Typical Argentine Spanish words

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Typical Argentine Spanish words

Monday March 28, 2022 - Posted by admin

When learning Spanish in the stunning Argentina capital of Buenos Aires, you will not only learn Spanish. You will also learn a whole set of typical Spanish words o better said, typical Argentina words. You will hear and learn Spanish expressions, phrases, and words only used in Argentina (and some in Uruguay, maybe). Argentine Spanish is fun and lively, and it sounds a bit different than the Spanish in most other Latin American countries, although every country has its own accent, of course. If you have chosen Argentina as your destination to learn Spanish or improve your Spanish, you must make sure you know the following words.

Boliche in Argentine Spanish

Typical Argentine words

Argentine Slang

Argentine Spanish is loaded with slang. The slang in Buenos Aires is called “lunfardo” and this can almost be called ‘a different language’. The roots of Lunfardo can be found in Argentine history: except for the Spanish immigrants, in Argentina, mainly Italian immigrants arrived, millions of them. And all those immigrants created their own “Spanish”, a kind of “Spatalian”. That’s how the Spanish language of the Spanish conquistadores was turned into a ‘new’ language, with that typical ‘Argentine sound’. Of course, it is still Spanish. Argentine, and especially Buenos Aires is a great destination to learn Spanish. And do not worry about not learning ‘the correct Spanish’, because you will! But you will notice that the pronunciation is slightly different in Buenos Aires, and the many typical Argentine words will only enrich your Spanish Language Immersion experience!

# 1 RE

“Re” is not a word in itself but a prefix, a particle that goes before another word and what it does is intensify what that word means. You will hear it many times in Argentina that it will also end up intensifying everything you say, as in “¡Este plato está rebueno!”

# 2 BOLICHE

The word “boliche” seems to mean something related to some balls but no, originally it meant a small store but, nowadays, it is used above all to talk about discos or bars. For example: “Vení al boliche de la esquina”.

# 3 FIACA

In Argentina, you will hear this word countless times because it can function as a noun and, therefore, means “laziness” or “reluctance”. Example: “¡Qué fiaca que tengo!” But it can also function as an adjective and, in these cases it has the meaning of “lazy”, as “¡sos un fiaca!”

Argentine words que fiaca que tengo

# 4 DALE

“Dale” is a way of encouraging, of haranguing but also of accepting something, of saying yes. An equivalent in other countries such as Spain would be, to encourage the word “venga” and, to accept the word “vale”. Maybe you understand it better in this example: “Dale, no seas tan aburrido”. Instead of ‘dale’ (in the meaning: si), you will also hear ‘listo’, claro’, and a lot of ‘si’ too.

# 5 CHABÓN

Argentines use this word all the time. It basically means ‘dude’ and can be used in the following context: “¿Qué hacés”, chabón? (What are you doing, dude?). It is mostly used amongst the young generation.

# 6 PIBE

Like many other Argentina/ Spanish words, “pibe” is a term of Italian origin and means boy, child or youth. It is used in Argentina to call someone with whom you have an affectionate relationship (e.g. your cousin, your son etc.). For example: “Apúrate, pibe, tenemos mucho que salir’.

Spanish in Buenos Aires The Pink House

 

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# 7 LA POSTA

¡La posta! The absolute best, the real thing. It also comes with a specific gesture.

# 8 QUILOMBO

Actually, the original meaning of the word “quilombo” is a “brothel”, a place dedicated to prostitution. But over time it has ended up expressing a mess, a chaos, a messed-up situation. For example, if you want to talk about a not very organized situation, you can say “¡Esto es un quilombo!”

# 9 BOLUDO

“Ser un boludo” means to be somewhat silly, foolish or stupid (tonto, estúpido), but many times it can be used paradoxically to express a certain affection or camaraderie with the person you are referring to. For example, you are talking to a friend, you want to give him some advice and you say “haceme caso, boludo! (listen to me, idiot“).

# 10 BIROME

‘Pluma’, ‘bolígrafo’, ‘boli’, ‘lapicera’ are all Spanish words to describe the same thing: a pen. Argentines make it even more complicated with their own word: ‘birome’.

# 11 CHE

It is impossible to talk about typical Argentine words, without talking about “che’ the same way as it is impossible to talk to an Argentina and not hear them use this word. CHE is an interjection that can mean different things. It can be a colloquial way of saying “friend” and you can find it both at the beginning and at the end of a sentence, for example: “Che, let’s have a drink!” or “Let’s have a drink, man!” You can also find it as a way to get a person’s attention or to express amazement and surprise, like in ‘che, vos!” (Hey, you!)

Ernesto Che Guevara

Did you hear the story of Che Guevara? ‘Che’was the nickname of the famous Argentine revolutionary Ernesto Guevara; when travelling in Latin America, he constantly used the word “Che” (like all Argentines do). No doubts that Ernesto Guevara must have used the word ‘che’ a million times before he ended up being called ‘el Che”. Many of our students learning Spanish in Buenos Aires comment that after a few days living in Argentina, they have the impression that almost all Spanish phrases spoken by Argentine people start (or ended) with “che”, regardless of what the phrase is really about.

Reading Tips about Learning Spanish in Argentina:

Reading tips about Latin American Slang:

 

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