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!)

 Attention!

 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!”
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