Modismos chilenos de la A a la Z // Chilean slang, from A to Z.

Thanks to the youngest Chilenos, the country’s vocabulary of modismos, or slang, grows daily. Below is This is Chile’s exhaustive guide.

A pata: On foot
Achuntar: “To hit the nail on the head”.
Al lote: Disorderly, without rules.
Al tiro: Immediately, right now.
Apechugar: To confront problems head on and take responsibility.
Apitutado: Well-connected.
Apretar cachete: To get away or escape.
Arrugar: To back out of something.
Avispado: Very agile or intelligent.

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.

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?”
Cahuín: Hurtful gossip that starts trouble.
Caña: Hangover
Choro: Someone who thinks he or she is tough. Also means great or cool.
Chorearse: To get mad or angry; to rob or steal
Cuico: Yuppy or upper-class.

Dar pelota: To pay attention to someone.
Descueve: Excellent.
Destartalado: Disorganized, a mess.

Echar la foca: To scold someone.
Echarse la yegua:.  To relax after finishing an activity.
Empelotado: Mad, annoyed, fed-up.
Empinar (el codo): To imbibe alcohol.
Encachado: A way to refer to something that is really great.
Engrupir: To flirt with or hit on someone.  Can also mean to lie or deceive.
Enrollado:. Very involved or complicated.

Fiambre: Stinking or rotten.
Flaite: Someone, something, or someplace trashy. Can be used as a noun or adjective.
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.

Gallo/a: A young adult.  Similar to using the word “guy.”
Gil: An idiot.
Goma: A person who works hard for very little pay and gets no recognition; in the wider sense, someone who helps.
Gorrear: To cheat on your significant other; to be unfaithful.
Guacho: A child that is not recognized by its father; an orphan.
Guanaco: A police vehicle that uses a water cannon to maintain order.
Guata: A belly or gut.

Hachazo: A rough morning, usually hangover related.
Hallulla: A type of bread.
Hinchar: To annoy someone, to be very persistent.
Huaso: A chilean from the farm or country; the Chilean version of an Argentine ‘gaucho,’ or American ‘cowboy.’
Hueón: 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.

Inflar (to someone): To pay attention to someone or to take into account.
Irse al chancho: To abuse, or exceed the limits.

Jetón: An idiot or fool.
Jote: Someone that is always on the prowl for women.
Julepe: Fear.

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

La firme: The truth or reality.
Lata: Something boring or lousy.
Leseras: Ridiculous and meaningless things.
Liz Taylor: Ready. “Listo,” Spanish for ready, becomes “Listeilor” or “Liz Taylor.”
Lolo(a): A teenager.

Macanudo: Excellent, awesome.
Maceteado: Robust or hefty.
Machucado: Beaten up, poorly treated.
Micro: The public buses.
Mina: A young woman, usually attractive.
Mino: A young man, usually attractive.
Mocha: A fight.

Ene: A lot, a large amount.
Nanai: Affection that you show towards someone.
Ni ahí: It doesn’t matter.

Ojo: Attention!
Ojo al charqui: Pay attention, be alert.
Onda: ‘Vibes,’ negative or positive.

Paleta: A good friend, someone with a very good disposition.
Papaya: Easy.
Paracaidista: Literally, someone who parachutes; used to refer to someone who goes to a party or event without being invited.
Pasar piola: Something that goes by unnoticed or without drawing a lot of attention.
Patas negras: A lover.
Pega: Your job or occupation.
Pituto: A good contact or connection.  Also a term for freelance work.
Poh:  A derivative of the word ‘pues,’ it is added to the end of words, phrases or sentences, but has no actual meaning.
Pololeo:  Dating.
Pololo/a: Boyfriend or girlfriend.

Queque: Literally a piece of cake or muffin, used to refer to someone’s backside.
Quiubo: “What happened?”

Rasca: Unrefined, of low quality, tacky or vulgar.
Rayado: Crazy, extravagant.

Sacar la cresta:  To beat someone up.
Sapear: To eavesdrop.
Socio: Pal, friend.

Tata: Grandfather.
Tiqui-taca: “Everything is working perfectly.”
Tocar el violín: To be the third wheel.
Tuto (hacer): To sleep. Tener tuto, to be tired.

Último: The worst, horrible.

Vaca (hacer una): When everyone chips in their share to pay for something.
Vender la pomada: Someone who is very good at selling things or ideas.
Viejo Verde: An older man that flirts with women significantly younger than him.
Virarse: To leave.

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


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

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