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"Want to learn "Cuban Spanish"?
This page will teach you the REAL words
used on the island"
I suggest that you carry a pocket dictionary or electronic translator to communicate with the Cubans.
In the hotels most of the staff speaks English, but in the shops and on the streets a basic knowledge of Spanish can be very useful.
Take in consideration that Spanish is spoken in many countries and that a lot of Latino people live in the United States.
One of the most important words in Cuban Slang is money,
in Spanish : DINERO
Local dialect for money :
moneda, baro, chavito, divisa, fula, dolars, peso, plata, melon, moni, guanikiki, lana, pasta, yira.
Frequently used words:
Because it is more expensive and the latest, the Cubans call it "Chocolate" as something more valuable and expensive:....a chocolate.
Love and Care Expressions
Frequently Used Expressions
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This is a list of phrases, words, and slang used in Puerto Rico. There are many phrases that are funny in one place and mean nothing in another country that speaks standard Spanish. Here is a list of slang commonly used in Puerto Rico, with usage notes and a loose translation into the English language:
Pela pa bajo Desvestirse, quitarse la ropa. Undress, take your clothe off.
- Usually used as a conjunction to bridge between thoughts) - It comes from "muchacho", which means "guy", or more closely related to "man" in English slang, as in hey man, what's up. Acho and Chacho are both abbreviations of the same word.
- literally means hand, but it is short for hermano, which means brother!)
- ¿qué es la que hay, ¿qué es la que?,
- what's up?
- al garete
- Literally means in Spanish wayward, without a given path. It is said of a ship at sea, without a sail, having no defined course. It is used to describe something crazy, out of control, disorganized.
- a calzón quitao
- Literally meaning "without pants on," it is used to mean something said without prejudice but also without tact, bluntly honest.
- acánganainterjection, similar to "In your face".
- ahí va, a las millas del chaflán!
- criticism, there he (she) goes, speeding that car with hellish speed!) When somebody is running their mouth.
- a mi plín
- Literally meaning of "I don't care"
- arroz, que carne hay!
- Flirt phrase meaning "give me rice to go with all that meat"
- ay que ver como bate el cobre
- it to be seen how things turn out.
- así se bate el cobre
- this is how its done.
- Bregaste Chiqui Starr
- Alluding to Puerto Rican professional wrestlerheel, it is said to someone who was not of good faith or who has betrayed someone else. Used the same as Bregaste cajita e pollo, ("you handled it like a box of fried chicken").
- this one is rarely used and usually only by a specific type of person, therefore I recommend you not use it unless you want people to stare at you weirdly. Buddy.
- Derogatory reference to a little boy
- May refer to the country "China", a female from or of Chinese descent. It also refers to the fruit "Orange".
- The diminutive version of "China". It refers to the color orange. It could also refer to someone who has just woken up and has very small eyes due to it.
- along with its many adjectives, such as colgar, colgaste and others, as in me colgué (colgué or colgar, when told to a student who is failing in school, is a criticism). Literally it means "to be hanged," but the proper translation of the meaning and usage would be I flunked at school
- to give a Blowjob
- capiar or capear
- to cop something; usually reffering to go and get drugs.
- correr la máquina
- warning the person he is beaming misled. Literally means to run the machine, meaning to maintain a person conversation on a defensive mode by harassing him.
- crew. Sometimes used by parents to refer to their kids.
Ex Voy con mi corrillo al cine. I'm going with my family (crew) to the movie theater.
- como alma que lleva "el" diablo!
- comical, he (she) took off running as if his (her) soul was possessed by the devil . Usually meaning either someone who left very fast or very angry.
- como budín de esquina
- dar un tumbe
- we are gonna kill or steal, criminal, usually used by mafiosos)
- dejo los tennis en el piso!
- (comical), he (she) ran so fast that he (she) left his (her) tennis shoes right there!)
- a girl who likes to dress up for any event even if its goin to her front porch, dressing like a movie star
- echa caldo
- echar leña al fuego
- warning the person to back off. Literally means to feed wood to the fire, meaning to add to a controversy.
- está que estilla
- Tight looking.
ex. Esa mujer esta que estilla.
- en el carro de Don Fernando, un ratito a pie y otro andando
- this rhymes in Spanish- (literally translated as in Mr. Fernando's car, some of the time walking and the rest also walking) - when there is no working car at reach. Said to comical effect when there is no car available to use.
- ese salió por lana y llegó trasquilao
- (comical, meaning that a person went for something, using lana-money as an example, and came back worse than when the person left)
- estás buena(o)!'
- (sexist), you're fine!
- está(s) brutal!!
- you're brutal!, or it's brutal! could be either a compliment or insult, depending on the situation. It is usually a compliment, like "you're a beast", or "this is awesome")
- estás tenso, papá!
- (comical, invented by Sunshine Logrono, a satirical phrase towards homosexuality, Your muscles are tense, daddy!!)
- dandy, dude
- white person
- Full of himself or herself. It comes from another Puerto Rican term meaning "guille" which roughly translates as "pride" (but it has a negative connotation) or "delusion" (i.e. someone who has a "guille" of being something they are not much like a "poser" or a "wannabe").
- A city bus (or pick-up truck)
- hacerse el loco
- Literally translated as trying to pass off as crazy, it means to try to ignore or distance oneself from a particular situation.
- las cosas se pusieron a chavito prieto
- (comical), to describe a serious economical situation, Things turned for a penny each
- Las cosas se pusieron color de hormiga brava
- Things turned the color of the feisty ant, Said when things are getting tense, serious, or strict.
- los huevos se pusieron duros, las cosas se pusieron a chavito prieto, and "se pusieron los huevos a peseta"
- (literally) the eggs turned hard. It relates to the tradition of selling of eggs and other raw materials at the plaza in the center of the town (municipality). When the eggs incremented in price, it was difficult for people to get a hold of them. Meaning, it’s a stressful or tight situation.
- (literally) pure sugar cane juice, but it is used to say something, someone or a situation is great.
- Watermelon, referred to as Sandia in most Spanish speaking countries.
- mas lento que una caravana de cojos
- Phrase to describe something or someone that is very slow.
- mas pelao que la rodilla de un cabro
- To be poor or having no money at all.
- equivalent to "Hey" but literally means look. Do not use it to say hi because it doesn't work that way.
ex. Mira me dijeron que estabas enfermo. Look they told me you were sick.
- mi amigo el pintor!
- A man subject to infidelity. A comical, my buddy the painter, used frequently to make fun of men whose wives commit adultery). It makes reference to an old Puerto Rican TV show called Desafiando a los Genios with Jose Miguel Agrelot, Shorty Castro, Ema Rosa Vicenti and others, in which a naive participant, always carrying a "lonchera" will always describe his "best friend the painter" as someone always taking care of his (the participant's) wife. It was obvious to the viewer that the wife was being unfaithful with the painter.
Cuernú it comes from the word cuernos (horns) which is a symbol for infidelity. If someone is calling you cuernú they're saying that you have horns therefore your partner is cheating on you.
- (literally) Wednesday; a minced oath for "Mierda", which means "Shit". English equivalent is "Shoot!"
- no lo encuentran ni en los centros espiritistas
- (comical), it can't even be found in a spiritualist center, when things get lost. In Puerto Rico, and in many other Latin American countries, spirituality was important to such an extent, that people believed some were able to communicated with the dead. This phrase alludes to a person being lost, and not even the witch doctor being able to find him.
- ñoña es!
- "No way!"
ñoña- person who gets all whimpy
- ¿oiteh?, ¿oiste?
- "Did you hear me?"
- ¿Viteh?, ¿viste?
- "Did you see?"
- Pa que tu veas donde el grillo tiene la manteca
- A snow cone.
- to ignore. Pichea is also a way to say forget it.
Ex Pichea lo que dije no era verdad. Forget what I said it wasn't true.
- perro que huele carne...
- (comical) Dog that smells meat... describes a situation where a person might suspect something he or she wants is within reach.
- Se formó un corre y corre!
- (comical) A race was formed for everyone to get out of there!, exact meaning as Se formo un sal pa' fuera!
- to be pumped up.
- se formó un sal pa fuera!
- (comical) A get-out-of-here-situation formed! to describe a violent situation in which many ran from the scene in a lighter way, also used to describe a street fight or other violent situations
- se jodió la bicicleta!
- (comical) the bicycle got screwed! when a situation just spirals out of control
- se lució el chayote!
- (criticism) chayote is a vegetable the chayote is showing off! to speeding drivers, honking drivers or drivers that screech their wheels before parking their car
- esta lucio!
- (criticism) he is showing off, but its showing off because of the presence of someone and not necessarily in a pretentious way. "put on airs, put on an act"
- siéntate a esperar!
- (Sit down and wait!, used when a person promises someone something while lying)
- tanto nadar para ahogarse en la orilla!
- (lament) so much swimming, only to drown at the coastline, usually used for someone who has come very close to complete something but failed)
- te cagaste del miedo!
- (comical) you shit your pants from being scared!
- tú eres bien fiebrú(a)!
- (usually a compliment, you're really into that!, to admire someone's passion for something) can also being almost as an insult when you're enfiebrao or eres bien fiebru means that you have a fever for it.
Enfiebrao Ahora todo el mundo esta enfiebrao con Justin Bieber. Now everyone has Justin Bieber fever.
- tú me estas tripeando
- equivalent to "you're making fun of me!" or "you're kidding me"
- tú sí que eres presentao!, so presentao! and tú eres bien presentao!
- (criticism) when someone thinks the other person is getting into what is not your business)
- va pa chirola!
- someone is going to jail
- vete pa'l Caribe Hilton!
- minced oath of Vete pa'l carajo!
- vete pa'l carajo!
- insult sometimes accompanied by a so cabrón(a) right after it. Its meaning is analogous to go to hell!
- volando bajito!
- (criticism) flying low, usually to describe speeding drivers or to a person who tries to commit any given act without anyone else finding out)
- y se le(s) está haciendo tarde!
- (sports phrase) And it's becoming too late already!, when an individual or team is far behind on scoring as the event nears its conclusion)
- como el Rosario de la Aurora
- used when a party ends up with a fight
- se armó la de sanquintín
- It formed la de sanquintin, similar to "El Rosario de la Aurora"
- tattletale (known in Mexico as soplón)
- (literally) shit-eater; it is used when some person thinks that he/she is all-knowing and/or all-deserving (known in American English as "snob" or stuck up) or cocky
- voy a caballo y vengo a pie
- (literally) Went in a horse and return walking.
- no contaban con mi astucia
- they didn't count on my smarts
- siganme los buenos!
- Follow me, the good ones!
- fue sin querer queriendo!
- I didn't do it on purpose!
- Garbage can
- Crazy or crazy man, it can be also used as an equal to dude or buddy in English. In West Coast communities the word has been adopted by English speakers as "loc" (pronounced lowck).
- (1) cassava, yuca root, if used in a salution es yuca, que la que hay. (2)(slang) a jerk, a dork, i.e. tu eres tan yuca. (3) (slang) the male sexual organ, i.e. pelar la yuca (peel the cassava) and rascayuca (cassava scratcher).
- ¿que pasa pai?
- What's up dude?
- ¿que pasa mai?
- What's up girl?
- en lo que el palo va y viene
- meanwhile (literally: while the stick goes and comes)
- A women who goes out in public wearing Jordans, has tattooed eyebrows, has no money (gets it from boyfriend or husband) and cusses her heart out.
- Te dan pon y quires guiar. (Litterally) means "They give you a ride but you want to drive". Used when you give a person a chance and they take more of whats given. Wanting more that is offered.