7 junio, 2024

The 73 Most Typical Colombian Phrases

I leave you a list of typical Colombian phrases that are heard regularly in the towns and cities of this country. Among them stand out rumbiar, to order, ready, a fourteen, muddy, be swallowed, among others.

The Spanish spoken in Colombia is a set of varieties that include accents and words typical of this country. In popular culture it is common to use jargon to refer to situations of daily life.

Many characteristic expressions of a particular region have expanded to become understood throughout the entire country. Every conversation in a social situation is full of typical phrases, idioms and expressions. Many of these do not follow the rules of Spanish, but are socially accepted by the people.


Typical words of Colombia according to the context


poles: Pola is a word used to refer to a beer in the context of friends. La Pola was a popular beer named after the popular heroine of Colombian independence, Policarpa Salavarrieta. This brand no longer exists, but its name remained in the lexicon of Colombians.

rumbiar: rumbiar or rumbear is the verb derived from the word rumba, which is why it is used to express the act of going out to a party to have fun.

Rumba: rumba is the word used to describe the party itself. It is generally used in the phrase «The rumba is good!» to express how much fun they are having at the event.

Monkey: Changó is a word used only in the city of Cali, capital of the department of Valle del Cauca. The name comes from a famous salsa club that was located in the city. The caleños use this word as a synonym for the verb to dance, regardless of the fact that this is not the club they are going to.

Touch: a touch refers to a concert given by a small band, generally in small locations.

To be turned on – I turn on: yese is used to describe a person who has been drinking alcohol and is only mildly intoxicated.

Jincho/Jincha: used to describe a person who is completely drunk and has started to lose his faculties because of it.

Guava: the hangover is the state after being jincho or drunk and is known as a hangover. It is characterized by a strong malaise accompanied by migraine.

Guaro: Guaro is the popular name given to brandy, which is an alcoholic beverage that is produced from the distillation of cane and has a strong anise flavor. There are several popular brands according to the region, but the most popular is the one produced in the department of Antioquia.

a gush: A shot is one shot of an alcoholic beverage, or it can refer to the entire bottle of the liquid. It is used in phrases like: “Give me a chorro de guaro” (Give me a drink of brandy).

Guachafita: synonymous with partying or where there is a lot of fuss and disorder.


Partner – Partner: parcero or simply parce, is the way to call a friend or an acquaintance in Colombia. However, it is used to call anyone who has just met. Typical of the Antioquia region.

Whoops!: is a contraction of «What happened?». It is used simply to greet an acquaintance. It can be accompanied by «parce» when greeting a friend.

My Key – Keychain – Keychain: the key is a close friend, with whom you tend to spend time until it becomes an inseparable friendship.

The patch: the patch is the denomination for a group of friends. This word is generally used when said group is going to some event or to make an exit.

Patch: is the verb derived from the word patch and means to hang out with a group of friends. It also describes the very act of maintaining a friendship with someone. Dispatched is another derivative term and means to be bored or have nothing to do.

Love life

be swallowed: is the state of a person when they are completely in love with another. It is generally used when this love has not yet been declared, but also when it has already been reciprocated.

roost: is the verb used to refer to a man who is courting a woman, but not in a very delicate way.

Fall:the verb to fall in this context means to start courting a woman. It’s starting to show signs of interest you have in someone.

snuggle up: to snuggle or shrink next to someone or something. It can be cuddling as a couple in bed.

On the street

To the order: is a phrase related to services that have been or are to be acquired. As a question it works before the service by the person who offers it: “To order? Or as an exclamation works after the service by the person who offered it: “To order!

Street vendors continually repeat this phrase to attract the attention of passers-by.

Luke: It is the name to denominate the local currency that is the peso. Example: 1000 Lucas (1000 pesos).

Ticket:is the word used to describe paper money, but in Colombia it is used in its singular form to refer to a person’s wealth status. Example: «That man has a lot of money» (That man has a lot of money). It can also be used as an adjective: “billetudo” (with a lot of money).

chuspa: is the term used to refer to a plastic bag.

Pot: is the term used in Colombia to refer to shady places in large cities, commonly associated with low-income neighborhoods and the sale of drugs.

the tombos: This is what low-ranking police officers are called.

open up!: Open (se) is a verb used in a derogatory tone to signal the end of an association. It can be used in the first person: «I open myself» (I’m leaving); or is used to sue another person: «Open up» (Get out).

give papaya: describes the act of exposing oneself to a dangerous situation knowing that this could happen. It is generally used in the phrase “No dar papaya” (Do not give reasons for…). An example of this situation could be wearing valuable jewelry in plain sight while walking through a dangerous neighborhood.

The saying «A papaya split…papaya served» describes that sometimes people simply take advantage of situations if everything is set up to happen that easily.

toad: A sapa person is one who cannot keep a secret or who, upon seeing an irregular situation, simply goes before an authority to report it.

i drop you: the verb to fall in this context is used to say that a person appears in a place or in a situation. Example: «Tomorrow I’m going to drop my friend» (Tomorrow I’m going to go to where my friend lives).

mechato: snacks that are usually consumed between meals or during a trip. They can be candy, chips or the like.

make a cow: carry out a collection of money for people most in need.

Other expressions

Chimba!:Depending on the use, this word can have several meanings:

What a chimba! (great, amazing)
Something well chimbo (Something cheap, poorly made)
The chimba! (I didn’t expect it, by no means)

What Gonorrhea!: Not used in a medical context, it can take on several meanings:

What Gonorrhea! (Yuck, I can’t see that)
Hey Gonorrhea. (Hey friend) Depending on the tone and the situation it can be friendly or an insult.

It’s a note!: is an adjective used to describe a situation, person or object that stands out in a good way.

Paila!: used to describe a situation that is going wrong or to announce a negative response to a request.

«What a paila!» (How awful!)
«- Can you lend me money? – Paila, I don’t have.» (- Can you lend me money? – Wrong, I don’t have it.)

be flies!: being flies is a warning to point out that you have to be fast and be aware of a situation.

Batteries!: used in a similar way to “estar mosas” it can mean to be attentive to some situation. It can also be used to say that you have to be full of energy in front of some event.

wow!:used to describe an amazing situation or one that required a lot of effort to achieve.

a fourteen: is a phrase used to refer to a favor. Example: «Make me a fourteen» (Do me a favor).

suck cock: verb used to describe the act of joking or spending time doing nothing.

chiviado: adjective used to describe objects of well-known brands that have been counterfeited.

junk: a gadget is a word used to describe objects that are not used or that are in the way somewhere.

chucha: la chucha is the name used for the bad smell coming from a person’s armpits due to not bathing or not using deodorant products.

pecueca: is the name used for the bad smell coming from the feet of a person caused by lack of cleanliness or the presence of fungus.

Gross!:Guacala is a word used to express disgust or repulsion for some object, person or situation.

chichi: Chichí is the word used, generally by children, to say that they have to urinate. Example: «I have chichí» (I have to urinate).

One cake: A bun is a word used to refer to a portion of fecal matter. It can be used in phrases like “I don’t give a damn” (I don’t give a damn).

churrias: in the same way as bun, it is used to describe fecal matter, but in this case when the person is suffering from diarrhea.

Sheath: word used to describe any object, especially when you don’t have its name in mind or situations you have momentarily forgotten how to describe.

«What is that pod?» (What is that thing?)
“I put that scabbard on me.” (I put that thing on)

Foquiated: to be focused is to be plunged into a deep sleep product of a long day of effort.

Chinese: is a word used to refer to a small child.

Camel: a camel is used to talk about work itself or the act of working.

«I’m going to camel» (I’m going to work)
“I got myself a new dealer” (I got myself a new job)

a red:in Colombia it is a word widely used to talk about a cup of coffee.

Square up: verb that is used to describe situations in which it is necessary to plan a situation or agree to a deal.

Smear: verb to describe situations in which the person himself fails to achieve a result due to a mistake made. «I messed it up» (I made a mistake, I failed).

stop ball:This verb is used for situations in which you have to pay attention to a specific circumstance. In a loving context it also implies that a person has begun to show interest in another.

«For balls!» (Pay attention)
She is stopping me balls. (She is showing interest in me)

Crack: verb used for when a person is hit. It can also be turned into an adjective for a person who is mistreated due to a beating.

I screwed that man. (I hit that guy)
My friend is all screwed up. (My friend is all beat up)

What a jarter!: when someone or a thing generates boredom or annoyance.

What a jartera, there is nothing funny on television!
So much rain makes me jartera.

What video!: expression that is used when a strange, funny situation has occurred or that nobody expected.

various adjectives


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