Speak like a local with our dictionary of Colombian slang

Colombian slang

Whenever you are traveling to a place, it’s always important to interact with locals and understand their language. This also means getting to know the slang. And so, we’ve gathered tons of popular expressions and words to compose our dictionary of Colombian slang. Enjoy! 

We already shared a bit of our local language in our articles about rolos and cachacos and popular words and expressions part I and part II. But whether those helped you to better understand our culture and communicate and interact with locals, they weren’t focused on slang per se. We all know that speaking with people and immersing yourself in a language is the only way to become fluent, and for that, you must also know the slang. If you want to remain current and communicate throughout different regions in Colombia (or any country), slang will help you to understand the variations and dialects. And, in a huge and diverse country like ours, it will definitely be a huge plus. Keep reading and immerse yourself in the world of Colombian slang!

In no particular or alphabetic order, we have selected many of the most frequently-used Colombian slang words and expressions, especially in the Bogotá area. We made a comparison between their literal meaning (some of them don’t mean anything literally) and their Colombian slang meaning for you to better understand how slang changes a language to make it more understandable and emphatic.

Slang in Colombian Spanish Literal translation to English Slang meaningExample
QuiuboWhat’s up?Hi, how are you?
Hi, what’s up?
Hi, what have you been up to?
“Quibo, ¿que más?”(Hey, whats up?)
Todo bienAll goodThank you
It’s ok
¡Todo bien parcero!
(All good bro!)
¿Qué más?
¿Todo bien?
¿Bien o que?
What’s up?All good?Good or what?How are you?“Quibo, ¿bien o que? (Hey, good or what?)
Doesn’t mean anythingFriend
!Hey, parcero!(Hey, bro!)
PolaDoesn’t mean anythingAny kind of beer“¿Vamos a tomar una pola?” (Do you want to grab a beer?)
TragoDrinkAny type of alcoholic drink in whatever form it comes“¿Vamos a tomar una trago? (Do you want to grab a drink?)
PeliculiarDoesn’t mean anythingNetflix and chill“Quedémonos en mi  casa y peliculiamos” (Lets stay at my house and do Netflix and chill)
Echar los perros
Throw the dogs
Flirt “Ese man le está cayendo” (He’s flirting with her)
RumbearRumbleTo party“Vamos a rumbear hoy” (Lets go partying today)
ParcharPatchGo out or hang out with friends“Los invito a mi casa a parchar” (Come to my house to chill)
Be given

To kiss someone“Juan y María se dieron en la fiesta” or “Juan y María se rumbearon en la fiesta” (Juan and maría kissed at the party)
GuayaboThe tree where the fruit guayaba (guava) comes fromHangover“Tengo guayabo después de la fiesta de anoche” (I’m hangover after last night’s party)

!Eso está muy chévere!
!Que bacano!
(This is so cool!)
MamadoBlowjob, suckTo be exhausted about a situation with someone or something“Estoy mamado de que siempre llegue tarde” (I’m tired that he’s always late)
To poop (or shit)
Screw up
!Que embarrada no ir al concierto!(What a shame not going to the concert!!)
ManManAny type of man of any age“Ese man”(That man)
ViejaOldAny type of woman of any age“Esa vieja” (That lady)
Guaro (guarito)Doesn’t mean anythingShort version for aguardiente (or burning water) which is Colombia’s most famous alcoholic drink
¿Quién quiere un guaro? (Who wants a guaro?)
Un jurgo
Fed up
Doesn’t mean anything
A lot
Too much
“El concierto se demoró un jurgo”(The concert lasted for a long time)
¿Me pasas esa vaina porfa? (Can you please pass me that thing?)
¡De una! Of aYes, absolutely!
Let’s do it!
¡Vamos de una! (Let’s go now!)
Jincho de la perra
Doesn’t mean anythingDrunk
Completely wasted
“Él estaba muy jincho en la fiesta” (He was very drunk on the party)
LucasIt’s a common boys’ name (Luke)Money“¿Me prestas dos lucas para una botella de agua? (Can you lend me $2.000 COP (less than a dollar) for a bottle of water?)
OllaSaucepan, cooking potSlums or drug districts“Ese barrio era una olla” (That neighborhood was a slum)
AbrirseOpen, unfoldGet out of a place or situation“Se abrió del parche después de la reunión” (He left after the meeting)
Caer (“ya te caigo”)FallTo go or drop by a certain place“Caigo en 20 minutos” (I’ll arrive in 20 minutes)
Tragado/aSwallowedTo have a strong crush“Gabriel está muy tragado de Mariana” (Gabriel has a crush on Mariana)
¡Que nota!What note!Awesome
!Que nota, vamos! (That’s amazing, let’s go!)
Frikis mortis calaveris
Doesn’t mean anythingToo bad
When someone gets screwed over in a certain situation
“Paila, no hay nada que hacer” (Too bad, there’s nothing else we can do)
Mamar gallo
Suck a rooster
Tease or bother someone during a prolonged period“En ese grupo todos mamaban gallo” (In that group everyone was a teaser)
Chiviado (chivis)SneakyFake“Estos tennis están chiviados” (These teniis are fake)
Doesn’t mean anythingStinky feet“Huele mucho a pecueca” (Smells a lot like stinky feet)
Labor Task
“Ese camello fue largo” (That job was long)
CuadrarSquare up, assortTo organize, schedule, or arrange something“Cuadremos reunión para la próxima semana” (Let’s schedule a meeting for next week)
Parar bolasStop balls To pay attention“María no le estaba parando bolas a Juan” (María was not paying attention to Juan)
!Que pelota! (What a fool!)
CansónTiredAnnoying“Miguel es muy cansón” (Miguel is very annoying)
MalucoDoesn’t mean anythingBad taste
Something bad or uncomfortableFeeling bad
“La comida estaba como maluca” (The food didn’t taste that good)
!Miércoles!Wednesday!Shoot!!Miércoles! Se me olvidó la sombrilla… (Shoot! I forgot the umbrella…)
FinchoFinchoWeekend“¿Qué van a hacer este fincho? (What are you going to do this weekend?)
Está bueno/a,
It’s good
Someone good-looking“Ese man está muy bueno” (That man is very handsome)
Hacer vacaTo make cowTo pool together money to buy something as a group“Hagamos una vaca para la fiesta” (Let’s pool together money to do the party)
ConchudoDoesn’t mean anythingSomeone that takes advantage of a situation more than they should“Juana es súper conchuda” (Juana takes a lot of advantage)
ÑapaDoesn’t mean anythingA little bit more or something extra for free“Veci, me das la ñapa porfa” (Veci, can you please give me a ñapa)
MecatoDoesn’t mean anythingSnack“Hoy traje mi mecato favorito a la oficina” (Today I brought my favourite snack to the office)
RecochaDoesn’t mean anythingA group of people or friends that are talking too loudly“La recocha de la esquina se me separa por favor” (The group in the corner that’s talking too loudly please split)
Doesn’t mean anything
Someone that has endured a lot of stuff and survived 
“Juan es un teso” (Juan is a crack)
FincaFarmCountry house¿Vamos a mi finca este fincho? (Do you want to go to my country house this weekend?)
Que osoWhat a bearWhat a shame!Ay, que oso cuando me caí en el escenario” (Ay, I was so ashamed when I felt on the stage)
No dar papayaDon’t give papayaDon’t be vulnerable or show yourself more than necessary. Also, don’t show your wealth in public to avoid getting robbed.No des papaya si sales por ahí (Don’t give papaya out there)
Indio comido, indio idoIndian fed, indian goneWhen someone leaves right after they have finished their meal !Indio comido, indio ido! (Indian fed, indian gone)
Puente festivoFestive bridgeA long weekend due to a public holiday“Este fin de semana es puente festivo” (This weekend is holiday)
Bonitas las horasBeautiful the hoursWhen someone arrives way later than they said they were going to!Bonitas las horas de llegar! (You arrived too late!)
Dar loraGive parrotTo talk more than needed, most of the times, nonsense“Juan da mucha lora y nada” (Juan talk a lot but at the end, nothing)
Que elegancia la de FranciaElegance the one from FranceWhen someone is very elegant for a certain event!Upa, que elegancia la de Francia! (Upa, you’re very elegant!)
Antes muerta que sencillaBefore dead than simpleSomething like “I would rather be caught dead than being basic” or “I would rather be pretty and elegant all the time just in case”!No mijita, antes muerta que sencilla! (No dear, I rather be dead than basic)
Esto es diciendo y haciendoThis is saying and doingTo incite or promote a certain action that needs to be done quickly“Empecemos la tarea ya, eso es diciendo y haciendo” (Let’s start the homework now, instead of wasting time)
Que emoción tan amarillaWhat a yellow emotion!Intense, happy emotion!Pase el examen, que emoción tan amarilla! (I passed the exam, I’m soo happy!)
Lo hago en bombasI do it in bombsDo something very fast¿Ir hasta allá? Lo hago en bombas! (To go all the way there? I do it quickly!)
Colombian slang

© Photograph by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Learning Colombian slang will allow you to express yourself better whenever you happen to be in this beautiful country! Remember, it also helps you to learn about local history, create a sense of belonging, and evoke certain emotions. I can assure you are going to have the time of your life here, and even more so if you understand our language through slang.

Was this article useful? Do you know other Colombian slang words? Or maybe you have an experience you would like to share? Please share and/or comment on this article, and visit our homepage Colture to take a look at my articles and many others to find more essential information about Bogotá.

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