlucky

-soda (soh-dah): a small, family-run typical restaurant

-soque!(soh-kay): hurry up!

-una teja (oo-nah tay-hah): Una teja is 100 of anything, usually money (100 colones). If someone is giving you directions, however, una teja refers to “100 meters,” or one block.

-tome chichi!(toe-may chee-chee): Though this phrase has no direct translation, it’s essentially a teasing form of “take that!”

-tuanis(too-ahn-ees): Said to be a Spanish adaptation of “too nice,” this popular phrase means “cool.”

-va jalando!(bah hahl-ahn-do): get out of here! / go away!

-la vara  (lah bar-ah): the thing

-upe! (oo-pay): hello? anyone home?

-vieras que/viera que (bee-air-ahs kay/bee-air-ah kay): Another Costa Rican idiom with no direct translation, “vieras que/viera que” means “sure”, in the sense of “I sure was surprised by his apology!” (“Vieras que sorprendida me dejo su disculpa!”)


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Filed under Slang from Costa Rica

Puerto Rican Slang


* A calzón quitao – Literally meaning “without pants on,” it is used to mean something said without prejudice but also without tact; bluntly honest.
* Acángana – An interjection similar to “In your face!”.
* Acho or Chacho – Usually, it’s used as a conjunction to bridge between thoughts. Also, it can be the shortened form of muchacho (meaning “guy” or “dude”).
* Acho meng or Chacho meng – “Damn, dude!”, “Damn Yo!”, or simply just “Damn.”
* Acho que fiebre – “Hot or feverish for something,” as in “liking something so much that you have to do it or wear it every day.”
* ¡A las millas de chanflán! – “Driving fast,” “speeding past someone,” or “walking fast.” Used as a criticism, such as “There he goes, driving that car with hellish speed!
* Al garete – As in Nos fuimos al garete. “A runaway horse,” “galloping fast,” or “unbridled.” Also means “wayward” or “without a given path.” It is used to describe something out of control, as in a wild horse, fast riding, a wild horse without a rider, or riding an unsaddled wild horse at high speed. Wild horses are common on the island.
* A mi plín – “I don’t care,” the equivalent of the phrase no me importa in other Spanish dialects; inconsequential.
* Anda pal sirete – “Oh shit.” Similar phrases include ¡Ea rayo! and ¡Diablo!
* Arrollao – “Stranded” or “hanging,” as in Te dejaron arollao. (“They left you hanging.”)
* Arranca en faz – “Beat it!”, “Get lost!”, “Go to bed!” (as from a parent to a child), or “Take off!”.
* ¡Arroz, que carne hay! – Having something and soliciting something else to compliment it, as in a flirty or sexual phrase: “Where’s the rice to go with all that meat!”; “(We need)Rice, you have plenty of meat.”
* Ay que ver como bate el cobre – “To see how things turn out.”

[edit] B

* Bregaste Chicky Starr – A humorous and negative phrase meaning “to play dirty.” Chicky Starr is a Puerto Rican professional wrestler heel. The phrase is said to someone who is not of good faith or who has betrayed or turned on you.
* Bregaste cajita de pollo – A humorous and negative phrase used in a similar manner as Bregaste Chicky Starr and meaning “you acted in a cheap or wrong way.” Cajita de pollo is a reference to a KFC-like chain of fast food restaurants in the 1980s called Fried Chicken Express, which sold 99 cent meals in small cardboard boxes that contained two or three very low quality chicken wings and soggy french fries.
* Broki – “Buddy”
* Bellaca/bellaco- slang term used in Puerto Rico to determine someone being in “heat” or having sexual desires. English slang term, Horny

[edit] C

* Caco – Typically used derogatorily in reference to drug abusers and people who listen to Reggaeton music. Originates from the Greek god of treachery and thieves, Cacus.
* China – An orange fruit. Chinita is used to describe the color orange.
* Colgar – “To fail/flunk in school.” Literally, it translates as “to be hanged.”
* Capear – “to buy drugs”.
* Chancletas or chanclas – Any type of sandals, flipflops, etc.
* Charro – “Unoriginal” or “whack,” as in Ese tipo es un charro (“That dude is whack.”)
* Chavos – “Money”
* Chota – “Tattletale” or “police informant.”
* Come mierda – Literally, it translates as “shit-eater.” It’s used when referring to a person that thinks or acts like he/she is all-knowing and/or all-deserving, also someone of a higher social status who prefers to not mingle with persons of perceived lower status. Essentially, it means “snob” or “arrogant person.”
* ¡Como alma que lleva el diablo! – “As if their soul was possessed by the devil.” Used comically to describe someone who left either very fast or very angry.
* Como el Rosario de la Aurora – Used to describe a party that ends up with a fight.
* Como la gatita de Dorita, si se lo sacan llora y si se lo meten grita – A humorous phrase used to describe someone who’s never satisfied. It literally translates as “Like Dora’s kitty, if you take it out she cries and if you put in she screams.”
* Como la puerca de Juan Bobo – Used to refer to a woman that overdoes makeup and accessories to the point of looking ridiculous. Originates from a popular Puerto Rican folktale.
* Complejar de alguien – “To have a delusion of being like someone else by adopting certain characteristics of that person.”
* Coño – said usually as an exclamation, sometimes when a person accidentally hurts themselves. “Dammit” “Shit”
* Copao – Used to call dibs on something you like even though you have no chance of owning it, as in “I call it.”
* Corazón de melón – A term of endearment to or about someone with a big heart.
* Corillo- “A crew” or “a group of people of like ideas and habits.” Literally, it means “A small choir.”
* Correrle la máquina or Seguirle la corriente – “To keep a joke going at someone’s expense,” “to follow someone’s lead incredulously,” or “to tell others to with the intention of laughing at them behind their back.”
* Culan – Literally meaning “engine coolant,” it refers to the female derrière due to its similarity with the synonymous culo. Popularized by entertainer Iris Chacon in a car commercial for Amalie Coolant.

[edit] D

* Dale percha (pronounced pelcha) – Literally “put it on a hanger,” it means “take it off” or “don’t wear it anymore.” (See: Lo tienes quemao below.)
* Dar un tumbe – “To steal something.”
* ¡Deja el tripeo! – Literally translating as “stop tripping!”, it’s used to mean “stop being a party-pooper” or “stop seeing only the worst-case scenario.”
* ¡Dejó los tennis en el piso! – “He ran so fast that his feet came out of his shoes!”, as in a cartoonish way, without having to take them off.
* De rola or Irse de rolimpin – “Keep it moving” or “go somewhere else.” Example: Después del cine lo seguimos de rolimpin a Condado. (“After the movies we keep it moving to Condado.)

[edit] E

* Echa caldo – Used to say that something is cool. “Ese carro esta que echa caldo.” (“This car is cool.”)
* Echar leña al fuego – “To add to a controversy.” Literally, it means “to feed wood to the fire.”
* El Oso Blanco – Literally “The White Bear,” it means “Río Piedras State Penitentiary.” The prison is nicknamed this because of its white color.
* En el carro de Don Fernando, un ratito a pie y otro andando – Literally, it translates to “Mr Fernando’s car, some of the time walking and the rest also walking” Used for comical effect when there is no car available to use.
* En el jurutungo viejo – A placeholder name meaning “somewhere far away which is hard or tiresome to get to,” “Timbuktu,” or “BFE.” Example: Ella vive en el jurutungo viejo. (“She lives in BFE.”)
* En el mundo de la Farandula – “In celebrity land.”
* En lo que el palo va y viene… – “Meanwhile…”
* Ése salió por lana y llegó trasquilao A comical phrase meaning that a person went for something and came back worse than when the person left. Literally, it translates to “This one left for wool and arrived sheared.”
* Está que estilla – “It’s cool.”
* ¡Está(s) brutal!! – “You’re brutal!” or It’s brutal!, either as compliment or insult, depending on the situation. Usually, it is used as a compliment, like the English phrase “You’re a beast!”.
* ¡Estás bueno/buena! – (Flirty) “You’re fine!”
* ¡Esta pasao! – It’s the most fun or the greatest thing. “It’s awesome”
* ¡Estás tenso, papá! – A satirical phrase towards homosexuality popularized by actor and comedian Sunshine Logroño. Literally, it translates to “You’re tense, daddy!”
* ¡Estás tripeando! – “You’re tripping!”, when descriptive, as when someone is literally high, or “You must be tripping!”, when disbelieving, as when someone’s worldview at a particular time might be askew or comical as to differ from the norm.
* Esto es oro de la Palestina – Literally “This is gold from Palestine,” it means that is something very high quality, hard to find, or the best thing in the market.
* Estoy pidiendo cacao – What you say if you are hurt, drunk, or very tired after partying all night long. Almost like asking for forgiveness.

[edit] F

* Faranduleando – “Gossiping about celebrities”
* Farandulera – “A girl who likes to dress up for any event, even if its going to her front porch” or “dressing like a movie star.”
* Fronte – “Attitude.” The phrase Tener fronte means “to have attitude” or “to put up a false front.”

[edit] G

* Gafas – “Sunglasses”
* Galán – “Someone who looks elegant or dandy.” It also means “a leading actor.”
* Guillao or Guille – “Prideful” or “Pride,” respectively. The phrases Estar guillao and Tener guille” both mean “to have a lot of ego,” “to be prideful,” or “to be full of oneself.”
* Guagua – “A city bus” or “a pick-up truck.”
* Gufiao – “Cool,” or “awesome.” Example: ¡El show fue gufiao! (The show was awesome!”)
* Gufear – “To goof around,” or “to joke around.” Example: ¡Acho, deja el gufeo! (“Dude, stop goofing around!”)
* Gusarapo – Renacuajo is the proper Spanish word for the slang. It is tadpole in English.

[edit] H

* Hacer jugo de china – Literally: “to make orange juice.” Refers to the act of utilizing the chainsaw on a Gears of War 2 player. The term picar (meaning “to chop”) is also commonly used.
* Hacerse el loco – Literally translating as “to try to pass off as crazy,” it means “to try to ignore or distance oneself from a particular situation as if it never happened” or “to disassociate.”
* Hijo/hija del lechero – Literally translating as “son/daughter of the milkman,” it describes a child who might not look much like his or her parents or might be lighter skinned than his or her siblings. It is also used in jest in that the child might have been born from infidelity.

[edit] I

* Ir pa chirola – “To go to jail”
* Irse pa la isla – “To go to the countryside [of Puerto Rico].”

[edit] J

* Joyo – Another term referencing to a body part, meaning “butt” “butthole” “culo” “butt-crack”

[edit] L

* La piña está agria – Literally translating as “the pineapple is sour,” it means “times are tough” or “there’s no money/resources.”
* Las cosas se pusieron a chavito prieto, Las cosas se pusieron color de hormiga brava, Los huevos se pusieron a peseta, Los huevos se pusieron duros – Phrses describing a serious situation. They mean “things have gotten tense, (economically) tight, serious, or strict.” They literally translate to “things became a tight penny,” “things turned the color of fire ants,” “eggs became a peseta,” and “the eggs turned hard,” respectively. The first, third, and fourth phrases have historical backgrounds and relate to the selling of eggs and other raw materials in a town’s central plaza. When the eggs and other goods increased in price, it was difficult for people to get a hold of them.
* Le dieron como a pandereta de Pentecostal – “They gave it to him/her like they do to a tambourine at a Pentecostal church.” It’s used to describe when someone caught a hard beating.
* Locón/locona – “Crazy.” It can be also used as an equivalent to “dude/chick” or “buddy.” In West Coast communities, the word has been adopted by English speakers as loc.
* Lonchera – “Lunchbox”
* Lo tienes quemao – “You’ve burned it out,” as in “You like something so much that you’re burning it out,” for instance by wearing the same clothing too often or even every day.

[edit] M

* Mahones – “Jeans.”
* Mai – Short for mami (which means and is pronounced the same as “mommy”). Also, it is a term of endearment for females.
* ¡Mano! or ¡Si mano! – Short for hermano (“brother”), it means “Hey bro!” or “Yes bro.”
* Más claro no canta un gallo – “It couldn’t be any clearer” or “explicitly stated”. It literally translates to “A rooster does not sing clearer.”
* Más lento que una caravana de cojos – A phrase to describe something or someone that is very slow. Literally, it translates as “Slower than a traffic jam of cripples.”
* Más lento que un suero ‘e brea – See above. Translates to “Slower than a tar drip.”
* Más pelao que la rodilla de un cabro- A phrase describing someone who is poor or who has no money at all. Literally, it translates as “More broke than a kid’s knee.”
* Melaza – Literally meaning “pure sugar cane juice,” it is used to say something, someone, or a situation is great or sweet.
* Melón – “Watermelon.” In most other Spanish-speaking countries, the word for “watermelon” is sandía.
* Me voy a caballo y vengo a pie. – Literally “I left on a horse and came back on foot,” it is used to express dissatisfaction about a situation in which you might put maximum amount of effort for very little in return or about a situation where you were better off when you started than how you ended. Also, it can be used in place of ¡Me cago en tu padre/madre! or ¡Me cago en diez! (“Goddammit!”), which is, in turn, used as a minced oath of the sacrilegious ¡Me cago en Dios!, when someone does not want to curse, as when in front of children.
* ¡Mi amigo el pintor! – Literally translating as “my buddy the painter!”, it’s used frequently to make fun of men that are unaware that they are cuckolds. It was popularized on a TV show called Desafiando a los Genios in which a naïve participant would always describe his “best friend the painter” as someone who always takes care of his wife. It was obvious to the viewer that the wife was being unfaithful with the painter, and eventually the phrase came to refer to infidelity outside of the show.
* ¡Miércoles! – Literally translating as “Wednesday,” it’s a minced oath for the word ¡Mierda! (“Shit”). It’s English equivalent is “Shoot!”
* Mira – “Hey”
* Mira loco or Mira locón/locona – “Look here, buddy” or “What’s up, crazy!”
* Mistin – “Miss Teen,” popularized in the ’80s by Guille, a character from the show “Entrando Por La Cocina”

[edit] N

* Negrito/negrita – “A dark-colored person.” It is used as a term of endearment for any shade of Puerto Rican. It’s related to the Puerto Rican versions of “My nigga,” which are Ay mi negra, Hola negro, Mira Negri.
* No inventes – “Don’t make plans”
* No lo encuentran ni en los centros espiritistas – A phrase used to describe someone so lost that they, as it literally translates to, “can’t even be found in a Espiritismo center.” In Puerto Rico, Espiritismo, which is similar to Spiritualism in the United States, was so important that its central belief—that mediums are able to communicate with the dead—became widespread. Using this phrase means that the person being described cannot even be found by a medium or by the spirits of the dead.
* ¡No seas insecto! – Literally, it translates as “Don’t be an insect!”. An “insecto” is a slang term for a Narcotics Agent or a police informant. It is most frequently pronounced with the last “s” in seas and the “c” in insecto muted for an accentuated slang effect.
* No te panikees – “Don’t panic”
* No te rochees – “Don’t rush”or “don’t worry.”

[edit] Ñ

* ¡Ñoña es! – “No way!”

[edit] O

* ¿Oíte? – “Did you hear?” (Equivalent to ¿Oíste?; See: Puerto Rican accents)

[edit] P

* Pai – Short for papi (“daddy”). Also, it’s a term of endearment for males.
* Pegandole cuernos – Literally translating as “giving him/her horns,” it is used to describe someone who is being unfaithful or adulterous.
* Pendejiando or Pendejeria – “Clowning around” or “wasting time.” Examples: Dejate de estar pendejiando. (“Stop wasting time.” or “Stop clowning around.”); Deja la pendejeria. (“Stop your clowning around.”) Akin to matando tiempo (“killing time”).
* Peldona ‘sae – “I’m sorry!”
* Pendejo/pendeja – “Dumb,” “slow-witted,” or “easily taken advantage of.” Examples: Te cojieron de pendejo. (“They took you for a ride.”); No seas pendejo. (“Don’t be a dumbass.”); Ella es tan pendeja que no entendio. (She so slow-minded that she didn’t understand.)
* Pensando en pajaritos preñao – Literally “thinking of pregnant little birds,” it’s used to describe someone who has their head in the clouds or who’s daydreaming.
* Perro que huele carne – Literally translating as “dog that smells meat,” it is used to describe a situation where a person might suspect something he or she wants is within reach.
* Pichear – “To ignore.”
* Piragua – A Puerto Rican shave ice treat. They are traditionally served in a paper cone and shaped like a pyramid.
* Piragüero/piragüera – A piragua vendor.
* Pompeaera – “Pumped up”
* Puñeta – “Fuck!” or “Oh fuck!” Also, the act of masturbating, as puñeta is derived from the word puño (“fist”).

[edit] Q

* ¿Qué es la qué estapajando?, ¿Qué es la qué hay?, ¿Qué es la qué?, or ¿Claque? – “What’s up?”
* ¿Qué pasa pai (or mai)? – “What’s up dude/girl?”
* Que tronco ‘e cancha – An esoteric way of saying “that a girl has a big ass” and associating it with a large gathering place that boys are fond of and like to frequent for play: cancha is the basketball court and tronco means “a piece of.”

[edit] R

* Relajo – “Din” or “racket.” The phrase ¡Deja el relajo! can be translated as “Stop playing around!” and is thus similar to ¡Deja el gufeo!

[edit] S

* Salió el tiro por la culata. – Literally translating as “the shot backfired,” it is used when a plan backfires.

Sangana/Sangano-word used to describe a female or male that is acting stupid or foolish. Another word similar in Spanish is “boba/bobo”. “No te hagas la sangana.”

* ¡Se formó un corre y corre! – A comical phrase meaning “a melee” or “running around confused.”
* ¡Se formó un sal pa fuera! – A comical phrase describing a get-out-of-here-situation or a violent situation in which many ran from the scene. Similar to ¡Se formó un corre y corre!
* ¡Se jodió la bicicleta! – A comical phrase literally translating as “the bicycle got screwed!”. It describes a situation that spiraled out of control.
* ¡Se lució el chayote! – A criticism used for someone who is showing off in any way. Lucirse means “to show off” on its own as well.
* ¡Siéntate a esperar! – Literally translating as “sit down and wait!”, it is equivalent to “don’t hold your breath” in English, which is used when a person promises something while lying.
* ¡So anormal! – “You’re so damned stupid/subnormal!”

[edit] T

* ¡Tanto nadar para ahogarse en la orilla! A lamentation literally translating as “so much swimming, to drown at the shore.” It is used to describe someone who has come very close to completing something and yet failed.
* Tato – ¡Tato’ hablao!’, “Everything’s, cool.” “We have an understanding.” Usually said at the end of a conversation right before each person goes their separate way. “Okay, ustedes traen el pan y nosotro’ el queso. Tato.”
* ¡Te cagaste del miedo! – “You shit your pants from fright!”
* Te cojieron de mango bajito – Literally “they took you for a fool,” it’s used when someone was easy to take advantage of.
* TeVeGuia – “TV Guide”
* Tipo/tipa – “Dude/chick.” It’s used when someone’s name cannot not be remembered. Examples: Ese tipo que vino a la fiesta. (“That dude who came to the party”); Ese tipo que es amigo tuy (“Your friend, that dude”). It can also be used for someone who might be familiar but not a friend. Generally, it has negative connotations.
* Toribio – The name of a TV character who was a cuckold, it has come to mean a cuckold in general. Toribio is derived from toro (“bull”) and thus implies being pegged with the horns of infidelity.
* ¡Tú eres bien fiebrú/fiebra! – Usually used as a compliment when admiring someone’s passion for something, especially cars or racing, it means “you’re really into that!”.
* ¡Tú sí que eres presentao!’, ¡Tú eres bien presentao!, or ¡So presentao! – A criticism meaning “You’re very nosy,” “You’re so damned nosy,” or “Stop being nosy!”.
* Toto – a slang for vagina, more likely, pussy. Mostly used to reference the female genitalia when speaking generally to your children. “Vete y lavate el toto”

[edit] V

* ¡Vete pa’l Caribe Hilton! – A minced oath for ¡Vete pa’l carajo! (the Puerto Rican version of ¡Vete al carajo!, meaning “Go to hell!”). The Caribe Hilton is a hotel in the San Juan area. Note: When ¡Vete pa’l carajo! is used, it is sometimes accompanied by so cabrón/cabrona (“you damned asshole/bitch”) right after it.
* ¿Vite? – “Did you see?” (Equivalent to ¿Viste?; See: Puerto Rican accents)
* ¡Volando bajito! – “Keeping a low profile” or “flying low,” usually used to describe speeding drivers or people who try to commit a given act without anyone else finding out.

[edit] Y

* ¡Y se le(s) está haciendo tarde! – “And it’s becoming too late already!” or “You’re running out of time!” It’s a sports phrase used when an individual or team is far behind on scoring as the event nears its conclusion.
* Yuca – Literally, “cassava” or “yuca root.” When used as slang term, it can be used to mean “jerk,” “dork,” (as in ¡Tú eres tan yuca!, meaning “You’re such a jerk/dork”) or “penis” (as in pelar la yuca, meaning “to peel the foreskin back,” and rasca yuca, meaning “scratching the penis to provide pleasure”).

[edit] Z

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Filed under Slang from Puerto Rico

Peruvian Slang

1.  a la tela:  elegantemente vestido  – elegant dress or formal wear
2. achorado: persona de carácter desafiante – an individual with a defiant character.
3. al polo: muy frío. Particularmente referido a las bebidas  – very cold (in particular to drinks)
4. altiplano: The high flatlands which surround Lake Titicaca.
5. ambrosio:  hambre – hungry
6. aprista: A member of the Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana. Founded in 1924 by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre. (Center-left political organization)
7. apu: In Andean culture, a god of the mountains.
8. arpa: A harp
9. arranchar:  arrebatar – to enrapture.
10. arruga: deuda – debt
11. audiencia: This is the colonial high court which was established in Lima during the viceroyalty of Peru.
12. auqui: The heir to the Inca throne.
13. ayllu: A system whereby a group of related people and families exchange labor during the Inca empire. (Still in practice to some degree today)
14. bamba:  falsificado, imitación – a fake or imitation
15. barriadas – squatter settlement (Lima)
16. blanquita:  cocaine – cocaine
17. botánica:  botella – bottle
18.  cabro/cabrilla:  hombre afeminado – a male with feminine characteristics
19. cachar:  tener relaciones sexuales. – to have sexual relations.
20. cachuelo:  trabajo temporal, informal – a temporary job.
21. cajón: A box made of wood which uses a sound hole and is used in music of Afro-Peruvian origins.
22. calabacita:  cabeza vacía, persona vacua
23. calato: 1) ) desnudo; 2)  bebé – nude, baby
24. caldero:  malestar físico después de una borrachera
25. campesino: Peasant
26. cáncer:  cigarrillo, tabaco – cigarette or tobacco product
27. caña:  automóvil – automobile
28. cañacero:  borracho que toma licor barato – A drunk who consumes inexpensive liquor.
29. carabina:  cara, rostro – face
30. causa:  amigo (usado entre hombres) – the term for friend which is used between men.
31. cholo: Referring to a person who is mestizo.
32. coca cola:  loco – crazy
33. cocho: padre (madre: cocha) father/mother
34. cofla:  flaco, delgado – thin/skinny
35. coima:  comisión que se da para obtener algo en forma illegal – bribe.
36. coimero:  quien da o recibe coima/ a person who receives a bribe
37. corredgidor: This was the crown envoy during colonial times who was the administrator of Indian labor.
38. cojudo: palabra usada como insulto fuerte. – a strong insult.
39. como cancha:  mucho, bastante – a lot
40. corvina: corbata – tie
41. costilla: novia – girlfriend
42. criollada:  estafa, engaño – deceit, fraud, trick.
43. chaira:  cuchillo, puñal – knife, dagger
44. chancay: acto sexual – to have sex.
45. chancar:  estudiar – study
46. chancón:  persona que estudia mucho; estudiante – a studious person
47. chancha:  colecta, cooperación – charity, cooperation.
48. chancho:  1) eructo; 2) nalgas, trasero. – belch , rear end, butt.
49. chao  : adiós, hasta luego. – goodbye, see you later.
50. chapar: 1)atrapar; 2) besar – to trap or overtake in a sexual manner, to kiss.
51. chape:  beso en la boca – kiss on the mouth.
52. characato:  persona oriunda de Arequipa – A person from Arequipa.
53. charlie:  temerario, atrevido – reckless, hasty, bold, daring.
54. chato:  persona de baja estatura – a short person.
55. chaufa: saludo de despedida – saying goodbye in a quick manner- when you have to leave quickly.
56. chepi:  pausa, descanso – to pause or take a break.
57. chibolo:  niño – child
58. chibolero:  persona que prefiere la compañía de personas más jóvenes – someone who likes being around people who are much younger.
59. chica de su casa – a young woman who is considered by men to be of the quality to form a long term relationship.
60. chifa:  1) comida china; 2) restaurante chino – Chinese restaurant.
61. chifar: tener relaciones sexuales – To have sexual relations.
62. chinear: mirar, ver – to look or see.
63. chingana:  bar o establecimiento sórdido y barato – a type of low class bar or drinking establishment which is often dirty and cheap.
64. choborra: borracho – drunk.
65. choche:  amigo – friend.
66. chocho:  feliz – happy.
67. cholo: indio, especialmente el que habita en la costa – an Indian usually on the coast.
68. chonguear: divertirse – to have a good time.
69. chongo:  confusion, chaos , brothel
70. chungo:  tacaño – tightwad.
71. chupado:  tímido, cobarde – shy, coward
72. chuparse:  arrepentirse, echarse atrás to repent or regret.
73. churre: niño de edad entre 4 y 7 años aproximadamente – a child between the age of four and seven from the northern coast (Piura).
74. churro:  hombre guapo – handsome man.
75. chuzo:  cicatriz o corte en la piel – scar or cut on the skin.
76. coya: The primary wife of the Inca.
77. criollo: A person born in Peru of Spanish parents.
78. dar bola: hacer caso – to make a case or point.
79. dar sajiro: excitar, provocar to excite, incite or provoke excitement.
80. de la patada:  fuerte, tremendo, impactante (en sentido positivo) – To have a strong or tremendous impact – usually in the positive.
81. departamento: The political and geographic divisons in Peru which are similar to indivicual states in the United
82. States.diquera:  mujer provocadora – a provocative woman with exhibitionist qualities.
83. duro:  tacaño – tightwad.
84. enyucar: engañar, timar, contraer alguna responsabilidad pesada, tarea engorrosa, deuda. – to cheat or swindle, not responsible, to make a nuisance of or debt.
85. estar en algo/algodón: estar bueno, a cumplir los mínimos requerimientos para ser tomado por bueno, sin llegar a destacable o extraordinario. A product or something that is ok – not great but ok. Also a person that is ok or just meets the requirements.
86. faite:  matón, buscavidas. Individuo que toma actitudes matonescas. A bully or browbeater.
87. fallo:  cigarrillo, tabaco – cigarette, tobacco.
88. festejo: Afro-Peruvian dance originating on the coast of Peru.
89. fintero:  que aparenta algo que no es. – appearing to be something that is not.
90. florear: adular, alabar – to praise or flatter.
91. frío:  muerto – dead (literally cold).
92. fumón:  que fuma marihuana – a person who smokes marijuana.
93. funar: mirar – to look at
94. gringo:  rubio – blonde person.
95. grone:  persona de color, Negro – a black person.
96. guano: Natural fertilizer derived from bird manure.
97. hacer gol:  empreñar, poner encinta a una mujer – to make a goal( referring to impregnating a woman).
98. helena:  helado. Particularmente referido a las bebidas  – referring to a cold drink.
99. huachafo:  persona de malos gustos, mal vestida – a person who has bad manners or who dressed poorly.
100. huachimán:  agente uniformado de seguridad particular, guardián (del inglés “watchman”) – a guard.
101. huasca: borrachera, borracho – a drunken state or drunk.
102. huayno: A dance between couples used during celebrations in the Andes.
103. huevo:  fácil – easy.
104. inti: The Quechua term referring to the sun, which was the primary god of the Inca. This was also the name of the currency during the 1980’s.
105. jalar:  reprobar – to flunk.
106. jarana – party
107. jatear: (también tirar jato) dormir – to sleep
108. jato:  casa – house.
109. jeringa: jerga – slang.
110. jerma:  enamorada, novia – sweetheart, girlfriend.
111. jetear:  besar – kiss.
112. jugadora:  mujer promiscua – a promiscuous woman.
113. ladrillo:  trabajador – worker.
114. tirar lata; later:  caminar – to walk.
115. lechero: suertudo, afortunado – a fortunate or lucky person –  from the work leche (milk).
116. lenteja:  tonto – fool.
117. limeño(a): a Lima native.
118. lisura:  grosería – grossness, rudeness, crudeness.
119. lompas: pantaloon – pants.
120. lorear: hablar – to speak.
121. lorna:  tonto – fool (used for both feminine and masculine forms.
122. luca:  moneda, equivalente a un Sol peruano – referring to the slang word for money and is equivalent to one Peruvian Sol(national currency).
123. luquear: vigilar, cuidar – To watch over or take care of.
124. machucafuerte:  marido, esposo – husband.
125. maguey: A type of wood used by indigenous groups for sculptures.
126. maldito:  muy bueno, excelente – very good or excellent.
127. mamey:  tonto – fool..
128. mancar:  caer en desgracia, morir – to fall in disgrace or to die.
129. mancha:  multitud, grupo de individuos – a group of people or small crowd.
130. mandado – a man who is a seducer.(from the verb mandar – command or order)
131. manyar:  captar, entender – attract, win, understand.
132. marciano: persona anticonformista, que no sigue modas ni tendencies – literally referring to a Martian and in this meaning a person who is not a conformist or his has normal tendencies..
133. mariachi:  marido, esposo – husband
134. marinera: A type of festive music from the coast of Peru.
135. mataburro:  diccionario – dictionary.
136. mataperro:  parachoques – literally referring to dog killer – is the bumper on a vehicle.
137. mestizaje: The mixture of cultures in Peru.
138. mestizo: A person whose is born of parents from different ethnic orgins.
139. meter floro: Usar el mejor léxico para impresionar a alguien – using correct language especially in a situation to impress someone.
140. mica:  camisa – shirt
141. micro:  microbus – a small bus for transport.
142. misio:  sin dinero – broke, without money.
143. mita: Collective cooperation from the ayllu. When the Spanish ruled Peru, it was a type of tax system in collections from Indians.
144. mitra: cabeza head
145. mitrazo:  golpe con la cabeza – injury to the head.
146. monse: tonto, ingenuo – fool, naive.
147. moquear: llorar – to cry.
148. mosca:  alerta, despierto – word for fly but, refers to being awake or alert.
149. mosaico:  mozo, camarero, mesero – waiter
150. nancy:  nada – nothing.
151. ni michi: nada (eufemismo de “ni mierda”) – nothing ,but is derived from the word mierda (shit).
152. ñoba:  baño – bathroom.
153. ñorsa:  mujer, esposa – woman,wife.
154. pacharaco (a):  persona de mal gusto en vestir o en maquillarse – a person dressed poorly or who is poorly made up.
155. paja:  bueno, bonito, excelente – good, pretty, excellent.
156. palangana:. Fanfaron- a braggart or boaster.
157. palta:  vergüenza – shame, embarrassment, timidity, bashfulness
158. palteo:  equivocación  – error, mistake.
159. panudear:  presumir, pavonear (adj. panudo) – to presume, strut, swagger.
160. papear: comer – to eat.
161. pata:  amigo – friend.
162. estar parado: tener buena posición económica – Economically sound or successful.
163. parsero:  amigo íntimo – an intimate friend.
164. pendejada – refers to talking with a person or group (bullshitting)
165. pendejo:  persona astuta, taimadoa, sobre todo con las mujeres, implica libertinaje sexual o engaño conyugal. – an astute, sly cunning man and one who has many sexual conquests.
166. perra:  mal olor de pies – smelly feat.
167. perromuertero – estafador – swindler, cheat.
168. pichanga:   partido de futbol amistoso, espontáneo, informal – labor hecha como entretenimiento o, despectivamente, labor sin seriedad o provecho real – tener una relación amorosa momentánea  – a pickup game of soccer – a labor of love or work for fun – a short love relationship.
169. piña – bad luck or misfortune (literally pineapple).
170. pituco:  persona adinerada, rico – a rich person.
171. plomear:  disparar, tirotear – to throw out or get rid of.
172. pollada:  fiesta popular de barrio donde el platillo principal es el pollo a la parrilla – a chicken barbecue.
173. ponja:  persona de origen oriental – a person of Asian descent.
174. por las puras alverjas,por las puras,por las puras huevas: sin motivo, sin lógica  – something happening without reason or logic.
175. pulenta:  maravilloso, muy positivo, estimulante, agradable. – Refers to both objects or situations and not individuals – marvelous, positive, stimulating.
176. punta:  cuchillo, navaja – knife.
177. quedado – a man who has not mastered the art of seduction – from the verb quedar – to remain or stay behind.
178. quena: Andean flute.
179. quina:  – fifty centimeters.
180. quino:  fiesta de quince años de una senorita. – a girl’s fifteenth birthday.
181. quinsearse:  equivocarse, confundirse – a mistake or confusion.
182. ranear:  espiar – to spy
183. recursear: robar, obtener algo, ya sea un objeto o un servicio, por maneras alternas o irregulars – to rob or steal.
184. recurso:  botín, producto de un robo – stolen booty or objects.
185. roca: 1) automóvil, incoherencia evidente (también rocón, rocaza) – car, incoherent or garble.
186. roche: vergüenza – shyness, embarrassment, timid, bashful.
187. rondas: defense groups made up of peasants.
188. rubia: cerveza – beer.
189. sapo: individuo listo, alerta – literally a frog but, refers to an alert or intelligent person.
190. soga: corbata – tie.
191. suzuki: sucio – dirty.
192. taba: zapato, persona torpe, con falta de habilidad – shoe, a person who is slow or without skills.
193. taypá: opíparo, abundante – great food or a lot of food.
194. teclo:) Viejo, padre (tecla – madre) – an old person, father or mother.
195. tela: débil, frágil – week, feeble – derived from.terruco: terrorista – terrorist.
196. tira detective
197. tirar cabeza: no devolver algo prestado – not to return something that was lent.
198. tirar lente  ver, mirar – to look or see.
199. tombería: policía en general – police.
200. tono: fiesta – party
201. toque: momento, rato – moment or second.
202. toyo: dentón – a person with large teeth – derived from a name for a fish.
203. trampa: mujer promiscua – a promiscuous woman.
204. tranca: drunk, difficult
205. trapecio : trapo, tela para limpiar. – a rag or cloth for cleaning
206. tuco: terrorista. – terrorist.
207. tugrio – slum in Lima (not squatter towns)
208. tutuma: cabeza – head.
209. vacilar: gustar – to like
210. verraco: persona grosera, tosca – a gross or rude person.
211. villegas: billetes, dinero – paper money.

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Filed under Slang from Peru

Argentinian Slang

año verde [m] [fixed phrase] lit. ‘(the) green year’ an imaginary time where extraordinary things happen; usually in the phrase Argentina año verde. (This would need pages of explanation. In short, suppose the country is ruled by honest politicians and all public services work fine; that’s Argentina año verde.)

apoliyar [v]: to sleep. (Proper spelling, I think, should be apolillar, from polilla ‘moth’; the verb apolillarse [ps-ref] means ‘(of clothes) to become old-looking and unwearable because of being eaten by moths’ and by extension ‘to become decrepit’, and it may have something to do, but is not directly related in meaning.)

arriba [n, adv] above, the place above; fig. the higher spheres of power; [fixed phrase] de arriba free of charge, esp. granted by someone one doesn’t know or expect, or through sheer luck (lit. ‘from above’).

atorrante/a [adj, m, f]: (being) a scum, a good-for-nothing, someone who leads a useless life (generally meaning not working, not studying, just going to parties and having fun). When used of women: easy, whorish, a whore (in figurative or literal sense), esp. one who is ‘known’ by every men wherever she goes. When said of children or young boys, the word can even be appreciative and friendly (un atorrante as ‘a cute little imp’ or ‘a sharp boy’ à la Bart Simpson in a good day).

autobombo [m, uncountable] self-advertising. Etymology: from auto- ‘self-‘ and bombo, a kind of big drum used a lot in public demonstrations, strikes, etc., presumably to call for attention.

baboso/a [m, f, adj] a skirt-chaser (also the same sense applied to women), lusty, crazy about (the opposite) sex. Lit. ‘drooly’.

bacán [m, adj] a person who lives or enjoys living a comfortable life and being served, without having to worry. Etymology unknown, maybe something to do with bacanal ‘wild party’, from Baco (the Roman god of wine).

bagarto [m] 1 alt. form of bagayo; 2 [rare] a burden, a problem left on one’s hands, used e. g. of hospital patients who are dumped in E. R. in a very bad condition.

bagayo [m] an ugly person (esp. used by men referring to women, no matter the grammatical gender, but also increasingly used by women towards men). Alt. form: bagarto. [John Cowan tells me that there’s an American English slang equivalent, dog. Thanks, John!]

bancar [v] 1 to support, to be supportive of, to help (lit. ‘to support financially’, from banco ‘bank’); also, by extension, to wait for, to to be there for; 2 bancarse [ps-ref] to stand, to tolerate, to put up with. Examples: Mis viejos me bancaron los estudios ‘My parents supported my studies’; Te banqué cuando necesitabas un amigo ‘I helped you when you needed a friend’; Bancáme un ratito acá ‘Wait for me here just a while’; Se bancó un montón de insultos ‘He stood up to a lot of insults’; Ya no te banco más ‘I don’t (won’t) support you anymore’ or ‘I can’t stand you anymore’.

barbaridad [f] 1 [negative sense] outrageous thing; esp. in the phrase ¡qué barbaridad! [interj]; 2 [appreciative] very good thing, well-done work, spectacular result; can be used as an adjective (quedó una barbaridad).

bárbaro/a [adj, interj] [appreciative] great, very good, spectacularly good; [no connotation] great, important, serious (as in a mess or disaster). (This word has undergone an important semantic change; as a result, the act of a bárbaro ‘barbarian’ is now called barbárico ‘barbaric’ instead of the ‘correct’ form bárbaro, to avoid confusion — the shortest form doesn’t sound appropriately solemn.)

basurear [vt] treat someone badly, esp. in a consistent fashion; forrear. Formed on basura ‘garbage’.

birra [f] [Italian, same origin as English beer] beer, a bottle of beer.

bolazo [m] exaggeration, obvious lie, bullshit (not interjectional); impossible or incredible activity pictured as real or possible (esp. in a movie or TV show). Etymology unknown; seems to be bol- ‘ball’ + the suffix -azo used for violent movements or blows. Example: “Misión Imposible” fue un bolazo (‘Mission: Impossible was a…’)

bolonqui [m] syllable inversion of quilombo.

boludez [f] 1 a stupid thing, a foolish or rash action; 2 a simple matter that anyone can solve, a thing that is easy to figure out. Example: El examen fue una boludez ‘The test was a piece of cake’.

boludo/a [adj] [rude] 1 (of a person) stupid, annoyingly silly; clumsy; also used as an addressing term among friends; 2 (of a thing) simple, almost insultingly easy to solve. Can take the intensive prefix re-.

bombo [m] 1 lit. drum, bongo (see autobombo); 2 the swollen belly of a pregnant woman, showing her state; the fact of a woman being pregnant, esp. when unwanted or unexpected, whence dejar con el bombo ‘to impregnate a woman unwillingly, to leave a woman that has unwillingly become pregnant’.

bondi [m] [colloquial] bus (public urban transportation). I though this was probably from some sort of convoluted syllable inversion, assimilation and shortening of ómnibus (the proper word for ‘bus’), but a reader pointed out to me that trams in Rio de Janeiro are known as bondis. This word apparently comes from English bonds, which is how Rio’s tram service got built and paid (being one of the first in Latin America) by a British company.

brutal [adj, interj]: lit. brutal, terrible; [appreciative] awesome, terrific. Used almost exclusively by Susana Giménez (yuck!).

buenudo/a [m, f, adj] naive, easy to take advantage of, stupid, easy to deceive or convince. Etymology: a cross between bueno ‘good, nice’ and boludo.

buraco [m] [from Portuguese buraco and/ or Italian buracco] hole, orifice, esp. a large hole dug in the ground; a hole or mark made by a bullet or projectile; a perforating wound.

cábala [f] [from Hebrew qabbalah ‘tradition’, the study and interpretation of the religious Jewish texts using hermetic techniques, and the mystic philosophy supporting them] a token of luck, a ritual action that must be performed or a thing that must be carried or worn to bring good luck to a person or group. Especially used of some gestures in football matches (where, for example, some players might cross themselves on entering the field), but also referring to things like wearing red ‘to avoid the evil eye from envy’ when going to a special party, or even calling a particular person on the phone before a test. The cábala is a thing to be repeated each time; this traditional repetition is what makes it a cábala and not a single meaningless gesture.

cacho [m] a bit, a small amount (esp. of time); a small portion of solid matter (esp. food). Usually in the singular, un cacho. Also [fixed phrase] cacho de (used for big great things or people in different contexts), for example: ¡Lindo cacho de auto tenés! ‘Some nice car you have!’, Es un cacho de doctor ‘He’s a hell of a doctor’.

cagar [v] [rude]: 1 [i] lit. to shit; 2 [t] to disappoint, fail to comply on, do something against the interests of (people), ruin, destroy or damage (a machine) as in Nos cagaste la fiesta ‘You ruined (us) the party’; 3 [i] to die (esp. figuratively), to stop functioning, to be ruined, as in Cagó la impresora ‘The printer’s dead’ (see finiquitar); 4 cagarse [ps-ref] lit. to shit on oneself; to be a coward; to chicken out; 5 [fixed phrase] cagar a palos to beat severely; to talk very badly of; to treat someone with physical violence (more or less like ‘to take the shit out of’); 6 [fixed phrase] cagar a pedos to chastise, to punish verbally, to give a dressing-down (Mi viejo me cagó a pedos porque llegué a las 8 de la mañana ‘My old man gave me hell because I got back home at 8 a.m.’); 7 [fixed phrase] irse a cagar to go to hell, to fuck off (usually imperative, using the suppletive verb andar).

calzado/a [adj] lit. having footwear on; armed, carrying a weapon, esp. a gun.

capo/a [m, f, adj] [Italian, lit. ‘head’] 1 (esp. with the definite articles) boss, chief, leader; [derogatory] the leader of an organization seen as a dark high figure (capomafia ‘mob leader’); 2 (being) a good person, a person one likes, esp. for being supportive and charming (cf ‘tops’).

cana 1 [f] (generally in singular definite form, la cana) the police force, as a whole; a group of policemen. See also yuta. 2 [m, f] a policeman or policewoman.

careta [m, f, adj] [derog] lit. ‘mask, face covering’; a snobbish person, esp. upper-classy, affected or pedantic, going always to expensive fashionable places, always dressing fashionable clothes; a person who lives by fashion and image. Also found as the augmentative caretón or the diminutive (despective) caretita.

carrito [m] lit. a diminutive of carro (in this meaning, ‘moving kiosk’); a certain kind of restaurant, esp. one with open spaces and rather informal; a moving post with a portable gas supply and cooker, where fast foods are sold (the equivalent of hot dogs and hamburguers).

chabón [m] a guy, a man (esp. a silly one — the word carries some indefinite derogatory sense).

chanchuyo [m] [old-fashioned but still in use] an act of corruption, an illicit agreement; dirty business; political maneuvers done in the dark. Etymology: probably a reference to chancho ‘pig’ and the idea of chanchada ‘pig-like, dirty, filthy thing’.

changa [f] an informal job, for a limited (sometimes undefined) period of time, without any legally binding contract; a temporal job, for example, small-scale house repairs not needing an architect.

chanta [m, f] [derogatory]: a deceiver, a cheater, a swindler, someone known to perform dishonest practices. Derivatives chantún/a [m, f], and chantada [f] the act of such a person.

chau [interj] ‘bye!’, ‘goodbye!’. This word is a rendering of Italian ciao, ultimately from [io sono il] tuo sciavo ‘[I am] your slave’, an old goodbye greeting (cf. English ‘At your service’). A native speaker and fellow conlanger, Luca Mangiat, tells me that in some dialects medial -v- consistenly disappears, which accounts even more for this etymology. This word has spread over the world with its original sound /tSao/, chao, but this is extremely rare and rather snobbish-sounding in Argentina.

che [interj] [vocative] ‘hey!’, ‘hey, you!’. Etymology unknown. This word appears in Mapudungu (a language spoken by the Mapuche, natives from Southern Argentina and Chile) meaning ‘people’, and in Guaraní (natives of the Paraná River basin) where it means ‘I’.

chupamedias [m, f, adj [derogatory] lit. ‘sock-sucker’, boot-licker. Tends to lose the final -s.

chupar [v] to drink (said of alcoholic drinks, esp. when too much). Lit. to suck (only this sense is always transitive). Derivative chupero/a [m, f] ‘alcoholic person’.

chupina [f] the act of missing a school day without the knowledge of one’s parents; going out as if heading for school and take a turn somewhere in the way, or getting to school and then deciding not to enter. In the fixed expression Hacerse la chupina. See also rata.

ciruja [m] informal recycler; a person who picks up selected pieces of garbage in the streets, takes them with him and re-sells them, including glass bottles, metal, and paper. Sometimes this bounty is loaded on precarious two-wheeled horse-powered carriages. These can be seen going down the largest and most luxurious avenues in all big cities in Argentina. The activity is called cirujeo; the verb is cirujear. Nothing to do with cirugía ‘surgery’..

combustible [m] lit. fuel; alcohol, an intake of an alcoholic drink, thought of having a reanimating or cheering-up effect.

concheto/a [m, f, adj] [derogatory] an older form of careta.

copado/a [m, f, adj] [appreciative, becoming old-fashioned] cool, a good thing, a nice thing or person (see macanudo). Especially applied to people, places and occasions like parties.

corralito [m] [new word (first attested November 2001)] lit. ‘little corral, small pen, little enclosed space’, the set of financial restrictions implemented by minister Domingo Cavallo of the De la Rúa administration to prevent growing amounts of money to be withdrawn from bank accounts, by decreeing that people will have to get their salaries by check only, imposing weekly and monthly limits on the amount of money in banks allowed for withdrawal (initially 250 pesos a week, 1000 pesos a month), and completely freezing some types of bank accounts, thus leaving people’s savings trapped for an indefinite time. These measures were intended to keep the bank system from collapsing and avoid foreign currency (dollars) to leave the country, but were soon breached, and they deepened an already monstrous recession. (The government fell a month later.) — Lessened restrictions implemented later received the name corralón (‘big pen’).

crepar [vi] to die, to pass away.

cuero [m] leather, animal skin; [fixed phrase] sacar el cuero lit. ‘to remove the skin (from sbdy)’, to speak (esp. badly) of someone who is not present, to gossip about someone.

culo [m] [taboo] 1 [not slang] bottom, low end (of a bottle); ass, butt (of a person); culos de botella (‘bottle bottoms’): a pair of glasses with very thick lenses; 2 good luck, esp. in games (see orto).

curro [m] a scam, a fraud, a deception; a dirty business, an illegal arrangement. The corresponding verb is currar [vt]. Note that this word means ‘work, job’ (no negative connotations) in Spain.

dedo [m] lit. finger; hacer dedo hitch-hike; a dedo (appointed) by the will of someone in power, without consulting with anyone else or following criteria for selection (as if merely pointing at the person with the index finger) — as is routine for the designation of non-elected political officials; A la mitad de la Corte Suprema la puso Menem a dedo ‘Half of the Supreme Court was appointed by (former President Carlos) Menem…’. Journalists popularized the cult alternative digitar, lit. ‘to key in with a finger’ for the same meaning.

despelote [m] a mess, an occasion of great confusion, an organizational disaster. Etymology: from the privative preffix des- (English des-, de-, dis-) and pelot- ‘ball’ (fig. ‘testicle’). The ending -e is curiously found often in words of occasion with a negative connotation (see embole and despiole).

embole [m, usu. sing] (a place, lapse of time, or activity involving) boredom.

engranar [vi] to become angry; lit. the action of a gauge (engranaje) setting others into motion. The corresponding noun is engrane. The etymology, though, must be related to grana ‘red, crimson’ (whence granada, the fruit, and Granada, the Spanish city).

engrupir [vt] [becoming old-fashioned] to deceive, usually by using nice words; to get someone to buy into a not-so-good idea.

escrachar [vt] to ruin the cover of, to uncover in public, to show (someone) as having an illegal or evil behaviour. This word has been lately applied to demonstrations (escraches) of some human rights groups in front of the houses of officials of the last military government. These demonstrations are intended to increase the public awareness towards the impunity of the crimes of these officials and denounce their places of residence. People next door of these criminals and collaborationists sometimes don’t know of their past. Etymology: probably imitative/onomatopoeic.

escracho [m] a thing or person that is ugly, in disarray, dirty, etc.; someone or something that should not be presented in public. Distantly related, semantically, with escrachar and escrache.

facha [f] the looks of someone, esp. good looks (synonym: pinta). This word is found in European Spanish but mostly in the plural, and it has a negative connotation; in Argentina it can be either positive or negative, with a tendency towards the former (but it all depends on the tone of the speaker). Note that in Peninsular Spanish facha is slang for ‘fascist’ or ‘right-winger’; this meaning is completely unknown in Argentina, though some people say fachista instead of fascista.

falopa [f] 1 drug (of any kind); 2 drug dealing, esp. in a small scale. Derivatives: falopearse [ps-ref v] ‘to consume drugs, to administer drugs to oneself’; falopero/a [m, f] ‘drug addict’.

fashion [adj, invariable] (clothes, customs, ornaments, etc.) in fashion, en vogue; [mildly derog] (of a person) too worried about fashion and looks, careta. Pronounced [‘fASOn] (approximate English simulated pronunciation FAH-shawn, with pure, unreduced vowels).

faso [m] cigarette.

feca [m] [uneducated, old-fashioned] a cup of coffee. Syllable inversion of café ‘coffee’.

fiambre [m] [colloquial, a bit rude] (lit. meat served cold, usually plus cheese) the dead body of a person, a corpse, a stiff (with an obvious reference to coldness and consistence).

fija [f] a sure thing, a prediction which will come true (from the point of view of the speaker). See posta. Used a lot in horse races.

finiquitar [v] in its usual sense, [t] to finish off a matter, to close an issue (properly) (Ya finiquité el asunto de la cuenta del banco ‘I already finished off the issue of the bank account’). Figurative extensions: [t] to kill, to take care of (someone), to put an end to (something); [i] to die, to end, to be through.

forrado/a [adj] lit. coated, encased, wrapped (from forrar); rich, wealthy, full of money and possessions (from the hyperbolical idea of someone that is wrapped in money).

forrear [vt] to treat someone badly in a consistent way; to despise with rude words or manners, esp. in public; basurear.

forro 1 [m] lit. protective cover, esp. as in a book; a condom; 2 forro/a [m, f, adj] (most probably from meaning 1) a bad person, esp. one who has evilly deceived a friend or another loved one, or disappointed them with evil actions, or betrayed their trust.

fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fuiste, fueron [conjugated forms of the irregular verb ir ‘to go’ or maybe ser ‘to be’] to be done, to be through, to be finished. Examples: Eso ya fue ‘That’s finished already’ (a sentimental affair, a feeling between two parties); Fuiste lit. ‘You went / You’re gone’, meaning ‘You’re dead’ (fig.); Ya fuimos ‘We’re through’ (a couple breaking up). Also used as transitive meaning ‘to fire, to dismiss’: Me fueron lit. *’They went me’ (‘They fired me’). According to John Cowan, Cicero once announced the execution of certain persons to the Senate by saying “Fuerunt”, the stem fu- corresponding to the Latin verb esse ‘to be’ (not ire ‘to go’). In Spanish this stem came to be used to conjugate both verbs in the tense known as pretérito indefinido (i. e. fui means both ‘I went’ and ‘I was’).

fuerte [adj] lit. ‘strong’; (of a person) in good shape, with a nice attractive body, physically well-formed (not necessarily ‘muscular’). Used with estar, not ser. Example: ¡Qué fuerte que está tu prima! ‘Your cousin’s so hot!’.

fulero/a [adj] [from English ‘foul’, pronounced ‘full’?] of bad or substandard quality; looking as if tampered with; (sometimes applied to people) ugly; suspiciously looking.

gallego/a [m, f, adj] Spanish (thing, person; sometimes also the European (Castilian) variety of the Spanish language); a Spaniard. Lit. from Galicia (region of Spain). Not especially appreciated by non-Galician Spaniards.

gamba [f] 1 [Italian] a leg (usually a human leg); 2 an amount of one hundred items (esp. one hundred pesos, or whatever currency unit is in use) — see also luca, palo; 3 [uncountable] an act of supporting someone (hacer la gamba, synonym hacer el aguante), esp. when a friend is in trouble, or needs a companion (e. g. to go and talk to a couple of girls, even if only one of them is interesting for the accompanied person); 4 [adj] supportive, helpful; said of a person who acts as in meaning 3.

garrón [m] 1 [becoming rare in this sense] an unwelcome or untimely request; the act of asking for a favour, including lending money; 2 (related to the first meaning) a bother, a burden, a problem imposed on one that one must solve; an inescapable obligation that appears in the worst moment (such as a client that arrives at the shop you work at when you’re about to close and go home).

garronear [v] (related to garrón, meaning 1) to ask for something, esp. insistently; to ask for money (used mostly of people who do this all the time: garroneros).

gauchada [f] a favour, a small errand taken charge of by a supporting person. Etymologically it means ‘something that a gaucho does’; we can guess that gauchos were typically considered attentive and helpful.

gil/a [m, f] stupid person, fool; innocent, naive. (Same meaning as gilipollas in Spain.) Derivatives: augmentative gilún/giluna [m, f]; gilada [f] a foolish action, a stupid thing, a silly mistake; a ridiculous thing to say, a comment made out of stupidity.

gozar [vt] lit. ‘to enjoy’, in this sense with an inanimate object; with a personal direct object it means to make fun of and gloat on someone else’s minor misfortune (esp. results of sports matches, contests, card games, etc.) by pointing it out to the affected person. For example: Le gané a mi hermano al truco y lo estuve gozando toda la tarde ‘I beat my brother at truco and made fun of him all afternoon’.

grasa [adj, gender invariable] (lit. ‘grease’): kitsch, ridiculous, tasteless (a person, esp. in the lower classes); rude, uneducated. Also an older word, groncho/a.

guacho/a [m, f, adj] lit. a small animal left without parents (only used in the countryside in this sense); a bad (but not evil) person, a son of a bitch (can be used as a friendly insult); any person one shows some attitude (good or bad) towards.

guita [f] money.

guitarrear [vi] lit. ‘play around on the guitar’, fig. used as ‘to say lots of things just to do something’, stringing pretty meaningless sentences one after another. See sanata. Derivatives: guitarreada [f] an instance of such behaviour.

hacer [vi] lots of meanings. Fixed phrases: hacer mierda ‘turn (someone) (into) shit’, hacer pelota ‘… a ball’, hacer moco ‘… bugger’, hacer flecos ‘… fringes’, and many, many more, all of them meaning ‘destroy, tear apart, screw up, ruin, bring down’.

Hugo [m] proper name, in the fixed phrase: llamar a Hugo ‘call Hugo’, meaning ‘vomit’ (onomatopoeic; the name is pronounced [uGo], with a guttural fricative). This phrase is quite uneducated. It’s not widely known in the mainstream, and is mainly used for drunken people.

jabón [m] lit. ‘soap’; [old-fashioned] fear, terror, the state of being afraid; cagazo.

joda [f] 1 joke, kidding, non-serious things said or done (esp. in the fixed phrase en joda ‘not seriously, kidding’); 2 party, organized fun; a house party, a going out (also in the fixed phrase irse de joda ‘go get fun’.

joder [vi] 1 to make a joke to someone; tease; slightly annoy, bother; 2 hang out and have fun; 3 to screw up (sbdy./sthg.), to ruin the chances of (on purpose); 4 [rude] (only in translations of American movies made for or by Central Americans) to fuck.

jovato/a [m, f, adj]: old, elder, especially with reference to a younger person, and very especially referring to the older one in a couple of people of very different ages. Often used of people trying to look younger by their manner of dressing or speaking. My guess at its etymology: -ato is augmentative and/or despective, and the root jov- seems to come from a syllable inversion of viejo ‘old’ > jovie. Probably also an association with joven ‘young’.

joya [interj] [becoming rare] wonderful, right, OK. Te paso a buscar a las 10. — ¡Joya! ‘I’ll come and fetch you at ten. — OK, wonderful!’.

laburar [v] [Italian lavorare] to work, to have a job.

laburo [v] [Italian lavoro] job, work.

lastrar [v] [becoming rare] to eat (lit. ‘to load ballast’); lastre [m] food (lit. ‘ballast’).

leche [f] lit. milk; [taboo] 1 semen (and fig. male horniness caused by abstinence); 2 [colloquial] attitude or predisposition, and also luck, fortune. When used alone, this usually has a negative connotation, but it is usually accompanied by the qualifiers ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (buena leche, mala leche). Serves adjectively too. For example: Qué mala leche es este profesor ‘What a bad attitude this professor has’.

lola [f] [1990ish, becoming rare] a woman’s breast; hacerse las lolas to get a breast implant.

lompa [m] [rare] (singular in Spanish) trousers. Syllable inversion and shortening of pantalón, of the same meaning.

luca [f] an amount of one thousand items (esp. one thousand pesos, or whatever currency unit is in vigour); una luca verde ‘one thousand dollars’ (lit. ‘a green luca’). See also gamba, palo.

macana [f] 1 a bad thing to happen, an inconvenience, a pity (quite standard and accepted by now); 2 a bad thing that has been done, a screwup, a mistake (esp. in the phrase mandarse una macana).

macanudo/a [adj, interj] (nothing to do with macana) very good (esp. a deal, an arrangement), nice and friendly, open (a person).

mango [m] 1 fig. a unit of currency, esp. in the phrase No tener un mango ‘Not have a (single) mango’. Etymology uncertain, probably related to the fruit of the same name (though not widely known in Argentina at present). 2 [fixed phrase] al mango (of a machine, a domestic appliance, a car, a recorder) at the maximum possible setting (at full speed, at full volume, etc.); saturated, at the most, al palo.

ma’ qué [interj?] [not polite] surely a rapid speech-form of mas, ¿qué…? ‘but, what…?’. Difficult to explain except with an example: –Fuimos al shopping y… –¡Ma’ qué shopping, si es un supermercado grande! ‘–We went to the mall and… –What mall? It’s a big supermarket!’. Note: if you can explain this better, tell me! This phrase is plain Italian, though its usage is somewhat different.

metejón [m] a passion for an object, person or issue; a strong yearning. From meterse ‘to get oneself into [a place]’ = ‘to fall hopelessly in love’. Used as tener un metejón con ‘to have a yearning with = for’.

meter [vt] [fixed phrase] meter la pata ‘to get one’s leg in’, to do something stupid, to make a mistake, to manage a situation badly. Can be completed with hasta el fondo ‘down to the bottom’ for emphasis.

micro [m] in Buenos Aires, a bus; in Rosario, a short distance, urban bus, and only if mentioned in the media (the usual word is colectivo or, less commonly, ómnibus).

milico/a [m, f][slightly derogatory] a member of the millitary. From the beginning of militar ‘millitary person’ and the seemingly despising suffix -(i)c-.

mina [f] [Lunfardo] a girl, a woman. Mainstream, standard colloquial way of referring to a female from her teens on. Not rude, but not accepted in formal speech either. Cf Castilian Spanish tía.

minga [interj] [rather uneducated] of course not! … Y si me pide otro favor más, ¡minga! ‘… And if he/she asks for any other favor, (I’ll tell him/her) of course not!’.

mishadura [f] [Lunfardo, probably from miseria ‘bad economic situation’ and dura ‘hard’] bad economic situation, esp. when generalized to the whole country; economic crisis, recession, lack of opportunities for employment and trade.

morfar [v] to eat. From the same root: morfi [n] food, something to eat, a meal.

mufa 1 [f] bad luck, esp. in games and gambling; 2 [m, f, uncountable, no article] a person who brings bad luck, a jinx. (Argentine ex-president Carlos Menem was said to be mufa; whenever he shook hands with an Argentine tennis player or went to see a football match of a favourite team, they lost.)

ñaupa [Quechua ñawpa, ‘before’? ‘ago’?] used only in the fixed phrase el tiempo de ñaupa: long ago, in a long-gone (maybe legendary) past, esp. in humoristic exaggeration.

orto [m] [taboo] 1 lit. ass, butt, butthole; 2 good luck, esp. in games. Same as culo in both senses, though this is more of a taboo word.

palo [m] 1 an amount of one million items (esp. one million pesos, or whatever currency unit is in vigour); see also gamba, luca. 2 lit. (a blow given with) a stick; a critique, esp. when strong and/or in public; related to 3 a barely concealed suggestion, an insidious hint, esp. when talking of sentimental business; an act (of seduction) at a particular person so that s/he cannot fail to catch it (this is called tirar un palo ‘to throw a stick [blow]’); 4 in card games, a suite; fig. a group of similar people, only in the phrase ser del mismo palo (que) [usually derogatory] ‘to be of the same kind (as)’.

pancho [m] a hot dog, Argentine style. Often sold in street stands (carritos), with varying degrees of hygiene. Young people flock to these stands to buy panchos or superpanchos after dancing at discos.

pantallazo [m] a general explanation, a brief display of a subject. The root pantalla means ‘screen’.

pata [f] 1 lit. (animal) leg; [colloquial, not rude] a person’s leg; a pata on foot; en patas barefoot; por debajo de las patas (‘under one’s legs’) fig. swiftly, without one having the chance to notice (esp. in the context of spending money); 2 support, help, esp. from a friend. The typical context involves waiting (and covering for) someone else (hacer pata, cf gamba, aguante); 3 [phrase] meter pata (usually imperative) (in a car) drive faster (get one’s foot into the accelerator), fig. hurry up, speed things up. Not to be confused with meter la pata (see meter).

patota [f] a group of violent people, esp. any group of young mobbers (patoteros) who bother people in the street, threatens them and/or rob them, or a group of fans of a football team before or after a match, etc. In general, a derogatory expression for any group of people that tries to achieve things by violent methods and using the force of number, but without any visible structure. There’s also the media-coined fused compound patrioterismo, from patriotismo ‘patriotism’ and patoterismo, meaning violent nationalism, populistic right-wing tendencies, etc.

patovica [m] a person who guards the access to discos, clubs, etc., and/or are in charge of taking drunkards and discriminated minorities out; often associated with gym-trained, medication-enhanced muscular types.

pendejo/a 1 [m, f, adj] [rude, but not insulting] child, kid, boy/girl; [usually appreciative] (someone who looks like) a young person; [derogatory] childish, improper for an adult person, esp. used of something made out of whim and arbitrariness (pendejada [n]); 2 [m] [generally only used among boys, very rude] a pubic hair. (Note well, the first meaning is not an insulting term of address as in Mexican Spanish.)

petiso/a [adj] [colloquial, usually non-derogatory] short, of small stature. Used also as a noun and an addressing term.

pibe/a [m, f] kid, child, boy/girl, youngster. (Sounds a bit rude for girls.)

pifiar [v] to fail, to have a bad shot, to throw something and miss the target. (This word is not really only Argentine slang; it’s well known in the mainstream, and I know that at least RPGers in Spain use it for the same thing as we do — e. g. what you get in MERP when you throw a low number in the dice and your weapon does something weird…, that is, a pifia [f]). In general, a failure or mistake of any kind.

pila [f] lit. a battery; energy, disposition for work, awareness of things to do; usually in the phrase ponerse las pilas ‘to put some batteries on’: to assume responsibility and start to work; to take charge of one’s situation; to get up, think carefully and do what is expected. Lately also found as ponerse media pila ‘to put on half a battery’ (ironical).

pinturita [f] lit. ‘little picture’; una pinturita [fixed phrase] perfect, sharp, ‘squeaky clean’; in very fine condition.

piquetero/a [m, f] [colloquial at first, now mainstream] a person (generally unemployed or sub-employed) that participates in piquetes to protest his/her condition. A piquete is a gathering of such people, usually blocking some important way and demonstrating, noisily and sometimes violently. Piquete is a mainstream Spanish word; piquetero was coined (by the media?) when the economic crisis reached new depths during Carlos Menem’s second period (1995-1999). At this time unemployment became a symptom of social breakdown, and piqueteros started blocking, not entrances to factories or government buildings, but national highways, sometimes attacking passing drivers. During the last four years or so, the piqueteros have become a social movement and (for some) acquired darker features, such as the appearance of charismatic leaders with inflammatory speech and extreme ideological biases. There are so many unemployed people in Argentina that the unemployed have become unionized! Piquetero was a neologism at first (used in quotes); now the media have incorporated the word as part of their common vocabulary.

pirulo [m] [colloquial] a year (used only as a unit for people’s age).

podrido/a [adj] lit. rotten; podrido de tired of; podrido en full of, up to one’s ears in (something good, usually money).

ponja [m/f, adj] Japanese (thing, person, language). From syllable inversion of Japón ‘Japan’.

porro [m] a marihuana joint.

porrón [m] a bottle of beer, and its contents. Originally a special kind of container for liquids, now applied to beer only, though the bottles are not really different.

posta 1 [f] a piece of news, esp. gossip; hearsay or a prediction that the speaker assures to be true and from a trustable source; 2 [interj] (esp. repeated) this is sure, I’m sure. Example: Te tiro una posta: esta yegua hoy gana ‘I’ll drop you a hint/I assure you: this mare will win today’ (at the races, obviously). See fija. –¿En serio? –¡Posta posta! ‘–Really? –Damn sure!’.

quichicientos [numeral] (ficticious number) large number, a lot, a gazillion.

quilombo [m] [rudish]: (from an African language?, kimbundu ‘bungalow’) 1 [old-fashioned, rare] brothel, whorehouse; 2 (a) mess, scandal, terrible noise, disorder. A messed-up place or a complicated situation is said to be enquilombado/a.

rajar [vi] and more usually rajarse [ps-ref] to leave, esp. hastily; to flee, to escape esp. when a complicated problem is approaching; [derog] to leave abandoning someone, to escape like a rat.

rata [f] lit. ‘rat’. Same meaning as chupina [becoming rare], skipping school.

raspando [adv] lit. scratching (a surface); barely, by one hair’s breadth, just enough.

rebotar [v] lit. to bounce, to bounce off; 1 [t] to reject, to return, to give back for review (for example, Me rebotaron el pedido de crédito ‘They rejected my credit application’); [i] to bounce, to be rejected, to be returned (El cheque rebotó ‘The check was bounced’); 2 [i] to be rejected by somebody one has sexually advanced on.

reverendo [adj] used as an emphatic mark esp. in insults, as in reverendo hijo de…, more or less ‘you big fat son of a…’. Probably because it sounds like a title, it lends importance to the rest of the phrase.

romper [vi] lit. ‘to break’ (which is supposed to be transitive); used as intransitive, it means ‘to annoy, to bother’, as an euphemism to the complete expressions romper las pelotas or romper las bolas ‘to break (someone’s) balls’ (= testicles). Used by women, too!

ruso/a [m, f, adj] Jewish; a Jew; someone with a common Jewish surname or presumed Jewish descent; lit. Russian (most Jewish immigrants came from Russia?)

sanata [f] long speech, long text, boring lecture about things that are made to look important and deserving a lot of words. Similar to bolazo. Used by students about dense texts they have to read, and the things they write in exams when they don’t know what to write but need to fill some space. Derivatives: sanatear [vi], sanatero/a [m, f] performer of sanata. Cf guitarrear.

sarparse [ps-ref vi] probably syllable inversion of pasarse; (an action) to go beyond the limits, go too far, say or do improper or too much things for the occasion. For example ¿Sabés que tu hermana está re-buena? — ¡No te sarpés! ‘Your sister’s really hot, you know! — Don’t go too far!’.

sobrar [vt] in standard usage, intransitive, ‘to be left over, to be more than enough, to be innecesary’; in slang, used with a personal direct object: to make fun of someone while pointing out the superiority of the speaker in some matter; to speak contemptuously or mockingly to someone as if they were of lesser value. One who does this is a sobrador.

sota [f] the ten card in a Spanish deck; used figuratively in the phrase caérsele una sota (a uno) ‘to drop a ten-spot’, meaning ‘to lie grossly about one’s age’.

sota [m] [fixed phrase] hacerse el sota ‘to hide oneself, to make oneself unnoticed, to pretend one’s got nothing to do with things’.

tano/a [m, f, adj] Italian (thing, person; not the language).

timba [f] the institution and concept of betting on the lottery or gambling in general. Derived verb timbear [vi] to bet, esp. often or regularly.

tocado [adj] lit. ‘touched’ in the sense of ‘slightly crazy’; a bit drunk.

tomárselas [ps-ref v + -las ‘them (fem.)’]: lit. (oneself) to take them; to go away, to leave; to run away, to flee. Probably from tomar(se) las de Villadiego (I don’t know the origin of this, but it probably means ‘to take the ones (roads?) to Villadiego’). For example: Me las tomo ‘I’m leaving’, Tomátelas de acá ‘Get out of here’ (not kidding), Se las tomaron hace rato ‘They went away long ago’.

toque [n] [fixed phrase] al toque ‘instantly, in just a moment, immediately, almost simultaneously’. Generally used of past events: Llegó y al toque la vio ‘He came and right at that moment he saw her’. Also un toque (just) a moment, (just) a bit; for example, Bancáme un toque ‘Wait a sec’.

tordo/a [m, f] doctor (from syllable inversion of dotor, the uneducated pronunciation of doctor ‘(medical) doctor’. The feminine torda is analogical.

truchada [f] something that is or has been made trucho; a fake, a bad-quality forge.

trucho/a [m, f, adj] fake, phony, made up, false, artificial, ersatz, forged; (of software, CDs, DVDs, etc.) pirated; (of people) a scammer, a quack.

tubazo [m] lit. a hit with a tube or pipe; a phone call (from one of the senses of tubo ‘phone speaker’; the action is pegar un tubazo.

tubo [m] lit. ‘tube, pipe’, and also the body of a telephone speaker; 1 a bottle of wine; 2 (generally pl.) a muscular arm, an arm with well-developed biceps and triceps; 3 como por un tubo [fixed phrase] ‘as if through a pipe’, fig. massively and swiftly, in great amounts and uncontrolled, for example: Este mes se me fue la plata como por un tubo ‘This month my money went away as if through a pipe’.

turco/a [m, f, adj] Arabian (thing, person); lit. Turkish. Often applied as an addressing form and nickname to people with an Arabian surname or presumed descent (notably, for a while, former president Carlos Saúl Menem).

turro/a [m, f] [rude] (general expletive) a bad, evil, obnoxious, or deceiving person. Originally meaning, and probably originated in, perra ‘bitch’ (first applied to women, then also to men). The suffix -rro, -rra seems to be derogatory in many words (like curro).

vaquita [f] lit. little cow; the action and result of collecting money (hacer una vaquita) among friends, workmates, etc., esp. in small amounts, to buy something that the group or one of its members needs. The non-diminutive basic form vaca is also used.

yapa [f] a free addition;
de yapa for free, together with another item (also used figuratively).

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Filed under Slang from Argentina

Cuban Slang

Acere : friend, mate ( qué bola acere = how are you mate)
Ajustador : bra
Babaloa : Santeria priest
Baro : money
Bemba : lips – Radio Bemba : Gossip, Grape-vine
Bici-tax : bicycle taxi
Bodega : ( state owned) grocery store
Bollo : vagina ( vulgar expression))
Bolsa negra : black market (translated: black bag)
Borracho : drunken
Blumer : knickers
Bisnero : business man ( hustler)
Campesino : farmer
Camello : camel bus
Carro : car
Carné (de identidad) Cuban identity card
Chancletas : flip-flops
Chebi : taxi ( official state taxi)
Chopin : shopping ( refers to dollar shop , tourist shop)
Chocolate : a mobile telephone with a glider..
Because it is more expensive and the latest, the Cubans call it “Chocolate” as something more valuable and expensive:….a chocolate.
Chulo : pimp
Cojones : bastard (vulgar expression)
Cola : Cuban queue
Comemierda : bastard, stupid ( translated : eat shit) (vulgar expression)
Coño : Bastard, Shit (vulgar) Spanish: esta mierda (see also Pinga)
Consorte : friend
Chao : (good) bye
Chivato : squeaker, police informer
Cuarto : a room (in a hotel) (Spanish: habitación)
Delgado : slim person
Entufado : drunken (also borracho)
Fardo : pants, trousers
Filtro : smart person
Fosforera : lighter (Spanish: encendedor)
Gallego : bad lover – bad sex
Ganso : gay (also: Maricon)
Grilla : bad woman, cheap vulgar prostitute,
Gringo: foreigner (also: Yuma)(yuma is more frequently used)
Guapo : good looking, afraid of nobody.
Guagua : autobus (also: Rufa)
Guajira : peasant – farmer (female) Guajiro (= male)
intima : sanitary towel
Izquierda (translation=left) : por izquierda : through the black market (with the left hand = black market or bolsa negra)
Jama: food (jamar: to eat)(Spanish: comer)
Jinetera : escort girl, part-time prostitute
Jaba : plastic bag (to carry groceries)
Joder : fucking (vulgar) No me jodes : don’t fuck me up
Jodido : fucked up (vulgar)
Kiosko : little shop
Mala Hoja : a bad lover – bad sex
Mami : mam (used when addressing a woman)
Mangon : good looking
Maricon : gay, queer (vulgar)
Monado : police
Moni : money
Ohrishas : the Gods (religious)
Paguete : bad lover – bad sex
Papi : dad ( used when addressing a man)
palestino : stupid, retarded ( used by people from Havana to refer to farmers from Eastern Cuba)
Padrino : Santeria priest, counseller
Paton : bad dancer
Pipo : chap (used when addressing a waiter)
Pinga : penis (vulgar expression), shit (also “Fuck off”) Esta de Pinga: its shit Pinguero : male prostitute (derived from the word “pinga”)
Pinchar : to work (Spanish: trabajar)
Pulover : T-shirt
Queik : cake
Sardina : slim woman
Suerte : good luck, happiness
Socio : budy , mate
Tacos: shoes (women) (also: llanta)
Taxi Colectivo : a shared taxi for Cubans only
Tenis : sneakers, training shoes, sports shoes
yin : (blue) jeans
yuma : foreigner
Zafra : the sugar cane harvest
Cuban Love and Care Expressions
Cariño : love, darling, affection, tender
Amor : love, sweetheart
Linda : Beauty
Mi Vida : my love, my everything (translated : my life)
Cuidate : take care
beso: kiss – besito: little tender kiss
Con todo mi Corazón: with all my heart
Frequently Used Cuban Expressions
Hola : Hello
Chao : Goodbye, Bye
¿Que bola? : How are you? (Spanish : ¿Como esta?)
No es fácil : It’s not easy (translated) Life is hard ( the living is difficult)
Disculpe , permiso : Sorry
¿Te gustas? : Do you like it? ( used for a drink or meal)
No sé : I don’t know
¿Cuánto cuesta? : How much is this?
Ser un punto : being stupid, weird
Tener un peso suerte : to find an lost or forgotten peso (dollar) in your pocket ( translated: to have a lucky peso or dollar) ¿No tiene un peso suerte? Do you have an accidental peso?

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Colombian Slang


  • abrirse (to open): to leave
  • armar videos (to do videos): to lie, cause trouble
  • caliente (hot): dangerous
  • camello (camel): job
  • caspa (dandruff): a badly-behaved person
  • comerse a alguien (to eat somebody): have sex with a woman
  • chévere: cool
  • chimba: Pussy (Slang for Female Genitalia); When it is used as an object of comparison it denotes an extreme attraction to something (Attractive/cool); (Example: “Eso es una chimba de carro/chimba de vieja” (that is a cool car/attractive woman)). Its usage is considered obscene, although in cities like Medellin it is used all the time. Another usage would be “Que re Chimba!” – How awesome/cool.
  • chino: (Chinese): child
  • fresco (fresh): Don’t worry
  • gonorrea (gonorrhea): evil, loathsome
  • guevon: literally “big balls” or “lazy” but you would call your buddy this “Ay guevon!”
  • hacer la tarea (to do homework): have sex
  • levantarse (to pick up): make a conquest of a woman or man (example: “Me levante una vieja anoche hermano”), battery (crime), to beat someone up
  • ligar (to tie): to give money. to bribe
  • llave (“key” written wrong): friend
  • mamando: (breastfeeding): didn’t work out, did not come out well.
  • mamola: no way
  • mariconadas: joking around (deje las mariconadas – stop joking around)
  • ni por el berraco: no way
  • nonas: no
  • paila (saucepan): bad luck, not good.
  • parce or parcero: largely used as comrade. (corruption of “parcelo”, slang for owner of a plot of land (parcela)). Originally used as cell mate (sharing the same plot of land); Its usage derived into: criminal mate. Used only in criminal circles from late 1970s is now used openly in almost every urban center. Ex. Andres Palacios
  • perder el año (to get an F (grade)): to die
  • pilas (batteries): wake up
  • pisarse (to step over): to leave
  • plata (silver): money
  • plomo (lead): bullets
  • ratero (rat associated word): robber
  • rumbear makeout
  • sapo (toad): informant, snitch
  • sisas: yes
  • tombo: policeman
  • tirar (to throw, to shoot): to have sex
  • vaina: case, refers to an object or to a complicated situation
  • vieja (old woman): Young woman. Ex. Carolina Cortes
  • ¿vientos o maletas? (winds or suitcases): how are you? (Note that this comes from “bien o mal”? (good or bad?), but it was changed to different words to make it funnier)

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