Chilean Spanish Posted by Adir on Jan 7, 2012 in Spanish Vocabulary
I started learning Spanish in 1991 with two friends from high school, Ximena and Ivo. They were from Chile. They had been living in my town for some time and I was amazed that at home they spoke Spanish and in other situations they would speak Portuguese, perfectly!
That got me very interested in learning Spanish so they taught me the basics with lots of Chilean expressions. So today I’m going to share some of them with you guys!
Al tiro – Right away! This is a very common expression in Chile and it refers to the shot fired to initiate a race. Hazlo al tiro que lo necesitamos para ahora. (Do it right away because we need it now!)
Bencina – gasoline. We also have the word bencinera, gas station.
Cabro(a) – Literally it’s a goat, but this word is used to mean kids, boy or a girl. When they’re little, they say cabro(a) chico(a).
¿Cachai? – Got it? Ths expressions comes from the verb cachar, to get it, to understand. Here are some examples with cachar: Cáchate eso. (Check this out.) – Cacha lo que estoy haciendo. (Look at what I’m doing.)
Cahuín – gossip. Also called copucha.
Chupar – literally “to suck” but it’s used to go on a drinking binge. Usually used in the expressions salir a chupar.
Gallo – a guy. There’s also the feminine form, galla (a young woman).
Guagua – a baby
Guata – the belly
Lolo(a) – a teenager or young adult
Mechón – freshman in college going through the hazing process
Palta – avocado
Pega – work. ¿Tenís pega pa’ mí? (Do you have work for me?) – Voy a la pega. (I’m going to work.)
Pituco – Derogatory term used to refer to someone or something from the highest social class.
Porotos – beans
Pololo(a) – boy(girl)friend
Regalón – a spoiled child or student
Ya – Literally it means “already” or “still” but Chileans use it to say “yeah”, “yes”.
Chilean Spanish has so many more cool informal expressions like the ones above. HBO has a very good show with Chilean actors called Prófugos. Check your TV listings to see if it’s available and enjoy!
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