Saturday, January 23, 2010

En corto, en cortinas

En corto is a neutral expression that has become a workhorse of Chilango speak. En corto (en-COR-toh) literally means "in short." It is used in three ways: (1) distance, something is said to be en corto if it is really close; (2) immediateness, something happening fast, without much warning; (3) petit comité, an event taking place with the participation of a small number of people. Sometimes en corto is substituted by en cortinas (lit. in curtains) just for fun.


Juan: Si quiere compartir el auto yo paso por usted Lupita. Su casa me queda en cortinas.
Lupita: ¿No sería mucha molestia?

Juan: If you want to car-pool I can pick you up, Lupita. Your place is close to my route.
Lupita: Wouldn't I be bothering you?

Example 2:

Carmela: El reven va a ser muy en corto.
Manolo: Chales, creo que ya regué el tepache porque 'forguardié' el mail a toda la oficina.
Carmela: ¡Si serás!

Carmela: The party is going to be petite comité.
Manolo: Oooops, I think I just spread the word. I forwarded the email to the entire office.
Carmela: You dumb ass!

Example 3:

Paco: Y en corto que saca un hacha y me dice "de esta no sales vivo".
Pepe: ¿Un hacha? ¡no mames!

Paco: And suddenly she pulls out an ax and says "you won't walk out of here alive."
Pepe: An ax? You full of shit!


  1. Some valid substitutes for "en corto" are:


    * "Aqui tras lomita" (awe-KEY traws lo-MEE-tah) = rather close (literally, right around the hill)


    * "En fa" (en FAH) = very fast
    * "En chinga" (en CHIN-gah) = ultra fast
    * "En putiza" (en pooh-TEE-saw) = pretty f*cking fast