Argentine Slang

As Friendly Spanish students, we are lucky enough to be able to take part in the language school’s own events where we meet other learners, relax with a drink and expand our Spanish in an informal and refreshing context.


This week, Friendly Spanish’s very own Julieta bravely took it upon herself to guide us willing participants through the minefield of the slang of her native Argentinian Spanish. We met in the suitably informal surroundings of a fantastically welcoming Argentine Cantina bar. So with our ice-cold Quilmes beers on the table, we set out to enlighten ourselves with the help of a ‘menu’ of slang, ranging from the everyday and affectionate to the more colourful terms best reserved for the most severe situations…


Argentine Spanish, for those like me who have had most of their language experience with the Spanish of Spain, is remarkably distinct; well known for its musical intonation, and replacement of the tú verb form with vos. Part of the variant’s uniqueness comes from the waves of immigration that Argentina has experienced, particularly with the Italians making their mark. So what did we learn? As the tone of the language became steadily filthier, more laughter definitely ensued, and indeed we learned that the Argentineans can be a crude bunch (with quite an obsession with breaking wind!) For the purposes of not offending anyone, here is a brief rundown of some of the milder phrases from the evening:


¡Qué copado! – Cool!


¿Tenés cuiqui? – Are you scared?


Mandar fruta – To lie (lit. to send fruit!)


Agarrarse un pedo – To get drunk


Cualquier bondi te deja bien a vos – You’ll fancy/get with anyone (lit. any bus is good for you!)


The surroundings of the canteen were also pretty special and a perfect spot for a post-office sampling of some of London’s best Latin American food and hospitality, not to mention more lessons in Argentine slang from the charismatic bar staff! All in all, the evening provided a fascinating window on to Argentine culture, and certainly made me keen to start planning my trip!

Story posted by: Rita Maree Horne

About the author: Social Dancer, Writer from Edinburgh

Published: 12 Jul 2014 @ 10:17

Last modified: 12 Mar 2021 @ 20:54

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