The Chilean Slang

Chilean Spanish has a multitude of words and expressions that are only used inside the country, or only a few of the neighboring countries. Many go back to the influence of the Quechua and Mapudungun languages spoken by the native population of the area.

The following list can only present a selection of the most common words and expressions. We have tried to limit this list to true Chilenisms and regionalisms that are hard or impossible to find in common dictionaries.

In general, we would advise you not to use those words actively - it's too easy to put your foot in your mouth. Often, the meaning of a word can depend greatly on tone or context, and it's almost impossible to get those right without much practice.

The favorite Chilean swearword, huevón, can be intended to sound like a put-down, buddy-buddy, or a term of endearment, depending on the situation. The majority of words and expressions listed are only used in informal communication. Extremely vulgar expressions have additionally been marked *.

Remember, if you need accommodation in Santiago de Chile visit our Furnished Apartments section. We have several apartments available for rent in the main areas of the Chilean capital.


achuntar den the nail on the head, guess

agarrar literally: grip

agarrar onda get into (the swing of things)

agarrar papa be keen on sth.; also: take advantage of

agarrar para el fideo/hueveo* pull one's leg

ahí literally: there

¡No estoy ni ahí! I don't give a rip, I don't care

ahuevonado/a*, el/la idiot (see 'huevón')

al lote low key, casual

al tiro immediately

apretado/a stingy

apretar cachete* beat it

arrugar* bail/flake out

atado, el problem, difficult situation; argument

atadoso/a complicated (people and things); quarrelsome

atinar do the right thing; get it



bacán great, terrific (people and things)

bajón, el bummer, crisis

El está bajoneado He's bummed

bomba, la gas station

pasarlo bomba see 'pasarlo chancho'

bueno OK

Bueno, ¡ya! Alright!

bueno para… something very often, be good at something

El es bueno para la pelea. He likes to argue/to fight



cabro/a, el/la boy/girl; young man/woman; guy

¿cabro/a chico/a little boy/girl, kid

cachar understand (from 'catch')

¿Cachai? Get it?

Me pegué la cachada. I got it.

cachetón/a, el/la show-off

cacho, el difficult situation

Espérate un cachito. Just a second!

cachureo, el stuff, junk

caerse el cassette spill the beans

Se le cayó el cassette. He tattled on sth. (confidential)

cagada*, la misfortune, mishap; disaster (see also, 'crema')

El dejó la cagada. He wrecked everything.

cagado/a* stingy; very; "fucked"

Estoy cagada de calor.* I'm [very] hot.

El está cagado.* He's in a fix.

cagar* screw somebody, screw up

La cagaste.* You screwed up.

ni cagando* not under any circumstances, no way, never

cahuín, el mess (caused by misunderstandings or scheming)

caleta quite a lot, very

caleta de veces very often

callampa, la slum

Esto vale callampa. It isn't worth diddly squat.

cana, la jail

caña, la hangover (see also, 'hacha')

Ando con la caña. I'm hung over.

capo, el expert; clever guy

cara de raja* / careraja* impudent, rude

cara de palo / carepalo impudent, rude

carrete, el bash, party

combo, el wallop

Le pegué un combo. II shot him one.

compadre, el / comadre, la buddy

concha, la* vagina (literally: shell)

concha de tu madre* / conchetumadre* son of a bitch, asshole; also: general expression of anger

concho, el leftover, dregs (esp. in a bottle)

condoro, el mistake

Se mandó un condoro grande. He messed up big time.

coñete stingy

copete, el alcoholic beverage, liquor

copucha, la rumor, gossip

correr mano (a alguien) feel somebody up (sexually motivated)

cortar wliterally: cut (off)

cortar el queque have the say, decide (literally, divide the cake up)

¡Córtala! Cut it out! Quit!

creerse la muerte / la raja be stuck-up

crema, la mess (literally: cream)

Quedó la crema. It was a disaster. (see also, 'escoba')

cuero figure (of a man/woman)

Ella tiene buen cuero. She looks great.

cuete, el Joint

cuico/a snob, upper class person (derogatory)

culeado/a* fucker (big insult)

culear* fuck

culo, el* butt, ass (see also, 'poto')

curado/a drunk

chacotero/a, el/la joker, person who tries to be funny

chamullo, el fib, lie (see also, chiva)

chancho, el literally: pig

irse al chancho exaggerate

pasarlo chancho have a good time, enjoy

chapa, la (door)lock; code name

chape, el head

enfermo del chape crazy (see also, 'mate')

chato/a full

Estoy chato. I've had it.

chiva, la white lie, excuse (see also, 'chamullo')

chocho/a content, proud, happy

choreado/a angry, upset

Estoy choreado. I'm ticked off.

choro/a cool, neat (people or things)

chueco/a dishonest, false

chucha* vagina; also: general expression of anger, see 'chuta'

mandar a la chucha* (a alguien) tell someone to go to hell

¡Andate a la chucha!* Go to hell!

chupar drink; steal

¡Chuta!* Shit! Also, expression of surprise



dar bola* / dar pelota* (a alguien) take sb. seriously, pay attention to sb.

descueve, el excellent, hot, great

despelote, el mess

desubicado/a, el/la clueless; someone who flaunts social rules or behaves improperly

¡dónde la viste! You're kidding! (expression of disbelief)



embarrarla mess something up

La embarraste con el Pepe. You've really ticked off Pepe.

encachado/a great, interesting (people or things)

ene lots (from math symbol 'n')

enfermo/a de… totally … (literally: sick)

El está enfermo de enamorado. He's totally in love.

engrupir (a alguien) smoothtalk, talk someone into something (with lies)

escoba, la disaster, mess (literally: broom)

Ella dejó la escoba. She messed up royally. (see also, 'crema')

estar en otra be disinterested

El está en otra. His head is someplace else.



facha, la looks, appearance (see also, 'pinta')

filo get lost; over

firme, la truth

fome boring

fregado/a difficult; exhausted

frito/a stuck, done for (literally: fried)



gallo/a, el/la guy (man or woman)

gamba, la 100 pesos

ganso/a stupid, naive, slow

¡No seai ganso! Don't be such an idiot!

gil, el idiot

grado uno/dos/tres "bases" of sexual relations: First base = Kissing; Second base = Petting; Third base = Coitus

gringo/a, el/la (blond/e) foreigner

grosso great, sweet

guagua, la baby

guata, la belly

guatón/a fatso



hacer dedo hitch-hike

hacer el quite (a alguien) javoid someone

hacerse el leso pretend

hacer tira destroy

hacer tuto see, 'tuto'

hacer una vaca go in on (buying sth.) (literally: vaca = cow)

hacha, el hangover (alcohol-induced; literally: axe; see also, 'caña')

hinchar get on s.o.'s nerves

huevada*, la anything, usually unpleasant

hueveo*, el practical joke

huevear* get on s.o.'s nerves

huevón/a*, el/la depending on tone and context, can be friendly ("buddy") to vicious ("Idiot"); often at end of sentence indicating familiarity



inflar boast, get on s.o.'s nerves; take sb. into accountn



jalar do drugs (usually cocaine)

jodido/a* complicated

Estoy jodido. I'm in trouble.

junior, el gofer (in an office)



lanza, el pickpocket

lata, la boredom

¡Qué lata! ! What a shame!!

lesera, la garbage

lolo/a, el/la teen-ager

luca, la 1000 Pesos



macanudo super (archaic)

maestro chasquilla Handiman who repairs everything, but nothing right

mandar a la chucha* see, 'chucha'

mate, el head

enfermo del mate mentally ill

medio/a great, huge (literally: half)

¡La media mina! A hot chick!

meter la pata see, 'pata'

micro, la city bus

miedo literally: feart

de miedo excellent, great

mijito/a Dear (from: 'mi hijito/a' = my little son/daughter)

milico, el Military personnel (derogatory)

mino/a, el/la man / woman (with erotic connotations)

mino rico hot guy

monono/a dolled-up, chic, cute

mortal to kill; great (see, 'muerte')

mostrar la hilacha reveal one's real self (negative)

movida, la move, robbery; illegal deal; party

muerte, la to die for; great

La comida era la muerte! The food was to die for!



nana, la cleaning woman, nanny, cook (usually all in one)

nana puertas adentro live-in maid



once, la "elevenses", tea time

onda, la attitude; mood; kind of person; style (see also, 'agarrar onda')

Ella es buena onda. She's nice.

¡Qué mala onda el tipo! That guy is being such an idiot!



paco, el pig (derogatory for: policeman)

papa, la baby food; simple and lucrative deal

parranda, la boozing

pasarse outdo oneself; help (appreciative)

¡Te pasaste! Great job (thank you)! (see also, 'siete')

pasarse rollo/película imagine sth., make sth. up; dream of sth. (literally: roll a movie)

pata, la literally: foot, leg

a pata on foot

a pata pelada barefoot

meter la pata put your foot in (your mouth), mess up

mala pata bad luck

patota, la group of friends, followers

patudo/a impudent, rude

pega, la job, position

pelambre, el gossip

pelar (a alguien) gossip about a person, badmouth a person

pelar cable lose it, act crazy; be mentally ill

pelotudo/a* idiot

penca cheap, boring

pendejo/a, el/la childish person

picada, la la cheap (but good) place to eat

picarse be mad, upset

pichanga, la ipick-up soccer game

pichintún a little bit

pila a lot of

pilas, las literally: batteries

¡Ponte las pilas! Go for it! Try harder!

pilucho/a (half) naked (see also, 'en pelota')

pillar (a alguien) catch someone

pillo/a clever, sharp; rude

pinta, la looks, appearance (see also, 'facha')

Ella tiene buena pinta. She's goodlooking.

pintar monos ato show off, to act exaggeratedly (in order to call attention to oneself)

piola perfect; satisfied, full (from eating); quiet, relaxed

Quédate piola. Stay calm.

pasar piola not call attention to oneself

pito, el joint

pituto, el (to receive special treatment or privileges)

plop expression of surprise or perplexity (from the Chilean comic strip 'Condorito')

¡Quedé plop! I was speechless.

po emphasis; usually placed at the end of a sentence (from: 'pues')

¡Ya po! Get going already!

pololo/a, el/la boyfriend / girlfriend

pololear go steady, to have a serious relationship with someone

ponerle color exaggerate, embellish

ponerle pino/empeño make one's best effort with something

ponerse las pilas see, 'pilas'

porfa please (abbreviation of 'por favor')

por las puras in vain, for nothing

porsiaca just in case; by the way (from: 'por si acaso')

poto, el butt, bottom (see also, 'queque'))

pucha, puta* oops!, shucks!; sympathy or regret for a bad turn of events (e.g., 'Pucha, Ricardo!')

pucho, el cigarette

putear* (alguien) somebody out, insult, yell at someone



queque, el butt (funny)

cortar el queque see, 'cortar'



raja* beat, very tired

la raja amazing, excellent

rajado/a very fast

rayado/a crazy, insane

rasca of bad quality, poorly made (things); of bad taste or with lacking manners (people)

re- very (emphatic prefix)

Ella es re-simpática. She's totally nice.

regio/a great, excellent (upper-class slang)

regalonear pamper someone; pet

requete svery (see also, 're')

rico/a sexy, attractive (literally: delicious)

rollo, el difficult situation (see also, 'pasarse rollo')

Se metió en un rollo. He's in a fix.

roto/a clumsy or vulgar or low class person (upper class slang)



sacarse la mugre/cresta slave, work very hard

Me saqué la cresta. I worked my fingers to the bone. Also: I took a beating. (e.g. in an accident)

Le sacaron la cresta. They beat him up.

sepa Moya Who knows!

siete, un a 10; expression of highest appreciation (from the Chilean school system, 7 = highest grade/mark)

Eres un siete. Great job, thanks! (see also, 'pasarse')

siútico/a stuck-up; in bad taste

sonar fail, be very unsuccessful

Sonó nuestro plan. Our plan failed / was nixed.

soplado/a a very fast; very simple; very clean

subirse por el chorro (try to) take advantage of someone or something



taco, el traffic jam

talla, la joke

Le echamos una talla. We pulled his leg.

tincar guess, have a hunch; like

Me tinca que esto no va a funcionar. I think that won't work.

¿Te tinca? Do you like that? Do you agree?

tira, el plainclothes policeman (derogatory)

tirar literally: throw, pull; also: fuck

tirar a la chuña be up for grabs, give away a lot of sth. (e.g., money)

tirar para arriba overcome a difficult situation (professional or social life, health)

Está tirando p' arriba. He's doing better.

tirar para la cola bail/flake out

tiro al aire, un loose cannon; unpredictable or aimless person

tomar el pelo (a alguien) pull someone's leg

tuto, el sleepiness (cute)

¿Vamos a hacer tuto? Shall we go to sleep?

Todavía tengo tuto. I'm still tired.