127 Common Colombian Slang Words: How To Use Them Correctly

Cómo andás Papá? Ever found yourself in Colombia, surrounded by friendly locals, but struggling to decipher their lively “Colombian Slang”?

No worries, I’ve got your back.

I’m Thomas Espeute, and I’ve been exploring Colombia since 2015. Plus, I’ve got a secret weapon – my Colombian wife, Alejandra – who’s helped me master Colombian Spanish almost like a true paisa.

In this article, I’m your slang decoder, here to make your Colombian adventure even more epic. We’ll unravel the fun and quirks of this vibrant language, so you can connect with Colombians on a whole new level.

Let’s dive right in!


Who are we 👋

Since 2015, Adrien, Alejandra, and I (Tom) have been helping travelers explore Colombia. Here, you will find everything you need to fall in love with this beautiful country easily.

Colombian Slang words for friends / dude / bro

In standard Spanish-speaking countries, men and women are, of course, referred to as “hombres” and “mujeres”, “señores,” and “señoras”. In social situations in Colombia, you are much more likely to hear people refer to a man as a “man” (the English word, but pronounced in a more Latin way); while a woman between the ages of around 16 and 50 is usually called a “vieja”. Friends are often described not as “amigos”, but rather as “parceros”, and teenagers and young people might be termed “pelados” or “chinos”.

1. Parcero

Rincon del Mar (1)
Parcero, let’s grab a drink

Slang Meaning: The slang word for “friend” in Colombian Spanish. It’s like calling someone “dude” or “mate.”

The Literal meaning: Closest to “partner.”

A Daily Life Example: “¡Parcero, vamos a tomar algo!” (“Dude, let’s grab a drink!”)

2. Parche

Boat rosario island with Ameryc Cartagena 7

Slang meaning: This one’s versatile. It can mean a group of friends or a plan with them.

The Literal meaning: “Patch,” but that doesn’t capture its essence.

A Daily Life Example: “Tenemos un parche para ir al cine.” (“We have a plan to go to the movies with friends.”)

3. Marica

Slang meaning: A term of endearment among close friends, but be cautious—it can be offensive in other contexts.

The Literal Translation: Literally translates to a derogatory term for a gay person, so context is key.

A Daily Life Example: “¡Marica, mira eso!” (“Dude, look at that!”)

4. Huevón (webón)

Slang meaning: Another buddy term, but it can also mean “lazy” or “stupid” if used wrong.

The Literal Translation: “Big egg,” but don’t read into that too much.

A Daily Life Example: “Ese huevón es mi mejor amigo.” (“That dude is my best friend.”)

5. Gordo, Negro, Flaco

Slang meaning: These are nicknames based on physical traits: “fat,” “black,” and “skinny,” respectively. It’s something normal in Colombia if you know the person well.

The Literal Translation: Just as they sound.

A Daily Life Example: “¡Hola, Flaco! ¿Todo bien?” (“Hey, Skinny! All good?”)

6. Vecino

Slang meaning: Literally means “neighbor,” but it’s used for people who live nearby.

The Literal Translation: “Neighbor.”

A Daily Life Example: “Vecino, ¿vamos al parque?” (“Neighbor, shall we go to the park?”)

7. Mi Llave

Slang meaning: A term for a very close friend, like a “bestie.”

The Literal Translation: “My key.”

A Daily Life Example: “El es mi llave, la conozco desde hace años.” (“He’s my bestie; I’ve known her for years.”)

8. Cucho / Cucha

Slang meaning: An affectionate term for an older person, often used for older friends. You can also use it to call your Colombian mum.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but think “old man” in a friendly way.

A Daily Life Example: “Cucho, cuéntame una historia.” (“Old man, tell me a story.”)

Colombian Slang For Kids and Young People

These terms are like the Snapchat filters of Colombian slang—fun, youthful, and a bit cheeky. Let’s break them down.

9. Pelados or Chino

Slang meaning: “Pelados” is a term for young people or kids. “Chino” is often used the same way, though it literally means “Chinese.”

The Literal Translation: “Pelados” means “peeled,” and “Chino” means “Chinese.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ese pelado es muy inteligente para su edad.” (“That kid is really smart for his age.”)

10. Culicagao

Cabo de la Vela, La Guajira - Wayuu kids

Slang meaning: This one’s a bit more playful and is used to describe someone who’s really young, like a toddler.

The Literal Translation: Let’s just say it involves a diaper and leave it at that.

A Daily Life Example: “Ese culicagao ya sabe usar un smartphone.” (“That toddler already knows how to use a smartphone.”)

11. Mono/Mona

Jardin waterfall

Slang meaning: It’s often used to describe someone with light skin or hair. It’s not age-specific but is commonly used for young people.

The Literal Translation: “Monkey.”

A Daily Life Example: “La mona esa es la hija de mi vecino.” (“That blonde girl is my neighbor’s daughter.”)

Colombian Slang for people you don’t know

Colombian Spanish Slang to speak about someone in general.

12. Man

Slang meaning: This is a universal term, but in Colombia, it’s often used to refer to a guy you don’t know well. You’ve to pronounce it the Spanish way.

The Literal Translation: It’s the same as the English “man.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ese man siempre está en la tienda de la esquina.” (“That guy is always at the corner store.”)

13. Vieja

Dunas de Taroa La Guajira (3)

Slang meaning: Similar to “man,” but for women. It’s a casual term for a woman you don’t know well.

The Literal Translation: “Old woman,” but it’s not about age here.

A Daily Life Example: “Esa vieja está muy linda” (“This woman is pretty”)

Colombian Slang for Good and Bad

El Faro Punta Gallinas La Guajira

The good things in life may well be best described as “bueno” and the bad things as merely being “malo”. Yet, if you stick to just these two terms in a Spanish-speaking country, you’ll quickly find that your emotional expression becomes very limited.

The most popular words Colombians use for “really good” or “cool” are probably “bacano” and “chévere”. If you’re looking for a more enthusiastic description, you could also say something is “bien bacano”, “demasiado bacano” or “bacanísimo”

Descriptions of the bad things in life tend to involve a few expletives, but for a more family-friendly term, you could opt for the word “maluco”. This essentially means the same as “malo”, though it can sound very slightly more natural to Colombian ears.

If you like something

Rosario-Island-Boat-with-Aymeric-Cartagena
The boat tour from Cartagena to the Rosario Islands is brutal

These are the words that make you sound like you’re part of the in-crowd, the exclamations that add that Colombian zest to your conversations.

14. ¡Qué chimba!

Slang meaning: This is a strong expression of approval or excitement, like “That’s awesome!”

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, and it’s a bit vulgar, so use it among friends.

A Daily Life Example: “¡Ganamos el partido, qué chimba!” (“We won the game, how awesome!”)

15. Bacano

Slang meaning: Another way to say something is cool or great.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, it’s pure Colombian.

A Daily Life Example: “Ese concierto estuvo bacano.” (“That concert was cool.”)

16. Chévere

Slang meaning: A classic term for something that’s cool or nice.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but it’s universally understood in Latin America.

A Daily Life Example: “¡Qué chévere tu camiseta!” (“What a cool T-shirt!”)

17. Brutal

Slang meaning: Used to describe something that’s extremely good or impressive.

The Literal Translation: It’s the same as the English “brutal,” but with a positive spin.

A Daily Life Example: “La película fue brutal.” (“The movie was amazing.”)

18. ¡Qué cuca! – ¡Qué nota!

Slang meaning: Both are expressions of approval or admiration.

The Literal Translation: “Qué cuca” means “how cute,” and “Qué nota” means “what a note,” but they’re used more broadly.

A Daily Life Example: “¡Qué cuca tu nueva mochila!” (“How cute is your new backpack!”)

If you find something funny or you’re joking

Bona Vida Catamaran Sunset in Cartagena(3)

These are the phrases that’ll have you chuckling like a local, the words that add that Colombian flair to your jokes and giggles.

19. Qué Caja / Botar Caja

Slang meaning: “Qué caja” is used when you find something really funny. “Botar caja” means to burst out laughing.

The Literal Translation: “Qué caja” means “what a box,” and “botar caja” means “to throw out a box.” Don’t ask; it’s just funny that way.

A Daily Life Example: “Qué caja esa película, me boté de la risa.” (“That movie was so funny, I burst out laughing.”)

20. Muerto de la Risa

Slang meaning: This is like saying “dying of laughter.” Use it when something is hilariously funny.

The Literal Translation: “Death from laughter.”

A Daily Life Example: “Esa broma casi me mata de la risa.” (“That joke had me dying of laughter.”)

21. Mamar Gallo

Slang meaning: This is when you’re joking around or not taking something seriously.

The Literal Translation: “To suck a rooster,” but don’t take it literally.

A Daily Life Example: “Deja de mamar gallo y estudia.” (“Stop joking around and study.”)

If something bad happens to you or your friend

Papaya Fruit
Papaya is a Colombian fruit

These are the terms you’ll hear when things go south, the exclamations that are the linguistic equivalent of a sigh or a head shake.

22. Paila / Demalas Mijo

Slang meaning: “Paila” is like saying “too bad,” and “demalas mijo” is a way to say “you’re out of luck, buddy.”

The Literal Translation: “Paila” means “pan,” and “demalas mijo” translates to “bad luck, my son.”

A Daily Life Example: “Perdí mi billetera, ¡paila!” (“I lost my wallet, too bad!”)

23. Maluco

Slang meaning: Used to describe something that’s unpleasant or sucks.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but think “bad” or “nasty.”

A Daily Life Example: “Esa comida estaba maluca.” (“That food was nasty.”)

24. Juemadre, Juepucha

Slang meaning: Strong expressions of frustration or surprise, akin to “damn” or “oh my God.”

The Literal Translation: These are minced oaths, so they’re euphemisms for stronger phrases.

A Daily Life Example: “¡Juemadre, me olvidé las llaves!” (“Damn, I forgot the keys!”)

25. La Cagaste

Slang meaning: A blunt way to say “you messed up.”

The Literal Translation: “You shat it.”

26. Miércoles

Slang meaning: A softer exclamation of surprise or disappointment, like saying “darn” or “sh*t”.

The Literal Translation: “Wednesday,” but it’s used as a euphemism for a stronger word.

A Daily Life Example: “¡Miércoles, se me acabó la gasolina!” (“Darn, I ran out of gas!”)

27. No Dar Papaya

Slang meaning: A warning not to make yourself an easy target for trouble.

The Literal Translation: “Don’t give papaya.”

A Daily Life Example: “No dejes tu celular ahí, no des papaya.” (“Don’t leave your phone there, don’t make yourself an easy target.”)

28. ¡Qué Pecao!

Slang meaning: Like before, it’s a way to say “what a shame,” but it can also be used when something bad happens.

The Literal Translation: “What a sin.”

A Daily Life Example: “¡Qué pecao que la robaron!” (“What a shame she got robbed!”)

If you want to criticize something or a situation

Getsemani nightlife - Cartagena
¡Qué maricada! Hacen fiesta todos los días en la cuadra de mi casa

These are the phrases you’ll hear when something’s just not up to snuff.

29. Qué Mañé

Slang meaning: Use this when something is lame or uncool. It’s like saying, “That’s so basic.”

The Literal Translation: “Mañé” doesn’t have a direct translation, but it’s all about expressing disdain.

A Daily Life Example: “Esa fiesta fue qué mañé, mejor me hubiera quedado en casa.” (“That party was so lame, I should’ve stayed home.”)

30. Qué Maricada

Slang meaning: This is a stronger way to criticize something you think is ridiculous or nonsensical.

The Literal Translation: It’s a derogatory term, so be cautious with its use. Context is key.

A Daily Life Example: “Qué maricada, cerraron la calle sin avisar.” (“How ridiculous, they closed the street without notice.”)

31. ¡Estar Moscas!

Slang meaning: This is a warning to be alert or cautious, often used when you’re criticizing a situation that seems sketchy.

The Literal Translation: “To be flies,” but it means to be on the lookout.

A Daily Life Example: “Con ese tipo, mejor estar moscas, no se le puede confiar.” (“With that guy, better be alert; you can’t trust him.”)

If you are ashamed of something or someone

Wayuu experience
Se cayó mientras danzaba, ¡qué oso!

These are the phrases you’ll hear when something’s so awkward or embarrassing, you wish the ground would swallow you up.

32. Gas

Slang meaning: Use this when you’re disgusted about something. It’s like saying, “Gross!”

The Literal Translation: It’s the same as the English word “gas,”.

A Daily Life Example: “Dejáste el baño muy sucio, gas!” (“You left the bathroom so dirty, gross!”)

33. Guácala

Slang meaning: This is your go-to expression for something that disgusts you or makes you cringe.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but it’s akin to saying “yuck” or “ew.”

A Daily Life Example: “Vi a mi papa vesándose con su novia, ¡quácala!” (“I saw my dad kissing his girlfriend, yuck!”)

34. Qué Oso

Slang meaning: Use this when you’re embarrassed or when someone else’s actions make you cringe.

The Literal Translation: “What a bear,” but don’t ask why—it just works.

A Daily Life Example: “Se cayó en medio de la presentación, ¡qué oso!” (“He fell during the presentation, how embarrassing!”)

Colombian Slang for Relationships

Like all other Spanish-speaking countries, Colombia has plenty of slang to talk about sex and dating.

Colombian Slang About Flirting

Cartagena photography sesion (2)
Estoy Tragado de Alejandra = “I’m head over heels for Alejandra.”

This section is your passport to charming conversations and playful exchanges. Whether you’re looking to break the ice or take things to the next level, our Colombian Slang for Flirting has got the phrases to make your heart race and smiles bloom

35. Echar los Perros

Slang meaning: This is the Colombian way of saying you’re flirting or hitting on someone.

The Literal Translation: “To throw the dogs.”

A Daily Life Example: “Juan le está echando los perros a María.” (“Juan is flirting with Maria.”)

36. Estar Tragado

The Meaning: When you’re head over heels in love with someone.

The Literal Translation: “To be swallowed.”

A Daily Life Example: “Estoy tragado de ella.” (“I’m head over heels for her.”)

37. Gallinear, Coquetear

Slang meaning: Both mean to flirt or to woo someone.

The Literal Translation: “Gallinear” means “to hen,” and “coquetear” is “to flirt.”

A Daily Life Example: “Me gusta gallinear en la fiesta.” (“I like to flirt at the party.”)

38. Tener una Tusa

Slang meaning: Feeling heartbroken or upset after a breakup.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but it’s all about heartbreak.

A Daily Life Example: “Tiene tusa desde que terminaron.” (“She’s been heartbroken since they broke up.”)

39. Pipí Loco

Slang meaning: When a guy can’t stop himself from hitting on every girl. You can also the term hombre perro.

The Literal Translation: “Crazy pee.”

A Daily Life Example: “No le prestes atencíon. El es pipí loco.” (“Don’t pay attention to him. He is a womanizer.”)

40. Montar/poner los Cachos

Slang meaning: To cheat on someone.

The Literal Translation: “To mount horns.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ella le montó cachos.” (“She cheated on him.”)

41. Cuadramos

Slang meaning: To agree to start dating or seeing each other.

The Literal Translation: “We square.”

A Daily Life Example: “Nos cuadramos, nos hicimos novios.” (“We’ve agreed, we’re dating now.”)

42. Darse Picos

Slang meaning: To give each other pecks or small kisses.

The Literal Translation: “To give beaks.”

A Daily Life Example: “Nos dimos los picos ayer.” (“We gave each other some pecks yesterday.”)

43. Caerle a alguien

Slang meaning: To start seducing someone.

The Literal Translation: “To fall on someone.”

A Daily Life Example: “Thomas está cayendo a Alejandra.” (“Thomas started hitting on Alejandra.”)

44. Arrocito en bajo

Slang meaning: It’s not really an official relationship, but it could become one depending on the situation.

The Literal Translation: “cooking the rice slowly.”

A Daily Life Example: “El tiene su arrocito en bajo.” (“he has a bite on the side.”)

45. Calienta Huevos

The Meaning: A tease; someone who flirts but has no intention of having sex.

The Literal Translation: “Egg warmer.”

A Daily Life Example: “No le hagas caso, es una calienta huevos.” (“Don’t pay attention to her, she’s a tease.”)

46. Levantarse a Alguien

Slang meaning: Colombian Slang term to pick someone up, in the romantic sense (or not). It would like “to fancy him/her”

The Literal Translation: “To lift someone.”

A Daily Life Example: “Voy a intentar levantarla en la fiesta.” (“I’m going to try to pick her up at the party.”)

47. Motelear

Slang meaning: To go to a motel, usually for a romantic encounter. Indeed, Colombians live at home with their parents for many years. And as this is a very Catholic country, it’s frowned upon to bring a boyfriend or girlfriend to sleep at home. You can go to these love-hotels and pay by the hour.

The Literal Translation: “To motel.”

A Daily Life Example: “Vamos a motelear esta noche.” (“Let’s go to a motel tonight.”)

48. Comerse a Alguien

Slang meaning: To make out with someone, to have sex.

The Literal Translation: “To eat someone.”

A Daily Life Example: “Se comieron en la fiesta.” (“They made out at the party.”)

49. Quita Novios

Slang meaning: A person who steals someone else’s boyfriend or girlfriend.

The Literal Translation: “Boyfriend/girlfriend taker.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ella es una quita novios, ten cuidado.” (“She’s a boyfriend stealer, be careful.”)

Colombian Slang for hot girls and handsome men

Colombian-Girl-in-Comuna-13

These are the Colombian expressions that’ll make you sound like a Colombian Casanova or a Latina goddess, the words that add that sizzling Colombian flair to your compliments.

50. Caliente

The Meaning: Used to describe someone who’s hot, sexy or horny.

The Literal Translation: “Hot.”

A Daily Life Example: “Esa chica está muy caliente.” (“That girl is really hot.”)

51. Quien Pidió Pollo

The Meaning: This is a playful way to acknowledge someone attractive entering the room.

The Literal Translation: “Who ordered chicken?”

A Daily Life Example: “¡Uy, quien pidió pollo! Mira quién llegó.” (“Wow, who ordered chicken! Look who just arrived.”)

52. Tener Buena Pinta

The Meaning: To say someone looks good or is well-dressed.

The Literal Translation: “To have a good look.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ese chico tiene buena pinta, ¿no crees?” (“That guy looks good, don’t you think?”)

53. Churro

The Meaning: Used to describe a handsome man.

The Literal Translation: It’s the same as the fried-dough pastry “churro,” but oh so much tastier in this context.

A Daily Life Example: “Ese actor es un churro.” (“That actor is a stud.”)

54. Mamacita, Papacito

The Meaning: These are affectionate terms for a very attractive woman and man, respectively.

The Literal Translation: “Little mama” and “little papa.”

A Daily Life Example: “¡Mamacita, estás divina hoy!” (“Little mama, you look divine today!”)

Colombian Slang Nicknames

Cartagena photography sesion
You are my Reina!

These are the nicknames that’ll add that extra layer of sweetness to your Colombian Spanish.

55. Mor

The Meaning: A shortened version of “amor,” this is a casual and cute way to refer to someone

The Literal Translation: Short for “love.”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Cómo estás, mor?” (“How are you, love?”)

56. Reina

The Meaning: This term is often used to refer to a woman in a way that puts her on a pedestal. Think “queen.”

The Literal Translation: “Queen.”

A Daily Life Example: “Hola, reina, ¿quieres salir a cenar?” (“Hello, queen, do you want to go out for dinner?”)

57. Corazón

The Meaning: A classic term of endearment, it’s like calling someone “sweetheart” or “darling.”

The Literal Translation: “Heart.”

A Daily Life Example: “Te extraño, corazón.” (“I miss you, sweetheart.”)

58. Cariño

The Meaning: This is a tender and affectionate way to refer to someone you care about.

The Literal Translation: “Affection.”

A Daily Life Example: “Cariño, ¿puedes pasarme la sal?” (“Darling, can you pass me the salt?”)

59. Princesa

The Meaning: Often used for someone who is cherished, especially a significant other or a daughter.

The Literal Translation: “Princess.”

A Daily Life Example: “Buenos días, princesa.” (“Good morning, princess.”)

60. Cielo

The Meaning: A heavenly term of endearment, often used for both men and women.

The Literal Translation: “Sky” or “heaven.”

A Daily Life Example: “Gracias, cielo, eres un amor.” (“Thank you, heaven, you’re a love.”)

Colombian Slang when Partying

Wedding Party

When the sun sets, and the music starts to thump, you’ll want to be in the know about the lingo that keeps the party going all night long in Colombia. From ordering “polas” (beers) to announcing you’re in “rumba” mode (party mode), I’ve got the slang that’ll make you the life of the fiesta.

61. Ir de Rumba

The Meaning: Heading out to party or dance.

The Literal Translation: “Going to the rumba.”

A Daily Life Example: “Hoy vamos a ir de rumba, ¿te apuntas?” (“We’re going to party tonight, are you in?”)

62. Parchando

Poblado Provenza Medellin
I’m parchado at the park with my friends

The Meaning: Hanging out with friends, often in a relaxed setting.

The Literal Translation: “Patching,” but in the context of socializing.

A Daily Life Example: “Estoy parchado con los amigos en el parque.” (“I’m hanging out with friends at the park.”)

63. Guaro

The Meaning: A colloquial term for aguardiente, Colombia’s national alcoholic drink.

The Literal Translation: It’s slang, so no direct translation.

A Daily Life Example: “Pasame el guaro, vamos a brindar.” (“Pass me the aguardiente, let’s toast.”)

64. Pola

Beer in Tulum Downtown

The Meaning: A casual term for beer.

The Literal Translation: Slang for “cerveza.”

A Daily Life Example: “Voy a comprar unas polas para la fiesta.” (“I’m going to buy some beers for the party.”)

65. Guayabo

The Meaning: The hangover you get after a night of partying.

The Literal Translation: “Guava tree,” but in this context, it’s all about the morning-after blues.

A Daily Life Example: “Tengo un guayabo tremendo hoy.” (“I have a terrible hangover today.”)

66. Estar Prendido / Prendida

The Meaning: To be pumped up or in a party mood.

The Literal Translation: “To be lit.”

A Daily Life Example: “Estoy muy prendido, ¡vamos a bailar!” (“I’m really pumped, let’s dance!”)

67. Jincho

The Meaning: To be drunk or tipsy.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, it’s slang for being intoxicated.

A Daily Life Example: “Anoche me puse jincho, ¡qué fiesta!” (“I got drunk last night, what a party!”)

Colombian Slang for greetings

Los Llanos museo llanerazo seco tom cacao (1)

If you want to sound much more like a local right from the outset, forget asking people how they are using the textbook phrase “¿Cómo estás?”. Colombians do use this, of course, but there are many more interesting local varieties available.

68. ¿Qué Más?

The Meaning: A casual way to ask someone what’s up or how they’re doing.

The Literal Translation: “What else?”

A Daily Life Example: “¡Hola, ¿qué más?! ¿Cómo has estado?” (“Hey, what’s up?! How have you been?”)

69. ¿Bien o No?

The Meaning: A quick and easy way to ask someone if they’re doing well.

The Literal Translation: “Good or no?”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Bien o no? Hace tiempo que no te veo.” (“You good? Long time no see.”)

70. ¿Bien o Qué?

The Meaning: Similar to “¿Bien o no?”, it’s another way to ask how someone is.

The Literal Translation: “Good or what?”

A Daily Life Example: “¡Hola! ¿Bien o qué?” (“Hello! You good?”)

71. ¿Quihubo?

The Meaning: A very colloquial way to say hello. It’s like saying “What’s up?”

The Literal Translation: A contraction of “¿Qué hubo?”, which means “What was there?”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Quihubo, parcero? ¿Todo bien?” (“What’s up, buddy? All good?”)

72. ¿Entonces?

The Meaning: Another casual greeting, often used among friends to say “So, what’s up?”

The Literal Translation: “So?”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Entonces, qué planes para hoy?” (“So, what are the plans for today?”)

73. ¿Cómo Andás?

The Meaning: A friendly way to ask someone how they’re doing, similar to “How are you?”

The Literal Translation: “How are you walking?”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Cómo andás? ¿Todo tranquilo?” (“How are you? Everything chill?”)

Colombian Slang insults

“Tu estas pa andar con este gato no con ese pirobo” (FEID)

Ah, the darker side of language—insults and jabs, Colombian style! While I don’t encourage using these terms, knowing them can help you navigate social situations and understand when the conversation has taken a sour turn.

74. Hijuemadre/Hijuepucha

The Meaning: Strong insults often used to express anger or frustration.

The Literal Translation: “Son of a mother” or “Son of a… (you get the idea).”

A Daily Life Example: “¡Ese hijuemadre me robó el celular!” (“That SOB stole my phone!”)

75. Gonorrea

The Meaning: A strong insult, despite its medical origin, used to demean someone.

The Literal Translation: “Gonorrhea.”

A Daily Life Example: “Eres una gonorrea, no te quiero ver más.” (“You’re a jerk, I don’t want to see you anymore.”)

76. Culear

The Meaning: A vulgar term used to describe the act of having sex, often used as an insult.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but it’s a crude term.

A Daily Life Example: “No me vengas a culear.” (“Don’t come to screw me over.”)

77. Sapo/Sapa

The Meaning: Used to describe someone who’s nosy or a snitch.

The Literal Translation: “Toad.”

A Daily Life Example: “No seas sapo, mind your own business.” (“Don’t be a snitch, mind your own business.”)

78. Pichurria

The Meaning: Used to describe something or someone of low quality or value.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation.

A Daily Life Example: “Esa marca es pichurria.” (“That brand is low-quality.”)

79. Malparido

The Meaning: A strong insult used to demean someone.

The Literal Translation: “Badly born.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ese malparido me debe dinero.” (“That lowlife owes me money.”)

80. Perra

The Meaning: Used to describe someone who’s treacherous or deceitful.

The Literal Translation: “Female dog” or “bitch.”

A Daily Life Example: “Esa perra me traicionó.” (“That bitch betrayed me.”)

81. Pirobo

The Meaning: A derogatory term used to insult someone’s character.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation.

A Daily Life Example: “Ese pirobo no sabe de lo que habla.” (“That idiot doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”)

Adjusting to Local Time

Cartagena Alejandra

Latins are not famed for their love of punctuality, and Colombians are no exception. It is perhaps fitting, then, that their use of terms referring to time is also rather flexible. Probably the most important thing to note is that the word “ahorita” (which technically means “now”) is actually generally used to mean “later”. There are other strange phenomena too. Listen to a Colombian talk about a period of one week, and he is very likely to describe this as containing “ocho días”, rather than just seven. Similarly, in their excitement about Christmas, they may happily remark, from the beginning of September, that “it’s December already” (“ya estamos en diciembre”).

82. Ahorita

The Meaning: This term can be a bit tricky. It could mean “right now,” “in a little bit,” “later” or even “never,” depending on the context.

The Literal Translation: “Little now.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ahorita te llamo.” (“I’ll call you in a bit.”)

83. Ahora Más Tarde

The Meaning: This phrase is used when you intend to do something but not immediately.

The Literal Translation: “Now but later.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ahora más tarde vamos a la tienda.” (“We’ll go to the store later.”)

84. Listo

The Meaning: This versatile word can mean “ready,” “done,” or “okay,” depending on the situation.

The Literal Translation: “Ready.”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Estás listo para salir?” (“Are you ready to go out?”)

85. ¡De Una!

The Meaning: This phrase is used to express enthusiasm about doing something—right away or later.

The Literal Translation: “Of one!” but think of it as “Right away!”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Quieres ir a la playa? ¡De una!” (“Do you want to go to the beach? Right away!”)

Colombian Slang to describe someone

In Colombia, words have a way of painting colorful portraits of the people you meet. From calling someone “bacano” (cool) to playfully dubbing them “chismoso” (gossip), these expressions help you capture the essence of individuals in a fun and unique way.

In a good or friendly way

Los Llanos making cheese (1)
My friends from Los Llanos are very berracos

If your Colombian friends call you one of the slang words below, it’s fine.

86. Tenaz

The Meaning: A term of admiration for someone who is persistent or tenacious.

The Literal Translation: “Tenacious.”

A Daily Life Example: “Eres tenaz, nunca te rindes.” (“You’re tenacious, you never give up.”)

87. Pilo / a

The Meaning: Describes someone who is alert, smart, or quick to act.

The Literal Translation: “Batteries.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ese chico es pilo, siempre tiene una solución.” (“That guy is sharp, he always has a solution.”)

88. Berraco

The Meaning: Used to describe someone who is very capable, strong, or brave.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but think “badass.”

A Daily Life Example: “Eres un berraco, superaste todos los obstáculos.” (“You’re a badass, you overcame all the obstacles.”)

89. Teso

The Meaning: Describes someone who is skilled or talented at something.

The Literal Translation: “Tight” or “taut,” but in this context, think “skilled.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ese músico es teso, toca increíble.” (“That musician is skilled, he plays amazingly.”)

90. Cansón

The Meaning: Refers to someone who is playful or likes to tease others.

The Literal Translation: “Tiresome,” but in a playful way.

A Daily Life Example: “Eres cansón pero me haces reír.” (“You’re a tease but you make me laugh.”)

91. Juicioso

The Meaning: Describes someone who is responsible or diligent.

The Literal Translation: “Judicious.”

A Daily Life Example: “Siempre entregas todo a tiempo, eres muy juicioso.” (“You always deliver everything on time, you’re very responsible.”)

92. Bobo

The Meaning: A term of endearment for someone who is sweet, silly, or naive. It can be negative too.

The Literal Translation: “Foolish.”

A Daily Life Example: “-Me da pena visitarte a tu casa por tus papas. -Ay, tu si eres bobo. mis papás son muy relajados” (“-I feel bad going to your house because of your parents. Don’t be stupid, my parents are very chill.”)

93. Fresco

The Meaning: Describes someone who is cool, relaxed, or easy-going. Or to ask someone to be more relaxed.

The Literal Translation: “Fresh.”

A Daily Life Example: “Fresco, no tienes que devolverme la plata.” (“Chill out, you don’t need to pay me back.”)

In a bad way

On the other hand, if you’re associated with any of the following words, it’s not a good sign.

94. Intenso/Intensa

The Meaning: Slang terms to describe someone who is overly insistent.

The Literal Translation: “Intense.”

A Daily Life Example: “Esa chica es muy intensa. No me dejá tranquilo.” (“That girl is very intense. She doesn’t let me alone”)

95. Harto

The Meaning: Used to describe someone who is fed up or has had enough of something or someone.

The Literal Translation: “Fed up.”

A Daily Life Example: “Estoy harto de su actitud.” (“I’m fed up with his attitude.”)

96. Conchudo

The Meaning: Refers to someone who is shameless or takes advantage of others.

The Literal Translation: “Thick-skinned.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ese tipo es muy conchudo, siempre quiere que le hagan favores pero nunca ayuda.” (“That guy is so shameless, he always wants favors but never helps.”)

97. Gomelo

The Meaning: A term often used to describe someone who is snobbish or acts entitled.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but think “snob.”

A Daily Life Example: “Esa chica es muy gomela, se cree mejor que todos.” (“That girl is such a snob, she thinks she’s better than everyone.”)

On its geographical location

Barranquilla Carnival
the costeños know how to throw a good party

As you may have noticed, Colombians love to call each other by their physical appearance or the place where they live.

98. Cachaco

The Meaning: A term used to describe people from the interior of the country, particularly Bogotá.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but it’s a regional identifier.

A Daily Life Example: “Ese cachaco habla con un acento muy cerrado.” (“That person from the interior speaks with a very distinct accent.”)

99. Rolo

The Meaning: Specifically refers to someone from the capital city, Bogotá.

The Literal Translation: Again, no direct translation, but it’s a nickname for Bogotanos.

A Daily Life Example: “Esa rola es muy amable, me ayudó a encontrar mi camino.” (“That girl from Bogotá is very kind; she helped me find my way.”)

100. Paisa

The Meaning: Refers to people from the Antioquia or coffee region, including cities like Medellín.

The Literal Translation: Derived from “paisano,” meaning countryman.

A Daily Life Example: “Los paisas son conocidos por su hospitalidad.” (“People from Antioquia are known for their hospitality.”)

101. Costeño

The Meaning: Describes someone from the Caribbean coast of Colombia, including cities like Cartagena and Barranquilla.

The Literal Translation: “Coastal.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ese costeño sabe cómo armar una buena fiesta.” (“That guy from the coast knows how to throw a good party.”)

Colombian slang when buying/asking for stuff

Getsemani street fruits Cartagena
¡A la orden las frutas!

If you ask for anything, expect to hear an enthused ‘con mucho gusto‘ (with pleasure). Take me to Parque 93, please, sir. Con mucho gusto. I’ll have the soup, please, madam. Con mucho gusto. Could you tie my shoelace, please? I’m feeling lazy. Con mucho gusto. Ok, maybe not all of those would work, but the excessive politeness in everyday speech is something very unique to Colombia.

102. A la Orden

The Meaning: A polite way to say you’re at someone’s service, often heard from shopkeepers.

The Literal Translation: “At your service.”

A Daily Life Example: “A la orden, ¿en qué puedo ayudarte?” (“At your service, how can I help you?”)

103. Con Mucho Gusto

The Meaning: A polite way to say “you’re welcome” or “with pleasure.”

The Literal Translation: “With much pleasure.”

A Daily Life Example: “Gracias por la ayuda.” “Con mucho gusto.” (“Thanks for the help.” “You’re welcome.”)

104. Me Regalas

The Meaning: A colloquial way to ask for something, like “Can you give me.”

The Literal Translation: “You gift me.”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Me regalas una empanada, por favor?” (“Can you give me an empanada, please?”)

105. Por’fa

The Meaning: A shortened version of “por favor,” used to say “please.”

The Literal Translation: “Please.”

A Daily Life Example: “Pásame la sal, por’fa.” (“Pass me the salt, please.”)

106. Vaina

The Meaning: A catch-all term for “thing” or “stuff.”

The Literal Translation: “Sheath,” but in this context, “thing.”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Qué vaina?” (“What thing?”)

107. Ñapa

The Meaning: An extra or a freebie, often given at markets.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation.

A Daily Life Example: “¿Me das la ñapa?” (“Can you give me an extra?”)

108. Qué Pena

The Meaning: A way to say “I’m sorry” or “excuse me.” Colombian use it all the time.

The Literal Translation: “What a shame.”

A Daily Life Example: “Qué pena, ¿me puedes ayudar?” (“Excuse me, can you help me?”)

109. Pues

The Meaning: A filler word often used for emphasis or to fill a pause.

The Literal Translation: “Well.”

A Daily Life Example: “Pues, creo que sí.” (“Well, I think so.”)

110. Claro, Dale

The Meaning: A way to say “sure, go ahead.”

The Literal Translation: “Clear, give it.”

A Daily Life Example: “¿Puedo tomar un café?” “Claro, dale.” (“Can I have a coffee?” “Sure, go ahead.”)

111. Qué Rico

The Meaning: Used to express that something is delicious or nice.

The Literal Translation: “How rich.”

A Daily Life Example: “Qué rico está este jugo.” (“This juice is so good.”)

112. Hacer Unas Vueltas

The Meaning: To run some errands.

The Literal Translation: “To make some turns.”

A Daily Life Example: “Voy a hacer unas vueltas, ¿necesitas algo?” (“I’m going to run some errands, do you need anything?”)

Colombian Slang For Money

PixaB - Colombian Money Billete
Credit: Carlos Ruiz

Whether you’re navigating marketplaces or discussing expenses, you’ll use these slang expressions.

113. Lucas

The Meaning: A colloquial term for money, often used to refer to a specific amount in thousands of Colombian pesos.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but think “bucks.”

A Daily Life Example: “Esa camiseta me costó 20 lucas.” (“That shirt cost me 20,000 pesos.”)

114. Plata

The Meaning: A general term for money, similar to “cash” or “dough” in English.

The Literal Translation: “Silver.”

A Daily Life Example: “Necesito más plata para el viaje.” (“I need more money for the trip.”)

More Colombian Slang words and phrases

Los Llanos Orientales (5)
I am amañado in Colombia

The last ones 🙂

115. Estar Amañado

The Meaning: To feel comfortable or at ease in a place or situation, and you don’t want to leave anymore.

The Literal Translation: “To be accustomed.”

A Daily Life Example: “Ya estoy amañado en mi nuevo apartamento.” (“I already feel comfortable in my new apartment.”)

116. Camello

The Meaning: In Colombian slang, this term refers to a job or work, often one that’s demanding.

The Literal Translation: “Camel,” but in this context, it means “job” or “work.”

A Daily Life Example: “Estoy buscando un nuevo camello; el actual es muy estresante.” (“I’m looking for a new job; the current one is very stressful.”)

117. Ábrase

The Meaning: Colombian Jargon to say “move” or “get out of the way.” to someone you know. It’s a bit aggressive.

The Literal Translation: “Open yourself.”

A Daily Life Example: “¡Ábrase, necesito pasar!” (“Move, I need to get through!”)

118. Pecueca

The Meaning: Refers to a bad smell, usually from feet.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation.

A Daily Life Example: “Hay una pecueca en este cuarto.” (“There’s a bad smell in this room.”)

119. Chucha

The Meaning: Another Spanish word for body odor, in particular from the armpit.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation.

A Daily Life Example: “Necesito una ducha, tengo chucha.” (“I need a shower; I have body odor.”)

120. Hacer chichí

The Meaning: This term is often used to refer to “piss,” particularly when talking to young girls. For young guys, it would be pipi.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation, but think “pee-pee” in English.

A Daily Life Example: “Mi hija todavía no sabe ir al baño; siempre se hace chichí en el pañal.” (“My daughter still doesn’t know how to go to the bathroom; she always pees in the diaper.”)

121. Cascar

The Meaning: To hit someone.

The Literal Translation: “To crack.”

A Daily Life Example: “Mi papá me cascó por haber llegado tarde.” (“My dad hit me because I arrived late”)

122. Los Tombos

The Meaning: Slang for police. Don’t use it in front of them.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation.

A Daily Life Example: “Los tombos están en la esquina.” (“The Po-Po are on the corner.”)

123. Parar Bolas

The Meaning: To pay attention.

The Literal Translation: “To stop balls.”

A Daily Life Example: “Para bolas en la clase si quieres aprender.” (“Pay attention in class if you want to learn.”)

124. Por Si Las Moscas

The Meaning: Just in case.

The Literal Translation: “For if the flies.”

A Daily Life Example: “Lleva un paraguas, por si las moscas.” (“Take an umbrella, just in case.”)

125. Cantaleta

The Meaning: A nagging or long-winded speech.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation.

A Daily Life Example: “Mi mamá me dio una cantaleta por llegar tarde.” (“My mom gave me a nagging speech for being late.”)

126. Mecato

The Meaning: A Colombian slang word for Snacks or junk food.

The Literal Translation: No direct translation.

A Daily Life Example: “Voy a comprar mecato para la película.” (“I’m going to buy snacks for the movie.”)

127. Mamado

The Meaning: Tired or fed up.

The Literal Translation: “Sucked.”

A Daily Life Example: “Estoy mamado de este tráfico.” (“I’m fed up with this traffic.”)

We’re done! So, ready to speak Spanish like Colombian?

Author’s note: This article was originally published on the site www.seeColombia.travel. It has now been edited by Thomas Espeute, following the acquisition of SeeColombia.travel by Tomplanmytrip.

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