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