Have you heard expressions like “parche” but don’t know what they mean? An introduction to want to introduce you to unique and colloquial jargon used in Colombia.

These words and phrases are not commonly found in conventional dictionaries and their meaning can vary from region to region. They reflect the wide cultural, historical and social diversity of the country and are an integral part of everyday communication among Colombians, adding color to everyday life, bringing authenticity to conversations and helping better understanding the sense of humor, values and the country´s lifestyle.

Colombian Journeys offers a few of the most popular local expressions:

  • Bacán: a cool or friendly person.
  • Chévere: cool or nice.
  • Chimba: something positive or exciting.
  • Jartera: boredom or tiredness.
  • Mandado: task or errand done for someone.
  • Mijo(a): this abbreviation for “my son” or “my daughter” is widely used to address anyone in an affectionate way.
  • Mono(a): it refers to a person with blonde or light hair. It’s not always politically correct but is widely used.
  • Paila: problem or difficulty.
  • Parcero(a): friend or companion.
  • Parche: group of friends that gather to hang out. It can also mean event or meeting.
  • Pelado: young person or adolescent.
  • Tinto: black coffee.

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