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.