Sunday, December 17

Venezuelan Slang

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Venezuelan Flag

Venezuelan Flag

Venezuelan Flag


Each of the following terms provides an anglacized pronunciation. Capitalization of pronunciation represents emphasis.

Spanish words that have a forward slash (“/”), have both a masculine and feminine version. The masculine version of the word generally ends with an “o” and the feminine generally ends with an “a”.

List of Venezuelan Slang

  • Alborotado/a – alborotado is pronounced al-bore-oh-TAH-doe. It means excited. This word is not unique to Venezuela alone.
  • Arrecho/a – arrecho is prounounced ah-RAY-choe. This word means angry. It can also mean cool or awesome.
  • Birra – birra is pronounced BEER-rah. Note that the two r’s together represent a trilled r. This word means beer and comes from the English word for beer.
  • Bolo – bolo is pronounced BOH-low. It is short for “Bolívar” which is the currency of Venezuela.
  • Bucear – bucear is pronounced boo-SAY-ar. It literally means to SCUBA dive. However, it is used to mean to check out a member of the opposite sex.
  • Burda – burda is pronounced BUR-duh. It means a lot or very. For example: “Ella es burda de guapa” means “she is very pretty”. Hay burda means “there is a lot”. “Hablamos burda” means “We talk(ed) a lot”. This is one of the most commonly heard words in Venezuelan Spanish slang.
  • Cachúo/a – This is short for “cachudo” which means “horned”. It is pronounced ka-CHOO-doe. It is used to describe someone who has been cheated on.
  • Calarse – This is pronounced ca-LAHR-say. It means “to put up with”. For example: “no me lo calo” means “I can’t stand it” or “I can’t put up with it”. It is similar to the Spanish word aguantarse.
  • Catire/a – This is pronounced ca-TEER-eh. It means blond. It can also describe a yellow colored beer. Use the feminine version of “catira” when describing a beer since the Spanish word for beer is “cerveza” and is feminine.
  • Chamo/a – This is pronounced CHAH-moe. It means boy or girl.
  • Chévere – This is pronounced CHE-ber-eh. It means awesome or cool. It is very frequently used and you should definitely know this word before you go to Venezuela. If there is one Venezuelan Spanish word to learn it is probably this one.
  • Chivo – This is pronounced CHEE-bow. It means a boss or a person of important status.
  • Curdo/a – This is pronounced KUR-doe. It means drunk.
  • Empavonarse – This is pronounced em-pah-bow-NAHR-se. It means “to dress up”. For example: me voy a empavonar means “I’m going to dress up nicely”. It can also mean to show off.
  • Epa/Épale – This is pronounced EH-pah or EH-pah-lay. It means “hello” or “hey”. It is used to get someone’s attention when you encounter them on the street.
  • Franela – This is pronounced frah-NAY-lah. It means “t-shirt”.
  • Jeva – This is pronounced HEY-ba. It means “woman” and is slightly disrespectful.
  • Nota – This is pronounced NO-tah. It literally means “note” as in a musical note. It means to be high on drugs or something cool. It is also the name of a restaurant chain, “La Nota”.
  • Palo – This is pronounced PAH-low. It is used to mean an alcoholic drink. It is not unique to Venezuela.
  • Pana – This is pronounced PA-nah. It is used to describe a close friend and is similar to the English words “dude” and “buddy”. It is short for “compañero” which is the English word “companion”. These words all derive from “pan” which is Spanish for bread. (Originally a companion was someone that you had bread with).
  • Papear – This is pronounced pah-PEH-ahr. It means “to eat”. It is used often to describe eating in an informal manner but can be used interchangeably with the Spanish word “comer” which means to eat.
  • Rata – This is pronounced RA-tah. It means a bad person.
  • Rumba – This is pronounced ROOM-bah. It means “party”. “Vamos de rumba” means “let’s go party”.
  • Sifrino – This is pronounced see-FREE-no. It can be used as a noun or adjective. It means a stuck-up person who is usually wealthy and treats others as beneath them. Sifrinos are usually dressed-up.
  • Yesquero – This is pronounced yes-KEHR-oh. It means “lighter”. This is used much more commonly than the standard Spanish word “encendedor”.

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