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Caliche or Salvadoreño is a collection of slang words unique to Salvadoran Spanish. Linguist Pedro Geoffroy Rivas claimed Salvadoreño had evolved so far away from Spanish as to warrant the status of a separate language. Salvadoreño employs techniques of Nahuat word construction, such as combining parts of two words to form a new one.
Caliche is the name that some Salvadoreans call their own slang.
ajolotado(a) - Said of persons displaying nervous, rushed, hyperactive behaviour.
Achicar - Belittle or ridicule someone.
Achicada -The effect of being belittled or ridiculed.
Aguacatero - Said of a dog. A stray dog or one considered inferior or of mixed breed; a mutt.
Amansalocos - Police baton; composed of the words amansar + locos. 'Amansar' is a Salvadoran verb equivalent of assuage or domesticate, while 'loco' means crazy in Spanish. Best explained as 'the psycho-pacifier'.
Anántes -Colloquiallism meaning that something was very close to happening or, in reverse, to not happening.
Anantillo Variation of 'Anántes' which is used as a superlative of the aforementioned.
apiarse - A command to get down from a higher elevation, such as a tree.
Ahead - Spanglish slang meaning 'advanced'. Used to express a slight impression caused by modernity. -Este nuevo cd esta tan ahead!- = "This new CD is so ahead."
Ahuevo/Awebo - By force or doing something even if you don't want to. Assertive response for yes.
Ahuevar/Awebar - Synonym of 'Achicar'.
Ahuevada/Awebada -Synonym of 'Achidada'.
baboso(a) - Stupid, ignorant, slow person. From 'baba', drool, and therefore, someone who drools, as an idiot or mentally ill person.
Babosada -Statements or opinions considered either foolish or worthless. Also, anything considered worthless or bothersome.
Babosear -To waste time idly. To wander around looking for an address or location without certainty.
Bajar -To trick, deceive or betray. Synonym of 'Dar baje'.
bayunco - Immature, foolish.
bicho(a) - Little kid, sometimes derogatory, like "brat" or "punk". In Puerto Rico it's a derogatory term for penis.
birria - Beer. From Italian 'birra'.
bolado - thing,object; matter or situation. Also used, when referring to a woman, with an amorous/sexual connotation.
bolo(a) - Drunk, wasted, tipsy. Synonym of "Penca" and "Talega"
Bute - A kind of fish. Also, physically unattractive person.
cabal - Exact, exactly, true, certainly. Usually used to answer in the affirmative.
cabuda - Monetary consolidation between a group, conducted in order to purchase something unaffordable as individuals, an equivalent of "chip in".
cacaso - Used to denote defective or very-poor-quality artifacts. Synonym of 'chafa'.
Cachada -An article of commerce offered by street vendors at a low price due to what is considered a temporary favorable condition (which may even include a 'shady' origin, as from smuggling).
cachimbiar - Verb meaning to defeat through a fist fight, equivalent of 'beat up'. Synonyms are penquiar, taleguiar, sopapiar, tastasiar, pijiar, verguiar.
Cachimbaso -A strong impact or hit. A large amount of something.
Cachimbón -Very good, excellent. Also, an expresion used for assertive approval.
casaka -A lie, untruth
casakero -A liar, one who lies.
Coquear - To think or reflect on something.
chambre, chambrear - gossip, to gossip.
champa - a ramshackle hut made of all kind of odd materials; a shanty.
Chele - Something lacking color, pale. A blond or caucasian person (male or female). Also, 'Cheles', for the yellowish bodily secretion formed at the eyes overnight.
chero(a) - usually denotes a "friend". Chero (male) Chera (female)
chiche - Easy, accomplished without struggle. Can also denote a woman's breast. (Particularly revealing of the 'machista' view of women.)
Chimbolo - A small fish.
Chivo - cool; awesome.
Choco - blind.
Chompipe - Turkey
cholco - someone with missing teeth
choto - For free; not requiring monetary compensation. Or de choto when you do something in vain.
chota - Police, usually plural, as in 'the police force'.
chucho - Dog; usually refers to dirty, misbehaving, or stray dogs. Also refers to persons who are greedy.
chuco - dirty, also the name of a local non alcoholic, hot beverage similar to horchata that contains so many ingredients (including small black beans referred to as 'frijoles mono', or 'monkey beans') that the end result looks 'dirty' (but tastes quite good with a bit of chillie and a piece of 'pan francés').
chulón (male) or chulona (female) - naked, nude
chunche - thing; object.
Chupa - A social gathering for the sole purpose of drinking alcohol.
cipote(a) - young boy or girl.
Codo -Someone who dislikes strongly of giving money away . Stingy.
Colocho - A curl of hair; something resembling a curl; and also, someone with curled hair.
cuche - Pig.
cuchumbo - container.
Cuetear - The act of shooting someone; usually entails an official government agent (police, military) shooting, not usually used for gang shootings. Also popularly used by the pre-war generations as a threat: -te voy a cuetear- = "I'm going to shoot (cuetear) you."
cuilio - Police officer.
Culero -Offensive and derogative term for a homosexual man.
Culío - Afraid
cuzuco - Armadillo. Also, a problematic or difficult situation; predicament.
desvergue - Synonym of 'desmadre', big mess. Used indistinctly for a disarranged assortment or group of things, as well as for a complicated and problematic situation; more appropriately used when denoting brawls.
dundo - stupid or dumb.
encrackado - to be high on crack-cocaine
Enbolar -Get drunk.
Enjaranar -To contract a debt.
garrobo - an iguana
goma - hangover.
guacal - Bowl, usually made of plastic.
guaro - alcohol, specially the cheap and strong kind.
Guaza - Pure luck; strike of luck.
Hablemole a Clay! - To call Clay; Clay is one of the most popular cocaine dealers of San Salvador (Capital of El Salvador). Young men shout this in: clubs, bars, and private parties when they are starting to get an itchy nose and their tipsiness asks then to inhale some cocaine in order to stabilize.
hacerse el suizo - literally "to go swiss" is an expression used when someone is avoiding something, ignoring someone or act as if he/she doesn't understand something. This expression is used because the Swiss rarely take sides in political issues. Synonym "El de los panes".
Hacer jarana -Trick or deceive someone in a business or deal.
huishte - A pice of broken glass.
Jarana -Noun:trick,fraud. Also, a debt. See 'Hacer jarana'. Synonym of 'bajar' and 'dar baje'.
La mara - group of friends or companions or an unspecified group of people. May also mean a gang.
marero - a gang member.
melengüelear - to idle or waste time chattering or gossiping.
metido(a) - Given to prying into the affairs of others.
meke -- Derived from meter, to insert oneself, to be nosey. As in, no seas meke
menear - Verb meaning 'to shake', as in 'menear el culo'.
monte - Marijuana. Synonyms include marina, 'de la buena', verde, ganja, buddha. Low Quality cannabis is called 'pupi'.
Patín - Synonym of "chupa". Also, any strong and offensive odor.
Paja - A lie.
pasmado -A dumb person
pichinga -A large bottle or plastic container to carry water
Pencazo' -A strong hit. Synonym of 'Cerotazo'.
perico - Cocaine. Synonyms: mickey, pericles.
Pericazo - A dose of inhaled cocaine.
pisto - money.
púchica(Also used in Guatemala) - oh my gosh! damn! expression of surprise or anger. It is de facto a nicer connotation of the more vulgar expression 'puta' (whore).
Puyar - To injure someone with a pointed and sharp object. Also, to speed up a vehicle or to urge someone to quicken its pace on doing something.
Que Dark - Expression used by the urban young to denote a disfavorable situation; often used in a sarcastic manner or as a way of reluctantly accepting the petty situation of general underdevelopment in El Salvador -Que dark que el dj no vino- = "It sucks that the dj never came."
rai - a pedestrian request for an automobile ride, hitchhiking request. English loanword derived from 'ride'. -Dame rai-, "Give me a ride".
rascuache - ruined, of horrible quality, doesn't work, or all torn up.
riata - strong beating, whooping
sepa or asaber - who knows? or "only God knows".
Simon - Affirmative; slang variation of yes. Spanglish composite made by the union of "si" (yes) and "man", thus si man became one word, simon. This practice of uniting words is a direct sign of pre-columbian linguistic construction present in Central America.
tacuazín - opossum.
Talega - In a drunk state. Synonym of "Verguera". Commonly expressed as "Gran talega" meaning "Heavy drunkness".
Talegaso - Strong hit. Large amount. A drink of liquour. Synonym of 'Cachimbaso', 'Cerotaso' , 'Pencaso', 'Vergaso'.
tanatada - Bulk. Large quatities of something. Synonym of "cachimbo".
Tecolote - Owl
Trompear -To hit the mouth. From word "Trompa" meaning mouth.
Tumblimbli Onomatopoeic word which corresponds to the three-note sonoric-insult aimed at the opponent's mother. Regarded invariably as offensive.
tunco - pig; usually refers to a part of a butchered pig.
turco - derrogative term used to call Palestinians who migrated to El Salvador. This term comes from Turkish (person who comes from Turkey), since they had a Turkish passport which they had to use to enter the country.
Vá?! -Interjection meaning approximately, 'do you agree' or simply stressing the affirmative statement to which it serves as an ending.
vergón - positive exclamation, an equivalent of the slang 'cool'.
zopear - to vomit. Synonim: "buitrear", coming from "Buitre" meaning "Vulture".
zurrar - to poop, normally as a result of diarreah or upset stomach. Synonim: "Cagar"
There are also numerous variations that include the term vergón, literally penis, but slang for something 'cool'. Among them, vergazo, vergonada, and vergoníssimo. A number of slang, mostly vulgar terms, also have the general meaning of 'a lot', though have individually distinct meanings when used in another context. For example, vergo and cachimbo. Other popular Salvadoran sayings include nos guachamos or guachémonos, literally from the English 'to watch', a mistranslations of the popular phrase 'see you' for a goodbye. Another Salvadoran phrase is 'marchitémonos' literally meaning, 'let's wither', but a play on 'marchémonos' meaning, 'let's march' or 'let's go', commonly used in place of vámonos.
In certain regions of the Bajo Lempa region, in the southern part of Usulután, the verb espriar has come into common usage among younger salvadoreños when they want to indicate 'to drink alcohol'. Since they often do it under the guise of drinking Sprite, the verb espriar is used as a euphemism.
Since the civil war in El Salvador human migration and displacement have changed the linguistic landscape. Those salvadoreños who lived in refugee camps in Panamá, for example, returned to El Salvador using terms like guirro, a Panamanian term for a little kid, like the Salvadoran bicho, but considered offensive in other contexts.
Salvadorans also refer to themselves as guanacos(as Panamanians refer themselves as canaleros, Guatemalans as chapines, Nicaraguans as pinoleros, and Hondurans as catrachos). All terms can be affectionate or pejorative, depending on context and tone.