Money is an important topic in Argentina, more so than other countries. With its yo-yo economy, high inflation, corrupt system and long-term monetary and debt problems, it is a daily topic of conversation for everyone. As someone employed for a short time by the much-hated (in Argentina) International Monetary Fund (IMF) I love hopping into a taxi and entering into economic and monetary policy discussions with the driver. Where else can an average guy on the street not only actually name his country's Economics Minister, but also critique his policy decisions and those of the IMF with the depth of knowledge normally reserved for an Econ professor?
Here is my list of 20 slang words in Spanish for money I heard while living in Argentina.
20 Argentina Slang Words in Spanish for MONEY
1. amarrete: cheap, stingy.
2. amarrocar: to save money
3. austral: name of former currency used in Argentina, replaced by the peso in 1992
4. bono: any of a number of different currencies emitted by the various provinces of Argentina as an attempt to stabilize their fiscal problems. Although the word literally means bond, they were in effect currencies printed to pay off debt.
5. chirola: coins, pocket change
6. cobre: money
7. coima: a bribe
8. coimear: to bribe
9. cometa: a bribe
10. corralito: word used to describe the step the government took in 2001 and 2002 to seize bank deposits and control the amount of money people could withdraw from their accounts
11. gamba: one hundred pesos
12. gatillar: to spend a lot of money
13. guita: bucks, money
14. luca: one thousand of a currency, one luca is a thousand dollars or pesos
15. luca verde: a thousand US dollars
16. mango: 1) money 2) very little or none (in reference to money)
17. morlaco: money
18. mosca: money
19. palo: a million
20. palo verde: a million dollars
These common words and phrases will help you communicate during your early days with Argentina Spanish. Check out the book Speaking Argento: A Guide to Spanish from Argentina —Over 1000 local Argentine terms are available in this light-hearted guide.
Check out these other Argentina Spanish Slang Word articles.