Saturday, December 4, 2010

De sexto

De sexto is short for de sexto grado or de sexto año, which literally mean "of sixth grade". It is used to refer to an action that even though it has the intention of taking advantage of someone, is naive. Its origin is probably the fact that sixth grade kids try to take advantage of younger kids in elementary school, but from an adult perspective it lacks experience and sophistication. 


Alejandro: Me la quiso hacer de sexto. Quería mandarme por cigarros para quedarse solo con la reinita. Al chile una más de estas y le surto la receta. Pobre pendejo.
Saúl: Aliviánate master. No hagas bilis.

Alejandro: He wanted to fool me in such a naive way. He wanted meto get cigarettes so that he could stay alone with that cute chick. Honestly, next time I will kick his ass. Loser.
Saúl: Easy dude. Don't get all upset.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

El Guadalupe-Reyes

Guadalupe-Reyes (wa•tha•LOO•peh•REH•jezz) is the period between December the 12th and January the 6th (both Catholic festivities). The first is Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe) and the second is Día de Reyes (Day of the Three Kings or Magi). In Mexico, Día de la Virgen, like Thanksgiving in the US, marks the beginning of the Christmas season. Día de Reyes marks its end.

Since this period is not too long and has plenty of Posadas, office holliday parties and other celebrations, some people have come with the clever idea of a drinking marathon called El Guadalupe-Reyes. It can take plenty of forms but one of the main ingredients is the agreement with friends and buddies to have at least one beer or drink every day from the 12th of December till the 6th of January. A popular variation of the Guadalupe-Reyes is to attempt the Reyes-Guadalupe which implies instead drinking from January the 6th until December the 12th, hoping not to drop dead before.


Piter: ¿Qué pasión Jonás? ¿Ya sabes qué vas a hacer con tu aguinaldo?
Jonas: Simón, me lo voy a gastar intentando el Guadalupe Reyes. ¿Le entras?
Piter: Nelson, estoy por terminar el Reyes-Guadalupe y la cirroris me esta acabando.

Peter: Wassup Jona. What are you going to do with your year-end bonus?
Jona: I will attempt the Guadalupe-Reyes marathon. Wanna join?
Peter: No way Jose, I am about to finish the Reyes-Guadalupe and am out of the door with a bad ass chronic cirrhosis.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Burguer is a mexicanization of burger. The term has nothing to do with beef patties. It is used in lieu of verga, perhaps to be less likely to offend a listener. Burguer substitutes verga in many expressions.


Está de la burguer = Está de la verga = This is aweful
Su fue a la burguer = Se fue a la verga = He left for good, he went bananas

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Triste, mugre

Literally, triste means "sad" and mugre means "dirt." These two words are used by little children (and perhaps nuns) to refer to something deplorable, lowdown or just unimportant. They actually have nothing to do with sadness or lack of cleanliness. We advice not to use these words unless you wanna sound tough in the playground--and you are a kindergartener. If you wanna sound as a run-of-the-mill Chilango, use pinche instead.


Manuelito: ¡Triste Pepito! ¡El mugre GameBoy que me cambiaste por mi sandwich no sirve!
Pepito: No estés chingando.

Manuelito: Bad Pepito! The stupid GameBoy you gave me in exchange for my sandwich doesn't work!
Pepito: Get the fuck outta here.

Obviously, Pepito is way out of his league when it comes to verbal skills.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Marro, amarrado

Amarrado literally means "tied". It is a figure of speech indicating that somebody does not let himself or herself go and spend freely. Amarrado means cheap, excessively frugal, not generous at all. Marro (which literally means "hammer") is often times used in lieu of amarrado as a shorter, even more colloquial version.


Elba: No seas amarrada y háblale al mecánico. Hay uno súper baras aquí en corto.
Esther: Nel. Sale bien cariñoso. Además nomás es un cambio de llanta que está de volada.

Elba: Don't be so cheap and call a mechanic. There's an inexpensive one very close.
Esther: No way. It's pricey. On top of that it's just a tire change that I can take care of quickly.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Salir por patas

Salir por patas literally means "to exit by foot". In Mexican slang it is used to refer to escaping from a potentially dangerous situation, to run away at maximum speed without looking back.

A similar expression is patas pa' que las quiero, which literally means "feet, what do I want them for!?". In this case the person saying patas pa' que las quiero, is announcing that he or she is just about to salir por patas.

Example 1:

Carlos: Pensé que la tira venía por mí y dije ¡patas pa'qué las quiero!
Ernesto: No venían por tí, pero al darse tinta de que saliste por patas comenzaron a sospechar, ya revisaron tu expediente y ahora sí te andan buscando.

Carlos: I thought the cops were coming for me and said ¡let's put these feet to a good use!
Ernesto: They were not here for you, but after noticing you left in a hurry they became suspicious, went over your files and now they are looking for you.

Cautionary note: Salir por patas also means to go out to get feet. Here is an example of how it can be confusing.

Evaristo: ¿No está su marido?
Hortensia: No, salió por patas.
Evaristo: ¿Y por qué la prisa?
Hortensia: No, fue por patas de puerco porque vamos a comer tostadas.

Evaristo: Is your husband there?
Hortensia: No, he exited by foot.
Evaristo: Why the hurry?
Hortensia: No, he went to buy pork feet 'cuz we're gonna eat tostadas.

Patas de puerco (pork feet) are found in any decent grocery store in Mexico.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mear pa'rriba

Mear pa'rriba literally means "to urinate aiming up." In Mexican slang, this expression means "to behave in a way that is harmful to oneself." In other words, when you meas pa'rriba you ruin your immediate future with your own actions. The parabola is a powerful parable. 


José: Acabo de ir a recursos humanos a proponer una estructura más horizontal para que aumente la participación en la toma de decisiones y se limiten el poder y los abusos del jefe. Quedé muy satisfecho.
Feliciano: Nunca había visto a un soberano pendejo tan contentote después de haber meado pa'rriba. ¡Pinche animal!

Jose: I just came back from HR. I proposed a more horizontal structure to increase the participation in decision making, and to put limits on the boss' power and abuses. I'm pretty happy about it.
Feliciano: I never saw such an oblivious dunce, so happy after having harakiri-ed his career. ¡Poor moron!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Papita, flan

Papita literally means "small potato", and flan is a delicious type of custard deeply loved by Mexicans.  When properly prepared, both potatoes and flan are tender and easy to eat voraciously, without even needing to chew. When something is said to be papita or flan, that something does not pose a challenge. It is "a piece of cake".


Felipe: Al chile, ser un verdadero líder no es de enchílame otra. Es un reto súper grueso.
Vicente: Bájale. Mi señora me dice que está bien papita.  

Felipe: Straight up, being a true leader is not something easy. It is an overwhelming challenge.
Vicente: Bring it down. My lady said it's a piece of cake. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Of course, my horse

There is no other expression that depicts the playfulness of Chilango speak better than this one. "Of course, my horse" means "by all means, buddy". It is not offensive but it is very informal. 

Mexicans take English courses all their academic life (K-12). Among the handful of expressions and words that stick is "of course". Since no Mexican would consider fun such a dry expression, a rhyming companion is added: "my horse". It doesn't imply that the listener is a farm animal that needs to be ridden on the back. Not at all. It just rhymes. "Of course, my horse" is equivalent to "mos def".


Poncio: ¿Ya calaste al Instituto Mexicano del Sonido?
Pilatos: Of course, my horse. Esos broders si se rifan.

Poncio: Have you listened to the Mexican Institute of Sound?
Pilatos: Mos def. Those dudes are awesome.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No dar paso sin huarache

Huarache (wa • DUH • che) is a Mexican word for a rudimentary sandal. Sandals (the most primitive form of shoes) protect our feet every step we take. No dar paso sin huarache literally means "not taking a step without preparation or without being aware and  ready for the consequences."


Gastón: Sabía que tus pinches invitados se iban a acabar las chelas en dos patadas. Así que me tomé la libertad de poner la lavadora a  buen uso, con un guardadito pa' los cuates.
Aurelio: Estás cabrón. Tú sí no das paso sin huarache.

Gaston: I knew your damned friends were gonna go through the beer in no time. Thus I took the liberty of put the washing machine to a good use, hiding some reserve for the homeys.
Aurelio: You're too much. You're always prepared for what lies ahead.  

Friday, October 8, 2010


Licar (lee • CAR) is an alternative way to say "to take a look". It is  not offensive. However, its use its rather informal and conveys that the speaker knows the ways of the street. Use it in combination with other rather rough terms in order to be consistent in the image you project with your speech.


Copiloto: ¿Licaste a la reinita en primera clase que está súper sobres? Me late que no es nada apretada.
Capitán: Neta, párale al cotorreo y ponte al tiro que ya vamos a despegar.

Copilot: Did you check out the hottie in first class that looks very interested? It seems she's game.
Captain: Straight up, drop it and get yourself prepared. We're about to take off. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chicle y pega

Chicle y pega (CHEE • klei • PEH • gah) literally means "chewing gum and sticks". It is used to imply that a strategy might work but it is not guaranteed. The idea is that such strategy "might be like chewing gum and stick."


Rutila: Compré una serie completa de la lotería. Si ganamos, vamos a ser millonarios.
Nicanor: Chicle y pega y no tendríamos que chambear de nuez en toda nuestra vida.

Rutila: I bought a lottery ticket. If we win, we'll be millionaires.
Nicanor: If that happens, we won't have to work again for the rest of our lives.  

The árbol del chicle (chewing gum tree) in Coyoacán is a popular attraction for tourists (who take pictures of it) and locals (who get rid of their chicles on it)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ya salió el peine

Ya salió el peine literally means "the comb already came out". It is used to convey that finally some crucial information about a matter has been revealed. A mystery has been solved or the culprit's identity has been disclosed. 


Enrique: ¡Chale! ¿No te parece difícil de entender que el achichincle del gobernador lo haya balconeado de que tenía una amante?
Marcelo: Nel, pus si ya salió el peine. El achichincle estaba bien clavado con la amante.

Enrique: Geeez! Don't you find hard to understand that the governor's aide made public the relationship of the governor and his lover?
Marcelo: Nope, it's all clear now. The aide was head-over-heels in love with the guv's lover.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Agarrar means "to grab". Agarrón (ah • gah • RUN) literally means "big grab". However, on the streets agarrón means "fight", particularly "fist fight". When a person is involved in a fight, that person se da un agarrón (lit. "she gives herself a big grab").

The origin of agarrón is straightforward. When someone punches several times some other person, the former agarra a chingadazos the latter. Agarrar a chingadazos means "to grab with punches". The same happens when someone agarra a patadas (kicks) or cachetadas (slaps on the face) someone else.

Agarrón is used by sports commentators in the media to speak of an interesting and rather balanced match. Typcially, games between Chivas and América (the two most popular soccer teams in Mexico) are agarrones, and from time to time some players se dan un agarrón.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hacer changuitos

Hacer changuitos literally means "to make little monkeys". It has nothing to do with monkeys. Hacer changuitos is a colorful way to say "to cross one's fingers". Like in English, it expresses one's desire for something to happen. It's an appeal to good luck.


Fátima: Neta que si alguien se merece esa chamba, eres tú. 
Lourdes: ¡Haz changuitos
Fátima: Por cierto, ¿el bikini es a huevo o es opcional?

Fatima: Honestly, if anybody deserves that job, that's you.
Luordes: Cross your fingers!
Fátima: By the way, is the bikini part of the job requirement or is it optional?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Caminar literally means "to walk". However, when used to refer in past tense to a project, an idea, a strategy or an action, it means quite the opposite. If a project, an idea, a strategy or an action caminó, then it stalled and won't be moving forward. 


Don Ramón: ¿Qué pasó? ¿No que ya estaba sobres para traer a un arquitecto catalán para renovar la vecindad?
Señor Barriga: Hazte. Bien sabes que eso ya caminó. Quería un camarón estúpido.

Mr. Ramón: What's up? I thought you were eager to bring a catalan architect to renovate the housing complex?
Mr. Barriga: Don't play the fool. You know very well that ain't happening. He was asking an insane amount of money.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

De piquete de ombligo

De piquete de ombligo is a way to describe a relationship. It literally means 'of poking each others belly button'. Two or more people are said to have a de piquete de ombligo relationship if they get along well and are really close. Mexicans don't go by the streets poking random strangers' belly buttons. They only do it to a rather selective and small circle of friends (and foes). The expression is typically preceded by llevarse (lit. to carry or behave themselves) as in llevarse de piquete de ombligo.


Profesor: No me gusta darme mi taco en el salón de clases. Prefiero una relación abierta y de amistad con mis estudiantes, de piquete de ombligo
Coordinador: Nada más no vayas a picarle el ombligo a ninguna alumna. Si no, te cae la voladora.

Instructor: I do not like to pretend to be unreachable in the classroom. I rather developing a friendship with my students, really casual and familiar.
Coordinator: Just make sure you don't actually poke their belly buttons. Otherwise you'll face disciplinary measures.

poopeyloop003.jpg me poking brittanys belly button picture by loopylarry

Friday, September 10, 2010


Azotarse literally means to self-flagellate. In Mexico, it also means to make a big drama that does not match the situation. Of course, if someone se está azotando or not is in the eyes of the beholder.


Remi: Están súper pendejos si creen que yo voy a pagar el pato.  Ya sé que sólo quieren sacarme un un pedo, pero a mi me vale verga, ya verás que se van a cagar pa'dentro cuando me desquite. 
Señor Vitalis: No te azotes y prepárate para la próxima función.

Remi: They gotta be fools to believe I am taking this shot. I know they just want to scare me, but I don't  give shit about it, they will poop their pants when I take revenge.
Mr. Vitalis: Chill out and get ready for our next street performance.

Remi ("Nobody's Boy") is a cartoon  that was very popular in Mexico despite its extremely  azotado contents.

Monday, September 6, 2010

En el ácido

En el ácido literally means 'on acid', as in 'on LSD'. It's an expression that has nothing to do with the actual consumption of illegal drugs. En el ácido is used to refer to an extremely upset or perturbed person, usually by an undesirable  situation. The person en el ácido  often behaves as if he or she were hallucinating with the help of LSD: frantic looking eyes. sweating, not-making much sense, etc.


Leticia: Creo que está en el ácido
Juanjo: ¡Puta madre!, y cómo no si le dieron bajilla con la laptop donde tenía todos los documentos de su chamba

Leticia: I believe he is utterly upset.
Juanjo: Geeez, I bet he is, he's laptop was stolen with all the documents from work.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

De bote pronto

De bote pronto (the BEAU • teh PRAWN • taw) literaly means 'after a fast bounce'. It is used to convey that something is done on the spot, without much time to prepare, without giving it chance to bounce away. Agarrar de bote pronto means to give an opinion or decide a course of action right away, i.e. to shoot from the hip.


Maribel: El licenciado es súper mameluco pero las agarra de bote pronto. Se vé que lo van a hacer gerente regional de volada.
Cinthya: ¡Bájale! Ese cabrón no sólo le echa mucha crema a sus tacos sino que a veces ni le cae el veinte de las cosas.

Maribel: The boss is very uptight but he's really fast solving problems. I'm sure he'll be promoted to regional manager in the blink of an eye.
Cinthya: C'mon! That dude not only is a show off but sometimes he doesn't get what's going on.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Segundo cachete

De segundo cachete literally means 'of second cheek'. It is widely used to refer to objects that are not new but used, or what hipsters call vintage or recycled. Some pretentious Chilangos use recuperado (recovered) in lieu of de segundo cachete. Avoid it. It makes it sound like there were some archeologists involved and some digging was done.


Roberto: ¿Te late mi members only? Está suave, ¿no? Es de segundo cachete.
Salvador: Está igualita a una que me tiró mi esposa hace años. Eso sí, la mía estaba menos pinche.

Roberto: Do you dig my members only jacket? Cool, ain't it? It's vintage.
Salvador: It's identical to one I had and which my wife threw to the garbage. But I must confess mine was less disgusting.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Atáscate (ahora que hay lodo)

Atáscate ahora que hay lodo literally means 'get yourself all dirty now that there is plenty of mud.' It is used to indicate: (1) the opportunity that a person has to benefit from a situation (the mud is an allusion to something good to a pig); (2) the rather piggish behavior of a person in such situation. Sometimes the expression is shortened to ¡atáscate! 


Lic. Goicoechea: Acaban de nombrarme supervisor de permisos y licencias del municipio.
Amigo de la infancia: ¡Atáscate ahora que hay lodo!

Mr. Goicoechea: I was just appointed supervisor of permits and licenses of the city.
Childhood friend: This is your chance to profit big time from your position!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hacer el quite

Hacer el quite (ah•SIR  el•KEE•teh) means 'to step up for someone'. In many situations it is used in a similar way to hacer el paro. If someone te hace el quite, that person helps you out by taking the shot him or herself.  


Pánfilo: Se me juntaron dos pieles en el reven y mi broder me hizo el quite con una. 
Rómulo: Bájale. Yo te ví en la fiesta y ni quién te pelara. Pinche mitómano.

Panfilo: Two girlfriends were at the party and a bro had to help me out with one of them.
Romulo: Yeah right! I saw you in that party and nobody was with you. You bloody liar. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Pelar (peh • LAR)  literally means to peel or to remove the skin. In Mexico it also means to pay attention to or care about somebody or something. It is an informal synonym to hacer caso

Example 1:

En un restaurante de comida rápida:

Cliente: Si no me pelan, le llego al pinche changarro de enfrente.
Empleado: Disculpe señor. ¿Le puedo tomar su orden?

In a fast-food restaurant:

Patron: If you don't pay attention to me, I will get my ass outta here and will go to the joint across the street.
Clerk: Sorry, sir. May I take your order?

Example 2:

Paciente: Nuestra relacion comenzó a deteriorarse cuando ella dejó de pelarme hace un mes.
Psicoanalista: No la cagues. Cuando dejó de pelarte ya llevaba más de seis meses saliendo con otro maestro.

Patient: Our relationship started deteriorating when she stopped listening to me about a month ago.
Shrink: Give me a break. By the time she stopped listening to you she had been seeing another dude for six months.

Disambiguation note: pelar is not the same as pelársela. Make sure you understand the difference in their use before getting in trouble.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Choncho (CHAWN • chaw) means big, massive or grand. It is typically used to refer to the physical qualities of objects (un libro choncho, a big book) or the complexity of a circumstance (un problema muy choncho, a great problem)


Contador: ¡Chale! Por hacerle el paro a un carnal con su contabilidad, me metí en un pedo super choncho
Accountant: Damn it! I tried to help a bro with his accounting and now I am in deep shit.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

(Mi, tu, su) mero mole

In the book "In Light of India", Octavio Paz, a Mexican writer awarded the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature, narrates the story of an Indian nun who arrived in Puebla in colonial times and after resorting to local ingredients such as peanuts, chili and chocolate to prepare curry, invented mole.

The expression mi mero mole literally means 'my very own mole'. It is used to mean that some activity is precisely what I like the most or what I excel at, my area of expertise. It can also be used in reference to other people's tastes or abilities: tu mero mole or su mero mole


Secretario General del sindicato: Es probable que tengamos que usar los recursos del sindicato de este ejercicio fiscal para un evento social con los trabajadores.
Vocal del sindicato: Hazte. Ya sabemos que el reventón es tu mero mole

Chairman of the workers' union: It's likely that we will have to use the union's funds from this fiscal year for a social event with all the members.
Union board member: Your so full of it. We know well that partying your ass off is what you like the most.

The image below shows a plate of mole poblano (Pueblan mole). Notice the sesame seeds on top of the sauce and the Mexican rice as a side.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The other V word

The vagina, as the penis, has plenty of synonyms in chilango slang. And just as the synonyms of the brotherly word, they should be used carefully. These words should be reserved almost exclusively with guys which are your friends. Women would get utterly offended by some, if not most, of them.

A (brief) list of them: bizcocho, panela, panocha, pucha, raja, concha, florecita, ostión.

Etiquette: there is no good etiquette in the use of these words. Apart from bizcocho and florecita, any use of them is more or less derogatory.

Unlike the verga word, the vagina word is not used nearly as much or in as many contexts. It is mainly used to refer to, well, the vagina.

In the southern US (Colorado) panocha is a pudding.

Friday, July 30, 2010


In English, some people claim that "beauty is in the eyes of the beer holder". In other words, the ingestion of liquor, beer and alcoholic drinks in general alters the perception of beauty, typically giving it a wider, more inclusive definition. Many Mexicans share that opinion. Hence alcoholic drinks are often referred to as embellecedoras, i.e. the beautifying ones. They make everybody around the drinker seem more beautiful. 


Víctor: ¿Qué transa? ¿Unas embellecedoras?
Ausencio: Pa'pronto es luego.

Víctor: How'bout some beautifying libations?
Ausencio: Hell yeah.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Surtir la receta

Surtir la receta literally means 'to fill the prescription'. By no means this is related to the over-the-counter purchase in Mexican territory of drugs  that require prescription in the U.S. Surtir la receta means to give the physical punishment that is deserved, especially in a violent fashion.


Pancho: Le voy a dar en la madre en cuanto lo vea.
Memo: ¿Vas a surtirle la receta?
Pancho: ¡Con todo! Ya verás que le va a caer la voladora.

Pancho: I am gonna kick his ass as soon as I see him.
Memo: Are you gonna make him pay for what he did?
Pancho: Totally! You'll see, he is so frigging screwed.

Farmacias in Mexico City can be divided into two categories: the ones that sell branded products and the ones that sell generics. Among the latter group, the most ubiquitous chain is "Farmacias Similares", whose mascot (Dr. Simi) is really creepy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Suave (soo • AH • veh) literally means soft. It's an old school expression that means cool. Suave is used almost exclusively by Mexicans born before 1966. Its equivalent for younger cohorts are chido (utterly recommendable) and padre (if you want to sound as a 8 year old).


Hijo: Jefe, vamos a darnos unas caguamas para celebrar que ya tengo chamba.
Papá: ¡Suave! Yo invito. Dile a tus carnales.

Son: Pops, let's get some 40-ouncers to celebrate that I got a job.
Dad: Coolio! I'll buy them. Tell your bros.

The cohorts of Mexicans that use suave roughly coincide with those that read La Familia Burrón comic books in their childhood (drawn and created by Gabriel Vargas).

Friday, July 16, 2010


Cascarear is a derivative of cáscara, which literally means peel or skin (of a fruit). Cascarear means to play a sport without referees or strict rules, just for the fun of it. Cascarear is used pejoratively by snobs to refer to those who do not train during the week and only get together to play on the weekends, or to those who do not stick to a well-thought plan.

The clip below shows Tierry Henry, a famous French soccer player, cascareando.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Entrón (en • TRON) means 'always willing and eager to go in'. Entrón is used in reference to a person that is an eager beaver, especially when it comes to tasks or activities in which most people would hesitate or think twice. If someone is entrón for something, that person does not think twice before doing it.


Giovanni: Tu prima es bien entrona para el beso.
Cuahtémoc: Síguele y verás que yo también soy bien entrón, pero para el manazo...

Giovanni: Your cousin is really game for kissing.
Cuahtémoc: Go on and you'll find out that I'm game too, but game to slap you on the face...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ni pichas, ni cachas, ni dejas batear

Pichar means to pitch. Cachar means to catch. Batear means to bat. This expression means that somebody gets on the way of all people around him or her, not allowing them to do anything (literally that person doesn't pitch, doesn't catch and doesn't let others bat). This expression is also the living proof of baseball's popularity in Mexico.


Ramiro: ¿Ya hablaron con el licenciado Manríquez  para que se repartan las labores para echar a andar el proyecto?
Rogelio: Ese güey ni picha, ni cacha, ni deja batear.

Ramiro: Have you spoken with Mr. Manriquez so that you divide the tasks to get the project started?
Rogelio: That mofo doesn't let us do anything, but he gets nothing done.

Fernando Valenzuela is the best known Mexican MLB player (rookie of the year and Cy Young in the same season), who gave rise to Fernandomanía back in the early 1980s.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Chamba (JAM • bah) means gig, job or work, depending on the context. Chambear means to work. An equivalent, less frequently used expression is jale (HAH • leh). 


Joaquín: Me corrieron de la chamba.
Sabina: ¿Por huevón?
Joaquín: Nel. Por incompetente.
Sabina: ¡Si serás!

Joaquin: I was fired.
Sabina: Because of your laziness?
Joaquin: Nope. Cuz of my incompetence.
Sabina: You little piece of...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jefe, Jefa

Jefe and jefa are masculine and feminine for chief or boss. They are typically used to refer to parents. This might be a source of confusion. That's why we suggest the use of patrón in opposition to jefe. Patrón (like the tequila brand) literally means boss in a work related context.


Marlon: ¿Y esa camionetota tan chingona?
Brando: Es de mi jefe.
Marlon: ¿De tu patrón o de tu progenitor? 
Brando: No la cagues. Mi patrón tiene un zapatito bien jodido.

Marlon: Where did you get that bad ass SUV?
Brando: It's my chief's.
Marlon: Your boss or your father?
Brando: C'mon, my boss drives a beaten up Renault 5.

Zapatito (little shoe) is the affectionate nickname for Renault 5

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Apachurro (ah • pah • CHOO • raw) means 'I squeeze'. It is an interjection used to express public admiration for a person's overwhelming physical beauty. It is mostly used by men in reference to women. When properly used, apachurro sounds as a combination of sad lament and loud desperation, like the howl of a hungry coyote.

For years thousands of Mexicans could not refrain from shouting ¡apachurro! every time they saw an image of Mexican top model Elsa Benítez, who once made it to the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue for obvious reasons.