Chile is a country known not only for Easter Island and humitas but also for its language.
This South American country is spoken with many idioms and localisms.
Chile is characterized by speaking Spanish with a strong accent that even some inhabitants of other Spanish-speaking countries do not understand one hundred percent.
But don’t worry, in this text, we are going to tell you about some of the words spoken in Chile so that you can become an expert in conversing with the inhabitants of this country.
1. ¡Al tiro!
In Chile, the expression “al tiro” means immediately.
Local legends say that this expression has its origin in colonial times, where a shot was fired into the air to call farm employees to eat. As soon as they heard “the shot,” they would run away immediately, so the expression stuck.
-¿Puedes ir por el pan?
-Sí, voy al tiro.
In Chile, the expression ¿cachai? is used to ask your interlocutor if he/she understood what you said.
It is like an equivalent to “¿Do you understand me?” or “¿me entiendes?” in other Spanish-speaking regions.
It comes from the word “to catch” in English, which means to catch. And in this case, what is caught are not objects but ideas or meanings.
“No podemos estar juntos, ¿cachai?”
3. Estar con la caña
In Chile, it is said “estar con la caña” when someone suffers the physical effects of having drunk a lot of alcohol the night before.
In Mexican Spanish, it is the equivalent of “tener cruda”; in Spanish, in Spain, it is “tener resaca.”
“No puedo trabajar porque estoy con la caña”.
4. Está peluo
Chileans use this expression to say that something is difficult to achieve. In Mexico, its equivalent could be “está difícil” or “está cañón.”
“Llegar a ese puesto está peluo”.
In Chile, the carabineros, or policemen, are called Pacos. According to local legends, this word has its origin in the 19th century and is a deformation of the Quechua word “p\’aku” which refers to the uniforms’ green color.
6. Queda raja
This expression in Chile means to be very tired.
“Quedé raja después del concierto, no me quiero levantar de la cama.”
7. Dar la lata
There is a similar expression in several Spanish-speaking regions, which is “dar lata,” which refers to when someone is restless and with that is bothering another person.
However, in Chile, the word “la” is added, and it means something completely different.
“Dar la lata” is not feeling like doing anything or being lazy to do something.
“Tener lata” or “estar lateado” means “to be bored”.
“Me da lata salir con esta lluvia”
8. Weon / weona
One of the most used words in the Chilean lexicon. It would be the equivalent of “güey” in Mexican Spanish, as it can be used as a synonym for a friend, or as an offense.
“Weon” would be the equivalent of “dude” in English, and as an offense, it is similar to “tonto.” It all depends on the intonation given at the moment of enunciation.
This word is used to describe suitors, whether male or female.
This word origin is an insect called “pilliu,” which flies near the fire when there is fire. It is a kind of metaphor for a lover fluttering around his or her partner.
10. Apretar cachete
Instead of saying to run away or to leave a place quickly, Chileans say “apretar cachete.”
It is said that this is because when they are about to run, they squeeze their buttocks to run away faster.
“Empezó a llover y tuvimos que apretar cachete”.
Are you ready to learn Argentinian Slang?
You may want to read: 10 Argentinian Slang Phrases You’ll Never Learn In School
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