Category Archives: bad words

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!

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!”

Pedo, estar al pedo, estar en pedo

Well, this is a word that you most likely won’t want to use in formal situations, or with people that you don’t know.

Pedo is actually a fart. And tirarse un pedo is to fart.

But this word has also non scatological uses. One of these uses is to say that someone is drunk. You’d say that the person está en pedo. This phrase also goes to say that someone is crazy.

Now, if a person tiene fiaca, and s/he has been all day doing nothing, we could say the person está al pedo.

 –         ¿Qué hiciste hoy? ¿Fuiste a trabajar? (What did you do today? Did you go to work?)

–         Nah, me quedé en casa todo el día. Estuve al re pedo. (Nah, I was at home all day. I haven’t done anything.)

 –         El sábado me tomé todo y terminé super en pedo. (On Saturday I drank everything and I ended up really drunk)

 –         Mi jefe está en pedo si cree que vamos a llegar a terminar todo para mañana (my boss is crazy if he thinks we’re going to finish everything for tomorrow)


Please, note the different meaning that the words en and al provide to the sentence.

verb estar (to be) + al + pedo = to have loads of free time, nothing to do

verb estar (to be) + en + pedo = to be drunk, to be crazy.

 Related with the meaning of en pedo, as in being drunk, and also related with ni ahí and ni a gancho, we have ni en pedo.

 Ni en pedo means that you won’t/wouldn’t do something even if you were drunk. It’s another way of saying no way.

–         Che, ¿nos tomamos un bondi? (Hey, should we take the bus?)

–         ¡Ni en pedo! Ya son las 3 de la mañana, tomemos un taxi.  (No way! It’s already 3 in the morning, let’s take a cab).

 De pedo is a phrase we use to indicate that we’ve accomplished something by chance, or just barely, at the last minute, with a little bit of luck.

 –         Le iba a pedir a Pablo que trajese vasos de plástico, pero me olvidé, pero de pedo él justo trajo un par (I was going to ask Pablo to bring some plastic cups, but I forgot about it, but just by chance he brought a few).

–         De pedo me acordé del cumpleaños de Mónica. (Just barely I remembered it was Monica’s birthday).

Another common phrase including the word pedo is a los pedos, which means in a hurry, very quickly, to be on the run.

–         Tuve que hacer todo a los pedos, porque me enteré ese misma mañana que viajaba a la noche (I had to do everything very quickly because I’d found out in the morning that I was traveling that same night).


Negro, negra, negrito, negrita, negri

Well, I think it’s time to talk about something that might sound strange to some people, even politically incorrect to others.

In English, specially in the US, there has been and still is a huge debate about which is the correct form to refer about someone whose skin is black.

In Argentina, the word negro is used with several meanings and not all are bad. So you can here someone saying negro, negrito or negri in a very sweet way, to a friend, a partner, even to a costumer – thing that I find very annoying because it means a confidence that I don’t have nor I wish to have.

This way, negro, negri, etc, is like saying honey or darling or dear.

Anyway, someone saying “Negri, ¿querés que te haga un café?” (Honey, would like a coffee?), of course doesn’t mean anything in particular about the other person, in fact, could be the whitest person in the world.

Unfortunately not always this word has a positive meaning: many people in Argentina use the word negro/negra as an insult.

–          ¿Qué podés esperar de él? ¡Si es un negro! (What do you expect from him, if he’s black!). Just an awful, terrible thing to say, but sadly, you’ll hear stuff like this all over the country.

Many Argentinians have a long way to go in the path to a language free of discrimination.

Boludo, Boluda

Boludo is one of the first words learned by the traveller in Argentina, and also one of the words that the traveller will be eager to use, even if he/she doesn’t really know if it is appropriate.

Yeah, you’re right, Argentineans really use this word a lot. But that doesn’t mean the word can be used every single time it crosses your mind (well, actually you can do that, but you might be a little bit rude).

So… boludo.

Boludo literally means “someone with big balls”, but this hasn’t stopped people to use boluda as well.

Boludo can be used as an insult, with a meaning close to idiot, or can have a mild use as “silly” or a completely aggressiveness free use, as an interjection, usually accompanied of “che”.

You’ll hear lots and lots of times “Che, boludo/a” around Argentina, and yes, it’s really common, and no, people generally won’t get offended by it, but you should know that saying “Che, boludo” to someone generally implies a high level of confidence between the two people in question. We don’t say “Che, boludo/a” to a professor, nor to the old man in the park, nor to the old lady that works in the grocery shop. You shouldn’t say “Che, boludo” to someone unless you’re already acquaintance with him/her.

If you’re new in town and you use this phrase, people most like will be indulgent and won’t get mad, but we encourage you not use it in that very important job interview next week.


–         Che, boludo, ¿qué hacemos hoy a la noche? (Hey, what are we doing tonight?)

–         ¡No seas boludo…! (Don’t be silly!)

–         Sos un boludo, ¡no te quiero ver más! (You’re an idiot, I don’t want see you never again!)

–         Boludo, no sabés lo que pasó…! (Dude, you have no idea what happened!)