Learning Venezuelan Slang (Part 1)

April 23, 2010

(Technically, English only)

Today y’all (see what I did there?) get the chance to learn some Spanish. Not Spanish-Spanish, as one of the six official languages of the United Nations, nor the Spanish you think you’re speaking when you try to insult somebody by saying “Pinga tu madra.” (Sadly, you can’t even say it right, go ask your Mexican buddy how to spell those phrases).

I’m talking about real, legitimate Spanish from Venezuela. Join me as take you through the first edition of Learning real Venezuelan slang with a real Guaro.

I know everybody loves to learn insults and cuss words in different languages, but sadly, there won’t be any insults to your mother or sexual references here (fictional characters still have families, you know?), but this will be a great start:

Note: Alphabetical orders are boring. Leave those to Oxford and Merriam-Webster.

1. Burda/Sendo(a): (bur-dah/Cehn-doh) A lot. Very. Plenty. Hella. Tremendous.

Ex1: I have burda hunger.

Ex2: The Detroit Tigers have senda Venezuelan representation with Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen.

2. Na’Guara: (na-gua-ra) local thing from Guaroland. Meaning: wow, no shit!, really?, etc.

Ex1: Naguara, Maryland’s guard and fellow Venezuelan Greivis Vasquez lifted his team over the then future NCAA BB National Champs in both his Junior and Senior years.

Ex2: You ate a 3lb hamburger? NAGUARA! I don’t believe you. (Yes, I did).

3. Chimbo/Pirata: (shim-bo/pee-ra-tta) when something/someone is of shady quality or simply sucked. Sketchy.

Ex1. Did you go to that concert? Yes, but it was very chimbo.

Ex2: That personal trainer is pirata like no other. That says a lot.

4. Arrecho: (a-rre-sho) when something is awesome or astonishing. Also used when someone is mad or pissed off.

Ex1: Did you see that dunk by Lebron? That was so arrecho!

Ex2: Mel Kiper Jr. spent the whole 1st Round of the 2010 NFL Draft arrecho because nobody picked his boy Jimmaaay Clausen.

5. Pana: (pa-nah) friend, buddy, bro. Also used to indicate somebody is a good person.

Ex1: My pana Athlete Creator says Target is known worldwide as the store where all hot women shop. I concur.

Ex2: What do you think of that guy “so and so”? He’s cool, very pana.

6. Tipo: (tee-poh) guy, dude, man. Not quite endearing as pana.

Ex: That tipo kicked me and my panas out of the club for being too awesome for the place. That guy was very pajuo.

7. Ladilla: (la-di-lla, lla pronounced as fo-llow) Something that’s extremely boring or a complete pain in the ass. Unwanted chores.

Ex1: I have to go to the DMV again? Ladilla!

Ex2: What are you doing right now? I’m so ladillado(a). Let’s go out.

8. Pajuo(a)*: (pa-who-oh/pa-who-ah). When somebody is not helpful, or purposely go out of their way to not help or assist. Also to indicate wrong doing.

Ex1: She asked her roommate if she could use her frying pan, and she said no. She’s so pajua.

Ex2: I went to the gym to do some squats, but this pajuo came in and started doing biceps curls in the squat rack.

9. Papiar: (pa-pee-ar) to eat well. Derivative from papa (potato), a very good meal. Origin of the word papiado (pa-pia-do), which is to be swollen, muscular, well fed. As well as past tense of papiar.

Ex1: What is there to papiar today? I’m super hungry, I want to eat a tremendous papa. Have you papiado yet?

Ex2: I rather look papiado than look like one of those pansy A&F/AE/Aeropostale models.

10. Chevere/Chevre**: (Che-ve-re/Che-vre) Nice. Cool. Good. etc

Ex1: How was that Royals game, I heard they lost again? They did, but I had a good time, it was chevre.

Well, my panas. There you go, the first batch 10+ words and verbs that I hope can enrich your non-existent Venezuelan vernacular. Trust me, as much as it’s fun to try to pronounce them correctly it will be even more fun when you use them in proper context. Also, guess what? You were just speaking Spanglish and you didn’t even notice! Go you!

Any questions, concerns, complaints? Have the distance affected my Venezuelan slang? Go ahead and leave a comment. Let me know.

* I must add, the English language desperately needs a word for this. You could technically use asshole, but I’d like to use a more concise, clear word.

** There is some controversy as per the actual country of origin with this word. Boricuas, if you want it, it’s all yours.