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Cuencano Slang

When I arrived to Cuenca, Ecuador I really thought I had a great knowledge of Spanish. I had studied in the US and Madrid and felt relatively comfortable with the language. Ha! I’ve had a fun time learning the Cuencano slang and accent. Cuenca has a great influence from their indigenous roots, and many of these words come from the Quechwa language of the region’s history.

Study up, here is some of the regional slang and vocab you can expect to hear in Cuenca:

Carajo – Damn!

Bacan – Awesome, cool, etc

Chevere – Awesome, cool, etc

Chompa – A heavier weight sweater or hoodie

Chuchaqui – Hungover

Chupar – To drink (alcohol)

Chuta – Damn!

Farra – A party (where you party hard)

Fregar – The verb to describe you’re screwed

Guambra(s) – Child/children

Mijo/a (a slur of “mi hijo”) – My son or my daughter in an endearing manner (the taxi drivers will say this to me, for example)

Mono/a – Someone from the coast

Nano/a – Brother/sister

Pana – My buddy, my old pal, etc

Suco/a – Someone with usually blonde or light brown hair

Veras – Look, Here’s the thing (use this when you want to make your point)

Gara – Awesome, cool, etc

Al pelo – Amazing

Saca el aire – It takes the air out of you

La bola – A lot, a ton, etc

You’ll notice the influence of the English language in Cuenca with some great Spanglish terms – some of my favorite popular Spanglish terms in addition to this list are que bestia (what a beast), Si tiene un chance (if you have a chance), este man (this man), estoy full en la oficina (i am full with work in the office).

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