Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cargarse para adentro

This is one of those expressions that might overwhelm the listener because of its imagery. Cagarse para adentro (cah-GAR-seh pa-rah DEN-trow) or cargarse pa'dentro literally means to defecate inwards, in the direction opposite to what nature intended. Even though it makes no biological sense, cagarse para adentro denotes quite an abnormal body reaction to a situation, an event or some news. Cagarse used alone is not that dramatic.


Rogelio: ¿Cómo se tomó tu jefe la renuncia en esta época del año?
César: Se cagó pa'dentro. Están hasta las nalgas de chamba.

Rogelio: How did your boss take your resignation this time of the year?
Cesar: It was a big blow for him. They are swamped with work.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hacer de chivo los tamales

This is an old yet sound expression. Hacer de chivo los tamales (ah-cer the-CHEE-boh los tah-MA-less) literally means "to make the tamales with goat". It means to cheat or not keep one's word. Tamales are supposed to have pork or chicken, not goat.

In some contexts is similar to transar and in others to pasarse de lanza. It is not an offensive expression, but since it involves one of Mexican's favorite dishes, it is a really colorful one.


Doña Macaria: Dicen que desde que su marido se fue al otro lado anda muy contentota.
Doña Rutila: A mí se me hace que le hizo de chivo los tamales al pobre.

Macaria: They say after he left for the States she's been quite happy.
Rutila: I think she's cheating on that poor man.

In Mexico City you have to try the tamales out of the steaming pots of the street puestos. Nothing makes a better morning snack that a tamal.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

La invertebrada, etc.

La invertebrada (the one without vertebrae) is one of dozens of euphemisms for penis (see the "V" word). Here is a list of them:

La de hacer chamacos: The children maker
La sin hueso: The boneless
Chostomo: The chostomo
La vara: Twig
La masacuata: The masacuata
El rifle: The rifle
La voladora: The flying pole
El cara de niño: The baby face
El cíclope: The Cyclops
El gallito inglés: The english cock
La piola: The rope
La reata: ibid.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Al chile

Al chile (al-CHEE-leh, lit. to the chili) is an expression that Chilangos use in two situations. In one case, al chile precedes a confession that might get one in trouble. In such case, it means the opposite to the figurative expression "sugar-coated". In the other case it means, al chile qualifies an action taken without much care or without thinking, a gut reaction--a synonym of al chile is  de huevos. On occasions, al chile can be  substituted by al chilazo in order to add emphasis. 

Example 1: 

Cándido: ¿Qué te pareció?
Gelasio: Al chile me late que ese güey es puro taco de lengua

Cándido: What do you think about him?
Gelasio: Straight up I believe that dude is full of steamy, stinky shit.

Example 2:

Doctor: ¿Concluyeron el electroencefalograma que pedí?
Enfermera: Ya estufas. Nada más fue al chilazo porque ando en chinga.

Doctor: Did you finish the EEG that I requested?
Nurse: It was done, but in a rush, 'cause I'm in a hurry.

Electroencefalograma is just a fancy term for an electrographic study of the choya (CHAW-ja), i.e. the head.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jalada, jalado, jalársela

Jalada (ha-LAH-duh, lit. pull) is a softer version of mamada (ma-MAH-duh), but has the same meaning. An action is referred to as a jalada if it is merciless, vicious or simply has adverse effects on people. Something said by someone is referred to as a jalada if it is unlikely to be true or if it involves stretching the truth quite a bit.

Se la jaló (se-la-ha-LOH) is used to refer to someone that perpetrated or said a jalada.

Jalado (ha-LAH-dough, lit. pulled) is used in reference to something far-fetched, improbable or odd. It is usually used in the expression jalado de los pelos (pull from the hair).

Example 1:

Mamá: ¿Por qué reprobaste conducta otra vez?
Pepito: Ni te fijes. Son jaladas de la miss.

Mom: Why did you fail "Good Behavior" again?
Pepito: Don't even look. The teacher went bananas.

Example 2:

Sofía: Nunca había probado unos tortas de cochinita tan jugosas, tan exquisitas, tan ...
Felipe: Ya, tampoco te la jales. No están mal.

Sofía: I never tasted tortas de cochinita so juicy, so exquisite, so ...
Felipe: Drop it, don't go overboard. They're not bad.

Example 3:

Marcos: Las máscaras son parte de la psique del mexicano, desde la cuna hasta el panteón.
Tacha: Tu choro está súper jalado de los pelos.

Marcos: Masks are part of Mexican psyche, from the cradle to the grave.
Tacha: Your spiel is quite far-fetched.

Luchadores' movies are known for being jaladas de los pelos.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

¿Quién pompó?

In the 1980s Mexico was going through a severe macroeconomic crisis. In those years an artist rose to stardom: Chico Che, together with his band La Crisis. Among several hits, "Quién pompó" became a favorite.

Quién pompó is a childish version of the question quién compró (lit. who bought this). In the context of the song, the question is a hint towards the ugly truth that a lover has succumbed to the wealth of another man, who buys her love with gifts.

Quién pompó is generally used to call attention to somebody's new and shiny things: clothes, accessories, gadgets, rides, etc. It is not offensive but quite colloquial.

The video below shows Chico Che y la Crisis' song "Quién pompó". Even though this is not Chico Che but an impersonator, da el gatazo.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Echar rostro

Echar rostro refers to the situation when one is hanging out with the intent to be seen by others as cool and collected. For example, when you are dando el roll (taking a stroll) or you are riding your convertible with sunglasses, you are said to be echando el rostro.

The idea of the expression is very graphic, because in Spanish it literally means to give away, (share) your face with others.

One variation of this expression is "echar el guante" (throw the glove) and think here of an image of a white-gloved lady taking a stroll in the park.

Toño: qué pez Rulas, vi unas reinas en los portales, vamos a echar rostro?
Rulas: bambi, tu di rana y yo salto.

Toño: hello Rulas, I saw some cute girls in the shopping mall, shall we go and hang out there?
Rulas: of course, you take the lead.

Check the picture bellow, with Mauricio Garces (champion of galant movies of Mexico) is echando rostro.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Cotorrear (koh-to-rre-AR) means to behave like a parrot, making loud noises without making much sense. Cotorrear means to chat in a pleasurable and unproductive way. Such action is referred to as cotorreo (noun).

Cotorrear and cotorreo both have secondary meanings. Cotorrear also means to take advantage of someone by lying, and cotorreo also means to like to party.

Example 1:

Papá: Tus tías no se han levantado?
Hijo: Nel. Estuvieron cotorreando hasta las dos de la mañana.

Dad: Are your aunts up?
Son: Nope. They were chatting until 2am.

Example 2:

Padre de Leticia: Le advierto joven que mi hija es muy seria y en esta casa somos muy conservadores.
Rigoberto: Neta? Todo mundo me dijo que a su hija le encanta el cotorreo.

Leticia's dad: I must warn you youngman that my daughter is a serious person and in this household we're very conservative.
Rigoberto: For real? Everybody told me she's always game for some action.
The video below shows a 1980s' song by Kenny y los Eléctricos. The title is "Me quieres cotorrear" or "You want to pull my leg".

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sacar Punta vs. Sacalepunta

Sacar poontah

Sacar punta literally means to sharpen, as in sharpen a pencil. However, in every day D.F. it has two very useful applications.

The first one is to mock your friends when they have just come back from the barber shop.

Híjoles, ahora si te agarraron bien culero. Si güey, fui a que me sacaran punta y me trasquilaron.

Hey man, they really whacked your hair off! Yeah dude, I went for a haircut and they chopped it off.

The second refers to someone's quality as an ace, razor-sharp.

Ahora si me voy a dar a la vecina, ando bien filoso. Achis achis, qué, ¿muy sacalepunta?

I think this time I'm definitely taking out the girl next door! Go right ahead Casanova.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dar el gatazo

Dar el gatazo (dahr el gah-TAH-saw) literally means "to strike or hit with a cat." However, in Mexico City that's not the intended meaning. Dar el gatazo means to look or appear in such a way good enough to pass certain standard, without actually deserving it.

A prototypical example of things that are intended to dar el gatazo is knock-off merchandise (and you will find plenty in Mexico City). A knock-off version of a Louis Vuitton purse is supposed to dar el gatazo as a real one.

Dar el gatazo can also be used in reference to people. Not a long time ago many Michael Jackson fans gathered in front of Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City to do the Thriller dance. There were several Michael Jackson impersonators that indeed daban el gatazo.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


After a song popularized by the international Sonora Dinamita, sorullo (saw-ROO-jaw) has become part of Mexican slang. The song "Capullo y sorullo" narrates the story of a couple that after several years of marriage and having eight blond children, has a ninth child with a very dark skin color. The husband (sorullo) asks the wife (capullo) if the eight child is his. She answers that the eight is the only one that is his.

Sorullo is used to refer to a child whose father is suspected to be not the mom's husband.

Check out the video of the song "Capullo y sorullo"

Friday, December 4, 2009


Cojicuates (co-hee-KWA-tess) is a highly informal way to refer to people that without any romantic interest engage in sexual intercourse regularly. In more technical terms, cojicuates is the Chilango equivalent of fuck buddies. Use cojicuates in the exact same way you'd use fuck buddies.


Olga: ¿Por qué no trajiste a tu galán?
Teresa: Me dejó porque lo presenté en la fiesta de fin de año de la oficina como mi cojicuate.

Olga: How come your boyfriend is not here with you?
Teresa: He left me because I introduced him as my fuck buddy in the office's holiday party.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Regar el tepache

Tepache (teh-PAH-cheh) is a fermented beverage made with pineapple. Although it has a very low alcohol content it was very popular in Mexico in the good old days. The expression regar el tepache means to "spill the tepache". Once spilled, any fluid can hardly be recovered from the ground. This powerful analogy illustrates that some things once done, cannot be undone. That's the case with secrets. Once the word is out, there's no way to restore the secret. Regar el tepache means to spread the word that was supposed to be kept secret.


Hijo: ¿Qué esta haciendo la tira en la casa, papá?
Papá: Tu tío regó el tepache y las autoridades se enteraron de que tenemos un criadero clandestino de víboras de cascabel.

Son: What are the cops doing in our house, dad?
Dad: Your uncle couldn't keep the secret and the authorities learnt that we have a clandestine rattle snake farm.

Tepache is sold in street markets in Mexico City. If you find it, try it.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Our panel of experts loves this expression because of its musicality: billuyo (bee-JOO-jaw). This word is a derivation of billete (bee-JET-teh) which literally means "bill," as in a "one-dollar bill." Billuyo is used to refer both to a sum of money or to the net worth of a person or dynasty.

Example 1:

Poncho: ¿Traes billuyo? Mochilas para la vaca.
Pancho: La neta nel.

Poncho: Do you have any green backs on you? Chip in.
Pancho: Truth is I do not.

Example 2:

Melchor: Ssss... culta, refinada y de buen gusto.
Gaspar: Se nota que viene de familia de billuyo.
Baltazar: Nel. Si iba a la secu con nosotros. Le decíamos la foca... por bigotona y resbalosa.

Melchor: Pssss... cultured, refined and with with good taste.
Gaspar: You can tell she comes from money.
Baltazar: Nope. She went to our junior high. We nick-named her the seal... because she had whisk and was slippery.

A fake billete with the image of the controversial politician Andres Manuel López Obrador.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chocolate y de chocolate

Mexico gave chocolate (chaw-coh-LATTE) to the world. And Mexicans also minted a handful of expressions with this very same word.

First, chocolate is used as an adjective to refer to something that is chueco (lit. crooked, not straight). Second, when used as a noun in the context of vehicles, chocolate means a used car or (most likely) conversion van illegally imported from the U.S. Third, in the context of baseball, chocolate stands for a strikeout. Fourth, when used in the expression de chocolate it means "as fake as a chocolate gun or a chocolate cigarrette", i.e. useless.

Example 1:

Don Ramón: No te pongas necio que nos van a sacar los de seguridad.
Kiko: Esos güeyes son de chocolate.

Don Ramón: Don't get so stubborn or we'll be kicked out by the security guards.
Kiko: Those guys are nothing but clowns.

Example 2:

Señito: ¿A poco si es usted médico?
Merolico: El título es chocolate. Pero igual toda consulta causa honorarios, señito. Acérquese.

Ma'am: Are you an M.D. for real?
Charlatan: That title is as fake as a 3 dollar bill. But fees will apply to any consultation, ma'am. Step over.

Check out the video of a merolico (charlatan) in Mexico City's Alameda Park talking about home-made remedies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Por si las moscas, las flais

Using this expression will make you sound on top of your Chilango slang. Por si las moscas (purr-see-lass-MAWS-kass) is an expression that everybody uses. Though informal, this expression is not insulting in any way. It literally means "in case the flies ..." and it is used as "just in case."

Some people substitute moscas for flais, the Spanish pronunciation of "flies." Some others use las de hule (lit. the ones made of rubber) in lieu of moscas, an allusion to fake, rubber flies.


Rubén: ¿Quién trajo el Turista a mi fiesta?
Joselo: Yo, por si las moscas. No sabía si iba a estar tan pinche como la del año pasado.

Rubén: Who brought Monopoly to my party?
Joselo: Me, just in case. I didn't know if it was gonna be as lame as last year's.

Turista Internacional (international tourist) is the Mexican equivalent of Monopoly

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Erizo (eh-REE-soh) literally means sea urchin. It is used in the expression andar erizo, i.e. "to go by like a sea urchin." It is used in reference to two situations. First, andar erizo is used to denote withdrawal syndrome or cold turkey. Second, andar erizo means to have no money whatsoever. An old school equivalent for andar erizo's second meaning is andar bruja ("to go by like a witch").

Example 1:

Carla: Vi a tu marido el otro día en la calle. Andaba bien erizo.
Patricia: Por quinta y última vez, ¡Rigoberto ya no es mi marido!

Carla: I saw your husband on the street the other day, suffering cold turkey.
Patricia: This is the fifth and last time that I say it: Rigoberto is no longer my husband!

Example 2:

Fidel: Saca para una caguama.
Ernesto: Ando super erizo, compañero.

Fidel: Gimme some change for a six pack.
Ernesto: I'm broke, buddy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Batear literally means "to bat". In Mexico City it is used to mean "to reject with utmost emphasis." Picture the person you're asking something from as a slugger at bat: your demands or suggestions can be sent out of the ballpark in a violent fashion with a big swing. The use of batear is usually accompanied by the gesture of batting a baseball to the centerfield and contemplating it as it goes beyond the fence.

Dar bat (lit. give bat) can be used in lieu of batear.

Example 1:

Hernán: ¿Te van a dar vaciones en semana santa?
Cuauhtémoc: Le dije a mi patrón pero me bateó horriblemente.

Hernán: Are you gonna have a spring break?
Cuauhtémoc: I asked my boss but he sent me back in a horrible way.

Example 2:

Mamá: Con las mujeres debe ser persistente, mijo. A tu papi lo bateé varias veces, pero siguió insistiendo, y al final le dí lo que quería.
Hijo: ¿Podemos cambiar de tema?

Mother: With women you have to persevere, my son. I rejected your daddy over and over, but he persevered and in the end I gave him what he wanted.
Son: Can we change the subject?

Vinicio Castilla is a famous Mexican slugger.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Mocos (MAW-koss) literally means snots, mucus from the nose. It is used as an interjection on its own right. The use of ¡mocos! is similar to that of the English words ka-boom and bang. It denotes a sudden and violent action taking place: a punch in the face, a car crash, the sudden revelation of a painful truth.

¡Mocos! always has to be said in a dramatic way, conveying the sudennes and violence of the fact represented. ¡Mocos! is an informal but harmless expression.

Example 1:

Marcela: Después de 17 años de casados, le confesó que antes de conocerla estuvo en el tambo por malversación de fondos.
Gabriela: ¡Mocos! ¿Y qué más?

Marcela: After 17 years of marriage, he confessed to her that he was in jail before knowing her for a fraud.

Gabriela: Ka-boom! And... what happened?

Example 2:

Conductor: Estaba espejeando para cambiar carril, y de repente ... ¡mocos! Se me estampó un maestrín.
Ajustador: Por favor sea más específico. No puedo incluir "¡mocos!" en mi reporte.

Driver: I was looking at the rear-view mirror to change lanes and all of a sudden ... crash! A dude hit me.
Insurance agent: Please be more specific. I cannnot write that in my report.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maestro, maestrín, maese, master

Maestro literally means teacher. However, in Mexico City maestro or maestra is often used to refer to any random person, regardless of her occupation or educational background. Some dervatives of the word maestro are: maestrín (something like "little teacher"), maese, and master (from English language).

Maestro and maestrín are not insulting but are impersonal. Do not call your friends maestro or maestrín. Use it to refer to people you do not know. However, calling your friends maese or master is perfectly fine.


Lalo: ¡Master! ¿Cómo va la venta de buñuelos?
Pepe: Bien, excepto por un maestrín que vino a quejarse, que'sque se empachó.

Lalo: Dude! How's the sales of fritters going?
Pepe: It's going well, except for a dude that came back to complain, allegedly he got tummy ache.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


This expression is a pillar of Chilango slang. The origin of ñero (GNE-roh) is the word compañero, which means companion, mate, somebody in your same circumstance. Ñero was first used as a short version of compañero. Later on, ñero became a reference to the people that used that expression: mostly uneducated urban youngsters. Finally, since those ñeros are tough and bold, ñero became an adjective to convey those characteristics. If something is said to be ñero, that means it is tough or harsh.


Paramédico: ¿Qué tal estuvo el concierto?
Matías: Se puso super ñero el slam.

Paramedic: How was the concert?
Matías: The mosh pit got really harsh.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

De tocho (morocho)

De tocho (the-TAW-choh) is an expression used in lieu of de todo, which literally means "of everything." It's usually followed by morocho just because it rhymes-that's a good enough reason for Chilangos.

Example 1:

Paco: ¿Tocaron cumbia?
Lalo: A-ha.
Paco: ¿Salsa?
Lalo: A huevo.
Paco: ¿Mambo? ¿merengue? ¿guaguancó? ¿huaracha? ¿reggaeton?
Lalo: Tocaron de tocho morocho.

Paco: ¿Did they play cumbia?
Lalo: Uh-hum.
Paco: ¿Salsa?
Lalo: Mos def.
Paco: ¿Mambo? ¿merengue? ¿guaguancó? ¿huaracha? ¿reggaeton?
Lalo: They played a little of everything.

Example 2:

Tortero: ¿Qué le ponemos a su torta joven? Mayonesa, mostaza, ...
Cliente: De tocho, si es tan amable.

Cook at a torta stand: What do you want on your sandwich? Mayo, mustard, ...
Patron: Everything, if you're so kind.

Torta is the Chilango version of a sandwich, made with telera bread.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The word grueso (groo-ES-so) literally means thick. It is used to refer to something outrageous or harsh, usually in the expression ¡qué grueso! (how thick!).

Felipe: Unos "emos" bloquearon Insurgentes por varias horas.
Leticia: ¡Qué grueso! ¿Qué querían?
Felipe: Respeto. Que no manchen su alma, ¿no?

Felipe: A bunch of "emos" blocked Insurgentes avenue for a few hours.
Leticia: That's outrageous! What were they demanding?
Felipe: Respect. That's kinda cheesy, ain't it?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Apañón (ah-pah-GNON) means to be subjugated, typically by a crowd, in a violent, unfair and usually insulting fashion. Apañar is to subjugate in such way. Apañado means to be scared, in the same way one would be after an apañón.


Rafael: ¿Por qué andas tan serio?
Leonardo: Me apañaron afuera del metro unos culeros.

Rafael: Why so serious?
Leonardo: A couple of thugs bullied me and slapped me oustide of the subway station.

Below is a video of the classic song "Apañón" by Chilango band Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del Quinto Patio. You can find the lirycs here:

Apañar is also used as agandallar, and therefore can mean to grab without permission.


Persona en un concierto de la sinfónica: ¡Esos cabrones apañaron nuestros lugares!

Concertgoer at the Sypmhony: Those assholes took our seats!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tronar el ejote

Tronar el ejote (traw-NAHR el eh-HUT-eh) is a deep and colorful expression. It literally means "to snap the end of green bean." It means "to take a man's virginity." It's sort of the Chilango male version of popping an English-speaking woman's cherry.


Jorge: ¿Por qué anda tan pinche contento ese güey?
Ricardo: Le acaban de tronar el ejote.

Jorge: Why is that dude so fucking happy?
Ricardo: Some girl took his virginity.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Balconear (bal-con-NEHARR) comes from balcón (lit. balcony). It means to expose somebody's embarrassing secrets--some times one's own. This term is not offensive. What might get you in trouble is the action itself. Try not to balconear your acquaintances.


Jacinto: Creo que alguien nos balconeó.
Margarita: ¡No mames! Todos nos han visto fajando en el elevador.

Jacinto: I think somebody exposed our secret.
Margarita: Give me a break! Everybody has seen us making out in the elevator.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Apretada, ponedora

In male Chilangos' psyche these two concepts constitute a full taxonomy of single women. On one hand, a woman is said to be apretada (ah-preh-TAH-duh, lit. tight) if she refuses to engage in sexual intercourse even with the one she loves or is interested in. It's an allusion to apretarse el calzón or holding her panties tight.

The opposite of apretada is ponedora (paw-neh-DOUGH-rah, lit. the one who puts): a sexually promiscuous woman. An alternative expression for ponedora is sí le pone. (ponerle means to engage in sexual intercourse.)

Both apretada and ponedora are ansolutely informal and even offensive.


Juan: ¿No que tu ex era bien apretada?
Carlos: Desde que cortamos se volvió bien ponedora. Chale!

Juan: I thought you said your ex was very conservative.
Carlos: She became very promiscuous after we broke up. Damn it!

Note: A man can be said to be apretado, but nobody refers to a man as ponedor (that's believed to be the default status of men).

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Vientos (vee-EN-toss) literally means "winds." It is used as a way to emphatically express approval. It comes from the word bien (lit. good). A stronger version is vientos huracanados, (vee-EN-toss hoo-rah-ca-NAH-thoss) which literally means "hurricane-like winds."

Don't be afraid to use vientos everytime you would use "good job" or "excellent." It's a solid workhorse of Chilango slang.


Estudiante de Doctorado: Después de seis años, finalmente terminé la tesis.
Asesor de tesis: ¡Vientos! Pensé que te la ibas a pelar.

PhD student: After six years, I finally finished my dissertation.
Thesis advisor: Excellent! I thought you were not going to make it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Báscula, pasar báscula y basculear

A báscula (BASS-coo-lah) is a scale. Báscula is used in expressions related to searching or frisking somebody. The concept comes from the scales in the roads that are used to measure if trucks are carrying more or less than what they are supposed to.

Both basculear and pasar báscula (lit. pass scale) mean to frisk, search. ¡Báscula! is an interjection form used in lieu of any of the two.

Example 1:

Beto: No traigo ni un centavo.
Enrique: No te creo nada. ¡Báscula!

Beto: I don't have a penny on me.
Enrique: I don't believe you. I'll search you!

Example 2:

Abuelita: ¿Cóme les fue en su viaje a la playa?
Nieto: Uuuta, los militares nos pasaron báscula cinco veces.

Granny: How was your trip to the beach?
Grandson: Geeee, we were searched five times at military checkpoints.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Chiflando y aplaudiendo

Sometimes an adult wants to make sure that a young couple don't make out. The adult can ask the couple to keep chiflando y aplaudiendo (chee-FLAN-though ee ah-plough-DEE-en-though), which literally means "whistling and clapping."

It's virtually impossible to make out while whistling and clapping. Thus, the adult can avoid akward face-to-face supervision by being in a contiguous room and still hear the whistling and clapping. Of course, that's all in theory. in practice is enough to have an adult saying that to create awkwardness and stay away from smooching and hugging.


Mamá: Los dejo solos en la sala, pero... chiflando y aplaudiendo, ¿eh?

Mom: I leave alone in the living room, however, I wanna hear you clapping and whisteling, ok?

This couple took it literally.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Darse color, tinta

Darse color (THAR-seh coh-LAWR) literally means "to give color to oneself." It is a solid expression that means "to realize the thuth of the matter." An equivalent expression is darse tinta (THAR-se TEEN-tah) which means "to give ink to oneself."

Example 1:

Estudiante: Párale, la maestra ya se dio tinta de que estás copiando.
Maestra: ¿Qué esta pasando aquí?

Student: Stop it, the teacher already realized you're copying.
Teacher: What's going on here?

Example 2:

Edecán: Este ron está super suave.
Transeúnte: Entra sin que te des color de que es licor.
Edecán: ¿Le sirvo más?

Model: This rum is really smooth.
Random dude: You can drink it without even realizing it's liquor.
Model: Would you care for more?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cuates los aguacates, tompiates, tenates

This is expression has a very narrow use but it cannot be beaten because of its imagery. Cuates los aguates (QUA-tess loss-a-gooa-KAH-tess) literally means "buddies, the avocados." It's usually followed by y no se hablan (ee-no-seh-AH-blan), lit. "and they do not talk to each other."

It is used in the follwoing context. Suppose that after a friend does something uncool to you and you react accordingly he or she tells you "but I thought we were buddies." Here you reply with "buddies, the avocados and they do not talk to each other."

The aguacates can be exchanged by tompiates or tenates. The three terms are allusions to the testicles, which inspite being so close and twins (cuates), they do not speak to each other.

Adalberto: Ya olvida lo que pasó entre Camila y yo. Acuérdate que sobre todas las cosas, somos cuates.
Hernán: Cuates los tenates, y no se hablan. Tu en cuestión de viejas no tienes amigos.

Adalberto: Forget what happened between Camila and me. Remember that, above all, we are buddies.
Hernan: Buddies the testicles, and they do not speak to each other. You have no friends when it comes to hitting on women.

Friday, September 25, 2009

De mentis, de a devis

Although these expressions sound like latin spells out of Harry Potter book, they are workhorses of old school Mexican slang and highly popular among children.

De mentis (the-MEN-tease) comes from de mentiras (lit. of lies). When something is de mentiras, it means it's fake or simply not true. De a devis (the-ah-THE-vees) comes from de a de veras (lit. of truths). When something is de a deveras, it means it's true or the real thing. De mentiras and de a de veras are no slang but formal Spanish.

Maestra: Pepito, sabes que no puedes traer pistolas de juguete a la escuela.
Pepito: No es de a mentis, maestra, es de a devis.

Teacher: Pepito, you know that you cannot bring toy guns to school.
Pepito: It's not a fake gun, teacher, it's real.

Pepito is an imaginary character that portrays the irrevent, childish and anarchist inner self of Mexicans.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

De Nankyou

TV shows shape pop culture. Mexico City is not the exception. One of the most influential shows was "La Carabina de Ambrosio," which aired in the late 1970s and early 1980s. One of its elements was a Brazilian dancer by the name of Gina Montes. Gina would also play the assistant of Beto el Boticario, the purposefully lousy magician of the show.

Beto el Boticario would thank Gina saying "thank you" (in English) and Gina would reply "de nankyou," a mixture of de nada (you're welcome) and "thank you." Cheesey? Absolutely. Catchy? Hell yeah. De nankyou is widely popular. Don't be afraid to use it every time someone tells you "thank you" (in English).

Check the video below with patience. First, Gina Montes appears dancing as César Costa sings and then Beto el Boticario interrupts the act.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dar el rol, el rocanrol

Dar el rol means to cruise around usually without a specific purpose. Some times it means to go out to see and be seen. A more colorful way to express the same idea is dar el rocanrol, although this alternative often involves some partying.

Mamá: Por favor no se metan en problemas.
Hijo: Aliviánate, jefa. Nomás vamos a dar el rol.

Youngsters in Mexico City love to go out to dar el rol (it's cheap and adventurous).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

De volada

De volada (the vough-LAH-thah) is an sdverb that refers to an activity being done really fast. It is a reference to doing it as fast as flying. Highly popular derivatives of that expression are de volón (the vough-LAWN) and de volón-pinpón (the vough-LAWN peen-PAWN).

Pepe: El partido ya va a empezar y no hay botanas.
Lalo: Ahorita preparamos un guacamole de volada. Tú, tranquilo.

Pepe: The game is about to start and we don't have snacks.
Lalo: Calm down. We'll fix a guacamole in a spit second.

Nothing goes better with watching soccer on TV than guacamole and tortilla chips.

Monday, September 14, 2009

De chiripa, chiripada

When something happens de chiripa (the chee-DEE-pah), it happens serendipitously, randomly. A chiripada (chee-dee-PAH-tha) is an act of serendipity, the realization of a very low probability event usually with good consequences.

Casabolsero 1: Si tienes talento y aptitudes puedes ganar un millón en un buen día, como yo gané hoy.
Casabolsero 2: No mames. Bien sabes que fue chiripada.
Casabolsero 1: No seas amargado.

Stockbroker 1: If you have talent and skills you can make a million any given day, like I just did.
Stockbroker 2: Cut that shit. You know that it was sheer luck.
Stockbroker 1: Don't be so bitter.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Enchílame otra

Using this expression will make your Chilango friends love you and buy you drinks. It's at the core of Mexico City's folklore. Enchílame otra (en-CHEE-lam-meh AWE-trah) literally means "add chili to another." It is a short version of enchílame otra gorda which means "add chili to another gordita", and gordita is the corn dish that should require no further explanation.

Enchilar gordas (to add chili to gorditas) is an easy task that requires no attention or skills of any kind. It can be done one gordita after the other without taking much time and without a problem. Thus, when Chilangos want to convey that a task does require attention, skills, and time, they say ¿a poco crees que es de "enchílame otra"?, which means "do you really think this is as easy as adding chili to another gordita?" An alternative is esto no es de "enchílame otra."

Licenciado Godínez: Orita que acabes con esta, ¿podrías ayudarme a hacer un respaldo de esas otras computadoras e instalar el nuevo software en cada asegurándote de que todas tienen acceso a los nuevos servidores?
Ingeniero Landín: Licenciado, pus si esto no es de enchílame otra. Va a tomar un buen.

Mr. Godinez: As soon as you're done with this computer, could you create a back up of those other terminals and install in each of them the new software, making sure all have access to the new servers?
Mr. Landin: Sir, this is not a simple and quick task. It's gonna require some time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dar en la torre, madre

Dar en la torre (dahr en lah TAW-reh) literally means "to give in the tower." It means "to beat the crap out of somebody" (literally, or figuratively in sports) or "to bring down something such as a strategy or a plan." A less polite yet more emphatic way to express the same feeling or assesment is dar en la madre.

Example 1:

Reportero: ¿Cuál va a ser la estrategia para este encuentro?
DT del Tri: Darle en la torre al rival.

Journalist: What's gonna be the team's strategy?
Head coach of Mexico's national soccer team: Beat the crap out of the rival.

Example 2:

Taxista: Lo que nos dio en la madre, jefe, es que nos hayan conquistado los españoles.
Pasajero: Si, verdad. Aquí no más, si me hace favor.

Taxi driver: What put us in a shit hole, boss, is that we were conquered by Spaniards.
Passenger: Yeah, right. Here is fine, please.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Rifar (ree-FAHR) literally means to raffle off something. On the streets of Chilangolandia its meaning is different. First, a person is said to be rifada or that such person se rifa if she successfully engages in a adventurous or difficult task. Second, an object, a place or an activity is said to be rifada or that se rifa if such object, place or activity is second to none.

Example 1:

Demetrio: Oye, ¿qué tal es tu cuñado para el pambol? Estamos buscando un centro delantero goleador.
Benjamín: Si se rifa. De chavo estuvo en fuerzas básicas de los Panzas Verdes.

Demetrio: Hey, is your brother-in-law any good for soccer? We're looking for a striker.
Benjamin: He's awwesome. When he was little he played for Leon's youth team.

Example 2:

Cliente en taquería: Estos tacos de bistec si se rifan.
Taquero: ¿Le paso otros seis con todo, jefe?

Taqueria patron: These steak tacos are really something.
Cook: Do you want another set of six with everything, boss?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

De nuez

This expression is a workhorse of Chilango slang. De nuez (the-noo-ESS) means "of walnut" or "of pecan." It comes from the expression de nuevo, which depending on the context means anew or again. De nuez is a solid expression. Use it every time you can.

Manuel: Se me olvidó de nuez ir a la verificación.
Oscar: Uuuta, ya estufas que te va a caer la voladora.
Manual: Igual no iba a pasarla.

Manuel: I forgot again to go to the emission testing facility.
Oscar: Geee, I'm afraid you're in deep shit.
Manuel: I wasn't gonna pass it, anyways.

Clunkers' owners dread la verificación (the emissions test).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Chilangos love to twist words. And words that refer to numbers are not the exception. Below is a list of how to refer to numbers.

Must know:

Uñas (finger nails) = Uno, 1
Donas (doughnuts) = Dos, 2
Tripas (guts) = Tres, 3

Good to know, just in case:

Cuajos (rennets) = Cuatro, 4
Cintura (waist) = Cinco, 5
Sesos (brains) = Seis, 6
Sienes (temples) = Siete, 7
Ojos (eyes) = Ocho, 8
Narices (noses) = Nueve, 9
Dientes (theeth) = Diez, 10

Other, also helpful:

Diego (proper name) = Diez, 10
Ciego (blind) = Cien, 100
Melón (mellon) = Millón, 1,000,000


Felipe: ¿Cuántos kilos de carnitas llevo?
Vicente: Donas.
Felipe: ¿Y cuántos cartones de chela?
Vicente: Tripas.

Felipe: How many kilos of deep-fried pork should I bring?
Vicente: Two.
Felipe: How many cases of beer?
Vicente: Three.

Monday, August 31, 2009

De aguamielero

Whenever you're concerned on what you might have said or done during the last party, it's always healthy to remorsefully shake out the guilt and do some preemptive damage control by sharing your recent drinking accomplishments: me puse una de aguamielero ("I got as wasted as an aguamielero.")

Harvesters of the sweet juice from the core of the tequila agave or from the leafs of pulque magueys, are known as aguamieleros. Reportedly, aguamileros have taken wasted-ness by alcohol intoxication to new record heights after the sweet juice they harvest, the aguamiel (which literally means honey water) has fermented a bit inside their stomachs.

In any case, to qualify one's perceived level of pedo (drunkenness) makes way to a host of colorful ways to gauge it.

Me puse un pedo de relojero (wathcmaker): when you end up leaning your forehead against your hand on top of the table as if you were closely inspecting a watch. campeonato: championship level. aquellas: one of those. José José: The acclaimed Prince of Song during the 70's and 80's set the standard in both drinking and singing helplessly tragic ballads of lost love. Drinking away lost love is always a fine excuse to sing.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Huevon vs. Huevudo

If used properly, these two words would make you sound good. On one hand, huevón (weh-VONN), which literally means big-egged, stands for lazy-ass. It is a metaphor to having such heavy testicles that one's activities are slowed down.

On the other hand, huevudo (weh-VOO-though), which also means big-egged, is used in reference to a young male who is old enough to take care of himself. It is an allusion to a young male having adult-size testicles.

Obviously, nothing prevents a person from being both huevón and huevudo.

Beto: Oye, tu hijo el mayor ya está huevudo. ¿Por qué no te ayuda?
Enrique: Es un huevón.

Beto: Hey, your son the oldest is no longer a kid. How come he doesn't give a hand?
Enrique: He's a lazy ass.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A medios chiles

Chile (chili) is at the center of Chilango culture. Medios chiles (meth-yaws-CHEE-less) literally means "halved chilies." When a person is said to do something a medios chiles, it means that such person did not put her heart to it, did not show enthusiasm and did not make her best effort. In other words, the person performed half-ass.

Madre orgullosa: Mijo, estamos tan orgullosos de que hayas terminado la secundaria.
Pepito: Y eso que lo hice a medios chiles. Si me aplico, igual hasta le prepa termino.

Proud mother: My son, we're so proud of your graduating from junior high.
Pepito: And all was done half-ass. If I apply myself, perhaps I graduate from high school.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brincos dieras

If you use this expression, you'll not only suprise your Chilango friends but also will look as a respectable adoptive child of Mexico City. Brincos dieras is not an offensive expression. Its literal meaning is "you'd jump." It is used to mean "you wish," as in "you wish this were true so much that you are willing to jump if that would make it true." It can also be used in third person, brincos diera.

Example 1:

Thalía: ¿Es cierto que el Memo es tu novio?
Adela: Brincos diera ese zopenco.

Thalia: Is it true that you and Memo are dating?
Adela: Yeah, in his dreams! He's such a good-for-nothing.

Example 2:

Mamá: Como sacaste puros dieces te compré algo.
Pepito: ¿Un Nintendo Wii?
Mamá: Brincos dieras. No, te compre unos Choco Roles. Pero le compartes a tus hermanos.

Mom: Since you got straight A's I got something for you.
Pepito: A Nintendo Wii?
Mom: Yeah, right! No, seriously, I got you some Hostess HoHos. But don't forget to share with your borthers.

Marinela's Choco Roles, the Mexican version of Hostess' HoHos.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tú di rana

Chilango slang is full of imagery and color. A great example is the expression tú nomás di rana ... (too-noh-MASS thee-RAH-nah), which means "you just say frog ..." To the uneducated listener the expression has to be completed with ... y yo brinco (ee-JAW BREEN-coh), which means "... and I leap" (like a frog).

This expression shows how game a person is for a particular plan. It is used as a most emphatic agreement with that plan.

Gema: Estaría a todo mecate ir este fin a Tepoz. Ya tiene un rato que no vamos.
Yolanda: Pus tú nomás di rana.

Gema: Wouldn't it be nice to go to Tepoztlan this weekend? It's been a long time since we last went.
Yolanda: Just say the word, girl.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Caca grande

In Mexico City's slang, a big wig or big shot is referred to as caca grande, which literally means "big shit." The stereotypical caca grande is despotic and rude to those that are powerless.

When somebody gives him or herself a lot of importance (in other words, want to pass as a caca grande), a Chilango might tell him or her ¡has de cagar muy ancho!, which literally means "you surely defecate thick turds." This is a reference to that person being a caca grande (the connection should be obvious).

Back in the 1970s Los Polivoces (two old school Mexican comedians) created a character that colorfully portrayed a typical caca grande: el Mostachón. He was the CEO of a company and was always ignoring, mistreating and scamming his employees, one of which was his friend el Washanwear.

Below is a poster of a movie that shows el Washanwear (left) and el Mostachón.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Un toque

uhn toeke

A drag, a hit, a shock

Dame un toque carnal: Give me a drag (or a hit) dude. Works the same for cigarettes or joints.

Vamos a darnos unos toques: Let's get stonned. Alternatively, if you're hanging out or chillaxing with your friends in a cantina, it suggests challenging your friends to get electric shocks from an authorized vendor (To get stunned). You can tell authorized providers by their distinct call: tooooquezzz!


Tzah kaete

A Loofah (or any organic fiber scratchy scrubber)

The use of zacate is derived phonetically from the word "sacar" (to take out, to withdraw or pull out).

Most common uses include:

Zacatito p'al conejo: Take out the ganja dude.
No seas zacatón: Don't be a woosie
Sin zacate: To link several love acts without pulling out.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Peleas en la Coliseo

For decades, the Coliseo Arena in Mexico City has been the spot to watch wrestling (lucha libre) and box fights (peleas). The expression tener peleas en la coliseo literally means "to have fights in the coliseum." It is a reference to a young individual expected to behave like an adult given his age. Peleas en la coliseo is a disguise for pelos en la cola, meaning "hair in the asshole." In other words, if somebody tiene peleas en la coliseo, it means that such person has grown pubic hair and therefore is (physiologically speaking at least) an adult.

Hijo: Papi, papi, ¿me das para darme una vuelta en el carrusel?
Padre: Tienes 16 años. Ya tienes peleas en la coliseo. Déjate de pendejadas.
Hijo: Si verdad. La cagué.

Son: Daddy, daddy, can I get money for the merry-go-round?
Father: You're 16. You have pubic hair. Cut the non-sense.

Son: True that. My bad.