Chilean slang, from A to Z

Chileans, specially those who are younger, contribute everyday to expand our Chilean slang.

Modismos chilenos… de la A a la Z

Many times we hear that is hard to understand when Chilean speak, whether it is because “we speak too fast” or for our unique slang. This is why we give you an alphabetic list of some of the most popular expressions in our country,

A
Achacarse: To get sad or discouraged.
Achuntar: “To hit the nail on the head”.
A lapa: Piggyback ride. In the north, “a tota”. In the south, “a chique” or “al acha”
Al lote: Disorderly, without rules.
Al tiro: Immediately, right now.
Al toque: Right away.
Andar pato: To not have any money.
Apañar: To accompany a friend, physically or psychologically.
Apestarse: To get mad or bored.
Aperrar: To be brave, to persevere despite the obstacles.
Apitutado: Well-connected.
Apretado: To be selfish, miserly
Arrugar: To back out of something.
Atao: A problem
Avispado: Very agile or intelligent.
B
Bacán: Excellent – used like ‘cool’ in English.
Barsa: Fresh, without shame.
Buena leche: A decent and honest person with good intentions.
Bronca: Anger or disgust.
Buche: Stomach

C
Cabra/o: A teenager or young kid.
Cabritas: Popcorn.
Cachar: Probably originating in the English word ‘to catch,’ means ‘to get’ something. You’ll most often hear it as “cachai,” equivalent to the English “you know?”, “get it?” or “do you understand?”
Cachureos: Things that are kept, but that have no use
Cahuín: Hurtful gossip that starts trouble.
Calato: To be naked
Caleta: A great amount, a lot
Caña: Hangover
Carrete: Party
Colarse: To enter without permission
Condoro: Mistake, indiscretion
Copete: Alcoholic beverage
Curao: Drunk
CH
Chapa: Nickname, alias
Choro: Someone who thinks he or she is tough. Also means great or cool.
Chorearse: To get mad or angry; to rob or steal

D
Dar pelota: To pay attention to someone.
Dar jugo: Waste time, procrastinate; to talk nonsense
Denso: Someone very serious, almost to the point of being grumpy
Doblado: Very drunk, stoned, unconscious

E
Echar la foca: To scold someone.
Embarrarla: To ruin something or a situation
Engrupir: To flirt with or hit on someone. It can also mean to lie or deceive.
Enrollado:. Very involved or complicated.
Estirar la pata: To die

F
Fiambre: Stinking or rotten.
Filo: “It doesn’t matter”
Fome: Boring, without any redeeming qualities.
Fonda: A place where independence holidays are celebrated. Also used to denote a party with lots of traditional Chilean music and drinks.
Fresco: Cheeky
G
Gallo/a: A young adult. Similar to using the word “guy.”
Gancho: Friend, neighbour
Ganso: Stupid, naive
Gauchada: A favour.
Gil: An idiot.
Guacho: A child that is not recognized by its father; an orphan.
Guagua: A baby
Guanaco: A police vehicle that uses a water cannon to maintain order.
Guata: A belly or gut.
Guater: Toilet, WC.

H
Hachazo: A rough morning, usually hangover related.
Hallulla: A type of bread.
Huaso: A chilean from the farm or country; the Chilean version of an Argentine ‘gaucho,’ or American ‘cowboy.’
Huevón: Can refer to a person or a thing, a friend or an enemy. Most closely resembles ‘dude’ or ‘guy’ in English, but is far more versatile.

I
Inflar (to someone): To pay attention to someone or to take into account.
Inflado: Someone that has acquired a value higher than deserved
Irse al chancho: To abuse, or exceed the limits.

J
Jarana: Party, amusement
Jote: Someone that is always on the prowl for women.
Julepe: Fear.

K
Kilterrier: A mutt or mongrel dog. Comes from ‘quiltro’, a mixed-breed dog, and ‘terrier’.

L
La firme: The truth or reality.
La dura: The truth
Lanza: Someone who steals
Lata: Something boring or lousy.
Latero: Boring
La raja: An amazing thing or situation
Lesear: To goof around
Leseras: Ridiculous and meaningless things.
Liz Taylor: Ready. “Listo,” Spanish for ready, becomes “Listeilor” or “Liz Taylor.”
LJ: “We are gone”
Lolo(a): A teenager.
Longi: Crazy, hippie
Luca: a $1000 Chilean pesos bill

M
Machucado: Beaten up, poorly treated.
Mano de guagua: Miserly, selfish.
Micro: The public buses.
Mina: A young woman, usually attractive.
Mino: A young man, usually attractive.

N
Ene: A lot, a large amount.
Nanai: Affection that you show towards someone.
Ni ahí: It doesn’t matter.
Ni un brillo: Something or someone boring, not appealing.

O
Ojo: Attention!
Onda: ‘Vibes,’ negative or positive.
Once: Afternoon meal, tea time.
P
Pal Gato (estar): Feeling sick
Pagar el piso: Expression used when someone starts working and invites his friends or family to a meal or drinks.
Paracaidista: Literally, someone who parachutes; used to refer to someone who attends a party or event without being invited.
Pasarlo chancho: To have a good time, to be entertained
Patas negras: A lover.
Patiperro: Someone who travels a lot
Patudo: Shameless, disrespectful
Pavear: To be distracted
Pega: Job or occupation.
Peludo: Difficult, complicated. Someone who is hairy, grown up, mature.
Picada: Low key place where to get good products or services (food, objects, gifts)
Piola: Unnoticed. Quiet
Pololeo: A romantic relationship, without being married or engaged.
Previa: Friends meeting before a party

Q
Queque: Literally a piece of cake or muffin, used to refer to someone’s backside.
Quina: A $500 Chilean pesos coin
Quiubo: “What happened?”

R
Rajado: Very fast, very generous, someone who enjoys partying
Rasca: Unrefined, of low quality, tacky or vulgar.
Rico: pleasant, entertaining

S
Sacar la cresta: To beat someone up.
Sacar pica: To provoke someone into being jealous
Sapo: Someone who eavesdrops.
Seco: Someone successful in a certain area
Socio: Pal, friend.

T
Taco: Traffic jam
Talla: A joke, prank. In the north: Popsicle
Tata: Grandfather.
Tirar a la chuña: Throw something into the air for anyone to catch it.
Tocar el violín: To be the third wheel.
Tollo: A lie, an exaggeration
Tuto (hacer): To sleep. Tener tuto, to be tired.
U
Último: The worst, horrible.

V
Vaca (hacer una): When everyone chips in their share to pay for something.
Viejo Verde: An older man that flirts with women significantly younger than him.
Virarse: To leave.

Y
Yapa: A freebie or free gift.
Yunta: Best friend, pal.

Z
Zombi (andar como): To be very tired or out of it.

This post is also available in Spanish