So before you read this, I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve never actually been to Uruguay or Argentina! When I lived in South America I stayed in Colombia the whole time.
So now you’re probably wondering – what makes me qualified to write this? Well I dated an Uruguayan girl in Mexico City for eight months. I also had a quick fling with an Argentine woman. And so I’ve learned many slang words and phrases from Uruguay and Argentina (both countries use the same ones).
Here’s what I picked up:
This word isn’t slang – but it’s so common that I’m gonna include it. Vos means you. It’s the same as saying tu. For non-native speakers, vos is hard to use. But don’t worry! You don’t need to waste learning it. All South Americans understand the tu form, even if they rarely use it. You can easily have conversations where they use vos and you use tu. And remember that vos is not the same word as vosotros.
Boludo means fool or cannon fodder. But it’s not a hard insult. It’s like the American equivalent of saying dude or man. In Mexico the equivalent word is güey. For Aussies or Brits it’s like saying mate. Colombian equivalent is parcero. The female form is boluda.
3) La Concha De Tu Madre
This phrase literally means the pussy of your mother or your mother’s pussy. It’s an all-encompassing insult used to attack someone verbally. But it’s also used for expressing frustration or irritation. For English-speakers, this would be like saying fuck your mother. But it can also be used more softly, like damn it or fuck. In Mexico the equivalent is puta madre. Concha translates to shell in Spanish. But in Uruguay and Argentina it’s the common word for vagina or pussy.
In many Spanish-speaking countries cola means line. As in esta es la cola por el banco? But cola also means ass. So vos tenés una cola magnifica means you have a great ass.
Obvio is a shortened version of obviamente, which translates to obviously. I like this shortened version because it’s quicker and easier to say.
Dale is another all-encompassing word with more than one meaning. You’ll hear it often when speaking with Argentines or Uruguayans. It’s similar to saying like in English – a meaningless filler world. Sort of like osea or va in Mexico. But it’s also an affirmative – like saying OK or yes. But it’s also used as a substitute for please or come on. So after a Latina girl asks you for something she’ll say dale afterwards to convince you to do it.
Da is a negative word – it means stop or enough. It’s like saying basta. For example, when a dog acts up, the owner might yell da!
So there you have it – your quick guide to Uruguay and Argentina slang words.
They’re useful when your dating girls from that part of South America.
Knowing them will also help you identify people – hear them used and you’ll know exactly where the speaker is from.
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