Here’s a story I co-wrote with a former co-worker some years ago. We were discussing it one day over tacos and a haze of cold Tecates at lunchtime (note really, but it makes the scene all thatt much cooler). This actually became some sort of e-mail chain and it made my way a few times. Only one person realized that I actually had a hand in writing this, and we even had telephone calls from all over the country asking for interviews.
The term “Valluco” refers to those that reside or are from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas — the four southernmost counties — and these words are used daily.
Yeah, like we were experts … :
(Note: Don’t remember the date of publishing, but it was before 2007)
Here is a list of colloquialisms that are often used by Rio Grande Valley residents. Such words can often be heard around colonias, barrios, el correo (post office), H.E.B or convenience stores (Note: words are followed by English translation and then in proper Spanish):
Sangrona — conceited; engreído
La wifa — wife; esposa
Pisto — shot of alcohol; trago
Sangre de chango — iodine; yodo
Menso — idiot; idiota
Es bien menso. (He’s an idiot.)
Mochate — share; compartir
You bought pizza? Mochate con un slice!
Cuete — drunk; borracho
Kiko se puso bien cuete.
Destrampado — drunk; borracho
(Note: See cuete)
Iscreen — ice cream; helado
Chiflado(a) — spoiled; niño (a) malcriado(a)
Chamorro — calves (legs); pantorrilla
Chanclas — flip-flops; sandalias
Papel — newspaper; periodico
Rata — thief; ladron
No te aguites — Don’t be embarrassed; avergonzar
Vistas — movie theater; cine
Tickete — ticket; boleto
Guajolote — turkey; pavo
Turnio — cross-eyed; bizco
Someone with a lazy eye would bereferred to as “Turnio”
Simón — yes; si
Did you bring lunch today? The response is, “Simón.”
Chansa — chance; opportunidad
Dale chansa. (Give him a chance.)
Sonso — silly; bobo
Someone runs into a sliding glass door and the response would be: “Sonso!”
Vironga — beer; cerveza
Traime una vironga. Bring me a beer.
Frajo — cigarette; cigarillo
Mochate con un frajo. May I please have a cigarette?
Guines — frank, hot dog; salchicha,
Cayke — cake; pastel
Troca — truck; camioneta
Mapear — to mop; trapiar
Encuerado — naked; desnudo
Codo — short for the Spanish word, “Codicioso,” means stingy, greedy
Watcha — look; mira
Hay te watcho — see you later; hasta luego
Calar —To try something; Lo voy a probar
Chamba — job; trabajo
Horquia — clothespin; pinza para tender ropa
Blanquillos — eggs; huevos
Biles — bills; cuentas
Ya me voy a pagar los biles.
Parquear — to park; estacionar
No hay room para parquear? (Is there any room to park?)
Safada(o) — off his or her rocker; loco(a)
The Martinez boy was trying to stick histongue in the electrical outlet again. Thathuerco esta safado.
Soflamero(a) — one who is melodramatic; melodramático
Catos — punches; puñetazo
Te voy a meter un cato. I’m going to punch you.
Bien de aquellas — cool; excelente
Your new car has spinners … It’s bien de aquellas
Chillon(a) — crybaby; lloron (a)
Chillando — to cry; llorar
Feriar mi cheque — cash my check; cobrar
El bote — jail; carcel
La pinta — jail; carcel
Escuelin — school; escuela
Lonche — lunch; almuerzo
Ranfla — car; auto
Canton — house; casa
Chante — my house, my turf
Chones — underwear; calzones
Cachucha — baseball cap; gorra
Sacatines — socks; calcetines
Flacucho (a) — super skinny,
comes from the word, flaco.
Gordiflon (a) — super fat; comes from the word, gordo.
Nalgada — to spank; dar una zurra
Comelon (a) — one who eats a lot; glotón
Trailiada — thrilled; emocionada
Cuates — twins; gemelas, gemelos
The following are words or phrases that are very common in the area. In some cases, use of the words or phrases has been provided to clarify their meaning:
Papelera — drama queen
Pistiar — to drink alcohol (Also,
pisto means a shot of liquor)
My wife said I can’t go pistiar with you guys anymore.
Ese — dude, man.
Eh, ese, where did you get your Stacey’s from? Payless?
Vato — similar to Dude, man.
Cholo — low class
Chola — female version of cholo
Pachuco — Another term for low rider or cholo. Also called, ’chuco, for short.
Pedo — drunk; borracho … but there are a number of ways to use this word. Happy the comedian used the word to identify several situations during his acts, such as:
Estas bien pedo. (You’re really drunk).
No hay pedo. (There’s no problem).
¿Quieres pedo? (Do you want some of this?)
Puro pedo. (That’s a lie).
¿Que pedo es esto? (What’s this?)
Hasle pedo. (Make a move on him/her)
Que tanto pedo. (There’s a lot of commotion)
Tirar un pedo. (This means to pass gass)
Dolores — A person that is full of sorrow, distress. A woeful person is often referred to as Dolores.
Cuartito — A small room. In the Valley, it means the utility room or a tool shed. Nearly every family has a cuartito.
La regas — to botch something
You ate your carnalito’s birthday cake before the party, ese? La regas.
Te sales — similar to “La regas”
You stole $10 from your mom’s pursewhile she was asleep? Te sales, vato.
A todo dar — awesome It was real hot yesterday, but I jumped in my little brothers plastic pool and it felt a todo dar, ese.
Ruca — girl; chica
Vato — guy; chico
El bos — the bus; autobus
How did you get here? Me vine en el bos.
Me das ride — give me a ride
Tirar a la leon — tossed aside, to ignore something
Chimuelo(a) — missing teeth
Chamaco(a) — young boy, girl; chico, chica
Carnalito(a), carnal(a) — little brother/sister, brother/sister
Chale — whatever, or forget that You want me to mow the lawn for $10? Chale, ese, I’ll do it for $20.
Chismolero (a) — one who gossips; chismoso
Comadriando — women hanging out, gossiping
Primo — it means cousin, but can be used regarding close friends as well
Hey primo, you got five bucks you can lend me?
Mano — short for hermano, but also used among friends
Cornfleys — cornflakes; cereal
Postostes — Post Toasties; cereal
Me caes peseta/Me caes gordo—You annoy me
Mi jefita — my mother; jefa means female boss
Chongo — in Mexico and South
Texas, it mean ponytail
Sas — a thump; related to English words such as “Pow! Bam!”
He was walking in the kitchen and then, Sas! He ran into the screen door.
Palo — A sudden collision, in relation to the word Sas (In English, related to the words “Bam! And Pow!”)
Juanito was walking down the street and then, palo! El viejo Fernandez ran over him with his truck.
Jale — several definitions, including Tengo que ir a jalar (I have to go to work), Que es ese jale (What’s that thing?), Vengo del jale (I’m coming from work) and puro jale (A lot of jive).
Chota — the police
Hasle — the verb, to do. As in hassle call; hasle change the channel; hassle un tattoo of the Virgin Mary.
Te aventaste — you did a great job; bravo
Beepear — to beep, in the days of pagers
Cherife — the sheriff
Se le callo la garra — going too far.
I gave him $20 to spend at the carnival and told him only to spend five, pero se le callo la garra, and he spent
Saca la daga — job well done
Pepe painted my ride, ese, y se saca la daga.
Cantar — to call someone out; To incite an altercation
Meme was mad at Chito, y se las canto.
Te bañas — literally, it means bathe. But this reference is used more as term when one parts ways with someone.
Orale, Chon. I’ll see you tomorrow, eh.Te bañas.
Borlote — commotion (Kids making quite a racket in the adjoining room and parent goes to investigate)
Por que hay tanto borlote?
Pasiguate — settle down
La migra — Border Patrol
Pichioniar — To make out
Pope — wedgie
Fantocha — showoff, ostentatious
Kool ley — Kool-Aid
El HEB — H.E.B. grocery store
Donas — donuts
Piscar — to work in the fields
Bicks — Vicks
Welo, wela — short for abuelo, abuela, means grandpa and grandma
Bien arregladito — nice and tidy
Hay que chula — how pretty
Churritos — curls
Cachetón — one with chubby cheeks
Patas — means paw or animals foot but incorrectly referred to as human feet. Correct term ispie or pies.
Jambona — a thief; ladron. Also referred to as rata, which means rat.
El cucuy — most Mexican-American children have been scared by the legend of el cucuy, which pretty much means ghost or some entity you’d rather not want to see when the lights are off. Very effective with those 8 years old and under.
Chavalon — boy; niño
Wino — the English word, meaning alcoholic, is often mixed with Spanish.
Rines — rims on a car
Neta — really, for real
Muncho — means mucho, a lot, but some add an “n” in the middle.
Pipa — means pipe, like the one that is smoked but it is used to describe plumbing pipes
N’ombre — reluctant to abide
Flaco: ‘Hey Carlos, can you pass me the remote?’ Carlos: ‘N’ombre! You always put it on Lifetime.”
Palomilla — the whole family, the whole gang
Ralea — the whole family
Esquina — to give support, especially in a quarrel
Hey, vato, Chino and his brothers are coming over here to start some pedo with me. Me das esquina?