Wednesday, December 10, 2008

a ti no más te gusta webear

a ti no más te gusta webear (a los otros) acaso - you can dish it out, but you can't take it

Viste que molesta la weaíta? A tí no más te gusta güebear acaso?

You see that's annoying? You can sure dish it out, but you can't take it.

Informal register

Monday, December 1, 2008

ni chicha ni limoná

No ser ni chicha ni limoná - to be neither here nor there, no estar ni allí.

¿Qué opina Pablo de Farkas?
No es ni chicha ni limoná.

What does Pablo think about Farkas?
He's neither here nor there.

Victor Jara has a song called "ni chicha ni limoná". Here are the lyrics.

Friday, October 10, 2008


friolenta, friolento - a person who is always cold, or sensitive to the cold. (I wish this word existed in English because I've always been friolenta.)

Elegí un departamento que recibe sol todo el día porque soy terzible friolenta.
I chose an apartment that gets sun all day long because I'm really sensitive to the cold.

Se usa en Chile y Argentina y no sé si en otros países latinoamericanos. En España, parece que dicen friolero/friolera.
Es una palabra de registro "normal".

Thursday, October 9, 2008


pitiar - 1) to break something 2) to rob something 3) to kill someone

una pitiada - a drag (like off someone's cigarette)

Cacha la manta de polar que me pitié de Lanchile.
Check out the polarfleece blanket that I stole from Lanchile.

coloquial, Chilenismo

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


pokemon/pokemona - any adolescent in Chile, a Chilean adolescent with an unstraight, poofy haircut who listens to reggaeton and likes to "poncear" - grope, kiss, etc. randoms at parties and in plazas. The male version is somewhat adrogenous, likes to sport eyeliner and "afeminada" clothing

sinonimo - pendejo, pokemono -- since there are pokemonas, there have most definitely got to be pokemonos. jejeje.
antononym - pelolais

Etymology - A while back, maybe a year or so, I saw an article on emol about adolescents "pelolais". Basically this group started as a fotolog thing, where pretty, tall, thin, virgin adolescents with long hair, tried to get their photos put on other people's fotologs of beautiful people. I couldn't believe emol actually had a report on this group with white-supremist undertones. Than came the "ondulais" and "pokemonas" who had dark hair, and were short and voluptuous, listened to reggaeton and ponceaban a lot. They ended up taking the spotlight away from the pelolais and were invited to Buenos Dias a Todos and were/are the news of the moment.

Chilenismo, informal

Monday, September 15, 2008

te pasaste

te pasaste - you outdid yourself
se pasó - he outdid himself

Oooh! Te pasaste. Me trajiste mi vino preferido.
Oooh! You outdid yourself. You brought me my favorite wine.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Sunday, September 14, 2008

estarse pasando películas

estarse pasando películas - to be imagining things

Marcelo: Oye, ¿atinaste con el pololo de la Maca? Porque uds se fueron de la fiesta juntos el otro día y después la Maca no podía ubicar a su pololo.
Ana María: No, nica, te estás pasando películas con cuático.

Marcelo: Hey, did you hook up with Maca's boyfriend?, because you guys left the party together the other day and afterward Maca couldn't get a hold of her boyfriend.
Ana María: No, absolutely not, you're imagining things.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


chueco - crooked, twisted, bent, not straight, adj. to describe someone who has crooked legs, tramposo (crooked)

Cuando fui a empastar la tesis, uno de los locales tenía una muestra y las líneas escritas en la portada estaban chuecas. Dificil que alguien empaste la tesis allá.

When I went to get the thesis bound, one of the shops had a sample thesis and the written lines on the cover were crooked. I doubt anyone will bind their thesis there.

Español, pero de uso común en Chilito

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


hinchar - molestar, webear, to bother

Puta, me tienes chata, deja de hinchar las pelotas.
Shit, I'm sick of you, stop bothering me.

hinchar las pelotas, hinchar las bolas - vulgares

Chilenismo, coloquial

Monday, September 8, 2008


pescar - to pay attention to someone. (the normal meaning is "to fish")
no pescar - to ignore someone -- this expression is mostly used in the negative:
No me pesca. He doesn't pay attention to me. He ignores me.

Vero: Ese weón me tiene chata.
Maca: No le pesquís, está puro webeando.

Vero: I'm sick of that dude.
Maca: Ignore him, he's just screwing around.

one of my fave Chilean expressions - pescar. It so helps describe situations here.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Sunday, September 7, 2008


capo - capaz, able

interlocutor 1: Supiste que Diego está haciendo su magister en Alemania? Parece que le ha ido bien.
interlocutor 2: El weón capo.

Speaker 1: Did you know Diego is doing his master's in Germany? It seems he's done well there.
Speaker 2: Smart kid.

synonym: seco

Chilenismo, coloquial

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Está en canadá

Está en canadá - He's in jail. Literally it means "He is in Canada." But figuratively it means "He's in jail."
Está en caná means "he's in jail", "Está en Canadá is just a humourous variation of "Está en caná"

simular expression - Le llevaron precioso. Literally "The took him beautiful." It comes from "Le llevaron preso" which means "They took him as a prisoner." or "They arrested him."

Coa, I believe

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

sacar la vuelta

sacar la vuelta - to milk it. hahahahha. This term is fundamental to the Chilean work vocabulary. hehehehehe. I know, I'm evil. But it's true. See here and here. (Not all Chileans milk it, but it is a common phenomenon here.) Some of my English students wanted me to translate this term the other day.

colega 1: ¿Donde está Diego?
colega 2: Por allí, sacando la vuelta.

colleague 1: Where's Diego?
colleague 2: Over there, milkin' it.


Monday, September 1, 2008


piropo - a flirtatious, flattering comment; a sexual comment

Los obreros siempre me tiran piropos.
The construction workers always send flattering comments my way.

Español normal

Friday, August 29, 2008


patiperri - (adj) a person who likes to go out (pasear/salir), visit new places (conocer), travel (viajar)

patiperro - a globetrotter. The female version would be "patiperra", but since "perra" means "bitch", I'm not sure if its used much. In doubt, I'd just use the adjective pattiperi.

Es patiperri. No soporta quedarse en la casa, ni con 8 meses de embarazo
She's patiperri. She can't stand staying at home, even eight months pregnant.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Thursday, August 28, 2008


tufo - noun, aliento, bad breath

Tienes un tufo, para qué te explico.
Your breath is terrible.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No es lo mismo me enteré de algo que me enterré.

No es lo mismo que me enteré de algo que me enterré.
It's not the same to say "I found out about something" as "I buried myself".

Conversing at lunch yesterday, I committed the error of saying "Me enterré de...", to which V. responded "Nopo, te enterraron? Sabes que significa eso?" "Ooops! Sí."

And then I remembered a little song/chant thing I was taught, it went something like this...

A Tito le entierran mañana.
A Tito le entierran hoy.
A ti te van a enterrar.

They bury Tito tomorrow.
They bury Tito today.
They are going to bury you.

enterarse de algo - to find out something or to find out about something
enterrar - to bury (like in a grave)

This is just plain old regular Spanish.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


regatear - to bargain

Tienes que regatear con los vendedores; si no te cobran caro.
You have to bargain with the sellers; if not they charge you too much.

I believe this is common Spanish, not Chilensis.

Monday, August 25, 2008

soi terzible pollo

Soi terzible pollo. - You are soo naive. Were you born yesterday?
To be un pollo, a chicken, means you are dumb and timid.

Sebastian: Puta, me cagaron con la vuelta.
Andrés: Soi terziblee pollo. Tenis que haberla contado al tiro.

Sebastian: Shit, they screwed me over with the change.
Andrés: You are soo naive. You should have counted it right away.

synonyms: pavo, gil

Coa-I believe, Chilensis, coloquial

Sunday, August 24, 2008


enchular - to pimp up
¡Mira ese auto enchulado!
Look at that pimped up ride!

No te preocupis, me manejo con el photoshop. Yo te enchulo la parte gráfica de la tesis.
Don't worry, I'm good at photoshop. I'll pimp up the graphic part of the thesis.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Saturday, August 23, 2008


¡bah! - an interjection which you use when you are surprised about something and disagree, or had previously believed otherwise, like "huh."

Diego: Me encontré con Marcelino en el Proa ayer.
Marcelo: ¡Bah! Pensé que estaba en Australia.

Diego: I ran into Marcelino in el Proa (the bow) yesterday.
Pato: Huh. I thought he was in Australia.

¡miiiiish! - an interjection to use when you are pleasantly surprised

Walking through town you run into a friend:
¡Miiiish! Que bueno encontrarme contigo!
¡Miiiish! How nice to run into you!

Chilenismos? I found bah here so perhaps it's more widely used than in Chile. Coloquiales

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


achuntar - to nail something, to hit the target (metaphorically or in real life)

Maca: Te apuesto que la Jésu no viene al carrete porque se va a juntar con Mario.
Vero: Puede ser...
(el día siguiente)
Vero: Al final se fue a otro lado con Mario. Lo achuntaste.

I bet you Jesu doesn't come because she's going to meet up with Mario.
Could be...
(the next day)
She ended up going elsewhere with Mario. You were right.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Saturday, August 16, 2008

mandarse un condoro

mandarse un condoro/condorito - to screw something up...comes from the typical Chilean comic, el Condorito...haven't read it in like ten years, but I imagine he screws things up from time to time

Se mandó el manso condoro el otro día cuando arregló el baño; la wea parecía un pántamo.

He screwed things up the other day when he fixed the bathroom; it looked like a swamp.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Thursday, August 14, 2008

para el Terri

para el Terri - for Terri, when you go to a restaurant and have leftover food to bring home you can tell the waiter it's for Terri (so they understand it's for the dog)

cliente: Me puedes envolver lo que queda, es para el Terri...el terrible desayuno de mañana. camarero: Bueno.

client: Can you wrap up what's left, it's for Terri, my terrible breakfast tomorrow.
waiter: Ok.

I learned this one from a guy known as "el guatón Esteban"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


un antro - noun, a dive

La cuenta comienza en un antro de mala muerte...
The story starts in a Godforsaken dive...

No conoces algún antro entretenido en el puerto?
La verdad es que sí.

Do you know of a fun dive in the port?
Actually, I do.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


carretear - to party

Etoy chata. Etuve carreteanó too el fine semana.
I'm exhausted. I was partying all weekend.

carrete - noun, get together, party

Chilenismo, coloquial

Monday, August 11, 2008


chocopanda - mullet
chocopandero - mullet wearer

Borrowing a bit of Coa from this site:

Shiiiaaa !!! tení el terri´le shoco.
Woah!!! You've got quite a mullet. (expressed in Coa, la jerga delictual)

Here you can appreciate several chocopanderos.

For the record, chocopandas aren't just for flaytes. Europeans have been sporting them for as long as I can remember. I don't think the mullet has ever gone out of style on the Old Continent. Just look what Europeans and Chilean ice cream salesmen have in common.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Saturday, August 9, 2008


chorear - robar algo pasando piola, to steal something without others noticing

Cacha la wea que me chorié de esos turistas gringos.

Check out the thing I stole from those gringo tourists.

estar choreado - to be angry

Ni hablé con el weón. Estaba muy choreado, me dio lata.
I didn't even talk to the dude. He was really mad, so I didn't feel like it.

Not to be confused with chorrear - which means to run down, like when water runs down the side of the house. El agua chorrea. Be sure to pronounce just 1 "r" if you use "chorear" and not say it like "chorrear".

Chilenismo, coloquial

Thursday, August 7, 2008


filo - fine, ok

Sara: Quiero un jugo.
Pepe: No hay.
Sara: Filo, entonces dame una coca-cola.

Sara: I want a juice.
Pepe: There isn't any.
Sara: Fine, then give me a coke.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

dar la vuelta a la manzana

dar la vuelta a la manzana - to go around the block, or more than half of the colectivo route

chofer del colectivo: A dónde va?
pasajera: Voy a dar la vuelta a la manzana, ya que me bajo en el mall.

colectivo driver: Where are you going?
passenger: I'm going more than halfway around the route, because I'm getting off at the mall.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Monday, August 4, 2008


tránfugo/a - adj., something/someone that can't be trusted, sospechoso, clandestino

Mira yo no le confiaría, toda la cuestión me parece media tránfuga.
Look, I wouldn't trust her, all of this seems a bit suspicious.

sinónimo - turbio

Chilenismo, parece que se usa en Uruguay también, coloquial

Friday, August 1, 2008


nica - short for "ni cagando", or the censored version: "ni cantando", de ninguna manera, hell no, no way, absolutely not

También se puede decir "nicaragua" o algo por el estilo. Se entiende.

hermano chico: ¿Puedo jugar con Uds.?
hermano grande: Nica.

little brother: Can I play with you guys?
big brother: Hell no.

Chilenismo, vulgar

Thursday, July 31, 2008

mala cueva

mala cueva - bad luck
Me robaron la camera nueva. Puta, que mala cuea.

They stole my new camera.
Shit, what bad luck.

Chilenismo, vulgar-cueva refiere al sexo femenino

a note on Chilean spelling/pronunciación: The end of the word is often shortened in Chilensis, leaving the "v", "b", and "d" out. For example "cueva" becomes "cuea", "huevón" becomes "weón", "cansado" becomes "cansao", etc.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


bolsear - to mooch

camarera: Van a pedir algo?
Roro: No, vamos a bolsear de nuestros amigos.

waitress: Are you going to order something?
Roro: No, we're going to mooch off our friends.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

irse en la volada

irse en la volada - to go overboard with something, to go too far

Se fue en la volada cuando haciendo la maleta y tiene más cosas que necesaria.
He went overboard when packing his suitcase and brought everything but the kitchen sink.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Monday, July 28, 2008

la paleteada

la paleteada - the favor or good deed

Nos hizo la paleteada de venir a buscarnos en auto.
He did us the favor of coming to pick us up in his car.

etymology: from the word paletas, paddles, exempli gratia, ping-pong paddles or the kind you take to the beach that people use to hit a tennis ball back and forth.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Friday, July 25, 2008

caer bien

caer bien - to like someone.

This is one of those constructions that's still uncomfortable to use and I still have problems with, especially talking in the third person. I went through the same thing with gustarse until I heard Manu Chao's song, "me gustas tú". He really helped clear up my doubts.

So here's a stab at understanding/manejando this construction better.

Me caigo bien – I like myself and literally: To me I fall well
Me caes bien – I like you. To me you fall well

Te caigo bien – You like me. To you I fall well
Me cae bien Rodrigo – I like Rodrigo. To me Rodrigo falls well
A Rodrigo le caigo bien – Rodrigo likes me. To Rodrigo I fall well
No me cae bien – I don’t like him. To me (s)he doesn't fall well
No le caigo bien – He doesn’t like me. To him/her I don't fall well
Me caen bien – I like them. To me they fall well
Les caigo bien – They like me. To them I fall well
Me cae bien – I like him/her. To me (s)he falls well
Le caigo bien – She/he likes me. To him/her I fall well
Ellos se caen bien – They like each other. To them they fall well

A nadie le cae mal – No one dislikes her. (es muy simpática) To no one she falls badly.

I did the same thing with gustarse.
Me gusta la Coruña. Coruña pleases me.
Me gustan las aviones. The planes please me. etc.
Me gustas tú. You please me. (in a romantic way)

Español normal

Thursday, July 24, 2008

estar que se caga

estar que se caga - to be shitting oneself

¿Donde está el baño? Estoy que me cago.
Where's the bathroom? I´m shitting myself.

related: estar que se mea -to be pissing oneself

Chilenismo, vulgar

Monday, July 21, 2008

estar liz taylor

estar liz taylor - estar lista/o, to be ready

Pablo: ¿Estay lista para el examén el lunes?
Daniela: Liz taylor.

Are you ready for the exam on lunes?
All set.

I learned this expression after Pinochet kicked the bucket, because it was on the cover of the Clinic
Sorry, this is the best image I could find. It's a image of Pinocho in a casket, and across the image it says "Liz Taylor".

Chilenismo (creo), coloquial

Sunday, July 20, 2008


torpedo - cheat sheet (I believe a torpedo is always "against class rules" in Chile whereas this tool is sometimes allowed in classes in the States.)

Marco: ¿Hiciste el torpedo para matematicas 4?
Anibal: Se lo tengo listo.
Marco: Está filete, ¿dejáme hacer una copia?

Did you make a cheat sheet for math 4?
I've got it ready.
It's sweet, can I make a copy?

Chilenismo, jerga universitaria

Saturday, July 19, 2008

quedarse "plop"

quedarse "plop" - to be taken aback

Me quedé plop cuando supe que mi amiga estaba embarazada.
I was taken aback when I found out my friend was pregnant.

For this expression's etymology, see this link and this other one. It has to do with the condorito.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Friday, July 18, 2008

pegarse el/un estirón

pegarse el/un estirón - to have a growth spurt

La Panchi se pegó un estirón desde la última vez que la veo.
Panchi had a growth spurt since I last saw her.
Panchi grew a lot since I last saw her.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

quedarse en pana

quedarse en pana - to have a car breakdown.

Nos quedamos en pana en camino a Chillán.

Our car broke down on the way to Chillán.

Chilenismo, normal

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

marca personal

marca personal - la mina que lo están cuidando todo el rato, no lo dejan ni a sol ni a sombra,
que lo controlan todo el rato

Salió con su marca personal, o sea, con la polola. jejeje

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pasarlo chancho

Pasarlo chancho - pasarlo bien, to have a good time

Lo pasamos chancho en Mendoza.

We had a great time en Mendoza.

Chilenismo (del Sur?)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Se te ve Arica.

Se te ve Arica. This is a useful one, especially now that the use of low-cut jeans is so prolific. It translates "we can see your Arica." It means, "we can see your hammer holder." Imagine Chile is one long buttcrack. So if you can see Arica, that means the person's hammer holder is showing.

Chilenismo (obviously), informal

Sunday, July 13, 2008

No es lo mismo...

No es lo mismo dos tazas de té que dos tetazas.
No es lo mismo decir una pelota vieja que una vieja en pelotas.
No es lo mismo que tu hermano estudia en la escuela de investigaciones que le hagan tira a tu hermana.
No es lo mismo decir las ruinas de machu pichu que un macho te meta el pichu y te deje en ruinas.
No es lo mismo decir un metro de encaje negro, que un negro te encaje un metro.

jejejeje. A few typical Chilean jokes that one may hear from time to time.

Friday, July 11, 2008


¿cachai? - do you get it? do you understand?, often pronounced "tchai?"

hermana anfitriona: ¿cachai el castellano?
estudiante de intercambio: ¿qué?
hermana anfitriona: ¿entiendes el español?
estudiante de intercambio: uun pouquiito

host sister: do you get Castillian?
exchange student: what?
host sister: do you understand spanish?
exchange studnet: a little

other uses of cachar:
Cacha que... to introduce a story ...loosely translated, "Listen to this."
Cacha que no se me ocurre un ejemplo.

Yo cacho. - I think so.

¿Va a venir la Verónica?
Yo cacho.

Is Veronica coming?
I think so.

Chilenismos, coloquiales

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

pegarse la cachada

pegarse la cachada - to notice, to realize... like cachaí y cacha, cachada viene de "cachar".

Cuando el cumpleañero entró a su casa, recien se pegó la cachada que le habían preparado una fiesta sorpresa.
With the birthday boy entered his house, he finally realized that his friends had planned a surprise party for him.

other uses:
cachada - caleta, mucho, a ton of

Trajeron una cachada de chela.
Trajeron caleta de chela.
They brought a ton of beer.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

la cagó

la cagó - basically means "Holy shit", but without the sacredness. It literally means, "It was shat." That's funny.

¿Qué tal el filete?
La cagó; hace tiempo que no como carne tan rica.

How's the steak?
Holy shit; it's been a while since I've eaten meat this tasty.

Here are a few other uses of the multi-faceted verb "cagar".

la cagaste - You fucked it up. "La cagaste" can also mean "Wow. You did something awesome" depending on the tone of the speaker.

Se las caga - He fucks up. He's awesome. (Also depends on your tone.)

Se lo cagó en tres tiempos - He really burned him (like when you are making jokes). Or, he beat the shit out of him.

una persona cagada - is a stingy person, also called "mano de guagua"

una persona cagada del mate - is a crazy person

"La cagó" is definitely vulgar. It's probably a Chileanism. I remember in Argentina, they didn't understand me when I used the term. jejeje. Perhaps I'll blog about this episode.

Monday, July 7, 2008


apechugar - in the DRAE, this is defined as "to suffer the consequences", but in the contexts I've heard it used, I would translate it as "to take the bull by the horns". Although I'm interested what other people think...maybe I've added an optimist slant to this one.

Basically when something bad happens and life gets complicated, I've heard this advice several times (directed either at me or people I know):

No queda otra que apechugar no más y salir adelante.

Nothing left to do but take the bull by the horns and come out ahead.

This is used in Chile a lot, but since it's in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (DRAE), I'm safe to say it's an expression used in Spain as well, and who knows where else.

But I really like the expression, because pechuga means breast, so I get this mental picture of someone with their chest out taking on whatever it is they must do, which makes me think of Chilean culture and probably Latin American culture...some day I hope to be able to elaborate on this feeling/image I have, but I don't find the words to express this right now.

Estar más cocido que botón de oro.

"Estaba más cocido que botón de oro." This means "He was REALLY drunk."

Literally it means he was more sewn/drunk than a button made of gold. Another pun. "Cocido" means drunk in Chilensis. But it also means sewn. Now gold buttons are sewn on to jackets very well so they won't be lost. So if someone is "más cocido que botón de oro", that means he's very drunk. I don't think it works to say "she's very drunk", because it would have to be "más cocida que botón de oro", which, gramatically, doesn't work.

Chilenismo? Yo cacho.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sabes más que un pescado frito.

Sabes más que un pescado frito. This one's a pun I learned from some Venezuelan friends. Literally it means "You taste better than fried fish." But it's a pun because if you "sabes más que", that means "you know more than..", so the listener is expecting you to say something like "you know more than ... us, so-and-so, Einstein, etc. But then when you end the phrase with "pescado frito", the meaning of "sabes" changes to "you taste". Because "saber" is to know or to taste. It has two meanings.

coloquial, perhaps a Venezuelan idiom?, I'm not sure.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


1) viene de la palabra zopilote (vulture). It's a dude who behaves a bit like a vulture. He circles and circles the chics he likes, dejandolas chata de este weón pavo, who's not brave or smart enough to accept rejection. He's totally annoying and this type of guy is best to be avoided. En Venezuela, este personaje se llama "zamura" - sinónimo de vulture.
2) a guy who throws flirtatious/sexual comments at women
3) anyone who's annoying, weon jugoso
4) un combinado de vino y coca-cola. En Galicia este trago se llama calimocha.

jotear - the action the a jote takes.
Este weón lleva toda la noche joteandome. No estoy ni allí, me tiene enferma.
This dude has been bothering me all night. I'm not interested, I'm sick of him.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


güitrear - pronounced wee-tray-ahr, means to vomit.

Perhaps the term comes from the word buitre (vulture)? Me da la impresión.

Seba: ¿Donde está Diego?
Juan: Güitreando en el water.

Where's Diego?
Blowing chunks in the toilet.

Chilenismo, coloquial, disgusting

Monday, June 30, 2008

dar la lata/darse lata

two similar expressions with subtle differences

darse lata - 1) to not feel like it, or to not want to
Me da lata ir al médico.
I don't feel like going to the doctor

Vero: Anda al dentista si te duele la muela.
Juan Pablo: Me da lata.

Vero: Go see the dentist if your molar hurts.
Juan Pablo: I don't feel like it.

2) to not like a situation
Me da lata que Bush sea mi presidente.
I don't like the fact that Bush is my president.

sinonimo: Me da paja. (Esta expresión es vulgar ya que la paja es el pene.)

dar la lata - to make the effort, to bother to do something
Me di la lata de levantarme temprano y ir a la U hoy día, pero estaba cerrada. Parece que estamos en paro.
I made the effort to get up early and go the U, but it was closed. I guess we are on strike. (protesting)

Chilenismos, coloquiales, informales

Sunday, June 29, 2008


huacho/a - huérfano, orphan. Probably an important theme of Chilenity. In one of Julio Pinto's history books on Chile, I read that in 1900, something like 45% of Chileans were orphans. This could have a significant impact on Chile's culture.

But anyway it's pretty typical to call your friend huacho or huacha here, or even better huachita o huachito.

¿Cómo estay, huachita?
¿Bien y voh?

How you doing, hun?
Good, and you?

No lloris más, washa pelá. -- This is like a modern refrain. I can't remember where I heard it. It might be part of a song.
It literally means, "Don't cry anymore, bald orphan." But it's usually said with affection.

other spellings of huacha: washa, guacha

*Huacho can have a negative meaning if said with another tone.
"un huacho culiado" is a "fucking bastard"

So just be aware how you use it. To be on the safe side, it's better to use "huachita, huachito".

Chilenismo, coloquial

Thursday, June 26, 2008


cuchufleteado - adj. messed with, altered

Xavi les está hablando en inglés cuchufleteado. Los pobres gringos no le van a entender ni wea.
Xavi's speaking his own dialect of English. The poor gringos aren't going to understand a thing.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

tengo sed

tengo sed - I'm thirsty. What some Chileans say when they have a thirst that can only be quenched with an alcoholic beverage.

Mario: Tengo sed.
gringa: Tomáte un vaso de agua.
Mario: Pero tengo sed.

Mario: I'm thirsty.
gringa: Have a glass of water.
Mario: But I'm thirsty.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

se me echó la yegua

se me echó la yegua - cuando no das para más, for example when you have plans to go out at night and at some point you realize that you are actually pretty tired and not to up to it, you say "se me echó la yegua" which more or less means, "my mare died". jajaja. That's funny. Languages are such a kick in the pants.

Maca: Vamos al Pagano?
Vero: Puusha, tenía hartas ganas, pero se me echó la yegua.
Maca: Pero siempre se te echa la yegua.

Maca: Do you want to go to Pagano?
Vero: Bummer, I really wanted to go, but I'm feeling a bit worn down.
Maca: But your mare always dies. (jejeje)

Chilenismo, Coloquial, queda la duda si la expresión es vulgar...possibly a vulgar expression

oooh. a possible amendment. According to my favorite Chilean dictionary of chilenismos, echar la yegua
means that you quedaste dormido raja. you fell into a dead sleep...I'll consult with another source for this...and get back to you.

Monday, June 23, 2008


cahuinero - a person who relates cahuínes or talks behind people's backs

cahuín - a lie that is intentionally complicated and entangled as a way to confuse the other person, and you can construct the mansa cahuín talking behind people's backs. A good piece of Chilean literature that is basically structured as el manso cahuín is Stradivarius Penitente de Alejandra Rojas. This is a very good book.

Originally I thought a cahuinero was the same as a chamullento, but they aren't. So I take that back and am going to edit the "chamullento" post.

Chilenismo, coloquial


chimbobeado - drunk. This expression comes from the word "chimbobo" which is a cheap 5 liter bottle of wine.

sinónimos: curado, raja curado, borracho, cocido, mote? and there are many more, just can´t remember any more at the moment.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Sunday, June 22, 2008

patas negras

patas negras - black feet...someone who has black feet is the "lover", a cheater. This expression comes from Lota, (not too far from Concepción). There has been a carbon mine there since the mid-nineteenth century, although it's been closed since the 1990s. The miners worked in shifts, some worked night shifts, others, day shifts. If a miner came home to his house and family and saw black foot prints in his house then he knows his wife was cheating on him with another miner who has the opposite shift. And clearly the other guy has black feet from working in the mine.

Esa mina es una patas negras maraca. Se está comiendo el pololo de su amiga.
That chic's a slutty patas negras. She's getting it on with her friend's boyfriend.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Saturday, June 21, 2008

peor es mascar lauchas

peor es mascar lauchas - this literally means: "but chewing mice is worse". hahaha. Now that sounds funny. It actually means "it could be worse".

moi: "Pucha ahora que empezé a hacer clases de inglés me está costando hablar en español. No domino ninguno de los idiomas."
Christopher: "Pero peor es mascar lauchas."
moi: Queeeeé???

me: "Now that I'm teaching English, I'm having a hard time speaking in Spanish. I'm not good at either language."
Christopher: "But chewing mice is worse." (jejeje)
me: What???

-Aprendí esta expresión anoche. Mi amigo el Christopher ocupa todo una galaxia de expresiones interesantes.

Chilenismo?, coloquial? podría cacho

Friday, June 20, 2008


Coa - el idioma del flaite. Se ha prestado muchas expresiones al chilensis, i.e., apretar cachete, chamullar, cachá, por lo menos según este sitio web. Dudo de que todas las expresiones en mi blog sean de coa, pero muchas, sí, deben de ser originalmente del coa. Coa is pretty un-understandable to your average Chileno/extranjero, like me. I found this on Youtube. Here's a kid speaking coa, and the judge's translation.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


seco/a - adjetive, really good at something

Tiger Woods es seco para el golf.
Tiger Woods is an awesome golfer.

Tiger Woods es seco.
Tiger Woods is awesome.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

ponerse jugoso/dar jugo

ponerse jugoso - is like when you get drunk and take no social cues and start babbling and perhaps doing really annoying things, you don't have to be drunk for this to happen, but it is quite common among drunks

Cuando ese weón se cura, se pone jugoso. Da lata salir consigo.
When that dude gets drunk, he is so annoying. It's no fun going out with him.

dar jugo - when you make a big deal of something or do waaay more than necessary and then perhaps realize you were wrong. For example the other day some friends were going to drop me off near metro Santa Lucia and all of a sudden I realized we were in Parque Bustamante, heading towards Ñuñoa, and I was like, shit, we're passed where I wanted to get out. So I start babblying "Where are we? Is Santa Lucía a street as well as a metro station? Stop, stop the car. I'll get out here." And then two seconds later I realized we were in Bellas Artes, not Bustamante and that we still weren't at Santa Lucia. So then I said, ah, no, todo bien, estoy puro dando jugo, sory.

Chilenismos, coloquiales

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

como las weas

como las weas - shittily, badly

En el examen me fue como las weas.

The exam went shittily. -- ojo Spanish speakers, or non-native English speakers-- I just invented the word shittily. It's generally "shitty", which is an adjetive, but I added an "tily" to make it an adverb. But I like how it sounds.

sinónimos: como el loli, como el forro, como la callampa, como la corneta, como el hoyo -- the first four: loli, callampa, corneta - are all alusions to the penis, forro - refers to the skin around the penis and I think hoyo refers to the butthole and I'm pretty sure las weas are the testicles. So yes, these are vulgar expressions.

Chilenismo, vulgar

Monday, June 16, 2008


chamullento - adjetivo, sustantivo, un weon chamullento cuenta hartos chamullos, a guy who bullshits a lot

sinónimos - mentiroso
a sort of similar word cahuinero

Compré unas paltas a un vendedor callejero y el chamullento me empezó a contar cahuines..que su hijo está en Paris, pololeando con una francesa y estudiando un doctorado, que se decidió quedar allá, que el otro hijo estudió derecho en la U de Chile y le ha ido la raja...y la cacha de la espada y la pata de la guagua. Ese es un weon chamullento.

gesto técnico - there's body language that goes with this expression. Often when someone starts inventing bullshit stories, one of the people listening will stick out their index finger and thumb in a sort of v and put their hand under their chin with an facial expression that is critical of the weon chamullento. If I find a photo of this I will attach it here. It means the person talking is full of shit.

Chilenismo, coloquial


cuático/a - raro, loco, neurótico normalmente con una conotación peyorativa. Strange, bizarre, (with a pejorative connotation) crazy, weird, neurotic.

La mina cuática, llegó al carrete y estaba pelando cable todo el rato de los quicos y los pitucos y que se nació en cuna de oro, y la wea. La mina rayada, me importa callampa el tema.

The crazy chik showed up at the get together and was babbling on the whole time about rich people born in a "golden crib". The chik was crazy, I don't give a shit about that.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Friday, June 13, 2008

puta la weá

puta la weá - a useful expresion that literally means, more or less "slut the crap". haha. That's funny. Anyway, it actually means like "shit" or "fuck". Like when something goes a way you don't want it to, like you fail an exam or something, you use "puta la weá".

sinonimos de puta la wea: por la cresta, mierda

Chilenismo, vulgar

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

care palo

care palo - adj, short for cara de palo, or stick face, meaning a person who can lie without making an expression on his face that gives him/her away. It means a person is disrespectful, fresh, shameless. Basically un weón care palo, given the opportunity, will screw you over. A jerk or an asshole.

You know how eskimos have like 20 words for snow, because it's an important part of their culture? Well Chileans have a ton of words for care palo because the country's loaded with them: caradura, sinvergüenza, patudo, fresco, vivo, pícaro, atrevido, barsa, roto.

Near synonym: chanta

Ese weón care palo me cagó con la vuelta.
That jerk screwed me over with the change.

Chilenismo, coloquial, informal

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


pituto - person who hooks you up with a good job or gets you into a good school here in Chile. Ithink pituto literally means "enchufe", plug-in, but I'm not sure. Here I came across a more lengthy definition in Spanish. It's similar to "movida", except pituto is someone who solves a larger problem like getting a job or getting into a good University, where as a movida gets you less important things like good inexpensive marijuana, pirated movies, etc.

Here's a song by Sexual democracia about pitutos:

Chilenismo, coloquial/normal

Monday, June 9, 2008


una movida - someone who gets you something cheap or easily, a hook-up. Suprisingly to me, this expression isn't in the diccionario de modismos chilenos.

"Tengo una güena movida para películas piratas."
"I've got a good hookup for pirated movies."

Chilenismo, coloquial

Sunday, June 8, 2008

galletas gritón

Se está poniendo a comer galletas gritón. - He's shooting off at the mouth.

There are cookies here by the brandname Triton. So when someone starts eating gritón (scream) cookies that means they are shooting off at the mouth.

Chilenismo, coloquial


picada - a restaurant that's really cheap, but quite the DMC says, it can apply to any place that provides cheap services. I generally hear the term used to describe restaurants.

picante -un restoran barato que no tiene ni un brillo, basically a cheap, but nasty restaurant

Chilenismo, coloquial

Thursday, June 5, 2008

pelar cable

pelar cable - to babble incoherently about something for a long time

Juan Pablo se curó y está pelando cable como loco. Te recomiendo que no le acerques.
John Paul is drunk and babbling incoherently and profusely. I recommend you don't go near him.

sinónimo - dar jugo

Chilenismo, coloquial

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

volarse la raja

volarse la raja - to kick someone's ass

"Nos volaron la raja."
They kicked our asses.

"Me voló la raja."
She kicked my ass.

"Le volé la raja."
I kicked her ass.

Chilenismo, vulgar

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


guatear - to die (like in the sense that a party or conversation dies)

El programa de la tele guateó.
The television program died.

El paro en Valpo guateó.
The [student] strike in Valparaíso died.

other spellings: watió
sinónimos - funar, cagar, sonar - I've heard my suegros use this one, so it might be vintage, like "groovey" is in English.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Monday, June 2, 2008

espérame un cachito

espérame un cachito - wait a second, hold on a second

Espérame un cachito, me voy a dar una mano de gato.

Shall we go?
Wait just a second, I'm going to put on some makeup.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Sunday, June 1, 2008

no weí

no weí - no kidding, no shit?, really?

When I first heard this expression I thought the Chileans had borrowed our English expression "No way", because they are pretty much synonyms. However, "no weí" came from "no webeas" or "no me hueveas".

"Weon, se acabó el hielo."
"No weí. Mierda...pero Lucho viene en camino, llamale y dile que pase a comprar."

"Dude, we're out of ice."
"No kidding? Shit...but Lucho is on his way, call him and tell him to buy some."

Chilenismo, coloquial

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Flaite - noun, a sketchy person who will rob you if given the chance, they often dress inspired by hip-hop, with sporty warm-up pants and baby soccer shoes. They give off bad vibes and inspire zero trust. Its best to steer clear of them.

Chile is full of flaites. I think of it this way: There are way more poor people in Chile than in the States. Chile has the largest gap between rich and poor in all of Latin American. So you have the filthy rich and the terribly poor. This is a recipe for envy. There are a lot of flaites and you will find them in most parts of the big cities here.

"¿Cruzamos la calle mejor? Hay unos flaites frente la botillería."
"Why don't we cross the street? There are some sketchy guys in front of the liquor store."

Flaite - adjetive, sketchy.

Esas minas eran enteras flaites.
Those chiks were totally sketchy.

For a more in-depth explanation in chilensis, check this out. The Urban Dictionary defines it in English.

Chilenismo, coloquial

Friday, May 30, 2008

te lo encargo

So I'm getting right down to business. This expression I just learned, and honestly I'm still not sure that I know all the meanings or even that I'm using it exactly right, but here we go.

I think "te lo encargo" loosely means "you should try it"
Te lo encargo is an expression that you use in the following cases:

Puta, el examen me fue como las weas. Te lo encargo.
Fuck, this exam went terribly. You should try it. - Here te lo encargo puts enfasis on how difficult the exam was.

Fui a los baños turcos hoy día y quedé como nueva. Te los encargo.
Today I went to the turkish baths and I feel like new. You should go.

"Te lo encargo" is not a vulgar expression. It's colloquial. I wouldn't use it in formal occasions.

These entries will have five categories of use: vulgar, colloquial, informal, normal, formal.

I'm not sure if this expression is Chilean or not. I don't hear it that often. Mostly my friend Fer uses it so perhaps it's a Ferism. But it's my new fave expression.

Test your Chilensis level

This is a music video called "enchufa" created by an Italian residing in Chile who's taken reggaeton to a new level. jejeje. But if you understand him you're doing well with your Chilensis. If not, you'll be struggling a bit trying to understand Chilean slang and swear words. I personally think Chileans speak the most difficult Spanish in the world, and several friends who are also native English speakers have said the same. Chilean Spanish (or Castellano, as they call it here) is difficult because many of them barely articulate syllables, they speak in a monotone, quickly, and often cut off the second half of their words. Here, I think Benni actually is quite easy to understand. Later I'll upload a more difficult video or two. But this is good for starters. A link to the lyrics.