Tag Archives: buenos aires

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!

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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.

Examples:

–    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).

Examples:

– 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):

PEOPLE /STUFF= SER + COPADO/GENIAL

EVENT/STUFF= ESTAR + COPADO/GENIAL

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.

Examples:

–         ¡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).

 Attention!

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? 😉

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

 Examples:

 –         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).

Attention!

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.

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.

Attention!

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.