Barranquilla

¡Cipotúo!: something really big. My personal dictionary

La inglesa Julia les muestra a los extranjeros cómo se pueden defender en la Costa Caribe.

Julia My Dictionary

Before anyone goes complaining, though, I better issue a disclaimer: no, I have not yet visited the Paisa region.

Foto:
11 de abril 2018 , 04:14 p.m.

As the weeks race past me, I am very slowly starting to get the feeling that my Spanish ability might actually be improving! It’s difficult to explain the sense of satisfaction, a little bit like a ‘lightbulb’ moment, when I hop into a taxi and can note the number of words that six weeks ago I wouldn’t have had a chance of understanding.

That is, until it comes to conversing with the costeños. Honestly, I could count the number of times on one hand that I haven’t started my morning off by asking a costeño colleague to repeat themselves. Of course, it’s only ever after finally giving up that I realise they were asking how my weekend went… and so ensues half an hour of intense blushing and embarrassment-induced nausea.

This does all have an advantage, though: maybe because I’m forced to listen so much harder in these situations, I’ve managed to pick up a good few phrases of theirs.

And funnily enough, I’m off to the Caribbean coast this weekend, so I look forward to putting a few of these into practice – ‘aguacatao’ and ‘¡nooombe!’ in particular – and probably getting plenty of ‘even-my-grandmother-has-stopped-saying-that’ looks. I reckon it’s worth a try.

Un aguacatao’: Controversial for all the Europeans convincing themselves of the complexity of the avocado’s flavour, this is used to describe someone as a ‘bore’.

¡Ajá! : A short, informal greeting.

¡A ñoñi! : ‘Yeah, of course!’

Atarbán: Someone who’s brusque or blunt.

¡A vaina! : An exclamation used to congratulate someone on their achievement.

Un bollo: A very attractive person. Oi oi.

Recocha / Bololó : A mess or fight.

Burro: Someone who smokes marijuana. Goodness! I’m yet to meet one of those.

Un chócoro: used to refer to something you can’t remember the name of - like ‘thing(y)’, etc. in English.

El cucayo: a side dish made out of the rice leftovers mixed with meat sauce.

Cuji: ‘Stingy’.

Entrompar: To smooch/kiss/canoodle: you name it.

La esnaqui: A corner – any of the more astute Spanish-speakers amongst you will note that this is an anagram of the word ‘esquina´.

Mamar gallo: to pull someone’s leg.

Estar mondao/pelá: To be ‘broke’. Where did I overhear this phrase? Amongst a group of whining students, of course.

Nombe: ‘No’ + ‘hombre’ = ¡Nooombe! The more ‘o’s involved, the more heightened the sense of disagreement!

Un parampanpam: A job that seems to be completed well but which is actually botched. Wish I’d had the guts to use this when I left the hairdresser the other day, crying inside.

Cipotúo/mamellúo: Something really big!

Vacile: A popular, well-liked style which covers fashion, character traits and the like.

¡Yerda! : An abbreviation of the very long word, ‘mierda’, this is used to exclaim shock! Cheeky!

Stay tuned for next week’s equally confused instalment of my Colombianismos: Santander Edit.


JULIA LARKIN
Especial para EL TIEMPO

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