Category Archives: it’s not the same!

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 caliente, calentarse, hacer calentar

These phrases have completely different meaning depending on the context. If you’re talking about a huge discussion you had with your boyfriend or girlfriend, estar caliente would express that you were (or still are) very mad about it.

In the other hand, if last night you met an awesome person, and you kissed, and you went a little further, but not as further as you had would like to, estar caliente will be used to express that you’re horny.

Now, the boyfriend/girlfriend that make you mad, the guy or girl you met and left you wanting more, those people te hicieron calentar, meaning he/she made you mad or he/she aroused you a little bit. Or not so little, actually.

Some examples:

– ¡Estoy re caliente! Organicé todo yo sola, y le pedí sólo un favor, pero ella como siempre se olvido. ¡¿Cómo no me voy a calentar?! (I’m really angry! I organized all by myself, I asked her to do only one thing, but as always she forgot about it. How not to get mad?!).

– … y estábamos ahí, tranzando, cuando me dijo que tenía que irse, que al otro día se tenía que levantar temprano. Me quedé recontra caliente. (…and we were there, kissing, when she told me she had to go, that she had to wake up really early the next morning. I was horny as hell). Note: in this case the phrase could actually mean to be mad about it, so if this pop up in a conversation you may want to inquire a little further 😉

– Este tipo siempre me hace calentar. Le dije mil veces que no use mi patio como su tacho de basura. (This guy always drives mad. I’ve told him a zillion times not to use my backyard as his own trash bin!).

– ¡No me hagas calentar…! (Don’t make me mad!) This is a very common phrase among Argentinians, usually when a discussion is increasing a little too much.


As you probable has noticed this a word to use only in familiar conversations. If you’re trying to say to someone from work – like to your boss – that you’re very mad about something I recommend you to use enojado/a, indignado/a, furioso/a, etc.

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!)

Un par

Sometimes things are not what they seem to be. This is the case with un par. The exact translation is  “a pair”, and in Spanish a pair it’s actually two, but the use that we give to the expression un par it’s a little bit different.

Un par is closer to “a couple”, rather than “a pair”. When an Argentinean says something like “Me voy de viaje por un par de días” (I’m going for a trip for a pair of days), he or she are trying to say that is going away for a few days,  for a couple of days,  not exactly 2.

So if you want to ask for something in a store, don’t say un par, unless you’re willing to take 3, 4 maybe 5. If you want to take only 2, just say 2!

–         ¿Me pasas un par de clavos? (can you hand a couple of nails?). This person is actually asking for a small handful of nails, not just 2.


Un par is actually a pair when it comes to shoes. When someone says “Me compré un par de zapatos” (I bought a new pair of shoes) it actually means a pair.