This is the second part of our series Slang in the News where we share Spanish slang examples from newspapers around Latin America. In this post of headlines from September, I identify 29 Spanish slang words from 27 newspaper front covers.
Using slang in headlines makes them catchy and appealing to the masses. Writing a good headline is a practice that requires you to follow specific rules, like for example:
1. Headlines are simple and direct.
2. Even though they reference an event in the past, headlines are written in present tense.
3. Depending on the design style of the publication, the only letter that is capitalized is the first. The words in the rest of the sentence should remain in lower case, except if a word is a proper noun.
4. Abbreviations or acronyms that aren’t easily recognize are not used.
5. Headlines do not start with a verb.
Maybe some of the following headlines do not follow the above guidelines, but every publication has its own set of rules. Reading newspaper headlines is a great exercise to improve your Spanish slang.
27 Headlines Examples With Spanish Slang
Headline: La idea de una contramarcha en respuesta a los cacerolazos genera dudas en el oficialismo
Meaning: a type of protest when the people go to the street and beat on pots (caserolas) while they protest something.
Headline: No es ninguna jodita
Meaning: a joke
Headline: Pololos siguen graves tras accidente
Meaning: boyfriend and girlfriend, the more common Spanish word is novios.
Headline: ¡Filo contigo! Roca y Mariana se pegaron la PLR
Meaning: it is over, we are finished
Meaning: acronism for Patada en La Raja that translate to “a kick in your ass”
Headline: 5 detenidos por asalto a botillería
Meaning: liquor store
Headline: Ocho empresas paisas se muestran en Wall Street
Meaning: short for paisano, the term used for people from the northwestern region of Colombia. The region is formed by the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío.
Headline: Sentado en piedra muere de 8 filazos
Meaning: A cut made with a knife or machete. This word is also used in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Headline: Ejército de cipotes busca salir del oscuro mundo de las drogas
Meaning: young boy
Headline: Crece acecho de maras en escuelas y colegios
Meaning: a gang
Headline: Suazo y Costly quedaron “hules”
Meaning: without anything or without money.
Headline: Abramos las “charolas”
Meaning: eyes. This headline translate to “lets open the eyes”
Headline: ¡Bala a 7 chavos!
Meaning: young boy. This headline translate to “shot to 7 boys”
Headline: La fuga, por la puerta; el túnel, pa’ los chescos
Meaning: soda or drink
Headline: “Mari” catracha
Meaning: This one is interesting; a word from Honduras used in a newpaper from Nicaragua. A catracha is a fried corn tortilla with beans and cheese. The headline makes reference to the police confiscating marihuana in the kitchen of two sisters. So, “mari-catracha” is a made-up word for a tortilla with marihuana.
Headline: Despachan a pareja en Felipillo
Meaning: to murder
Headline: Lo plomean para robarle
Meaning: from the word plomo in Spanish. To open fire on someone. Another word in Spanish is balear.
Headline: Ley anti botineras. Peloteros solteros ya no farrearán
Meaning: the women of a soccer player
Meaning: to go out partying. Also used in Ecuador and Colombia.
Headline: “Les desafío moquete a mis jugadores”
Meaning: punch, blow with the fist
Meaning: a crude, rude, low class person
Headline: Otro ampay en “Brujas de Cachiche”
Meaning: to catch someone red-handed. Just to clarify, Brujas de Cachiche is a restaurant in Lima.
Hadline: AGP pierde la chaveta
Phrase: perder la chaveta
Meaning: another way to say “perder la cabeza.” To lose one’s temper or patience, to blow up, to explode. To clarify, AGP are the initials of Alejandro García Padilla, who is running for governor in the upcoming election. Governor is the highest position in the government, in Puerto Rico, similar to president in other countries.
Headline: Anuncio fatulo del PPD
Meaning: fake, a lie. To clarify, PPD is the acronym for a political party Partido Popular Democrático.
Headline: Tirijala por Pablito
Meaning: short for phrase “tira y hala” or “tira y jala” that means back and forth. It is also a Puerto Rican elastic, sticky candy.
Headline: AGP se hace el chivo loco
Phrase: Hacerse el chivo loco
Meaning: to ignore something. Another phrase is “hacerse el loco”
Headline: Sin nafta: ANCAP decidida a no ceder ante escalada sindical
Meaning: gasoline, fuel. To clarify, ANCAP is the acronym for Administración Nacional de Combustibles, Alcoholes y Portland
Headline: Caladera fuñío por 40 palos
Headline: Capriles botó a Caldera por matraquero
Check out the Speaking Latino free online slang dictionary with thousands of words and phrases from Latin America translated and explained in English. It is the best way to improve your Spanish vocabulary and clear your doubts about Spanish slang. Look for any term in the search box.
Have you run across any slang words in newspaper headlines that you didn’t understand? Just mention them in the comments, as well as the country and the newspaper’s from and we’ll see if we can get you an answer.
Check out these other articles about the Spanish Language.