Saturday, May 29, 2010

Domingo Siete

When a young single female turns out unexpectedly pregnant, she salió con su domingo siete (lit. she turned out with a Sunday the 7th). In other words, she is en barcelona. Salir con su domingo siete is neither an insulting nor an encouraging expression. However, the new mom-to-be might appreciate some discretion. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Caer el Veinte

Caer el veinte means to suddenly realize something after the fact. Equivalent to "the penny dropped." Phone booths in Mexico used to take only twenty-cent coins (veintes) for a long time. 

Example: Hasta ahorita me cayó el veinte de que mi ex me hizo de chivo los tamales. (I just realized that my ex was cheating on me).

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Noventa-sesenta-noventa (lit. ninety-sixty-ninety) or 90-60-90 is thought to be the ideal measure for a female body (breast-waist-hip). In centimeters, that is. Truth is 90-60-90 is just an illusion. Most Mexican males like women of all sizes and shapes.

A related term is noventa-sesenta-revienta, which implies that a woman's size goes out of control below the waistline (revienta = explodes).

Mexican singer-actor-model Thalía (below) was believed to have a 90-60-90 body

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Aflojar el mastique

Mastique is a play-dough-like paste used to install glass into metallic window frames. Aflojar el mastique (ah • flaw • KHAR  el • mass • TEE • keh) literally mans 'to loosen up the paste.' In Mexico however, when someone says that se le aflojó el mastique, the expression means that such person needs to defecate. The connection requires no further explanation.


Cliente: Nada afloja el mastique como un espresso doble.
Barista: Para servirle.  

Patron: Nothing loosens up the dough like a double espresso.
Barista: You bet!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pagar el pato

Literally, pagar el pato means 'to pay for the duck'. This figure of speech is used to convey that somebody undeservedly had to pay for the consequences of something. It typically involves financial and legal responsibilities. An equivalent expression is pagar los platos rotos, which means 'to pay for the broken plates.'


Emilio: ¡Qué buen reventón! El despapaye se puso tan cábula que hasta madrazos hubo y cayó la tira.
Hugo: ¿Y quién crees que pagó el pato?
Emilio: ¿tunas?

Emilio: What a cool party! It got so surreal that there was a fight and the cops stopped by.
Hugo: Who do you think was held responsible?
Emilio: Were you?

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Federal (Fe • the • RAL) means ugly. It comes from feo(a). It is typically used in reference to people who are not good looking. Using federal is just as offensive as using feo or fea. Beware.


Gualberto: Está súper federal la amiga de tu chava.
Benito: Esa no es su amiga, ¡es mi vieja pendejo!

Gualberto: Your woman's girlfriend is truly ugly.
Benito: That's not her girlfriend, that's my woman you moron!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Calar means to permeate and it is used in two ways. First, calar means to try or test something. Second, calar is used to express that something is bothering.

Example 1:

Carlos: ¿Ya calaste el bar de la esquina?
Raúl: Nel. Esta bien cariñoso.

Carlos: Have you checked out the bar at the corner?
Raúl: Nope. It's pricey.

Example 2:

Leonardo: La neta me caló muy cabrón que no me invitaras a tu fiesta.
Rebeca: Me vale verga.

Leonardo: I was utterly hurt because you did not invite me to your wedding.
Rebeca: I don't give a damn.

Every visitor to Mexico City debe calar street food, obviously at his or her own risk.

Note: do not confuse caló, the third-person past-tense of calar, and caló, as in slang, jargon. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Colgarse & Descolgarse

Colgarse literally means 'to hang oneself' and descolgarse literally means 'to unhang oneself'. Although the literal meanings are worth knowing, you'll rarely hear anybody using them in everyday Chilango speak. Colgarse and descolgarse are typically employed to convey something else.

Colgarse means to use more time that is allotted, to exceed a time limit. Colgado can be used in reference to a person who often se cuelga and also to a place that is far, far away (i.e. getting there takes a long time). Le  cuelga (literally, 'it hangs from it') means 'it is still going to take a while.'

Descolgarse means to go from one's current location to another, usually to meet other people and hang out. Just like a monkey would descend from a tree, a buddy unhangs from his place to meet friends.

Example 1:

Faustino: Descuélgate al reven. Va a estar de huevos. Van a caer un titipuchal de pieles.
Melquiades: Pus la netame late, pero tu cantón está súper colgado.

Faustino: Come to the party. It'll be a lot of fun. There will be bueatiful women aplenty.
Melquiades: I truly like the idea, but your place is really far away.

Example 2.

Melamina: Este maestro siempre se cuelga con sus clases.
Ponderosa: Y todavía le cuelga para que concluya este semestre.

Melamina: This professor always stretches his lectures well pass the limit.
Ponderosa: And it's gonna be a while before the semester is over.

Note: Colgado is also used in expressions such as no me vayas delar colgado or me dejaste colgado hijo de la chingada. In this case, colgado is a reference to the metaphor colgado de la brocha, i.e. hanging from a paintbrush. Hence when somebody abandons you, it's perfectly fine to say that metaphorically such person removed the ladder you were on and left you hanging from the paintbrush.