Mina, minita, minón

Considering that today is International Women’s Day, I thought it would be a good idea to talk a little bit about how we refer to women in Argentina (I already talked about how we refer to men) and also to talk about what you should avoid if you’re interested in a sexist free language.

When we talked about guys, we set flaco, tipo, pibe, chabón and chico as common words in Argentina to basically say guy or men.
All these words take the feminine form by changing the o or the e for an a, or adding an a in the case of chabón (chabona). To this list of words (flaca, tipa, piba, chabona and chica) we have another word: mina, which is the most common feminine equivalent for tipo.

Mina (mine, in English) used to have a very negative connotation, because it was originally used to refer to prostitutes (as in a goldmine for the pimp), but now, that negative connotation no longer exists, and mina is another word to say woman, usually someone +30.

Now, minón is another story. Minón (as in a big mine) means that the woman is really, really hot.

Lately, another word has become very popular: minita (as in little mine). But minita doesn’t mean that the girl is not hot, or tiny, or anything like that. If someone is talking about a girl in a kind of neutral way, possibly minita won’t have a negative meaning, and it is just one person’s way to express (like saying negrita or negrito).

But in the last couple of years minita has become an adjective, used to summarize what some people think is natural on a girl (like getting moody once a month or getting mad about silly things or to have hysterical relationships with guys or crappy relationships with our female friends). As you may notice, when minita is used as an adjective (you can see it written minitah in social networks such as twitter), this word turns to be a very sexist one, very similar to “bitchy” but implying somehow that being a woman means to be kind of bitchy, so, from Salen con Fritas we encourage you to avoid it, and to never say “soy re minita” or “es re minita“.

Now, some examples:

– María es una flaca súper macanuda. (María is a super nice girl)
– Al final todo resulto más jodido de lo que pensaba. La mina que trabaja en esa oficina me dijo que tengo que presentar muchos más papeles. (Everything turned out to be more difficult that I’ve thought. The woman working in that office told me that I have to present even more papers).
– Hoy me enojé con Julio porque se iba a comer con los amigos. Al final, soy re minita. (Today I got mad at Julio because he’s going to eat with his friends. At the end, I’m so bitchy)

Zarparse, zarpado, zarpada

Zarpar literally means to set sail, but in Argentina this verb has a completely different meaning when we use it in a reflexive way.

When we say zarparse we don’t want to say that a person is going to sail away, although if someone se zarpa we might want him or her to sail very far away, to a very distant land, out of our sight.

Zarparse means to go beyond the reasonable limits. Zarparse can mean that someone is out of line, is joking a little bit too much or is doing much of something.

So, someone that is usually out of line is a zarpado or a zarpada. But when we use the adjective to refer to a thing, the word zarpado/zarpada can have a positive meaning: you can use it to say that something is re copado or genial.

Zarparse de means to be exceedenly something. Zarparse de lindo is to be beyond good looking, zarparse de rico is something extremely tasty or that has a lot of money (that is, to be forrado en guita) and zarparse de bueno could mean to be extremely nice or extremely hot, depending on the context.

  • Martín es un zarpado: como Carolina no quería estar más con él, intentó algo con su hermana. (Martín is a complete bastard: since Carolina did not longer want to be with him, he tried something with her sister)
  • … y entonces, después de muchas horas de escalada, llegamos a la cima. (… and then, after a few hours of climbing, we made it to the top)
  • ¡Zarpado! (Awesome!). Note: in this case, when using the word in an exclamation, stress a lot the “pa” syllable for a real Argentinean effect 😉
  • Lola es una zarpada: lleva dos días sin dormir porque se está preparando para el examen del viernes. (Lola is crazy: she hasn’t sleep this two last nights because she’s preparing herself for this Friday test).
  • Pablo se zarpa de bueno. (Pablo is really hot). Note: in this case, stress the syllable “zar” and practice your r.

Buen domingo, ¡y no se zarpen!

Piña, dar una piña, darse una piña

Piña, in most Spanish speakers countries except Argentina, means pineapple. Piña it also means pine cone. But in some other countries – now including Argentina – piña means thump, knock or a strong hit.

So, accordingly with this particular meaning, “dar una piña” is to hit someone else, to thump someone. But “darse una piña” is a different thing. Darse, in this case, with this particular extra “se”, means that the verb is reflexive – which means that the subject of the sentence and the object of the sentence refer to the same person – so it could be translated as give to oneself a thump.

Doesn’t sound that logical, right? Well, we use the phrase darse una piña to refer to a crash or to fall or to a hit. If someone was riding his motorbike too fast and crashes into a car we would say that s/he se dio una piña.


–    La piña que le dio fue tan fuerte que le quebró la nariz. (S/he hit him/her so hard that his nose was broken)
–   Me acaban de llamar para avisarme que Julio se dio una piña con el auto. Parece que está jodido (They just called me to let me know that Julio was in a car accident. It seems  serious).
–   Pedro iba a los pedos y se terminó dando una piña (Pedro was going really fast and he ended up having an accident)

A whole different thing is when we use the word piña in the phrases “sale como piña” and “va como piña”. This two have a meaning quite similar to the one that gives title to this blog, sale con fritas, and it basically also means that somethings runs fast and smoothly.

If something is a sure thing, we say sale/va como piña. If we want to generate agreement about something, we also say sale/va como piña.

–    Caro me dijo que sale como piña el próximo catálogo. (Caro told me that the next catalogue will be ready soon and it will be great)
–    Sale como piña noche de caipirinhas este sábado, no? (It would be great a Caipirinha’s night this Saturday,  wouldn’t it?)

Attention! Please, take into account that all these uses of the word piña are very very informal, and it’s basically slang. So if you want to properly say to hit, use golpear o pegar, and if you want to inform to a concerned parent that his/her child was in an accident, please say tuvo un accidente.

Estar hasta las manos

This entry is going to be mainly based in true recent events, because I can deeply relate with “estar hasta las manos”, at least in one of the two uses it has 😉

The literal translation of estar hasta las manos is to be up to the hands, and it means to be completely exceeded by a situation. So here is when the meaning can change from positive to negative. Well, actually that’s not totally accurate, but let’s see.

If you are working against the clock, you have to deliver a 5000 words paper for tomorrow and you’re just starting now, you can accurately say that you are hasta las manos.

Now, if you’ve met someone incredible two weeks ago and you’re already considering the possibility of moving together and you’ve started discussing babies names (which means that you’d already settled on how many children you want to have), we can certainly and doubtlessly say that you both are hasta las manos. It would depend on the observer if the phrase hasta las manos has a positive meaning (that you’re really in love and into each other) or a negative one (you’re simple insane, in a bad way, you should calm down a little bit).


– Hoy a la tarde tengo que entregar el proyecto de tesis, pero justo me llegó un montón de trabajo y para colmo me avisaron que quizás no cobre este mes. ¡Estoy hasta las manos! (I have to turn my thesis project this afternoon, but I’ve just got loads of work and to top that, HR just informed that I might not get paid this month. I’m up to my knees!)

– No puedo evitarlo, estoy hasta las manos con Julia. (I can’t help it, I’m really into Julia)

– Pedro está hasta las manos con el tema de la relación de Juan y María, no puede superarlo (Pedro is really affected by Juan and Maria’s relationship. He can’t get over it).

Copado, copada, genial

These two words have a similar use to macanudo, that is they’re a positive way to refer to someone or something.

Someone copado is someone very cool and/or interesting. It can also express that someone is a nice person, very easy-going, with good vibes.

If you’re talking about an event or a thing, copado means the event/thing is also very cool, fun, exciting, etc.

Genial could be translated as brilliant, great, awesome, etc (I assume you get the vibe and I don’t need to keep writing synonyms ;)).

Genial can also be used to describe a person, an event or a thing. Of course this word is more intense than copado, so if you’re talking about an event and you say it was copado, it means that you’re glad you went; if the event was genial, it means we’d be sorry for not going. And while alguien copado is someone worth knowing, alguien genial is someone you have to meet. 🙂

About the mess created about the two meanings of the verb To Be in Spanish – that is, ser and estar – this is more or less how it goes (there are some exceptions, of course):



Genial and copado, in the same way as macanudo, can also be used to agree with someone or something.

Some examples:

–         Martín es re copado. Ayer nos estuvo contando de sus viajes por Asia. (Martín is really cool. Yesterday, he told us about his travels around Asia).

–         El cumpleaños de María estuvo genial: había muchísima gente – todos muy copados – la música era buenísima, ¡y había canilla libre! Nos quedamos hasta las 8 de la mañana. (Maria’s birthday was awesome: there were a loooot of people – everyone was great – the music was fantastic and there was an open bar! We stayed there until 8 am).

–         Todas las películas de Kubrick son geniales. (All Kubrick’s films are brilliant)

– ¿Vamos mañana a tomar algo? (Do you want to go tomorrow for drinks?)

– Dale, copado. (Great, let’s)

Embole, embolado/a, embolante, embolar

Embole, in short, means boredom, tedium; it means that there’s nothing interesting to do. So, embolado or embolada – depending if you’re talking about a girl or a boy – it means to be bored. Embole and being embolado can be related with fiaca. I mean, in many cases, you have fiaca, because you’re embolado/a.

 Embolante, in the other hand, is an adjective that describes something or someone that causes boredom in someone else.


–         ¡Estoy super embolada! No tengo ganas de hacer este trabajo, es demasiado embolante. (I’m very bored! I don’t feel like doing this work, is way too boring)

–         ¡Qué embole! ¡No hay nada para hacer! (What a drag! There’s nothing to do!)

–         Ah…no puedo creer lo embolante que es esta película (Ah… I can’t believe how boring this movie is)

Embolar is the verb related with these yawn generating situations. But, embolar can mean not only to bore, or to be bored, but also it can be used to express that something annoy us.

 A few more examples:

–         Me embola muchísimo tener que rehacer todo porque él se equivocó. (It annoys me very much having to redo everything because he made a mistake).

–         ¡Cómo me embola esta clase! La profesora tiene un tono de voz bastante soporífera. (How boring is this class! The professor has a very soporific tone of voice).


Beware of the small difference between these words, because a small mistake can change the whole sentence. For example, if you say “él está embolado” you’re saying that he is bored, but if you say “él es embolante”, you’re saying that he’s boring. Not quite the same, huh? 😉

Forro, forrado, forrear

The normal use or meaning of the word forro is cover paper or lining. And the verb related with it is forrar. So, you can forrar un cuaderno (to cover a notebook) or you can forrar un saco (to line a jacket).

But the word forro has another two different meanings: forro all around Argentina means condom. In fact, you’d hardly find someone in Argentine using the term “condón”, being the most popular and informal word forro, and being the formal form preservativo.

So, if you go to the pharmacy, you’ll ask for preservativos, and if you’re with your partner, you’ll ask him/her if he/she has forros (well, you can also use preservative in this occasion as well).

The other meaning for this word is a very negative adjective. A forro is someone mean, someone that treats other people badly, someone that enjoys humiliating others, someone that is very arrogant, etc. Forro can be used in a very similar way as jodido, although sometimes it just can also describe someone very annoying.

 Some examples:

–         La maestra de mi hija pidió que todos los cuadernos estén forrados con forro rojo. (My daughter’s teacher has asked for every notebook to be cover by red cover paper).

–         Mi compañero de trabajo, el que es un forro, el otro día le dijo a una compañera que dejara de comer galletitas porque le iba a dar demasiado trabajo a su profesor de gimnasia (My co-worker – the one that is an asshole – the other day told to a girl from work that she should stop eating cookies because she was going to give to much work to her gym instructor).

–         ¿Trajiste forros? (Have you brought condoms?)

–         (poniendo los ojos en blanco) uffff… ¡qué forra es esta mina! ¡No para de hablar! ((rolling eyes) –  ufff… how annoying is this woman! She won’t stop talking!)


 Don’t mix up forrar with forrear! While forrar is to cover or to line, forrear is the verb that describe the action of acting as a forro in detriment of someone else. So, depending on the person and the situation it could mean to look down on, to mistreat, to disrespect, to be mean to someone or to pull someone’s leg.

  • yo forreo
  • vos forreás (forreá!)*
  • él/ella forrean
  • nosotros forreamos (forreemos!)
  • ustedes forrean (forreen!)
  • ellos forrean

About the word forrado, we use it basically to express that someone has a lot of money. So the expression most used is estar forrado en guita, although the short version – estar forrado – has the same impact, since everyone knows in what he’s covered. Example: ese tipo está forrado en guita (this guy is very wealthy, being the exact translation to be covered by money)

  *when you want to ask someone not to mistreat you, you would have to use the subjuntive. In that case you’d say “¡no me forreés!”