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Chilean Slang

Chilean Slang Book

Chilenismos: A Dictionary and Phrasebook for Chilean Spanish
Tasting Chile bookChile is known for having created an enormous amount of distinct words and expressions. Consequently, the Spanish spoken in Chile is frequently indiscernible to gringos and native Spanish speakers alike. This dictionary and phrasebook collects more than 1,500 terms and idioms, known as chilenismos, and expresses them in simple English. The book also explores the roots of chilenismos and explains the grammatical constructions and idiosyncratic speech patterns particular to Chileans.
Buy Chilenismos: A Dictionary and Phrasebook for Chilean Spanish from Amazon.com

Below is a list of common Chilean Slang terms and phrases I picked up while in Chile. I've included the saying, its literal meaning, and its implied meanings in English and Spanish.

¡Adónde la viste!
Literally: Where'd you see that?
Implied meaning: No way!, yeah right! (No te creo)
Example: Mi amigo me dice una mentira, yo le digo: ¡Adónde la viste!
Al tiro
Literally: Upon throwing
Implied meaning: Immediately (ahora mismo)
Example: Vamos a salir al tiro
Amermelada
Literally: marmalade
Implied meaning: a stupid person (una persona tonta)
Example: Qué amermelada ese chico!
¡Bakan!
Implied Meaning: Ultra cool (muy bueno)
¡Buena onda!
Literally: Good wave!
Implied meaning: Cool, great (un buen tipo de persona)
Example: Ese chico es buena onda.
(no) cacha ni uno
Literally: He doesn't catch a single thing
Implied meaning: He doesn't understand a thing (no entender nada)
Example: El gringo no entiende español, no cacha ni uno.
¿cachai?
Literally: catch?
Implied Meaning: Do you understand? (¿comprendes?)
Example: Al explicar el problema, digo: ¿cachai?
capo
Implied meaning: good at something, smart, cool (un buen tipo de persona)
Example: El chico es capo.
cara de palo
Literally: stick face
Implied meaning: boldly, frankly (ser franco)
Example: El me dio las noticias con una cara de palo.
¡Chao pescado!
Literally: bye fish
Implied meaning: See you later, alligator (Hasta luego)
Example: Al salir uno dice: Chao pescado
chueco
Literally: crooked
Implied meaning: a person who doesn't follow the rules, liar (uno que no sigue reglas, mentiroso)
Example: El no cumplió con su obligación, es chueco.
cuestión
Literally: question, matter
Implied meaning: thing, matter (cosa)
Example: Ellos discutieron sobre una cuestíon pequeña.
dejar la escoba
Literally: To leave the broom.
Implied meaning: to cause a mess or disaster (causar un disastre, dejar todo desorganizado)
Example: Mi hermano menor dejó la escoba en la cocina.
echate al pollo
Liteally: throw it to the chicken
Implied meaning: get out of here!
Example: No quiero que estés acá, échate al pollo no más.
encachado
Implied meaning: good looking, cool (ser bonito(a))
Example: El modelo es bien encachado.
¡(no) estoy ni ahí!
Literally: I'm not even there.
Implied meaning: I don't care! (no le importa a uno)
Example: ¿No tienes tarea? -- No estoy ni ahí.
fome
Implied meaning: dumb, boring, refers to something that you don't like (tonto, aburrido, algo que no te gusta)
Example: Esta clase es fome.
gamba
Literally: a shrimp
Implied meaning: refers to the foot, or a 100 peso coin (el pie, o una moneda de 100 pesos)
Example: Quiero comprar un dulce, dame una gamba.
guagua
Literally: baby, infant
Implied meaning: a baby (un bebé)
Example: La guagua llora porque tiene hambre.
harto
enough
Implied meaning: many, a lot (mucho)
Example: Como estudiante, tengo harta tarea.
lolo(a)
Implied meaning: teenager, young person (un joven)
Example: Los lolos jugaron al fútbol todo el día.
luca
Implied meaning: 1000 peso bill (un billete de mil pesos)
Example: Eso me costó una luca.
malulo(a)
Literally: 'mal' in Spanish means bad
Implied meaning: mischievious (malicioso)
Example: El niño es malulo.
medio(a)
Literally: middle, medium
Implied meaning: very big (bien grande)
Example: Ayer comí la media sandía.
monitos
Literally: little monkeys
Implied meaning: cartoons (dibujos animados)
Example: Veo los monitos en la televisión todos los días.
pata de vaca (said "pate vaca")
Literally: foot of a cow
Implied meaning: to act badly or to have bad intentions
Example: No me quiere pagar mi dinero es pate vaca.
pato malo
Literally: bad duck
Implied meaning: bad boy, hoodlum (chico malo)
Example: Un pato malo me robó.
pega
Literally: hit
Implied meaning: work, job
Example: Trabajo todo el día en la pega.
pegar en la pera
Literally: hit the chin
Implied meaning: to mooch, to eat and socialize (conseguir comida gratis)
Example: Vamos a pegar la pera con la familia Marambio.
pesado(a)
Literally: heavy
Implied meaning: mean, rude, bothersome (rudo, molestoso)
Example: El no me cae bien, es muy pesado.
pescar + "algo"
Literally: to fish + something
Implied meaning: to pay attention to, to notice (darse cuenta de algo, fijarse)
Example: Le estaba hablando pero no me pescó
pintar el mono
Literally: paint monkey
Implied meaning: to goof off (dejar las responsibilidades y jugar todo el tiempo)
Example: Ella no hace nada, solo pinta el mono.
pololear
Implied meaning: to be dating, have a boyfriend or girlfriend (tener novio, pero no significa que se van a casar)
Example: Ellos están pololeando hace tres semanas.
pucha
Implied meaning: disappointment when something didn't go your way
Example: pucha que fome que no resultó el viaje
pulento
Implied meaning: cool, as in a person (ser un buen chico)
Example: Yo soy pulento.
¡Que choro!
Implied meaning: entertaining, worthy of attention
sacar la mugre
Literally: To take off, or out, the filth
Implied meaning: to beat up (pelear y ganar)
Example: Si no te callas, te voy a sacar la mugre.
(no) salvar a nadie
Literally: To not save anyone.
Implied meaning: to be worthless, useless (ser de ningún valor)
Example: El profesor no puede enseñar, no salva a nadie.
sapear
Literally: 'sapo' is spanish for toad
Implied meaning: to be nosy, eavesdrop (escuchar secretamente a otros)
Example: Mi vecina siempre está sapeando.
se cree la muerte
Literally: you think you're death
Implied meaning: you think you are better than everyone else (se cree mejor que todos)
Example: Ella tiene mucho orgullo, se cree la muerte.
tener el diente largo
Literally: To have a long tooth
Implied meaning: To be very hungry, so hungry I could eat a horse... (tener mucho hambre)
Example: No he comido en días, tengo el diente largo.
tirar un chancho
Literally: to throw a pig
Implied meaning: to belch, to burp (eructar)
Example: Al terminar la cena, el niño tiró un chancho.
(hacer) tuto
Literally: to make 'tuto'
Implied meaning: to sleep, take a nap (tomar una siesta o dormir)
Example: Tengo sueño, voy a hacer tuto.
weón
Implied meaning #1: To be an idiot
Example: ¡Oye que eres weón!
Implied meaning #2: Something you'd call a friend
Example: Oye weón vamos a fiesta

Learn some more slang and how to survive in Chile with the Gringo's Culture Guide to Chile.

 

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