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.