Every country has a flag, food and symbols that identify them. But what about a single word?
During the 6th International Congress of the Spanish Language (VI Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española) celebrated in Panama, the blog Papeles Perdidos, created by the newspaper El País, published an atlas of the representative words of Spanish-speaking countries. They asked 20 writers which word they consider “best reflects your country.” The storytellers, poets and essayists responded with what they consider the most authentic words from their country, and this the word from Argentina:
Argentine Spanish: BOLUDO in English
Argentine poet Juan Gelman goes for boludo. “It is a very popular term and deeply ambivalent even today. It involves reference to a fool, stupid person or idiot, but does not always imply an insulting or derogatory connotation… It has lost the offensive meaning. It has changed to a more casual understanding without losing its origin,” he said.
Perhaps this is the most important Spanish word in Argentina with other derivatives such as bolu, boludear and boludez. In his Spanish slang dictionary and phrasebook Speaking Argento, Jared Romey defines the word boludo as the following:
1) stupid, idiot, dipshit, may either be a serious insult or used in a playful or friendly manner.
2) dude, guy; phrase to get someone’s attention, generally a friend or someone who you know.