Cachai?: Las Palabras Chilenas

Hola amigos! I should have done a post about this earlier on, but it is better late than never. So, kind of like Philly and its use of “jawn”, Chile has loads of words that you will not hear anywhere else. They are specific to Chile and nowhere else. Thus, I thought it would helpful to teach you guys some of these words so that any future Drexel students heading to Chile, will not be as lost as I was when I heard these words. I mean like I literally sat there dumbfounded when I heard Chileans speaking to each other. Chilean words are used so often and even by professionals. The first couple weeks here, the professors would be giving lectures and all of the foreigners and I would turn our heads and look at each other just to assure that none of us understood it as well.

There is a lot of ground to cover, but I will start off with some of the ones I have mentioned in the past posts and introduce a bunch of new words. Just a warning, a majority of Chilean words have a sexual connotation. Even normal words could be mistaken as something “wrong” if not explained.

Cachai: “Do you understand?”; used like a follow up remark just to assure someone comprehends what you are saying. (e.g. “¿Vamos a salir como a la 10 de la mañana, cachai?” = “We are going to leave like at 10 in the morning, understand?”)

Carrete: Party; “carrete” is used more often than “fiesta” here. Can also be used as a verb like “carretear.” (e.g. “Fui a un carrete.” = “I went to a party.”) (e.g. “Vamos a carretear.” = “We are going to party.”)

Pololo/a: Boyfriend/girlfriend; used more than “novio/a”. Can also be used as a verb like “pololear” which is means “to date someone.” (e.g. “Fui al cine con mi pololo.” = “I went to the movies with my boyfriend.”) (e.g. “Brenda y Carlos están pololeando.” = “Brenda and Carlos are dating.”)

Cuico: Rich, snobby person. Anyone who has a lot of money and looks down on others. (e.g. “El cuico estaba manejando su Lamborghini y estaba riendo a los sintechos.” = “The rich snob was driving his car and laughing at the homeless.”)

Fleite: Opposite of “cuico” and pretty much can be associated with slang words like “ghetto” or “ratchet.” Does not necessarily have to be someone poor, but more someone who uses a lot of slang and acts like someone from the cast of Jersey Shore. (“La policía saco los fleites de la discoteca porque estaban peleando y haciendo mucho drama.” = “The police took out the ghetto people from the club because they were fighting and making a lot of drama.”)

Bacán: Cool, great, awesome. (e.g. “Que bacán!” = “How cool!”)

New words that I have heard in alphabetical order:

Ahí: Literally means “there.” (e.g. “Camina por ahí.” = “Walk over there.”)

Bomba: Gas station. (e.g. “Necesito ir a la bomba para poner gasolina en mi caro.” = “I need to go to the gas station to put gasoline in my car.”)

Cabro/a: Usually used to say “boy/girl,” but also means billy goat and can be used to call someone a sweetheart. (e.g. “La cabra está con su madre.” = “The girl is with her mother.”)

Cachetón/a: Could be used to call someone a show-off or can be used to say someone has big cheeks or a chubby face because “cachete” means cheek in Spanish. (e.g. “Está mostrando su reloj de oro como un cachetón.” = “He is displaying his gold watch like a show-off.”) (e.g. “Que adorable! Eres un cachetón.” = “How adorable! You are chubby-cheeked.”)

Cagado/a: Alright so this word can be used as an adjective, noun and a verb. First, “cagado/a” the adjective means stingy, very, or screwed. “La cagada” the noun means a misfortune or disaster. Finally, “cagar” the verb means to screw someone over or to screw up. However, outside of Chile this word has a connotation of meaning “shitty” or pooped oneself so do not use it in the Chilean context outside of Chile. (e.g. “Me olvidé del examen hoy y no estudié. Estoy cagado.” = “I forgot about the exam today and I did not study. I am screwed.”) (e.g. “Todavía estoy asustado de la cagada que pasó anoche.” = “I am still scared from the disaster that happened last night.”) (e.g. “La cagaste.” = “You screwed up.”)

Caña: Hangover. (e.g. “He tenido una caña durante la mañana porque fui a un carrete anoche.” = “I had a hangover during the morning because I went to a party last night.”)

Copete: Alcoholic beverage, liquor. (e.g. “Hemos comprado un copete antes de llegar al carrete.” = “We bought liquor before arriving at the party.”)

Copucha: Gossip. You can say “chisme” as well which is used in other Spanish-speaking countries. (e.g. “Veronica estaba creando copuchas sobre su mejor amiga.” = “Veronica was creating gossip about her best friend.”)

Chamullo: Lie or a fib. (e.g. “El niño dijo un chamullo a su madre.” = “The boy told a lie to his mother.”)

Chancho: Pig. However, when said in the phrase “pasarlo chancho” means to have a good time or to enjoy something. (e.g. “Comes tu comida como un chancho.” = “You eat your food like a pig.”) (e.g. “Lo pasó chancho al concierto.” = “The concert was fun/a good time.”)

Chocho/a: Happy, proud, content. (e.g. “Estabamos chochos por estar allí.” = “We were happy to be there.”)

Curado/a: Drunk. (e.g. “No haga caso del hombre, está curado.” = “Ignore the man, he’s drunk.”)

Dar bola/dar pelota (a alguien): Literal translation is “to give a ball (to someone).” Not exactly sure why the word “ball” is in the phrase, but would not be surprised if it has a sexual connotation. Anyways, the Chilean meaning is to not take something seriously or not pay attention to something. (e.g. “No te das bola a ella.” = “Do not pay attention to her. / Do not take her seriously.”)

Embarrarla: To messing something up. (e.g. “La embarraste la oportunidad a hablar con Lisa.” = “You messed up the opportunity to talk with Lisa.”)

Escoba: Literal translation is “broom,” but it also used to mean a disaster or mess. (e.g. “Mi presentación fue una escoba.” = “My presentation was a disaster.”)

Fome: Boring. “Aburrido” can also be used in Chile, but “fome” is used way more often. (e.g. “Odio mis cursos de lunes porque son tan fomes.” = “I hate my Monday clases because they are so boring.”)

Gamba: 100 pesos. (e.g. “La botella de agua es 8 gambas.” = “The bottle of water is 800 pesos.”)

Ganso: Literal translation is goose, but it used to say stupid, naive, or slow. (e.g. “No necesitas hablar tan lento. No soy un ganso.” = “You do not need to speak so slowly. I am not an idiot.”)

Guagua: Baby. I like to think of it as the crying noise a baby makes like “waa..waa.” (e.g. “La madre está caminando con su guagua en sus brazos.” = “The mother is walking with her baby in her arms.”)

Hacer una vaca: Go in on (buying something) or do something in an extreme matter. (e.g. “Estamos hacienda una vaca en el mall.” = “We are going in/buying so much at the mall.”)

Hueveo, huevear, y huevón/a: First, “hueveo” means a practical joke. “Huevear” means to get on someone’s nerves or bother someone. Lastly, “huevón/a” can mean anything from calling someone a buddy (in a friendly manner) to calling them an idiot (viciously), depending on the tone and context. (e.g. “Estamos en detención porque hicimos un hueveo en clase.” = “We are in detention because we made a joke in class.”) (e.g. “Traté a no huevear Bob pero él tiene un mal genio.” = “I tried not to bother Bob but he has a bad temper.”) (e.g. “Ese huevón es mi amigo, jaja.” = “That idiot is my friend, haha.”)

Jalar: To do drugs. (e.g. “No me gusta caminar por esta calle porque siempre hay gente jalando.” = “I do not like to walk on this street because there is always people doing drugs.”)

Jodido/a: Complicated. (e.g. “Las instrucciones para la máquina son demasiado jodido.” = “The instructions for the machine are too complicated.”)

Lanza: Pickpocket; thief. (e.g. “Necesitar tener cuidado durante la noche. Hay muchas lanzas.” = “You need to be careful during the night. There are many pickpockets.”)

Lolo/a: Teenager. (e.g. “Se vea más viejo, pero es un lolo.” = “He looks much older, but he is a teenager.”)

Luca: 1000 pesos. (e.g. El sándwich es 2 lucas.” = “The sandwich is 2,000 pesos.”)

Micro: Bus. (e.g. “Para llegar a la montaña necesitas ir por micro.” = “To arrive at the mountain you need to go by bus.”)

Monono/a: Adorable; cute. (e.g. “Que monona! Quiero comerla!” = “How adorable! I want to eat her!”) (“To eat someone” in Spanish is just a way of saying something/someone is really cute.)

Onda: Attitude, mood or style. (e.g. “Ella tiene una buena onda.” = “She has a nice attitude.”)

Paco: Literal translation is pig, but is slang to say policeman. This should never be said directly to a cop since it is seen as disrespectful. (e.g. “No confíes en los pacos.” = “I do not have trust in the pólice.”)

Picada: Cheap (but good) place to eat. (e.g. “Compramos nuestra comida afuera del campus porque hay muchas picadas.” = “We buy our food outside of the campus because there are many cheap, good places.”)

Pichanga: Pick-up game of soccer. (e.g. “Ellos estan hacienda una pichanga.” = “They are doing a pick-up game of soccer.”)

Pilucho/a: (Half) naked. (e.g. “Chris no tiene vergüenza. Siempre está caminando pilucho en la casa.” = “Chris does not have shame. He is always walking around half-naked in the house.”)

Pito: A joint. A lot of people openly smoke marijuana at parks so you will learn this word pretty soon. (e.g. “Cada tiempo que paso por el parque, hay personas fumando pitos.” = “Every time I pass by the park, there are people smoking joints.”)

Plop: Is an expression of surprise or confusion (from a popular comic strip in Chile called “Condorito”). (e.g. “¡Quedé plop!” = “I was speechless.”)

Po: Has no meaning whatsoever but is used to add emphasis. It’s not even technically a word, but more something Chileans add after a word or phrase. (e.g. “Si, po.” = “Yes!”; “¿Porque, po?” = “Why!?”)

Porfa: An abbreviation of “por favor” or please. (e.g. “¿Puedes abrir la puerta, porfa?” = “Can you open the door, please?”)

Pucha: Can mean “oops,” but is also a way of showing of sympathy or regret for something bad that happened like “dang” or “crap.” (e.g. “Pucha, pobrecito Ricardo.” = “Dang, poor Ricardo.”)

Rasca: Of bad quality; poorly made. Can also be used to say someone is lacking manners. (e.g. “Sí las empanadas son muy baratas, pero son rascas.” = “Yeah the empanadas are very cheap, but they are poorly made.”)

Rico/a: Even though this word is used in all Spanish-speaking countries, I added it because it can often be misunderstood. “Rico/a” means either rich or delicious, but it is also used to say someone is sexy or attractive. (e.g. “¡Que rica es!” = “She is so sexy.”)

Rollo: A difficult situation; a problem. (e.g. “Se metió en un rollo.” = “He’s in a fix/difficult situation.”)

Soplado/a: Very fast; very simple; very clean. (e.g. “El arroz es muy soplada para cocinar.” = “The rice is really simple to cook.”)

Taco: Literally could mean an actual taco (the food). However, it is also used to say a traffic jam. (e.g. “Llegue tarde por un taco.” = “I arrived late because of a traffic jam.”)

Tincar: To guess or have a hunch, but also to like. (e.g. “Me tinca que ella no está aquí.” = “I do not think she is here.”) (e.g. “¿Te tinca?” = “Do you like it?”)

Tirar: Literal translation is to throw or pull; however, just like “rico/a” there is a sexual connotation so you must be careful on how you use it. “Tirarse (con algiuen)” can mean to have sex with someone. (e.g. “Ella se tiró con alguien anoche.” = “She slept with someone last night.”)

There is much more words that I have not covered, but I either thought they were really inappropriate and choose not to add them, or I just do not know them yet.

Adios todos! I hope this helps and you guys found this interesting.

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