Colombian slang can be pretty fun to learn, specially if you're planning to visit Colombia or if you happen to meet a Colombian (or a Latino) and want to impress them with words you usually don't learn in Spanish school and are normally only used by native speakers.
The following list of slang words are terms that you will hear in Colombia on a day-to-day basis, so note them down, learn them and start speaking like a local!
- How friends talk to each other
- Party Mode
- Street Slang
- Love Life
How friends talk to each other
Parcero, Parcera or Parce
Meaning: Dude, bro, girl
Parcero (for men) or Parcera (for women) is what you call a friend in Colombia. You use this word when addressing a friend. Parce is just a shortened version or Parcero.
¿Qué hubo, parce?
Meaning: What's up, bro? What have you been up to?
¿Qué hubo? can be used after greeting a close friend. If you want to pronounce this word as a Colombian, just pronounce it as 'quiubo'. Repeat 'qué hubo' as fast as you can and you will get the right pronunciation.
Literal meaning: The patch
Slang meaning: The crew
El parche is used to refer to a group of friends getting together to do something. If you don't have much going on in your social life, you'll be called 'desparchado' (without a 'parche').
Rumba and Rumbear
Meaning: The party itself and to party
In Colombia, you don't go to a party, you go to a rumba. Colombians don't like to go dancing or partying, they like to rumbear!
Guaro is a shortened version of the word 'Aguardiente', which literally means burning water.
Just as French have wine and Japanese have sake, well, Colombians have Aguardiente. This is Colombia's national alcoholic drink and each region in the country has its own version of it.
Literal meaning: To be lit
Slang meaning: To be buzzed
Estar prendido(a) describes the moment you start realizing you probably had a bit too much to drink. You start feeling tipsy! And, if you keep on drinking you will be .... (read on to the next one).
Meaning: To be drunk
You are jincho(a) when you've had too much to drink!
Literal meaning: A guava tree
Slang meaning: Hangover
Guayabo is what it comes after a night of too many drinks. You're enguayabado (to be hungover).
Slang meaning: Money
The word plata is the informal version of the word dinero (money).
Meaning: Colombian pesos
This is a word you'll hear everyday on the streets of Colombia. For example, when asking for the price of something, the vendor might say '20 lucas'. I can already picture you struggling to figure out what 20 lucas means. Don't worry! Just add three zeros at the end of the number. Now you now it means 20,000 COP.
A la orden
Meaning: At your service or you're welcome
You would expect to hear the phrase 'a la orden' only after buying something, but in Colombia you'll soon realize that people will blurt 'a la orden' at you either before you even get into a shop or after you've finished paying for something.
To grab your attention, vendors will constantly repeat this phrase in the hope that you'll purchase something from them. Cab drivers will also say 'a la orden' as a way to say 'can I help you? or 'do you need a ride?'. They'll also use this phrase after you've paid for their service.
Meaning: The police
Tombos is just a weird word used by Colombians to refer to the cops.
Literal meaning: To fall
Slang meaning: To flirt
In Colombia, guys do not hit on girls, they prefer to caer on them. A guy would say 'le estoy cayendo' (I'm hitting on her).
Meaning: To kiss
Colombians use the word entucar instead of 'to kiss'. For example, someone would say 'ayer me lo entuqué' (yerterday I kissed him). Keep in mind that the word entucar is informal, so if you want to express the same thing without sounding too informal, just say 'ayer lo besé'.
Literal meaning: To be swallowed
Slang meaning: To be head over heels (for someone)
If you happen to be madly in love with someone, you would say '¡estoy tragado(a)!'. This means that 'someone' drives you crazy!