Chilean Slang 101

September 2003


One of the things that makes it hard to understand Spanish in Chile is the huge amount of slang they use.  It's absolutely incredible, very poetic and I've put down a few of my favourites here. 




What It Means




To come or to have an orgasm. Before, I just thought it meant to stop or terminate an activity. ej. "Acabaste? (did you come?)".  There were some other examples that we came up with in class much to the hilarity of our Spanish Teacher Luis but I'm not going to mention them here.


amigo con ventaja, amigo con cover, amigo con derecho, amigo con derecho a raspe



Friend with benefits (usually sexual).  Cool!



To go out with or be dating someone.  To be having a light romantic relationship.  Less serious than pololear which is generally the stage after andar.


andar a la chucha!


Expression of great disapproval and displeasure with someone.  The equivalent expressions in English would be "Go to Hell" or "Fuck You".


andar a lo gringo


To not wear underwear.  I think I'm missing something here.  Chileans obviously think that gringos don't wear underwear.  I talked to one Chilean about this and he said that the saying came from American porn movies where none of the gringos in the film wore underwear (well, it is a porn film...duh!).




There are a few meanings for this one but the most common one is 'cool' or really excellent. ej: Que bacán!


buena onda


'Sweet', 'All right'. Can be used to express positive vibrations towards an idea, statement or relationship.




Do you understand?  But it's used so much in conversation that it's the equivalent of 'like' for Americans and 'you know?' for Australians.  The response to this is to say 'cacho' or just nod (because you have no clue what they're talking about anyway).




'Fucked!'  Bad luck.  ej: You are caught by the cops smoking dope. 'Estas cagado!'.  There are other meanings too such as 'very' but I can't be bothered writing them down here.


calentar la sopa


Literally, this means to 'heat the soup' but in this case it mean 'to tease' or to sexually entice another and then say ciao!  We use cock tease.




Caliente means 'horny'. ej: 'Soy rico y caliente!' (I am rich and horny)




Once described as Chile's greatest addition to the Spanish language, a whole book could be written about this word (apparently, I don't know the world well enough).  The closest American English equivalent is 'Dude'.  There are essentially two meanings: friend or not friend and even a friend who is not acting like a friend is a huevón, as well as a person that you would not want to be friends with.  Is that everybody? The other meaning is 'asshole' or jerk.  ej: 'Que onda, huevón?' means 'What's happening mate?'.


la raja


"The shit". Or just really fucking excellent.  I think the equivalent expression is Spain is "De puta madre!"




Boring, dull. ej: Que lata!


matar la gallina


'To do the wild thing'.  Although, translated literally, this means to 'kill the chicken'. Why killing the chicken has anything to do with sex is truly beyond my comprehension.  The boys must get a little lonely out there on the farms.  One thing's for certain, I definitely avoid chicken here.


mino rico, mina rica


Sexy boy, sexy girl. 




Means the same as 'wanker' in english. Chronic masturbator or bull shit artist.  It also happens to a marque of 4x4 ... The Mitsubishi Pajero (in Sport, Grande and Mini versions).  I've raised a lot of laughs with chilenos by telling them about this car.  Over here it's called a Montero.  I know I won't be driving one in future.  PS: If you want to see pictures of me driving the sports version of the Mitsubishi Wanker, then click here.





Boyfriend/girlfriend.  In other countries they use novio/a.  The verb to go out is pololear.




A name for a fake blond.  Taxis in Santiago are black with yellow roofs.  Get it?




Stoned.  As in under the influence of the wacky backy. ej: 'Estoy volado' (I am stoned).



Want more?

You have two options to find more Chilean slang. 


Option 1:  If you're in Chile and you happen to stumble across it in a book store (near impossible), then buy 'How To Survive In The Chilean Jungle' by John Brennan and Alvaro Taboada.


Option 2: If you can read the Spanish then try check out this page here