Frases del “Argot Popular” de los cubanos

  • ¿Qué bolá contigo? – What’s up with you? How’s it going? Bolá is also frequently spelled as volá. ¿Qué bolero?/ ¿Qué bolaita?/ ¿Qué vuelta? – These are variants of the above for asking someone how they’re doing.
  • Asere – A friend, a dude. This is an informal way of addressing anyone, just like colega or amigo. So, “¿¿Asere, qué bolá??” finally makes perfect sense, right?
  • Yuma – This is a word used to describe a foreigner and especially a white or blonde one. It would usually not be used for foreigners from elsewhere in Latin America.
  • Gringo – This refers only to a person from the United States. Unlike in some other Latin American countries, this word isn’t used for Europeans.

  • Un mate – A French kiss.
  • ¡Tú maletín! – That’s your problem (literally, your briefcase)!
  • ¡Me resbala! – I don’t care (literally, it slides off me).
  • Mantén tu latón con tapa. – Keep a lid on it (literally, keep the lid on your trash).
  • ¡Chao pescao! ¡Adiós!
  • ¡Chao pescao!… ¡Y a la vuelta picadillo! – This cutesy two-person exchange of expressions is just like, “see you later alligator!” and “after a while crocodile!” It literally means, “goodbye, fish!” and “next time, minced meat!” It comes from the way that the first 15 days’ ration card of the month gives you fish, and the next time it gives you meat.

  • Nos pillamos – This is essentially saying “¡nos vemos!” or “see you later.” This phrase can be sexually suggestive, or not.
  • Tumba eso – Let the subject drop (literally, knock that over).
  • En talla – Literally this means “at the size,” and the closest English equivalent is “it’s a good fit.” It could mean that things literally or figuratively fit, or that people are understanding each other well or are in the know.
  • Me piro – I’m getting going, I’m out of here.
  • Jamar – To eat.
  • Jamar un cable – To be really struggling financially to get by, to be homeless, out of work, etc.

  • Surnar – To sleep deeply.
  • El chivo – The bicycle.
  • La pincha – The job.
  • Pinchar – To work (literally, to poke or stab).
  • El gao / El gabeto – Home.
  • Echar pila – To flirt.
  • Está volao – That’s amazing.
  • Prieto(a) – A black person. This word is considered to be more polite than negro.


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