Wally's
     Curtis Draves, Certified Spanish Interpreter and Translator

Wally's Dictionary of Argentine Colloquialism and Culture
A Collaborative Work in Progress K to P
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k  l
lágrima n steamed milk with a dash of espresso coffee Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme comida
m
mambo n (lit. a latin rhythm) confusion, craziness   irse/pasarse de mambo ( sobrepasarse) 'to go crazy, go off' Click on the Synonym to see it's definition zarparse   cortarle el mambo 'to destroy/ruin the mood' break a spell, mood, or atmosphere (usu. in a negative way) Click on the Synonym to see it's definition cortarle el rostro, bajar de un hondazo
mate nm   1 the tea-like Argentine drink: ¿Te gusta el mate? Do you like mate? ¿Querés un mate? Do you want to drink a mate?   2 the cup for drinking mate, traditionally a gourd but there are also various modern styles made of wood or metal   3 head Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme cuerpo   matear drink mate   mateada gathering of friends to drink mate   ¡Tomá mate! 'You don't say!, No kidding!'   Tomá mate y avivate 'Look alive, cheer up' can be used literally to offer the drink, or metaphorically Click on the Synonym to see it's definition ponerse las pilas | Click on the following for a pop-up box with related cultural or linguistic info mate
Visit www.yerba-mate.com for more info and to get some!
mear Use with some caution! 'to piss'   meado por los gatos (lit. pissed on by the cats) hexed, cursed, to have bad luck: Che, esta casa nos trajo nada más que problemas. Me parece que está meada por los gatos. Man, this house has caused nothing but problems. I think it's cursed. Click on the Synonym to see it's definition hacer pis
merienda n 'tea, snack' light meal around 5 or 6pm, usu. something similar to breakfast, e.g. café con leche, mate, or tea with facturas, sandwiches de miga, or tostados Note The general custom is to have a hearty lunch at midday, a snack later in the afternoon, then have dinner around 10. Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme comer
milonga n   1 musical genre and accompanying dance step, like a fast and lively tango   2 the place (bar, dance hall) or the dance event, usually tango interspersed with milonga | Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme tango
milonguear v   1 to dance the milonga   2 to dance   3 to go out, have fun, meet with friends | Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme tango
n
NN nm unknown, unregistered, anonymous person Note From the military dictatorship, whose victims were never identified. Click on the Synonym to see it's definition desaparecido Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme historia, persona
ñ
ñoqui n   1 Italian pasta made with flour, potato, and egg Note Argentine families traditionally eat ñoquis on the 29th of the month, probably a marketing gimmick invented by the pasta industry. The superstitious put a bill under their plate before digging in, thereby insuring better monetary fortunes in the month to come. Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme calendario Click on the following for a pop-up box with related cultural or linguistic info pasta   2 'slacker' someone who doesn't work or works less than their duty, but gets paid anyways Note This name was originally given to government employees who don't actually work in a job, but show up to collect the salary every 29th, sometimes holding several of these fictitious positions. Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme persona
o
ojo Most Frequently Used Slang exp (lit. eye)   1 ( cuidado) careful, watch out: Ojo, mi tío dice que es una truchada. I'd be careful if I were you, my uncle says it's a scam. Note This expression (and gesture) is common in both France and Italy. Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme gesto   2 ( sabés que) 'but, wait a minute, not so fast, you know what' don't jump to any conclusions, when something's not what it seems, or contradicts an assumption: Ojo, a veces cenamos antes. You know what, sometimes we eat dinner earlier.
p
patente   1 nf license (plate), of a vehicle Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme transporte   2 adv clearly Note A normal Spanish word as adjective, but the Argentines have a bad habit of turning adjectives into adverbs (Americans do the same, actually) see Grammar/Adverbs .
patovica nm   1 'hunk, buffed' muscular man   2 'bouncer' security guard for a nightclub | Note From the way overly-developed guys waddle like a duck (pato), combined with a brand name of poultry from the 60's. Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme persona, masculino
al pedoUse with some caution! 'farting around'   ser al pedo for no reason, a waste of time   estar al pedo 'hanging around/out, chilling out' relaxed state of social or recreational activity Note One might be tempted to confuse the two meanings of this expression, for example when seeing groups of kids hanging out on streetcorners and doorsteps all over the city on weekend or summer nights.
pelotasUse with some caution! n   hinchar/romper las pelotas to annoy, fool around: No me hinches las pelotas. Stop bugging me.   dar por las pelotas to be annoying, used for a general attitude, characteristic, or state: Ese tipo me da por las pelotas. That guy's super annoying. | Click on the following for a pop-up box with related cultural or linguistic info joder
pelotudoUse with extreme caution!!! n (lit. big-balled one)   idiot, 'shit-for-brains'   No seas tan pelotudo. Don't be such a shit-head.
Mario Pergolini prop Became famous as a DJ on the radio station Rock&Pop but rose to superstardom with his TV show Caiga Quien Caiga, a news format show full of comedy, political satire, and nauseous camera work. Now building a media empire with his own production studio. Smokes Phillip Morris cigarettes. See CQC Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme pop
quemarse las pestañas exp (lit. to burn one's eyelashes) 'to put one's nose to the grindstone' to study/work hard and long, usu. late into the night Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme escuela
a piaccere ital ( a gusto) to taste: condimentar a piaccere salt and pepper to taste Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme comer
pifiar Most Frequently Used Slang v ( errar) 'to goof' to err: ¡Cómo pifié! No me llama más, ésa. I seriously goofed, she won't call me now. Click on the Synonym to see it's definition cagar, mandarse una cagada/un moco, ensartarse, no embocar una, no dar pie con bola, no pegar una Click on the Antonym to see it's definition dar en la tecla Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme malo
pilas Most Frequently Used Slang n   1 batteries   2 energy, motivation Click on the Antonym to see it's definition fiaca   tener (las) pilas: No tengo pilas para ir a ningún lado. I don't have the energy to go anywhere. El chabón no tiene pilas para buscar laburo. This kid's not motivated to find work.   ponerse las pilas ( animarse): ¡Ponete las pilas! Get a move on! Get your act together! Click on the Synonym to see it's definition moverse las cachas   (estar) con todas las pilas 'hyped up, rarin' to go, on the move, wound up' excited
piola adjmf   1 ( vivo, astuto) 'with it, on the ball, in the know' clever, up to date, astute: Ese bar es muy piola, hay buena música en vivo pero se puede hablar tranquilo. That place is really well done, they have good live music but you can relax and talk no problem. Click on the Synonym to see it's definition pícaro, picarón, pillo, canchero   2 ( simpático) nice, friendly: Es muy piola el pibe. He's a good kid. Click on the Synonym to see it's definition macanudo   3 'cool' good, excellent Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme bueno   4 calm, relaxed, unperturbed Click on the Synonym to see it's definition tranquilo   5 n penis Click on the Synonym to see it's definition pija   hacerse el piola 'to make like' pretend to be clever   quedarse piola 'to be/stay/keep cool' stay relaxed, in control, confident, not do anything (stupid): Ahí viene la yuta. Quedate piola y no levantes la botella. Here comes the cops. Stay cool and don't lift the bottle up. | Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme persona
pochoclo n ind ( palomitas de maiz) popcorn Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme comida
posta adj,adv lunf Note From the Italian adverb apposta meaning appropriately, suitably. Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme bueno, mentir   1 'for real' the real thing, not fake Click on the Antonym to see it's definition trucho   2 excellent   3 good quality Click on the Synonym to see it's definition jamón del medio   batir la posta to tell the truth   tener la posta to be sure Click on the Synonym to see it's definition tener la precisa
pucha int 'shoot, heck, darn': ¡La gran pucha! Gosh darnit! hvyClick on the Synonym to see it's definition puta Click on the Keyword to see a list of slang related by that idea or theme puteada
pucho n ind Note From the Quechua púchu meaning waste.   1 ( residuo) waste, what's left or remaining   2 'butt' cigarette Click on the Synonym to see it's definition cigarro, faso, careta   de a puchos ( poco a poco) little by little   sobre el pucho ( al instante) right away Note Refering to lighting a new cigarette with the butt of the one just finished.

Last updated 12/5/2005
Copyright Curtis Draves 2005. All rights reserved.