9 Colombian slang phrases to sound like a local

Thinking of visiting Colombia? in this blog post, you’ll learn 9 Colombian slang phrases that you can use on your next trip so you can sound like a local.

These 9 phrases are brought to you from the Fluent Spanish Academy’s YouTube channel. This academy was founded by Olly Richards and it’s meant to help Spanish students to master this beautiful language.

Summary: 9 Colombian Slang phrases**

1- ¿Qué más?

This is the Colombian way of saying “what’s up?”, for instance:

Tú:Y… ¿qué más?

Tu amigo:Todo bien, planeando mi próximo viaje.

2- Parce – Parcero

Parce is a word that Colombians use to refer to a friend, it could be translated as buddy, dude, or mate. For example:

Tú:Parce, ¿qué te paso en la cara?

Tu amigo:Me lastimé jugando fútbol.

3- Rumba – Rumbear

The word Rumba means party. Now, If you use the verb rumbear, then you are using a verb, that for Colombians it means: “the action of partying”, for instance:

Tú: Parce, ¿listo para la rumba?

Tu amigo: Claro, hoy si quiero rumbear toda la noche.

4- Estar enguayabado – Tener guayabo.

When you have a guayabo, that means that you are having a hangover so if you go on a Rumba with Colombians, then it’s very likely that the next day you hear something like:

Tú: Anoche fue una locura, estoy súper enguayabado.

Tu amigo: Si, aunque yo no tengo tanto guayabo como tú.

5- Vaina

This word is used in Colombia to refer to the word thing, you could use it when you’re talking about a vague situation, for example:

Tú: ¿Quieres probar un poco de esta cerveza?

Tu amigo: No, a mi no me gusta esa vaina.

6- ¡A la orden!

If you go to a market and someone says: ¡A la orden!, that means that this person is offering you something, it could be thought of something like: can I help you? For example:

Vendedor: ¡A la orden! Camisetas 2 por 1, aproveche la promoción de hoy.

7- Chévere – Bacano (a)

This is just the way how Colombianssay that something is great or cool, for example:

Tú: ¿Qué tal te parece mi nuevo apartamento?

Tu amigo: Muy chévere, con mucho espacio, perfecto para ti y tu familia.

8- Plata

Colombians use the word plata to refer to money, for example:

Tú: Parce, prestame plata.

Tu amigo: No, usted nunca paga la plata que uno le presta.

9- No dar papaya

Colombians use this idiom to indicate that you shouldn’t show your valuable things like your phone or tablet in a place that you could easily get robbed, for example:

Tú:Papá, voy para el centro, ¿me acompañas?

Tu papá: No puedo hijo, tengo que trabajar, pero cuidate y no des papaya en el centro.

Do you know more Colombian slang phrases? Write them in the comments below!

If you’re an intermediate student of Spanish, I’m sure you’ll love my ebook in full Spanish: 10 Secretos que nadie te dice para hablar español como un nativo + its audio version. Sign up in the form below and download it for free now:

Diego Cuadros is a blogger and a Spanish online teacher. He uses stories to help Spanish lovers understand fast-speaking native speakers, so they don't freeze and panic in conversations.

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