More than 90% of people in Colombia speak Colombian Spanish. Yeah, that language from “waka waka” we grow up listening to. One of the most interesting facts about Columbian Spanish is; it is very easy to understand. That is why we still liked Shakira’s song even though we didn’t know the language.
The world has agreed upon the fact that is one of the clearest languages on the planet. This was only about the songs but be very careful while you speak to any Colombian friends.
Colombians love to use slang terms in their routine conversations. If you want to sound like a Native speaker then you should also learn these slang terms. Learning a foreign language is always fun especially when you are already attached to it somehow like music. Languages in Latin countries are very familiar to each other that is why slang terms are also familiar. Like when you hear any familiar Mexican slang a Spanish slang will pop up in your mind. This is why it is fun to learn these languages.
Top 20 Columbian Slang Terms
Colombian slang expressions are very familiar to the Spanish slang. Just a little bit of difference because of the change in region and dialect. Let’s learn some of the Colombian slang phrases to make your learning experience fun and relatable. Checkout our latest post about 30 Mexican Slang Words To Impress!
Let’s start first Colombian slang term with a term for introduction or opening lines of the conversation. Most often we greet the people when we meet them so if you meet any Colombian and he says Qué más? And you will translate this term in your mind and think that he is saying what else because Que means word and mas means else. But this is a very common slang term which Colombian people use to simply say “What’s up?”. The Spanish phrase for this is cómo estás? Which means the same.
We all know that Spanish speakers use the term “amigo” for a friend. This is a very popular term that is not limited to the Spanish-speaking world but people use it internationally. It is also American slang to call a friend an amigo even Chinese people are using this term nowadays. Surprisingly, Colombians use another term for friend which is Parce.
Rumba is a Colombian slang term that means “party”. So, when you hear any Colombian speaker saying “Vamos Rumbear” he probably means let’s party. In Spanish slang, Rumba is the word for dancing but in Columbia it is different.
Listo is a very common Colombian jargon. Well, it has a simple meaning “okay”. Spanish speakers use it to say “ready” but in Colombia people use it as Okay. For example, if your cab driver in Columbia is out of service and says “mi Coche necesita servicio” meaning “my car needs servicing” and you reply with “listo” he will understand that you are saying ok.
One of the popular Colombian phrases is “Que pena”. In Spanish which is used in mainland Spain when you say Que pena, it means you are feeling sad about something. For example, if you hear something sad like someone is complaining about their tough luck, you will respond with the term “Que Pena”. But in Colombia, people use it as sorry or pardon me. Pardon is already a Spanish word but if you use Que pena it means I’m sorry.
This Spanish term originally means “to buy me something”. For example, if you are doing any fun activity with friends who are Spanish. And you want to say “You will buy me Guatemalan drinks” you would say “me regalas Guatemalan bebidas”
But in Colombia people use it to pass something or to borrow something. For example, “Me regalas agua por favor” means “pass me the water please” in Colombia.
This Colombian expression means money. Colombian currency is Lucas but if you’re generally talking about money in Colombia then you will see Billete.
In Colombia, los tombos means police. For example, Llame a la los tombos means call the cops. But in other Latin countries policía is the term for the police.
If you are acting up as an angry person then you can use this slang to tell everyone to leave. This is a Colombian slang expression that originally means to open up for something. But as slang, it is used to tell people to get out.
This phrase is used to refer to the action of flirting. Originally it means to fall but as slang, it is used to refer to flirting. If someone is flirting with you you can easily say “Deténgase caer, por favor” to get rid of them this means “stop flirting please” in Colombian.
If you want to curse something or if you want to tell that this thing is really bad you can use the term paila. Originally this means A pan or a metal pan but as a slang term, it is used to say bad. Simply while referring to something bad like bad luck, you can use this term.
Un Catorce is a slang in Colombia that is used to ask for a favor. In other Latin countries, you do not use this slang but in Colombia these are common. Necesito un Catorce is what you would say if you need a favor in Colombia.
This is a very cool term and it sounds like pizza but it means a bedroom. Only in Colombia pieza mean a bedroom in other Spanish-speaking countries it means a piece or a part of something. So make sure all the slangs you are learning in Colombia are sometimes unacceptable in other Latin countries.
If you are messing something or you want to stop someone from messing something up then you can use this slang term in Colombia. Originally it means something else but Colombians use it to refer to a mess. For example, if you want to say” do not mess that up” you would say “no lo Embarrar”
Camello is a very Spanish phrase. Whenever we listen to words and names Camello, Camilla, Camile the first thing which pops up in our mind is Spanish. Like when we hear Camilla the first thing that comes into mind is the song “Havana o na na”. Anyways Camello means a job. For example,” termina ta camello” means “finish your job.”
This is a very Colombian term. O Qué? Means “or what”. If you’re visiting Colombia, you will hear this term a hundred times a day. People use it in daily conversation to ask or emphasize something.
Mamar Gallo means procrastination. This is the phase we all are facing nowadays and if you want to tell your Colombian friend that you are procrastinating you would say “Estoy Mamar Gallo”.
¡Es Una Nota!
The best way to compliment someone in Columbia is by saying Es Una Nota this means awesome. For example, if you want to tell that your Colombian friend is very good at cooking you would say “Ella es una nota Cocinando”
Yes, this papaya is fruit papaya but in Colombia, it is used to refer for something expensive and valuable for example expensive jewelry, expensive phones et cetera. The term Dar papaya means to ask for something. This is an idiom that means that if you are flaunting your expensive things, you are asking robbers to rob you. So be wise and keep your expensive things hidden on the streets
Plata is the term for money in Colombian. In actual it means silver but Colombian people use it to refer to money. For example, if you need money and you’re asking it from a friend you will say “ I Necesito plata”.