Jopara / Guarani expressions

I remember picking up some of the Quechua slang in Quito while I lived there and I loved it. I’m sad that I’ve forgotten most of it…

SO! I’ve started a list of Guarani and jopara (mix of guarani & Spanish) expressions here! I’ll try to update the list as I learn more…

  1. chulina: cute!
  2. E’A: What?!? (as in surprise)
  3. hai(iiii)kue: wo(ooooo)w (in amazement). kids said this in unison once when we were showing them Planet Earth videos and, I swear, it was the cutest thing in the world.
  4. que kilombo!: what a mess (literally: what a whorehouse)! This comes from Argentina, I’ve heard.  (EDIT: thank you Ian!) the Kimbundu language. Thank you slave trade & Brazil.  
  5. nde(eee) (+“rachore” optional and más fuerte): dang! (+rachore turns it more into the F-word)
  6. macanadas: silliness
  7. a la pucha (a nicer way of saying “a la puta”): dang
  8. hendy: that sucks
  9. che ra’a (more between guys): my dude
  10. che ama (more between women): my friend
  11. OP!: “HEY!” (a fast, loud, in passing greeting usually between men and if you are on a motorcycle)
  12. anichéne! : No me digas! You’re kidding me!
  13. che sogue: I’m broke
  14. che kaigue: no tengo ganas/ I’m not motivated, I have no drive/desire
  15. naranja tape: literally “the orange that everyone drinks from,” or as we say in English the town bicycle (the bike that everyone rides).
  16. saraki: jugetón, habilidoso, skillful
  17. sarambi: disaster, chaos
  18. ma’éna: awwwww
  19. (estar) chalay: a mess. As in my hair, my house, my clothes are a mess (usually all three in my case).
  20. nde mba’e haku pava lata!: You are a hot kettle top (meaning: a loose woman/man. A little like hombre/mujer calentón/a)!  I clearly have a teenaged Guarani teacher.
  21. mamína: Look! Looking at something in admiration. Like: “Mamína iporaha” (look at how PRETTY it is!) or – as the teachers at school had fun teaching me – “mamína tuichaha” (look at how BIG it is!). See what they did there?
  22. ha upei?: literally “y después?” or “and then?” It’s a very common way to answer a cell phone, kind of like “what’s up?” in my mind.
  23. ka’u: drunk
  24. purete: awesome, cool

Emphasis is usually on the last syllable, if not, I’ve marked the stressed syllable with an accent.

Paraguayan slang:

  1. Re in front of everything as an emphasis: re fashion. Re chistoso. Re enojado.
  2. Everything + un poco: venís un poco! Espérame un poco.

About Nicole FR

Just an old soul in limbo.
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2 Responses to Jopara / Guarani expressions

  1. IAN says:

    “A quilombo (Portuguese pronunciation: [kiˈlõbu]; from the Kimbundu word kilombo) is a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by people of African origin including the Quilombolas, or Maroons. Most of the inhabitants of quilombos (called quilombolas) were escaped slaves…
    In the Spanish dialect of the River Plate, the word quilombo has come to mean brothel,[8] and later big mess.[8] In Venezuelan Spanish, it means boondocks.[8]”

    but otherwise, great post!

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