Typical Spanish words to use in Buenos Aires: Qué Buena Onda!!

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Monday November 07, 2016 - Posted by to Argentina Culture, Spanish in Buenos Aires
07Nov
Typical words to use in Buenos Aires: Qué Buena Onda!!

Typical Spanish words to use in Buenos Aires: Qué Buena Onda!!

When in Buenos Aires, our newly arrived Spanish students who registered for a Spanish course in Buenos Aires, encounter the typical accent of the Argentine people who live there: the Porteños and the Porteñas. Over the years, the city of Buenos Aires has developed its own language, filled with “strange” Spanish words and a lot of slang. Moreover, the Spanish speakers of Buenos Aires are known for their constant chatter. Therefore, to get fully integrated into the Argentine culture, you might want to know some of those typical Argentine words or expressions that are used in this multicultural city! The following is a list of the most important and most used typical words and phrases by the Argentine people in Buenos Aires:

Pedo

Used for:

  • Literally: fart
  • To be ´´en pedo´´ is to be drunk
  • ´´Vivir en nube de pedos´´ means to be out of touch with reality (literally “to live in a cloud made of farts”)
  • ´´Subo como pedo de buzo´´ means to rapidly climb the social ladder (literally “to go up like a scuba diver’s fart” – seriously, how awesome is that!).
  • The expression you will hear the most is ´´ni en pedo´´ which basically means “not even if I was drunk”, or “no way in hell”.

Boludo

Used for::

  • In the past: Someone who is very brave, because it used to refer to the person who would dare to go to battle first.
  • Now: a fool or an idiot (most people call their friends ‘’boludo’’ when speaking to them)
  • A transition word to connect your sentences.

Quilombo

Used for:

  • In the past: quilombos = slaves from sugar plantations in Brazil
  • Now: to describe a messy or crappy situation: Qué quilombo
  • Tip: it´s better to avoid using this during formal occasions

 

Typical words to use in Buenos Aires

 

Che

Used for:

  • Getting someone’s attention by saying: Hey!?
  • When you forget the name of the person in question: dude, buddy, mate.
  • A transition word to connect your sentences
  • Che Guevara obtained his nickname because he used the word so much!

Onda

Used for:

  • Describing the vibe, wave or vibrations in a certain situations
  • Describing a cool or not so cool situation
  • Used for many occasions

Here is another list of the most commonly used expressions:

“no le llega auga al tanque” = he’s not there

“a las chapas” = to go really fast

“arrastar el ala” = to make a romantic advance on someone

“lo atamos con alambre” = to jerry-rig it, MacGyver-it

“bajá un cambio!” = Chill Out! Relax!

“cara rota” = a shameless person

“caer como peludo de regalo” = a way to say a unwanted guest shows up unexpectedly

“calavera no chilla” = you get what you deserve

“calienta la pava pero no ceba los mates” = he or she is a tease

“faltan cinco pa’l peso” = to come up short

“echar panza” = to let go of yourself, to settle down and get fat

“no dejar titere con cabeza” = to take no prisoners

“estar en el horno” be stressed out or in a bad situation

“dejate de joder” = get out of town! You gotta be joking!

“echar un cloro” = take a piss

“más loco que una cabra con pollitos” = crazier than a goat with chicks

“medio pelo” = mediocre

 

Typical words to use in Buenos Aires

 

“hacer gancho” = to play matchmaker, to set two lovers up

“meter la mula” = to rip someone off

“hablar hasta por los codos” = to talk someone’s ear off

“la verdad de la milanesa” = the real deal

“hacerse la mosquita muerta” = to act innocently after doing something wrong

“mojar la chaucha” = to get laid

“hasta las manos” = to be busy, have your hands full

“ni a ganchos!” = no way

“ni a palos!” = no way

“mala leche” = bad luck

“no dá” = sorry, unacceptable, that doesn’t fly

“la noche está en pañales” = the night is young

“ponerse la camiseta” = to be a team player

“que parte la tierra! = wow what a beautiful woman!

“me pica el bagre” = I’m hungry

“qué pica toca?” = What is his story? Whats up with him?

“me quema la cabeza” = it blows my mind

“tirame las agujas” = give me some time

“la sacaste barata” = you were lucky

“tener una vena” = to be super pissed off

“saltar la ficha” = to blow a fuse

“tomalo con soda” = calm down, take it easy

“tirar los galgos” = to flirt or hit on someone

 

Typical words to use in Buenos Aires

 


Argentine Spanish is loaded with Slang; it will take some time to to understand all of it. If you are learning Spanish in Argentina, you do not need to know all that slang. But, as you will be interacting with the local people, it’s nice to know some of it!

This blog wants to make your life a little bit easier, when talking to new Argentine friends. But, use the words with with caution!

During our Spanish classes in Buenos Aires, some attention will be paid to typical Argentine slang too. If you have your doubts about a certain expression, talk to your Spanish teacher at school first!

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