Sunday, November 29, 2009

a dodge patas

a dodge patas - (to get around) on foot. Definitely an expression that shows the class division in Chile. people who can't afford cars get around on foot or by public transport. So if asked how they arrived at a place they might say "a dodge pata". Since Dodge is a brandname of car, you think they might be about to tell you the type of car they arrived in, but they're making a joke of the fact that they arrived on foot (pata, actually means animal legs, but is used colloquially to refer to human legs).

Diego: Como llegaste a la casa del chamo?
Ana María: A dodge patas po, weón, como no me fuiste a buscar.

Diego: How did you get to chamo's house?
Ana María: On foot, since you didn't pick me up.

"a dodge patas" on the web: the authoritative Chilensis dictionary, diccionario libre

"en dodge patas" seems to work even better as in gñerty's example in the comments.

And here's a great visual for the "en dodge patas" expression.

Edited Dec 2.


once - pronounced (OHN-say) is Chilean for tea time. I've been told the etymology of this word has to do with aristocratic Chilean women enamored with the Chilean alcohol, aguardiente, would have a bit of this at the evening tea time. Proper Chilean women, instead of inviting their girlfriends to drink aguardiente, invited them to have "once" (eleven), a euphemism for aguardiente, since aguardiente has eleven letters.

I think I've only been served aguardiente once at once, in Southern Chile. Nowadays, once can be constituted by some of all of the following: bread, toast, mashed avocado, coffee, tea, cold cuts, quesillo, pie, cookies.

It's eaten usually between 7pm-9pm in most Chilean households.

Edited Dec 2010:
Apparently U.S. culture had something called "elevenses" as well. Interesting what one learns. I came across this fact reading an essay by Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

porotos desgranados

porotos desgranados - como los porotos granados, pero sin casca. Y con ellos, se puede preparar un plato que se llama porotos granados. ÑAMI!

porotos desgranados - like the porotos granados, but without the pod.

This terminology is known in the market, where you can buy porotos desgranados. I asked a couple Chilean guys the other day if they knew what "porotos desgranados" are, and they both corrected me and asked if I meant "porotos granados". But I was at the market again yesterday, and when I ask for porotos desgranados, the market people all understand me perfectly.

And here's an interesting Chilean cooking blog I've stumbled upon...

Edited Dec 3.

Monday, November 23, 2009


lumami - one of my fave Chilean? words. It's a masculine noun, meaning "leftovers". O sea, la comida que sobró de LUnes, MArtes, y MIercoles. In English this would be the food left over from MOnday, TUesday, and WEdnesday. motuwe. Or perhaps, more likely it would just be referred to by its initials MTW.

If you want to give the word a little more sofistication, you can French-ize it and call it "Le lumami" with an aristocratic tone. hehehe.

I've taught many Chileans this word, as it's not common knowledge here. But it's a very useful word, in my world.

hijo: "Mamá, ¿qué hay para almorzar?"
mamá: "Tu plato favorito, hijo querido. Le lumami."

son: "Mom, what's for dinner?"
mom: "Your favorite dish, cherished son. Leftovers."

It's masculine due to it's aspecto refeo y a veces bien grande (en cantidad). - my conscious intent to remember the gender of words by assigning them stereotypical male or female attributes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


engrupir - to smooth-talk someone, to seduce, to trick or lie to someone

Don Juan era seco para engrupir minas. Ojala le hubiera conocido. jejejeje

Don Juan was great at smooth-talking women. I wish I had known him.

engrupido (adj., noun) - conceited, a conceited person, because basically they've smooth-talked themselves into believe that they are the shit

Y aquí, ches queridos, tenemos la definición "del engrupido", gracias a un argentino que nos lleva al significado por el lindo camino de su prosa corta. jejeje.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


traer - to bring something from point A to point B. To use traer, the speaker needs to be at point B
llevar - to bring something from point A to point B. To use llevar, the speaker can't be at point B.

The most obvious examples for me:
you're at a party and you call someone to bring ice:

¿Podis traer hielo? Se nos acabó.
Can you bring ice? It ran out.

you're on your way to a party and you call to see what to bring:

¿Qué llevo? Coca-cola? hielo? What should I bring? Coke? Ice?

also I hear people use "lo ando trayendo" and sometimes "lo ando llevando".

María: ¿Tenis el examen del año pasado?
el Tata: si, lo ando trayendo.

María: Do you have the exam?
el Tata: Yes, I have it with me.

General Spanish

*Thanks Clare, for the suggestion.

Monday, April 27, 2009


guákala - yucky! (interjection)

Marco: ¿Quieres una prieta?
María: ¡Guákala! No me tinca comer sangre.

Marco: Do you want a blood sausage?
María: Yucky! I don't feel like eating blood.

Regular Spanish?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

dar un examen/tomar un examen

This is opposite in English.

dar un examen - to take a test
tomar un examen - to give a test

El profesor tomó un examen y los alumnos lo dieron.

The profesor gave an exam and the students took it.

Di un examen hoy y me fue como la corneta. ("como la corneta" is vulgar)

I took a test today and it went poorly.

These expressions are also used in Argentina, but not in Mexico or Spain as far as I know.

Monday, April 20, 2009


copete - booze

Anda a comprar un poco de copete mientras espero los invitados.

Go buy some booze while I wait for the guests.


Friday, April 17, 2009


carterear - to rob someone's purse. It comes from "cartera", Chilean for purse.

Me carterearon cerca de la U en Valpo. Rápidamente, se me cortaron el tirante de cuero con un cuchillo; se llevaron la cartera y ya estaban corriendo en la otra dirección cuando me di la vuelta.

They robbed my purse close to my University in Valpo. In a split second, they cut the leather strap with a knife, grabbed the purse and were already running the other direction when I turned around.

chilensis, I believe

not to be confused with "carretear" which means "to party"

and "cartera" (purse) is pretty close to "carretera", but the second one means highway

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


fanshop - a mix of draft beer (shop, chopp, chop, schop, etc.) with fanta soft drink. Yummy.

Jechu: Vamos a Schopdog para un fanshop y unas papas fritas. ¿Te tinca?
Marcela: Ñami, es una buena idea.

Jechu: Let's go to Schopdog for a fanshop and french fries. Do you feel like it?
Marcela: Yummy, it's a good idea.


Monday, April 13, 2009


This is one of my FAVE expressions in Chilensis. It is soooo useful.

pastelear - 1) to lay around and do nothing, 2) mandar puras cagás - to make messes out of everything

Que hiciste este fin de semana? Pastelié con cuática.

What did you do this weekend? I laid around all weekend.

possible etymology: from...

pastel - a dumbass, a pastry. A person who is a pastel totally looses it under pressure, because you squeeze them, like a pastry, and the filling comes out y son cero aporte, zero help with anything. I think pastelear comes from this expression, specifically the part about cero aporte.

Chilensis, I believe.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


pichicatear - endrogarse, to take drugs, enchularse - to pimp yourself up, enchular - to pimp up something like a car or a computer)...However, I've mostly heard pichicatear used in reference to drugs.

Yo cacho que hartos atletas profesionales se pichigatean con esteroides y weas similares.

I think that many professional athletes take steroids and things like that.

near synonym: cuchufletear...What a kick in the pants! Check out these conjugations I've stumbled upon.


Saturday, April 11, 2009


hediondo/a - stinky

La wea hedionda que tenis en tu mochila. Lo huelo a dos metros. Que wea tenis?

The stinky thing you have in your backpack. I can smell it two meters away. What do you have?

Regular Spanish

Friday, April 10, 2009


remolino - cowlick

Last Saturday I learned this word while getting my bi-annual mullet. However, I'm not sure if its Chilensis or not. My hairdresser who is Argentian taught me the word. But my Chilean host mom was there and she seemed to confirm that this is what remolino means. The other meanings of remolino are whirlpool and whirlwind.

Al parecer tengo dos remolinos en la frente, uno en cada lado.

Apparently I have two cowlicks on my forehead, one on each side.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


computín - someone good at using the computer

Sunday, April 5, 2009


un lacho, una lacha - a player, to steal the definition from el diccionario de modismos chilenos: "Dicese al hueón que es más caliente que la chucha"

Ese weón es un lacho.

That dude's a player.

Chilensis, I believe

And a bonus pronounciation lesson: it's pronounced like "latcho". In Spanish, the vowel sounds are generally shorter than in English. For example, the "ah" sound of the "a" in lacho, is closer to the "o" sound in pot than the "o" sound in pod. The "t" after the vowel has speakers of American English shorten the vowel sound a bit and sound a little more like the natives. (/lot-cho//lot-chah/)

Friday, April 3, 2009

cultura chupística

A post on cultura chupística (drinking culture) in Chile is absolutely necessarily as this facet of culture is quite developed in Chile.

Estar entonado - To have a buzz
Andar arriba de la pelota - to be drunk
Estar dado vuelta - to be really drunk, to be fucked up

la mamadera - this literally means a baby's bottle, but it is also used to designate a bottle of say coca-cola, with the rum added directly to it for partying generally in route to your destination, like say, in the micro, or walking. It's also popular for partying in the beach or public plazas, etc. It is like a baby's bottle because the liquid that it contains may put one to sleep with the bottle in hand.

Chilensis, I believe

Thursday, April 2, 2009


balón - ball, soccer ball

El balón se pegó el palo y salío. No fue gol.

The soccer ball hit the post and rebounded out. It wasn't a gol.

Normal Spanish

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spanish Pronunciation

I've found a website that has free Spanish pronunciation practice. If I find more later, I'll list them here.
Spanish Pronunciation from

This isn't Chilean pronunciation. It has recordings of both Spanish and Peruvian native speakers. And Peruvian Spanish is close enough to Chilean Castellano. hahaha. Just kidding. But it's what I've found. And it's useful. I've done all the vowel lessons and the "d" and they are useful. More or less what I learned in phonetics class, but with less theory. However, I wish there was an option to record yourself like on I haven't tried the Spanish course on livemocha, because the site was a bit slow yesterday. The classes are really basic, but I wonder if you just do the Spanish speaking, if you can get corrected by natives. I started a Portuguese class on livemocha and it's actually pretty cool, because natives leave you commentary on how well you are doing the exercises: speaking, listening, cuasi-writing, etc. And then you are asked to leave commentary on foreign students' English. So it works out nicely for beginners, but I'm not sure how good it will be for people who just want to work-on/perfect pronunciation.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Check Out these Chilensis Subtitles

I've been away from the computer for a bit, but I'm back and will soon be posting more frequently.
For your Chilensis pleasure, check-out this video (if you haven't already). It showcases the Chilean sense of humor, especially their love of taking a very serious moment and making it into a joke.

There are several versions, including one about Farkas' candidacy for president.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


pésimo - adv., terribly, couldn't be worse

¿Cómo te fue en el examén?
Pésimo, me eché el ramo.

How did you do on the exam?
Terribly, I failed the class.

Te ves pálido. ¿Cómo te sentis?

You look palid. How do you feel?

Español regular

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


mechón - a hazed, first-year University student in Chile

Qué hediondo los mechones, tienen olor a vinagre. Que asco! Están todos pintados y con la ropa cortado en pedazos.

How smelly the hazed students are, they smell like vinager. How gross! They have paint all over them and their clothing is cut to pieces.

Chilensis, me imagino

Monday, March 16, 2009


cocaví - a bag lunch or snack that you bring with you somewhere. It's a quechua word.

Y chicos, llevan cocaví, ya que no hay dónde comer por allí.

And kids, bring a bag lunch, since there's nowhere to eat there.


And here's why I thought it was a mapuche term.

Edited Dec. 3

Sunday, March 15, 2009

quedó la escoba

quedó la escoba - It turned into a huge, disorganized mess.
está la escoba - It'a a huge, disorganized mess. (Literally, "It's the broom.")
dejó la escoba - He made a huge, disorganized mess.

etymology: this is good: General Ibañez, Chilean president/dictator from 1927-1931 and 1952-1958 came up with the broom metaphor. His campaign motto was that he was going to "sweep" away the corruption in politics. Apparently, he "swept away" others too, like homosexuals and union workers. Pedro Lemebel's book Tengo Miedo Torero has an especially funny scene where Ibañez is portrayed as a "Loca" sweeping the floor.

llegando a la Plaza Italia en micro, 10 de diciembre, 2006:
Carlos: ¿Qué onda toda esta gente? Está LLENA de gente. ¡Está la escoba! Cuando pasemos por Escuela Militar, estaba colapsada también.
Andrés: ¿Habrá muerto Pinocho?
Carlos: A lo mejor.
Pasajero al lote: Sí, se murió.
Carlos y Andrés: ¡mieeeeeeeerda!

arriving to Plaza Italia on the city bus, December 10, 2006:
Carlos: What's up with all this people? There are people everywhere! It's crazy! When we passed by the Military School, it was totally crazy as well!
Andrés: I wonder if Pinochet died?
Carlos: Probably
random passenger: Yes, he died.
Carlos and Andrés: Holy shit!

The expression is distinctly Chilean.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


ladrón - an adaptor, (it literally means thief)

¿Podis comprar un ladrón? Quiero poder enchufar la tele y mi celular a la vez.

Can you buy an adaptor? I want to be able to plug in the TV and my cell phone at the same time.

regular Spanish

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


peludo - difficult

Laura: Galla, ¡el examen estuvo peludo!
La Jesu: Sí weona, yo cacho que me eché el ramo.
Laura: ¡Ojalá que no! ¿Vamos al Roma para ahogar las penas?
La Jesu: ¡Güena idea! ¡Esta weá me fue como las weas!

Laura: Girl, the exam was difficult!
La Jesu: Yeah dude, I think I failed the class.
Laura: I hope not! Shall we go to Roma to drown our sorrows?
La Jesu: Good idea! This test went poorly!

sinónimo: brígido

**"me fue como las weas" is vulgar. Literally "It went to me like balls (testicles)."

Chilensis, me imagino

Monday, March 9, 2009


peto - a mini tube top, like this, but a bit more stylish yes.

Venden petos en Patronato.

They sell mini tube tops in Patronato.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


aperrado/a - adj. to describe a tough or fearless person, especially in front of a particularly difficult situation; someone who does things anyway, against all odds.

Esteban: Mira quien llegó, el Ángel.
la José: Weón aperrado. Lleva toda la semana carreteando.

Esteban: Look who's arrived, Angel.
la José: What a tough guy. He's been partying all week.



bisagra - gossiper, bisagra literally means hinge

Es una bisagra. Si no está en la puerta, está en la ventana.

Another pun: bisagra means hinge and gossiper.
She's a gossiper (hinge). If she's not at the door, she's in the window.

sinonimos: copuchenta, sapa (toad)-Gossipers have big eyes like toads.

most likely Chilenismos

Friday, March 6, 2009


pajera/o - adj. lazy, literally it describes a person who sits around and masturbates all day, which means they are ultra-lazy. But when I've heard "pajero" used, it means "lazy". Generally people aren't saying they are huge into masturbating, they are saying they are being lazy.

Estoy terrible pajera. No tengo ganas de hacer nada en absoluto.

I'm feeling really lazy. I don't feel like doing anything at all.

A related expression.
Me da paja. - I don't feel like it.
Me dio paja. - I didn't feel like it.

Chilensis, a VULGAR word

This is one of my FAVE chilean words as I identify with it quite a lot. Hehehe.
I'm not pajera all of the time, THANK GOD, but, from time to time, I do come down with cases of pajerez or would it be pajería? Haha. I use this word all of the time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


América - 1) the Americas (North and South). In Spanish, "América" refers to one continent that is made up of both North and South America, 2) a woman's name

*Note: América and America are "false friends", as are American and americano/a.

For those of you Latin Americans out there, "America" in English means the United States of America. America, as ONE SINGLE continent does not exist in English, because we are taught that América is composed of two continents North America (including Central America), and South America. "From the 1950s, most United States geographers divided America in two[50] — consistent with modern understanding of geology and plate tectonics. With the addition of Antarctica, this made the seven-continent model. However, this division of America never appealed to Latin America, which saw itself spanning an America that was a single landmass, and there the conception of six continents remains, as it does in other scattered countries." (Continent, wikipedia) Get Alfredo Jaar's two cents here.

Check out this, University of Texas, map site and notice that it lists Africa, Asia, Europe and The Americas as geographical regions. Some people view Eurasia (Europe and Asia) as one continent, and others view it as two. Some people see América as one continent, others as two. Read more about this on the wikipedia continent article.

That said, in ways, I do prefer the Latin American view of América, because it's a cultural one, not taken out of a physical geography class. Americans do have a lot in common with americanos. Our nations are very young. Among us live the indigenous people. We all are here because of a lost sailor named Columbus. We have European ancestors, etc. However, I do find a huge cultural divide between Anglo-Americans and Latin Americans. Culturally they are similar in ways, but they are also different.

I've talked about this a bit in my blog, but its a sort of interstitial and interesting knowledge that many don't seem to have, so that's why I repeat myself.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

una ayatola

Es una ayatola. Halla toda las weas malas.

This is another pun-ish expression. Ayatola means ayatollah, but it also sounds like
Halla to' la... (Halla toda la) He finds everything...

He's an ayatollah. He finds everything bad.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


choriflay - sweet, something entertaining, a novelty (I've heard this used only once, but I rather liked it, so I've included it.) Okay, so I've just found the definition of choriflay in el Diccionario de Modismos Chilenos.

Uuh. Qué bonita la polera¡ Es choriflay¡

Ooh. What a pretty shirt! It's sweet!

sinonimos - bakán, bacán, la raja

Monday, March 2, 2009

la sangre tira

la sangre tira - literally, "blood pulls", it means that a person misses their family simply because they are family

chileno: ¿Cuánto tiempo llevay acá?
gringa: Varios años.
chileno: ¿No echay de menos a tu familia?
gringa: Si, claro.
chileno: Porque la sangre tira.

Chilean: How long have you been here?
Gringa: Several years.
Chilean: Don't you miss your family?
Gringa: Of course.
Chilean: Because blood pulls.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

un pique

un pique - a ways

Vero: ¿Vamos a dodge patas que no tengo plata para la micro?
Maca: Igual es un pique, vamos a llegar a la hora de la callampa.**
Vero: Pero vamos chupando la mamadera que preparamos.
Maca: Güeno ya, vamos andando.

Vero: Shall we go on foot, 'cos I don't have money for the bus.
Maca: Mmm, it's a ways, we're going to arrive really late.
Vero: But we can drink the alcoholic mix we prepared in this bottle as we walk.
Maca: Okay, let's go.

**Note: "la hora de la callampa" is a vulgar expression

Friday, February 27, 2009

mandar cabezazos

mandar cabezazos - to nod off.

Lleva doce horas carreteando. De más que está mandando cabezazos.

He's been partying for twelve hours. Of course he's nodding off.


Thursday, February 26, 2009


peto - a mini tube top, like this, but a bit more stylish yes.

Venden petos en Patronato.

They sell mini tube tops in Patronato.

Hay olor a bosque.

Reap the benefits of me being married to a gentlemanly Chilean who teaches me these kinds of things. Well, and the third joke I collected from a fellow capoeirista. Here are a few Chilean jokes for your reading pleasure.

Pepe: Hay olor a bosque.
Lucas: ¿A bosque?
Pepe: A vos, que ¡te cagaste!

This one will need to be explained, it's a sort of pun.
Pepe: It smells like forest. (bosque)
Lucas: forest? (bosque)
...Vos que (pronounced the same as "bosque" and means "you who" or "you that")
Pepe: Vos que... You who shat yourself.

Lucas: Hay olor a rodillas.
Pepe: ¿A rodillas?
Lucas: Entre pata y poto.

Lucas: It smells like knees.
Pepe: Like knees?
Lucas: (A mix) between feet and ass.

Lucas: Hay olor a pan tostado. (accompanied with a stinky fart)

Lucas: It smells like toast. (what you say when you let one rip and someone else smells it)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Me habíai llamado?

Me habíai llamado? - (Me habíais llamado, Me habías llamado) Did you call me?, literally "Had you called me?"
Chileans do this thing with their verbs...perhaps I'll post more extensively on it in the future.

Christian: Hola, qué tal? Me habíais llamado?
Lucas: Si, vamos a juntar más rato?

Christian: Hello, how's it going? Did you call me?
Lucas: Yeah, are we getting together later?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

estar de perro

estar de perro - estar bacán, to be awesome

En la playa:
Seba: Puta que rico estar acá weon, con una chela helá, viendo minas ricas.
Diego: Si, weon, está de perro.

On the beach:
Seba: Shit it's sweet to be here, with a cold beer, checking out hot chiks.
Diego: Yeah, dude, this is sweet.


Monday, January 12, 2009

mochilear, a false friend

mochilear - to backpack a la chilena
"mochilear" does not equal "to backpack"
mochilear - comes from una mochila Chilean for "a backpack"
"mochilear" is an inexpensive summer activity that Chilean university students sometimes dedicate themselves to. Mochilear means to hitchhike or take a bus (to either the North or the South) with a backpack, usually during the summer months, and usually in Chile - although exceptions do exist. It's basically a cheap way for Chileans to get to know there country, meet knew people, and party a long way from home. They generally camp in camping areas and drink prolific amounts of alcohol, singing and strumming all night on a guitar with other drunk Chilean university students.

Vero: Qué vay a hacer para las vacaciones de verano?
Seba: Con unos amigos vamos a mochilear al sur por un mes.

Vero: What are you going to do during summer vacations?
Seba: I'm going backpacking a la chilena in the South for a month.

to backpack or to go backpacking - translates as "hacer trekking"
to backpack through a country is a bit more similar to the Chilean mochilear.
Like Chilean mochileros, a gringo who backpacks through a country is also on a budget (generally), and may or may not party a lot, as Chileans do.

Chilenismo, normal register