10 Colombian slang expressions you should know and use

Are you an Erasmus student? Are you doing your professional internship? Are you a volunteer in a social project? Have you been working in Colombia for a while and haven’t heard about our most sacred phrase: “Don’t give Papaya”? Well, if you have, you might know what it means, if not, read me and discover the weirdest expressions we use in our daily life.

This is a list of the most used Colombian expressions:

1)“Me gustan las cuentas claras y el chocolate espeso”. Literal translation: I like clear accounts and thick hot chocolate. Colombians use this expression meaning we like honesty when speaking.

2) “Durmió conmigo anoche o qué, que ya no saluda?. Literal translation: Did you sleep with me last night? Why don’t you greet? This is a question used when someone enters to a place or conversation without greeting, this is considered disrespectful.

3) “Tengo un filo, que si me agacho me corto”. Literal translation: I have a blade, if I bend over I cut myself. This is very common between students, it means that you are very hungry!

4) “Uyy, ¿quién pidió pollo?. Literal translation: Uyy, who ordered chicken? This is a funny one, because I use it when I joke around with my friends and it’s used to flirt with a handsome/pretty (man or woman) who approaches to you or passes by.

5)“No me abra los ojos que no le voy a echar gotas”. Literal translation: Don’t open your eyes like that, I am not going to put eyedrops for you. We say that when someone looks at us in a very derogatory way.

6)“¿Usted qué come que adivina?”. Literal translation: What do you eat because you always guess? This is an expression when someone guesses what you are thinking or you are about to say.

7) “Mugre que no mata, engorda”. Literal translation: Dirtiness that doesn’t kill you, makes you fat. This is an approval expression, commonly used when someone drops food on the floor and picks it up and want to eat it no matter what; you says this phrase.

8) “El que tiene tienda que la atienda”. Literal translation: The one that owns a store, attend it. This means that you must be in charge of your own things.

 9) “Le cuento el milagro pero no el santo”. Literal translation:  Tell of the miracle, but not of the saint. People who gossip say this too often, and it means they are going to reveal to you something but you can’t know who was behind of it.

10) “Colgó los guayos”. Literal translation: Hang the soccer shoes. This expression refers to death. In soccer when someone dies, soccer shoes don’t belong to the owner anymore. In normal life, it means you are screwed, or death!

All these literal translations don’t make any sense, but they are funny when you try to say it and apply them in your daily life. If you are traveling around Bogotá and Colombia, make sure to use them so you get into our culture. Next time you hear these phrases you will recognize what Colombians are trying to say and you won’t be lost in a conversation.


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