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.