Venezuelan Spanish

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Venezuelan Spanish (castellano venezolano or español venezolano) refers to the Spanish language as spoken in Venezuela.

Spanish was introduced in Venezuela by the conquistadors. Most of them were from Galicia, Basque Country, Andalusia, and the Canary Islands.[citation needed] Perhaps the latter has been the most fundamental influence on modern Venezuelan Spanish, to the point that Canarian and Venezuelan accents may seem indistinguishable to other Spanish speakers. Italian and Portuguese immigrants from the late 19th and early 20th century have also had an influence.

The Spaniards additionally brought African slaves. This is the origin of expressions such as chévere ("excellent"), which comes from Yoruba ché egberi. Other non-Romance words came from Native languages, such as guayoyo (a type of coffee) and caraota (common bean).

The Venezuelan "snob" (or "sifrino" in colloquial Venezuelan Spanish) accent is often thought of as the "pretty-boy/pretty-girl" or "boy band" accent of Spanish. This is hardly the case for the majority of spoken Venezuelan Spanish, widely ranging from its occasional formal form, to the more common—highly slang spiced—every day form, to the heavily "thug" or "thuggish" ("malandro" in Venezuelan Spanish) inflected manner, often found in the slums or "barrios" of the country.

Features[edit]

  • Venezuelan Spanish often shortens words, for example, changing para ("for") into pa. In addition, /d/ between vowels is often dropped (elision): helado ("ice cream") becomes [eˈlao]. Originally from southern Spain and the Canary Islands, these traits are common to many other Spanish variations.
  • Another common feature is the debuccalization of syllable-final /s/, whereby adiós ("goodbye") becomes [aˈðjoʰ]. Common to most coastal areas in America, the Canary Islands, and the southern half of Spain.
  • Syllable-final /n/-velarisation, or /n/-assimilation: ambientación /aNbi̯eNtaˈsi̯oN/ ("atmosphere") becomes either [ãmbjẽn̪t̪aˈsjõŋ] or [ãⁿbjẽⁿt̪aˈsjõⁿ].
  • As in most American versions of Spanish, also, Venezuelan Spanish has yeísmo (a merger of /ʎ/ and /ʝ/), and seseo (traditional /θ/ merges with /s/). That is, calló ("s/he became silent") and cayó ("s/he fell") are homophones, and casa ("house") is homophonous with caza ("hunt"). Seseo is common to all of America, the Canary Islands, and southern Spain, and yeísmo is prevalent in most Spanish variations.
  • The phoneme /x/ is realized as glottal [h] in Caribbean coast of Venezuela, in common with the pronunciation of El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, Spanish Caribbean islands, Canary Islands, and southern Spain.
  • A characteristic common to Spanish in Venezuela, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Costa Rica is the use of the diminutive -ico and -ica instead of the standard -ito and -ita, restricted to words with -t in the last syllable; for example, rata ("rat") becomes ratica ("little rat").
  • The second-person singular informal pronoun is usually , as in most of Latin America and also in Spain. This practice is referred to as tuteo. However, in Zulia and some parts of Falcón and Trujillo, it is common to find voseo, that is, the use of vos instead of . This phenomenon is present in many other Latin American variations (notably Rioplatense), but Zulian voseo is diptongado, that is, the conjugation preserves the diphthongs of the historical vos conjugation that have been monophthongized in Rioplatense (which means the Zulian forms are the same as those used in Spanish from Spain for the second person plural vosotros): instead of tú eres, tú estás, Zulian says vos sois, vos estáis (compare with plural forms in Spanish from Spain vosotros sois, vosotros estáis; and with Rioplatense forms vos sos, vos estás). Another exception to the tuteo of Venezuelan Spanish is the use of the second-person singular formal pronoun Usted interchangeably with , a practice that is unique to the states of Mérida, Táchira and Trujillo.[1] In general, the plural form of the second person is "ustedes" instead of "vosotros".
  • The word vaina is used with a variety of meanings (such as "shame", "thing or topic", "pity", and many others) and often as an interjection or a nonsensical filler.
  • Venezuelan Spanish has a lot of Italianisms, Galicisms and Anglicisms.

Regional variations[edit]

There are several sub-dialects within Venezuelan Spanish.

  • The Caracas dialect, spoken in the capital: is perceived and projected by the media to be the standard Spanish of Venezuela, with its variants generally related to the social classes found therein. It is mostly used in the capital, Caracas, and in other areas of the country such as Valencia.
  • The Zulian dialect in the north-west of the country, also called maracucho or marabino, which uses voseo.
  • The Lara dialect, where the Old Spanish verbal declensions -ades, -edes, -odes gave -ás, -és, and -Ós" [2] ("vos cantáis", "vos coméis", "vos sois").
  • The Andean dialect, in particular the state of Táchira near the Colombian border. It is characterized by a non-aspirated pronunciation of 's' and use of Usted instead of , even within informal contexts. Another variant, in the states of Mérida and Trujillo, still uses Usted instead of , but uses the aspirated pronunciation of the s.
  • The Margaritan dialect (oriental), spoken in Isla Margarita and in the north-east of mainland Venezuela. The Margaritan dialect presents sometimes an interdental when pronouncing pre-vowel 's' and use of a strong 'r' instead of 'l' in most of the words.

Some examples of Spanish words common in Venezuela, including some native Venezuelanisms (slang)[edit]

  • A mamar que llegó tío rico. = v. To prepare for a strength moment.
  • Achantado(a) = adj. (or Achanta'o/Achantá) A person of slow thought or slow reasoning. Someone passive, or lacking seduction skills.
  • Achicopalarse = v. To become sad or depressed.
  • Agarrado(a) = adj. Selfish. See Pichirre.
  • Agüevoniado(a) = adj. (or Agüevonia'o/Agüevonia'a). To be thinking slowly or with poor reasoning, being a sucker. "Ando agüevonia'o" (I didn't get that / I feel like a sucker). Mildly profane.
  • Alborotado(a) = adj. To be excited or in a frenzy.
  • Alzado(a) = adj. (or Alza'o/Alzá) Rebellious, haughty, insurgent. Lit. Lifted, raised.
  • Amapuche = n. A passionate demonstration of affection. A warm hug.
  • Amuñuñar = v. To tightly yet disorderly put things together.
  • Apapacho = n. A hug.
  • Arepa = n. Armpit sweat marks. In Baseball it can also mean a score of zero. Lit. Arepa. Mas fino.
  • Arrapado = adj. Excited (profane).
  • Arrecharse = v. To get angry (profane).
  • Arrecho(a) = adj. Superlative attribute for an object or situation, namely extremely good, bad or difficult (profane). There are differences if someone is arrecho(a) in a limited period of time (be angry) o if someone is arrecho(a) all the time (has a difficult character or personality). On the other hand, if something is arrecho, is very good. "Qué arrecha estuvo la fiesta" (how good was the party). It also has a superlative, "arrechísimo" (extremely good, bad or angry, depending of the context).
  • Arrecochinar = v. To gather people disorderly in a small space.
  • Arrocear = v. To turn up at a party without being invited.
  • Arrocero(a) = n. Party crasher.
  • Asalta-Cunas = n. (or Asaltacunas) Someone who likes to date or have sex with people who are significantly younger (+6 years age difference. May include people under legal age). Similar terms in English would be "Manther" (for men) or "Cougar (for women). Lit. "Cradle-Robber" or "Craddle-Snatcher".
  • Asalta-Mecedoras = n. (or Asaltamecedoras) Opposite of the term above. Lit. "Rocker-Robber" or "Rocker-Snatcher" (referring to a Rocking chair)
  • Baba = n. A baby/young alligator, caiman, or crocodile. Lit. Saliva.
  • Bachaco = n. A blond or redhead mulatto. Lit. Leafcutter ant.
  • Bajarse de la mula = exp. To pay for something. To be demanded for money. To be robbed. Lit. "To get off the mule".
  • Bájate de esa mata e' coco = exp. "Get your head out of the clouds". To get real. To focus and stop daydreaming. Lit. "Get off that coconut tree."
  • Bala fría = n. Junk food. A quick snack. Lit. "Cold bullet".
  • Balurdo(a) = adj. or n. (from French Balourd) An awkward or ridiculous person. A low-class person or behavior. See Chimbo
  • Barrio = n. Poor neighborhood. Often built upwards on hillsides, they are a distinct and noticeable feature of the landscape in large cities in Venezuela.
  • Barquilla = n. Ice cream cone.
  • Becerro(a) = n. A goofy person. A moron (mildly profane). Lit. Calf (animal). Example: "Si eres Becerro" = You're such a goofy.
  • Bicha = adj. A girl/woman of bitchy behavior, foxy lady, vixen.
  • Birra = n. Beer.
  • Biyuyo = n. Money. See Churupo and Real.
  • Bochinche = n. A gathering or noisy party. Disorder, chaos, but usually in a funny way. See Jodedera.
  • Boleta = adj. To be indiscreet. Example: "No seas boleta" = Don't be indiscreet. Used when someone indiscreetly looks at another person, or imprudently listens to someone else's conversation. Also means a grade, mark, qualification. A description for some people who dress and talk in a marginal way. See Tuki, Tierrúo. Lit. Ticket, note.
  • Bolo = n. A single unit of Venezuelan currency. Similar to calling the U.S. Dollar a "buck."
  • Bolsa = n. (or Bolsiclón) A moron. Lit. Bag.
  • Broma = n. A thing. Lit. Joke. Example: "Sólo agarra esa broma y vámonos" = Just take that thing and let's go. Also, it can be used as a synonym (and a less "harsh" version) for "Vaina" (See Vaina).
  • Bucear = v. To ogle discreetly. To peep furtively. Lit. To skin dive.
  • Bululú = n. A fuss. A place in which there is a noisy crowd, and not always partying.
  • Burda = adv. or adj. (superlative) Very much. Example: "Caminamos burda" = We walked a lot. "Ella es burda de linda" = She's very pretty.
  • Buzo = n. Peeper. Lit. Diver.
  • Cachapera = n. A lesbian (pejorative). Lit. Woman who makes Cachapas.
  • Cacharro = n. Old, worn out vehicle. A piece of junk.
  • Cachicamo = n. Armadillo.
  • Cachúo(a) = adj. (or Cachudo(a)) Someone who has been cheated on by his partner. Lit. with horns (See Cuckold.) In Zulia, "being cachúo" is having an erection. (profane).
  • Cacri = n. A Mongrel (that usually is a stray dog as well). The term is a mix between "Callejero" (stray) and "Criollo" (see Criollo) and derives from the fact that there are a lot of stray dogs and mixed-breed dogs in Venezuela.
  • Caerse a palos = exp. To engage in heavy drinking. To get drunk. Lit. "To fall with sticks". See "Palos".
  • Cagón(a) = adj. Coward or Fearful person (profane). Lit. Shitter.
  • Calarse = v. To tolerate something bad.
  • Calienta-huevo = adj. (or Calienta-güevo) A person (usually female) that insinuates sexual interest but at the end doesn't do anything (profane).
  • Caligüeva = n. Boredom (mildly profane).
  • Cambur = n. A well remunarated job in government. Lit. Banana.
  • Caña = n. Booze, an alcoholic drink. Also, it's often referred as "curda".
  • Carajo(a) = n. A person (profane). Lit. Crow's nest.
  • Carajazo = n. See Coñazo (profane).
  • Carajito(a) = n. A kid (sometimes pejorative. Profane). Diminutive of "Carajo".
  • Caraotas = n. Beans. In Venezuela, Caraotas are black by default. Should beans be of a different color, the name of the color must be used. Example: "Caraotas blancas" = white beans, "Caraotas rojas" = red beans.
  • Cartuchera = n. A Pencil case. Lit. "Cartridge belt" or "Cartridge box".
  • Catire(a) = adj. or n. Generic for a beer. Also a nickname for the Sun. Derived from the literal meaning of catire/catira as blond man/blonde woman.
  • Cazón = n. Young shark. Lit. School shark
  • Chalequeo = n. Persistent taunt or mockery.
  • Chalequear = v. To (continuously) mock or taunt someone for an indefinite period of time.
  • Chamo(a) = n. Boy/girl. With suffix -ito: a kid; also means son or daughter. Venezuelans are well known among Spanish speakers for their love and constant use of this word, which is used repeatedly in the same fashion as the American slang dude.
  • Chao = exp. (from the Italian "ciao") To bid farewell, similar to "bye".
  • Chaparro = n. Slang for penis. See Güevo and Piripicho. Lit. Short person, shorty.
  • Chévere = adj. Fine, cool.
  • Chencho(a) = n. See Tierruo(a).
  • Chimbo(a) = adj. Lousy. Of low quality. Bootleg. Ill made. Fake. Uncool.
  • Chinchorro = n. A Hammock.
  • Chino(a) = n. Andean expression for a boy or girl, particularly in the Trujillo State. Lit. Chinese person.
  • Chiripiolca = n. When a person is restless, anxious or nervous. Mostly refers when someone suddenly get mad or crazy. Example: "Le dió la chiripiolca" = She/he gets crazy.
  • Chivo = n. The Boss, someone at a high position in an organization. Lit. Goat. Example: "El Chivo que más mea" (The goat that pisses the most) = the most important person.
  • Chulo = n. Person who lives from/takes advantage from others, often financially. Lit. Pimp.
  • Chupi-Chupi = n. (Also Chupichupi or Chupi Chupi) A water-based frozen snack in a plastic tube, a Freezie.
  • Chupón = n. A Pacifier. A hickey. Lit. Sucker.
  • Churupo = n. Money.
  • Chola = n./adj. Flip-flops/Slippers. Accelerator pedal. Also means "speedy", for example: "Dale chola!" (Hurry up!!) or "Yo iba demasiado chola" (I was going too fast). A popular radio personality in Venezuela has the nickname "Full Chola" (Speedy)
  • Choro(a) = n. Thief, robber (pejorative).
  • Cocoya = n. Vagina. See Totona.
  • Coger cola pa'l (para el) cielo = exp. To masturbate (only used for male masturbation. Profane). Lit. "Hitchhike to heaven".
  • Conejo(a) = n. A naive person. Lit. "Rabbit".
  • Coñazo = n. A violent hit or strike (profane). It can also mean a lot of when used with the preposition de. Example: "Había un coñazo de gente en la fiesta" (There were lots of people at the party).
  • Coñito(a) = n. A kid (profane), mainly used in Zulia.
  • ¡Coño! = exp. "Damn!" or "Fuck!" (profane, widely used).
  • Coño de madre = n. A rotten bastard. (profane). Lit. "His mother's cunt".
  • ¡Coño de la madre! = exp. "Oh, my fucking God!", used to denote high frustration and anger (very profane). Lit. "Mother's cunt!"
  • Compinche = n. Partner, friend, buddy. See Pana.
  • Contorno = n. A side dish. From Italian.
  • Coroto(s) = n. Stuff, belongings. Word derives from Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot's last name.
  • Costilla = n. An affectionate way of a person to refer to a very close friend. Lit. Rib.
  • Cotorra = n. A lie. See Embuste. Lit. Parrot. Chatterbox.
  • Cotufas = n. Popcorn.
  • Creerse la gran vaina = exp. To be arrogant. Example: "Ella se cree la gran vaina" = She's so full of herself.
  • Criollo(a) = n. A local. A native of Venezuela. Something typically native. Lit. Creole.
  • Cuaima = n. A very jealous/possessive and untrusting wife/girlfriend. Lit. Bushmaster (a kind of poisonous snake).
  • Cuca = n. Vagina (profane). See Pepita.
  • Cuchi = adj. Cute, nice, pretty.
  • Culo = n. A young attractive person that one would usually date, go out with or have sex with (profane). Lit. Ass.
  • Culillo = n. Lots of fear (profane). Lit. Small Ass.
  • Curdo = adj. Drunk. See Rascado(a).
  • Dar pao-pao = exp. To beat-up or spank someone. It's mostly used as a warning to disobedient or rude children.
  • De pana = exp. Seriously. For real.
  • De pinga = exp. Cool, superb, excellent (profane). See Pepiado.
  • Echarle bolas = exp. Put a lot of effort on something.
  • Echarle los perros a alguien = exp. (or Echar los perros) To flirt with someone. Lit. "To throw the dogs at someone".
  • Echón(a) = adj. Arrogant.
  • Embuste = n. A lie.
  • Embustero(a) = n. A liar.
  • Empate = n. Romantic relationship. Lit. Tie, draw.
  • Enchivarse = v. To borrow something (usually clothes).
  • Epa/Épale = exp. Hi or Hello (informal greeting; "What's up"). Close to the Lit. Hey.
  • Estar cagado(a) = exp. To be scared (mildly profane). Lit. "To be shitted".
  • Estar empatado(a) = exp. To be in a relationship. Lit. "To be tied".
  • Estar encarpado = exp. (Also as a verb; Encarparse) To have an erection. Derives from "carpa" (tent). It is an equivalent of the expression "To pitch a tent".
  • Estar fregado(a) = exp. To be screwed. Lit. "To be scrubbed".
  • Estar mosca = exp. To be alert. Lit. "To be fly".
  • Estar salado(a) = exp. To have bad luck. Lit. "To be salty".
  • Fajado(a) = n. Someone who works pretty hard/much on something. No matter if it's weekend or holiday, this person will work anyways. See Fajarse.
  • Fajarse = v. (or Estar fajado(a)) To focus and work the hardest on something until getting it done. Example: "¡Tienes que fajarte con eso!" = You have to work very hard on that!
  • Faramallero = n. an overconfident and presumptuous person.
  • Fino = n. Fine. adjective. Example: "Eso esta fino" = that is fine.
  • Filo = n. Hunger. Lit. Edge. Example: "Llevo el filo parejo" = it does not has translation but it is like saying "I'm very hungry".
  • Firi-Firi = n. (Also Firifiri or Firi Firi) A very skinny, weak or malnourished person (Somewhat pejorative).
  • Flaco(a) = n. A slim or skinny person (Usually used in an affective way).
  • Flaquito(a) = n. Diminutive of Flaco(a).
  • Franela = n. T-shirt.
  • Fregar = v. To suffer the consequences of a wrong decision. To annoy. To kill. To scrub.
  • Fumado(a) = adj. or n. Stoned. Crazy, disheveled, difficult to understand. Lit. past participle of the verb "fumar", to smoke.
  • Gafo(a) = adj. or n. Dumb or stupid, comes for the Italian word "cafone" or "gavone" which means dumb peasant.
  • Gago(a) = n. Stammerer, stutterer.
  • Gargajo = n. Spit, a loogie.
  • Gocho(a) = adj. or n. A native of the Andean parts of Venezuela, particularly the states of Mérida, Táchira or Trujillo.
  • Golilla = adj. or n. Thing of low commercial value, easy to buy or acquire (colloquial form of the word cheap). Example: "¡qué barato, una golilla!" = what a bargain, that is so cheap!.
  • Gordo(a) = n. A chubby or fat person (Usually used in an affective way).
  • Gordito(a) = n. Diminutive of Gordo(a)
  • Gringo(a) = n. American (of the USA).
  • Guachicón = n. (Northeastern Venezuelan usage) An athletic shoe, sneaker.
  • Guachimán = n. A vigilant o guard. Derived from "watchman".
  • Guáramo = n. Iron will. Courage.
  • Guaro = n. A native of Lara state.
  • Guasa = n. To make fun of something or someone.
  • Guasacaca = n. A sauce made from avocados and spices. Resembles Mexican Guacamole.
  • Guate = n. Excrement (mildly profane).
  • Guayabo = n. To be romantically disillusioned. To have the Blues. Lit. Tree of the guava fruit.
  • Guayoyo = n. Slightly watered down black coffee, commonly served after meals.
  • Güevo = n. Dick, penis. Nuisance (profane). Derives from Huevo (Egg). See Pipe.
  • Háblame el mío/Háblame la mía = exp. Similar to "What's up?" or "What's going on?". Lit. Talk to me dude/Talk to me girl. Used only by marginal people.
  • Huevón(a) (or Güevón(a)) = n. Sucker, asshole, stupid (profane). Can also be used for the Spanish equivalent for "dude".
  • Huevonada (or Güevonada) = n. See Mariquera (profane).
  • Huele-Verga = n. See Huevón.
  • Igualado(a) = adj. A demeaning term to describe someone who pretends to be of a superior financial/intellectual level than the person really is.
  • Jala-Bola = n. (or Jalabola) Ass-kisser (mildly profane). See below.
  • Jalar Bola = v. To abuse flattering. Sweet talking, intended to get benefit from someone with selfish purposes. Similar to the expression "scratch your back" (mildly profane). Lit. To Pull Ball.
  • Jamón = n. A French kiss. Something very easy to do. A nice girl. Lit. Ham
  • Jamoneo = n. French kissing. Also used as a verb ("Jamonear" or "Jamonearse").
  • Jeva = n. Woman.
  • Joda = n. Joke.
  • Jodedera = n. Mockery. When a bunch people get together and act foolishly or play pranks on a person/another group of people (mildly profane).
  • Jodido = adj. Difficult (mildly profane). See Pelúo(a)
  • Lacra = n. See Rata
  • Ladilla = adj. or n. Something annoying or boring. A boring or annoying person (mildly profane). Lit. Crab louse.
  • Lambucio(a) = n. A glutton. Someone who requests food or goods in a rude way.
  • Lala= bored
  • Lata = n. Kiss on the mouth/lips. Lit. Can. Also used as an expression: "Darse latas" or "Darse las latas" (Lit. "to give each other the cans") which means "To make out".
  • La Pelona = n. An impersonation of death. The Grim Reaper. Example: A Juana le apareció La Pelona.
  • Lechúo(a) = adj or n. (or Lechudo(a)) Lucky.
  • Lomito = adj or n. Cut of beef (Tenderloin). Also used to connote very high quality, or the best one among a group. Example "(Eso es) puro lomito".
  • Macundales = n. Gear, stuff, personal belongings. Derived from the brand "Mac and Dale" (a belt to carry tools used by the oil industry workers in Venezuela). See Corotos.
  • Malandro(a) = n. Gangster, thug, thief, burglar, robber.
  • Mamar = v. (As a verb) To be penniless. Example: "Estar Mamando". (As an adjective) To be tired. Example: "Estar Mamado". Lit. "To Suck".
  • Mamahuevo = n. (or Mamagüevo) Cocksucker. A Fluffer (profane).
  • Mamapipe = See above.
  • Mamarracho(a) = n. Someone who makes things of a very bad quality.
  • Mamarrachada = n. Something done/made in a messy or poor way.
  • Mamar gallo = exp. To trick, fool or tease someone. Lit. "To suck rooster".
  • Mamita = n. (or Mamacita) An attractive woman/young woman. Also used as a synoym of "mami" (mommy).
  • Mamón = n. Mamoncillo.
  • Manganzón(a) = n. A lazy person.
  • Maracucho(a) = n. (or Marabino(a)) A native of Maracaibo or its neighborhoods.
  • Marico = n. Commonly used as 'dude' between friends. 'Marica' may also be used between girl friends (profane/pejorative). Lit. Gay man (slur).
  • Mariquera = n. (or Maricada) A little thing. A non-transcendental fact. A synonym for Vaina (mildly profane).
  • Matar un tigre = exp. To moonlight. To have a temporary job. Lit. "To kill a tiger".
  • Matraquear = v. To blackmail, to demand compensation in exchange of something, especially by corrupt cops.
  • Mente-Pollo(a) = n. (or Mentepollo(a)) A dumb or immature person. Lit "Chicken-Minded".
  • Merengada = n. A Milkshake.
  • Meter casquillo = exp. To stir up trouble or drama, usually by "planting" malicious gossips and rumors.
  • Mojón = n. A piece of defecation. A lie (mildly profane).
  • Mojonero(a) = n. Liar. Person who propagates "mojones" (mildly profane). See above.
  • Moreno(a) = n. Someone who has tan skin. When the person has a light tan or olive skin, this is usually referred to as "Trigueño(a)", which derives from "trigo" (wheat). "Morena" also means "Moray eel". Lit. Brunet/Brunette.
  • Musiú = n. (from French Monsieur) A foreigner. A white person from a non-Hispanic country. Used to describe someone not familiar with local Venezuelan customs, awkward. "Hacerse el musiú" ("pass as a foreigner") is an expression used when someone pretends that he/she does not understand a situation to avoid involvement.
  • ¡Na' Guará! = exp. An expression to denote surprise, bewilderment. Most commonly used in Lara state.
  • Negrear = v. To treat someone badly, to forget or exclude somebody, as an allusion to when black people were victims of racism. Despite its origin, nowadays the term has no racist undertone. Any person can say the word to another one regardless of the color of their skin. Example: "Me negrearon" = They excluded me. Derives from "negro" (black).
  • Nevera = n. Refrigerator. Derived from the first brand of refrigerators "New-Era".
  • Niche = adj. See "Chimbo(a)". Of low class.
  • No joda = exp. (or Nojoda). Venezuelan equivalent of the English curse word "Goddammit" (profane).
  • Nota = n. Something nice, neat, or pleasant. A drug trip, to be "high". Lit. Note. Verbal form: Ennotarse.
  • O sea = exp. A form to say whatever or "I mean". A filler word. Lit. Or Like,. Example: "¿O sea, cómo lo hicíste?" (Like, how'd you do it!?).
  • Paja = n. Bullshit. "Hablar Paja" = to bullshit someone. "Hacerse la paja" = to masturbate (profane). Lit. Hay, straw.
  • Pajizo(a) = adj. (from Paja) Someone who masturbates a lot (profane). Lit. "Wanker".
  • Pajúo(a) = n. A loose synonym for Pendejo or Güevón (mildly profane).
  • Paisano = n. From the Italian "Paesano", meaning a Venezuelan or Italian (or southern European). Abbreviated as Paisa usually refers to a native of Colombia.
  • Paliza = n. Beating. See Rumba de Coñazos. See also Rumba de Palos.
  • Palo = n. Alcoholic beverage. Lit. Stick. Example: "¡Tómate un palito, pues!" = Have a little drink (then)!
  • Palo de agua = n. Torrential rain. Lit. Stick of water.
  • Pana = n. Friend, buddy, dude. Mostly applied to men. Interchangeable with Chamo. Lit Corduroy
  • Pantallear: v. To lavishly flash oneself or anything of value. Derived from "pantalla" (screen).
  • Pantallero: n. A show-off. See above.
  • Paño = n. Towel.
  • Papeado = adj. Of muscular build. Buff. Derives from "papa" (potato).
  • Papear = v. To eat.
  • Papito = n. (or Papacito) An attractive man/young man. Also used as a synoym of "papi" (daddy).
  • Papo n. Vagina (mildly profane).
  • Parcha/Parchita= n. Gay man (slur). Lit. Passion fruit.
  • Pargo = n. Gay man (slur). Lit. Red Snapper.
  • Pasapalo = n. Appetizer. Snack. Hors d'oeuvres.
  • Pastelero: n. A betrayer, double-crosser.
  • Pato = n. Gay man (slur). Lit. Duck. Possibly, It derives from the Duck test
  • Pava = n. Bad luck, ill omen.
  • Pavo(a) = adj. or n. Trendy or well dressed adolescent, kid, youngster. Lit. Turkey.
  • Peaje = n. Illegal fee. Lit. Toll. See also Bajarse de la mula.
  • Pelando bola = v. (in the continuous tense.) To be out of money or with nothing to do/bored. Lit. Peeling ball
  • Pelón(a) = n. Someone who has bad aim. Lit. Bald.
  • Pelúo(a) = adj. (or Peludo(a)) Hard, very difficult. Lit. Hairy.
  • Peluquearse = v. To go to a salon and get your hair fixed/styled.
  • Pendejo(a) = adj. or n. A pushover. See Huevón.
  • Pendejada = n. See Mariquera.
  • Peorro(a) = adj. Mediocre, inferior (mildly profane).
  • Pepiado adj. (or Pepeado) Cool, superb, excellent.
  • Pepa = n. Seed.
  • Pepita = n. Vagina (profane). Lit. Seed. Nugget.
  • Perico = n. Venezuelan-style scrambled eggs. Also used to describe cocaine. Lit. Parakeet.
  • Perinola = n. Cup-and-ball toy.
  • Perol = n. A coroto, a kettle.
  • Picado(a) = adj. Ticked off, feeling upset (most likely after being insulted or proven wrong) while at the same time hiding or denying the feeling. Lit. Stung.
  • Picar = verb. To say or do something that would lead a person to become "Picado" o "Picada". Also, eat a snack. Lit. Sting, or Slice.
  • Pichirre = adj. Selfish, stingy, miser, cheap.
  • Pinga = n. See below.
  • Pipe = n. Dick, Penis (profane). See Güevo.
  • Pipirisnais = adj. (Also Pipirisnice or Pipirisnai) A very cool or skilled person. Example: "Él se cree un pipirisnais" = He thinks he's so cool.
  • Pipi Frío = exp. (or Pipe Frío) Someone that has been single or haven't had sex for a long time. Someone lacking social skills or uninteresting. Lit. "Cold Penis".
  • Piripicho = n. Penis.
  • Plaga = n. A mosquito. A swarm of mosquitoes. A mischievous person, a pest. (See Rata). Lit. Plague.
  • Planetario(a) = adj. Crazy, insane. "No soy loco, soy planetario" (I'm not crazy, I'm planetary), became a popular catch-phrase after it was used by a patient in a mental institute during the filming of a documentary.
  • Pollo(a) = n. A childish, naive or immature person. Lit. Chicken.
  • Polvo = n. Coitus. Copulation. Lit. Dust.
  • Ponsigué = n. Ber.
  • Puta = n. Used in many cases to mean slut. Lit. whore, prostitute (profane).
  • Qué Raya = exp. (or Qué Rayón) "How embarrassing" or "That's so embarrassing".
  • Queso = n. Sexual drive, Lust. Mostly applied to men. Lit. Cheese. Example: "Tengo queso" = I'm horny.
  • Quesúo(a) = adj. (or Quesudo(a)) Horny, lustful.
  • Rabipelado = n. Opossum.
  • Rancho = n. A precarious makeshift home found in barrios made out of whatever the builder may find, including cardboard, wood, metal rods, zinc sheets. These have a tendency to evolve into brick houses and often 3-story buildings as the owner acquires more materials. Lit. Ranch.
  • Rascado(a) = adj. Drunk.
  • Raspar = v. To fail a course, exam or subject. Example: ¡Chamo, raspé Inglés! = Dude, I failed English!. Lit. To scrape/scratch.
  • Rata = n. An evil or treacherous person. Lit. Rat.
  • Ratón = n. Hung over Lit. Mouse. Example: "Tengo ratón" = I've got a hangover.
  • Real = n. (or Rial) Money.
  • Rico(a) = adj. or n. An attractive person. Delicious, pleasurable. Lit. Rich.
  • Rumba = n. A party. Also used as a verb ("Rumbear").
  • Rumba de Coñazos = exp. To violently and exaggeratedly hit or strike for a while (profane). Example: "¡Te voy a dar una rumba de coñazos!" = I'm gonna kick your ass!/I'm gonna kill you! See Salita.
  • Rumba de Palos = exp. To be beaten up. In a sports context, whenever a team wins over another with a large score.
  • Rumbero(a) = n. A partygoer.
  • Sacar la piedra = exp. To bother or exasperate someone.
  • Salita = n. A violent game, bullying method or hazing ritual that goes like this: A bunch of people (usually males) get together, then discreetly select a person as a "target" or "victim" (male, most of the time) and set a word/gesture as a signal. Next, They follow, pretend or trick the person so They get close to him/her. After that, one of them gives the signal and They start to repeatedly smack the "target" for a short period of time (between 3 and 15 seconds) until They just stop or the person either defends him/herself or runs away.
  • Santamaría = n. Rollup metal fence that covers the front part of a store when closed.
  • Sapo = n. A snitch, informer. Lit. Toad.
  • Ser pila = exp. (or Ser pilas) To be smart.
  • Sifrino(a) = adj. A wealthy, snobby, arrogant person. adj. Posh, applied to people and things, such as an accent or clothes. In the case of people, They're usually teenagers. Also, Is somewhat common for them to use Spanglish, the term "O Sea" and some demeaning gestures such as the L on conversations.
  • Tequeño = n. A deep-fried flour roll filled with cheese, similar to cheese sticks. Lit. A native from the city of Los Teques.
  • Teta = n. A source of guaranteed income. A ball/scoop of ice cream, sorbet or frozen flavored water wrapped in a small plastic bag that is eaten by opening a hole on the tip and sucking on it. Lit. Female breast.
  • Tetilla = n. Male breast, male nipple.
  • Tigre = n. Second job or night job. See Matar un tigre. Lit. Tiger.
  • Tierrúo(a) = n. (or Tierrudo(a)) A person (generally of low class) who behaves, dresses or says things in a marginal or poor way. Also, could be considered an opposite of "Sifrino(a)". It derives from "tierra" (soil) which is something associated with dirt.
  • Tirar = v. To have sex. Lit. To throw.
  • Totona = n. Vagina.
  • Toñeco = adj. A person who likes to receive a lot of affection through cuddles, caresses, kisses, or similar physical contact. Example: "Mi bebé es muy toñeco" = My baby loves my affection.
  • Trácala n. (or Tracalería) Trick, fraud.
  • Tripeo = n. Something very enjoyable. Example: "Que tripeo esta vaina" = This is really fun. Also used as a verb; "tripear."
  • Tripón = n. Kid.
  • Tufo n. Bad underarm odor. See Violín
  • Tuki n. See Tierrúo
  • Ubícate = exp. "Get real". Lit. "Locate yourself".
  • Vacilar = v. To enjoy something/have a good time. Example: "Estoy vacilando" = I am having fun. Also used as a noun: "Vacile," as in "qué malvacile" = What a bad time. Lit. Vacillate
  • Vaina = adj. or n. Thing, annoyance, problem, predicament, situation, endeavor, liaison. Vaina is one of the most versatile Venezuelan words, not necessarily having a negative connotation (mildly profane). Lit. Pod, sheath.
  • Verga = n. Dick (profane). In the Western part of the country, especially in Zulia state, it is a nonsensical filler as an alternative to vaina.
  • Verga = exp. Used to convey a feeling of shock, disgust or alert (profane).
  • ¡Vergación! = exp. superlative form of Verga (profane).
  • Vergatario(a) = adj. Something excellent, or someone who has done something very well.
  • Vete al Carajo = exp. (or Vete al coño de tu madre) "Fuck You" or "Go fuck Yourself". Lit. "Go to the crow's nest" / "Go to your mother's cunt" (profane).
  • ¡Vete al coñísimo de tu madre! = exp. Superlative form of the term above (very profane).
  • Violín = n. Bad odor in armpits. See Tufo. Lit. Violin.
  • Yesquero = n. A lighter.
  • Yeyo = n. Low blood pressure, dizziness or faint generally caused by a strong impression or stress.
  • Zanahoria = n. Someone who zealously takes care of his/her own health. A vegetarian. A person that behaves well, nerd. Straight, clean. adj. A boring, dull person. Lit. Carrot.
  • Zancudo = n. Mosquito. Lit. "The one that walks on stilts" as a metaphor for the insect's long legs.
  • Zapatero = exp. To lose in a game with zero points. Lit. Shoemaker.
  • Zapatos de goma = n. Sneakers. Lit. Rubber soled shoes.
  • Zapatos de patente = n. Patent-leather shoes.
  • Zumbado(a) = adj. (or Zumba'o/Zumbá) Forward, crazy, nutty, careless person.
  • Zamuro = n. Stalker person

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Alexandra Alvarez & Ximena Barros, "Sistemas en conflicto: las formas de tratamiento en la ciudad de Mérida, Venezuela", Lengua y Habla (2000), Mérida, Universidad de Los Andes.
  2. ^ Lapesa Melgar, Rafael. 1970. "Las formas verbales de segunda persona y los orígenes del voseo", in: Carlos H. Magis (ed.), Actas del III Congreso de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas (México, D.F., 26-31 Aug 1968). México: Colegio de México, 519-531: 525-526.

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