Tag Archives: Argentine

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)

Plata, guita, mango, gamba, luca, palo

This post is about money, money (♫), about the thing that according to Ms. Minnelli makes the world go round.

If you are in Argentina, you may already know that we generally call money plata (silver in English) instead of the appropriate word, dinero. 

But there is another word we user to refer to money, and that word is guita.

So accordingly to the context where you want to use the word money, you’d have to choose among these words, being dinero the most formal, plata the most popular and guita the more informal.

 Mango is another word that has the same meaning as plata, dinero and guitar, but is usually used to express that someone doesn’t have plenty of it.

 –         No tener un mango, is the most common phrase to express that someone is poor, or currently don’t have money.

–         No tener un mango partido al medio (the literal translation would be not to have even a buck broken in half) means to be broke, to be in a really bad financial situation.

Talking about informal ways to refer to money, we found the words gamba, luca and palo, which are words to refer to quantities of money.

Gamba* = 100

Luca = 1000

Palo** = 1.000.000

Mango can also be used to refer to quantity of money.

1 mango = 1 peso


 –         Yo, hasta el palo verde no paro. (Until my first million of dollars I won’t stop). Verde, which means green, when used in a money conversation is to express that the currency is in dollars.

–         El restaurant es bueno, pero carísimo: gastamos dos gambas por cabeza. (The restaurant is good, but really expensive: we spent 200 each).

–         Estoy pensando en comprarme un auto, pero sólo tengo 20 lucas, así que todavía me falta ahorrar mucho para comprar el que quiero. (I’m thinking in buying a car, but I only have 20.000, so I still have to save plenty to buy the one that I want).

–         Esto de llegar a fin de mes sin guita me tiene cansada. (I’m tired of getting to the end of the month without money).

–         Es un tipo de plata. (He is a wealthy guy).


Gamba, in lunfardo, also means leg. So if a girl has really nice legs someone could say “tiene muy buenas gambas”.
Palo also is used as a blow, as an accident or a crash. Darse un palo means to be in accident.

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).


Joder, joderse, estar jodido, jodido/a

If you’ve been in Spain, you might be familiarized with this term, although in Argentina we use it in a different way.

You might hear a Spaniard saying “¡Joder!” because he/she is very surprised about something or irritated with someone.  You can hear in Spain “¡Joder! Qué molesto es este tío” (Damn! How annoying is this guy”), but this doesn’t apply in Argentina.

First, we don’t use the word as an interjection. Joder for us is “to annoy”. So we say things like:

–         Por favor, dejate de joder / ¡No jodas más, por favor! (Please, stop being annoying / stop disturbing me).

–         Ya no soporto a mis vecinos. Nos joden con sus peleas desde las 8 de la mañana (I can’t stand my neighbors anymore. They annoy us with their fights starting 8 am)

–         ¡Cómo jode este pibe! (How annoying is this guy!)

While joder is to annoy someone else, joderse means to do something in detrimental to oneself. It means that someone gets screwed, but basically because s/he did something to deserve it, or because s/he asked for it.

– ¡Qué se joda! Yo le dije que copiar el trabajo de Wikipedia no era una buena idea. (Screw it! I told him that copying the work from Wikipedia wasn’t a good idea)

Estar jodido, means to be screwed, fucked up, it can also means to be sick.

Está jodido. La profesora dijo que lo iba a desaprobar. (He’s screwed, the professor said she’s going to fail him)

Ando medio jodido de la garganta, creo que tengo anginas. (My throught is in pain, doesn’t feel good, I think I have tonsilitis)

Attention: someone that annoys a lot is not a jodido/a. The word jodido exists, but it is used to qualify another type of person.

Jodido/a – when it refers to a person – means that is difficult, hard to deal with or even dangerous. Even mean. You shouldn’t be around someone jodido.

– Pedro le dijo a nuestro jefe que a mí no me gusta trabajar. Es muy jodido, tené cuidado. (Pedro told our boss that I don’t like to work. He’s very mean, be careful)

When it refers to a thing, it means that’s just hard or difficult.

– El examen fue realmente jodido. No creo que apruebe. (The exam was really hard. I don’t think I’ll pass).

Attention 2:

Ser jodido and estar jodido don’t mean the same thing. If you say soy jodido, it means you’re kinda of an asshole, and no one should get very close to you. Now, if you say estoy jodido, it means that perhaps you got too close to someone jodido and you got screwed (te jodiste).

Attention 3:

¡Jodete! means  get screwed! so you may think that fuck you! might be also in order, but no, the meaning although similar, have different intention and intensity, so my advice is not to get those phrases mixed up.