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I was kinda confident about having a basic conversation with portenos, because I took some classes right before my trip, however, my Argentinean friend gave me some tips when I first arrived in Buenos Aires:  greeting friends with “che chavon”;  picking one sunny afternoon and enjoying people watching in san telmo’s vintage feca;  dancing the night away with gomías to the most popular boliche; and having a delicious Sunday morfi with local porteños; I know I was in serious trouble when I heard these unfamiliar words. In the beginning of the stay in Buenos Aires, visitors and students are usually very confused and tortured by this Argentinean slang, but NO TE PREOCUPES, now we are going to have an authentic learning experience of the porteno’s own language: Lunfardo.

History of Lunfardo:

Lunfardo was widely spoken in the blue-collar class back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries inBuenos Aires with the influence from Castilian of Argentina and Uruguay. Nevertheless, it had begun to spread among all social classes, and with flow of the immigrants, lunfardo also traveled to the neighborhood countries such asChile, andParaguay.

And your door to Lunfardo is opening NOW :


cerebrar – to think something up

Amarrocar – to treasure

Amasijar – to kill

Junar – to know

Pescar – to know

Garpar – to pay with money

Morfar –to eat (Morfi is the food)

Laburar – to work (laburo is a job)

Afanar – to steal, to be ripped off

Apoliyar – to sleep

Ligar – to get punished

Pirar – to go to, to get to

Calentura – to observe

Zafar – to escape


Fiaca – lazy person

Gomías – friends

Chochamu – young man (vesre for muchacho)

Percanta – a young woman

Pibe – like “kid”, a common term for boy, young man, guy as well

Bacán – a rich man who looks after a woman

Che – hey dude/friend

Che boludo – hey stupid/ dude (use only with friends!)

Chabon – dude

Copado/a – someone or something cool

Mina – woman, girl

Cheto – rich, snobby person

Bombon, Diosa – hottie

La cana – the police, a cop

Chanta – cheater

Chorro – a thief

Piola – someone or something smart and cool

Yeta – someone or something with bad luck

Most Used Words:

Telo – a pay by hour love motel

Boliche– dance club

Pilcha – cloth

Feca con chele – coffee with milk

Lorca – hot ( verse for calor)

Guita – money

Quilombo – disorder, mess

Gomas – woman’s breast, tits (offensive)

Una birra – beer

Bondi – bus

Boludo – stupid

Gil – Stupid/silly (pronounced as ‘hill’)

Pucho – cigarette

Trucho/a – fake

Buena onda –  good vibe

Macanudo – nice

Un Bajon – very bad news

Berreta – cheap, cheesy

Un cacho – a bit

Fulera – ugly

Guarda – watch out!

If you want to know more about Lunfardo, please have a look at our previous blog: