Six Words To Know When Living In Colombia

Living in a different country means not only to know basic vocabulary but to get in touch with contextual words and expressions, which are both interesting and very useful. Here you have 6 words to know and use in your visit in Colombia:

1. Chévere:

it’s a very Colombian expression; you won’t listen to it in other Latin-American countries. It means “cool”. It’s very common y Bogotá and most used by young and adolescents.

2. Paila:

this is a very cultural and routine word. Its original meaning refers to a frying pan, but Colombians use it to mean when a person is in trouble and there’s nothing to do. For example, when your boyfriend or girlfriend leaves you out, “paila”, you can do nothing.

3. Bacana/o:

it’s another informal and routine word; its meaning is very similar to “chévere”, but it commonly refers to a cool person, for example, you can say “that man is a “bacan””. There’s not real difference if you omit “o” or not.

4. Camellar:

it´s a very colloquial expression and it’s used in the whole country. It means “to work”. And “El camello” is the job. For example, you can listen “No tengo camello”, that means “I have no job”.

5. ¡Caray!:

it’s a very Bogotá’s word. It’s a total surprise expression. You use it when you get surprised or even annoyed. For example, “¡Caray!, no puedo ir a la fiesta”, that means “Damn! I can’t go to the party”.

6. !Qué boleta!:

it’s a very Bogotá’s expression and it’s used when you identify an embarrassing person or situation. For example, if you get drunk and fall down, your friends will say “¡Qué boleta!”.