While living in Buenos Aires, you are going to hear a whole lot of Spanish that you never learned in your Spanish class and some that you can’t find in the dictionary. Argentine Spanish, or rather Rioplatenese Spanish is loaded with Slang that will take you years to understand. This guide should make it a little bit easier for you.

The translations below are not literal; rather they are translated to their English equivalent in terms of significance. If you are interested in the literal translations, you could probably pop these phrases in a translator, or you might be able to translate them on your own! Enjoy!

“no le llega auga al tanque” = he’s not there

“a las chapas” = to go really fast

“arrastar el ala” = to make a romantic advance on someone

“lo atamos con alambre” = to jerry-rig it, MacGyver-it

“bajá un cambio!” = Chill Out! Relax!

“cara rota” = a shameless person

“caer como peludo de regalo”
= a way to say a unwanted guest shows up unexpectedly

“calavera no chilla” = you get what you deserve

“calienta la pava pero no ceba los mates” = he or she is a tease

“cerrado como culo de muñeca”
= closed like a doll’s ass

“faltan cinco pa’l peso” = to come up short

“echar panza”
= to let go of yourself, to settle down and get fat

“comerse un huesito”
= to sleep with a hot babe

“echar un polvo”
= to fuck

“no dejar titere con cabeza”
= to take no prisoners

“estar en el horno” = to be stressed out or in a bad situation

“dejate de joder”
= get out of town! You gotta be joking!

“echar un cloro”
= take a piss

“más loco que una cabra con pollitos”
= crazier than a goat with chicks

“le faltan algunos jugadores” = he is out of his mind, he is dumb

“medio pelo”
= mediocre

“hacer gancho”
= to play matchmaker, to set to lover’s up

“meter la mula” = to rip someone off

“hablar hasta por los codos”
= to talk someone’s ear off

“la verdad de la milanesa” = the real deal

“hacerse la mosquita muerta” = to act innocently after doing something wrong

“mojar la chaucha” = to get laid

“hasta las manos” = to be busy, have your hands full

“ni a ganchos!” = no way

“ni a palos!” = no way

“mala leche”
= bad luck

“no dá”
= sorry, unacceptable, that doesn’t fly

“más dificil que cagar en un frasquito”
= more difficult than shitting in a little jar

“la noche está en pañales” = the night is young

“ponerse la camiseta”
= to be a team player

“que parte la tierra! = wow what a beautiful woman!

“me pica el bagre”
= I’m hungry

“qué pica toca?”
= What is his story? Whats up with him?

“un pelo de la concha tira mas que una yunta de bueyes” = one pussy hair pulls more than a team of oxen

“al pedo como teta de monja” = useless like tits on a nun

“me quema la cabeza” = it blows my mind

“tirame las agujas” = give me some time

“la sacaste barata”
= you were lucky

“tener una vena”
= to be super pissed off

“saltar la ficha” = to blow a fuse

“tirame la goma” = suck my dick

“tomátela! = fuck you!

“tomalo con soda” = calm down, take it easy

“tirar los galgos” = to flirt or hit on someone

Interested in learning more Spanish and slang? Bueno, Entonces is an awesome and fun way to improve your spanish!!!

14 Comments on “Argentine Slang Phrases”

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  3. Marie Solibella

    What does ” mas duos” and “y mas choripan” mean

    thank you for your reply

  4. Lila

    Not all of them are right… For example, “tirame las agujas” (which is used just by old people nowadays) means “what time is it?”. And “estar hasta las manos” sometimes means to be very in love or to get deeply stuck on something (I’m not sure if my English is ok, I’m porteña!). Also we usually ask “qué pito toca?” and not “qué pica toca?”. And “no le llega agua al tanque” most of the time means he is saying something stupid; means he or she is crazy or dumb. Anyway it’s a good list 😉 Have a good time in Buenos Aires!

  5. phil d

    Is borocoto borocoto chas chas chas translatable into English?
    Is it porteno slang?
    Many thanks

  6. Tito

    Nice compilation. “Saltar la ficha” means to find out the true nature or intentions behind someone. As in “A Juan le saltó la ficha”, you´d be saying “Juan revealed his true intentions”.

  7. Tito

    Oh, and about “Le saltó la ficha”, it usually means that it happened randomly or by means of the subject losing control. He got worked up and “le saltó la ficha” “His chip flipped” “revealed…”

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  9. Emo


    Forro – means “dumbass”

    Que forros que son – “what a bunch of dumbasses”

  10. Nicole

    *1.”Forro” means a mother fucker if they/he/she makes you or anybody else something really bad. Or means the same but you can use between friends in a normal talk if they/he/she or you did or are doing or saying something like a joke or you are being really honest with the truth which can shock the other person and it’s considered like something bad by the shock level.

    *2. Means a condom but in an informal way. This comes from the word “cover” which in spanish the verb is said “forrar” and the noun is said “forro”. So… It’s like saying “a cover for your dick”=condom. Joke (?).

    *1 and *2 aren’t related, but meh. I was born and it already was 8D.

    But “Son unos forros” means “They are mother fuckers” and can be considered depends the context like a really bad situation or like if it comes from a joke/honesty shock.

    I hope have helped you and I expect you to undertand my english.

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