The inhabitants of Argentina use a peculiar variant of what is called español rioplatense (Spanish from the Río de la Plata), one of the many dialects forming part of the Spanish language as a whole.
Besides the most obvious traits of this Spanish variant you probably read about on Jakob’s blog, there is a number of common everyday words belonging to the colloquial vocabulary of the argentos (Argentinians).
What follows will serve as a language “survival guide” for anyone visiting the South American country and wanting to communicate fluenty with the locals.
Bárbaro/bárbara: An adjective used when you want to say that something or someone is excellent or the best of its kind.
Mi instructor de gym es bárbaro: My trainer is excellent.
Boludo/boluda: It is a mild swear word used among friend or acquaintances to call one another in an informal way. When used towards strangers, it is taken as an insult.
Pero ¿qué hacés, boludo?: Man, what are you doing?
Canchero: It is used to describe something fine or good-looking, especially when talking about clothes or looks.
Conseguí un departamento canchero en el centro: I just found a fine apartment downtown.
Che: It is commonly used to get someone’s attention or to start a conversation in a colloquial way.
¡Che, vení!: Hey, come here!
¡Che, qué calor que hace!: Man, it’s so hot in here!
Chico/chica: Children in general.
Mi hermana tiene dos chicos: My sister has two children.
Copado/copada: It is used to describe something great or interesting.
Esa película es copada: That movie is interesting.
Guita: An indeterminate amount of money.
Eso cuesta mucha guita: That costs a lot of money.
Harto/harta + noun: It is used to talk about large quantities of something, usually a noun.
Tenemos harta comida en la heladera: We have plenty of food in the fridge.
Lomazo: A man you find very physically attractive.
Ayer conocí a un lomazo: Yesterday I met a really handsome guy.
Mina: A young female.
Creo que conozco a las minas que están sentadas allá: I think I know the girls sitting there.
Nene/nena: Baby boy/girl.
¡Pero qué nene tan lindo!: What a beautiful baby!
Pelotudo/pelotuda: An insult used against someone that you find stupid or idiot.
Mi vecino es un pelotudo: My neighbor is an idiot.
Pibe/piba: A young male or female; used as a generic name towards someone.
Había un pibe jugando fútbol: There was a guy playing soccer.
Esa piba tiene un auto repiola: That girl has a very nice car.
Piola: Excellent; as an adverb, it is used to describe something cool or nice.
En el almuerzo me comí una hamburguesa piola: I had an good burger for lunch.
Re + adjective: Very; prefix used to emphasize the idea expressed by the adjective it modifies.
Fue un día ocupado, estoy recansado: It was a busy day, I’m very tired.
Remember to use this list of palabras cancheras to show off your Spanish skills when visiting Buenos Aires and you will sound rebárbaro to the porteños all around.
About the Author:Anais
Hello, Spanish learners! My name’s Anais. I’m a Venezuelan freelance translator living in Argentina. I’m a culture and language freak and such a big foodie! I’m thrilled to share my language and culture with all of you and, why not?, some recipes of our traditional delights, too. Stay tuned, guys! 🙂
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