Speak Dominican ...
Dominican words and frases you don't find in your dictionary
Additional entries every two weeks
(look out for this arrow for new entries:)
As in most Latin (american) countries the language spoken everyday will not always match the Spanish
one has been taught. Many words you hear may have a common meaning in "Spanish" but they are understood
completely different by the locals varying not only from country to country but -- in the Dominican Republic --
from region to region.
Our following list , in alphabetical order and intended to be growing steadily, shall help you to better understand
Dominican culture, avoid offending someone -- and keep you smiling throughout the lecture.
As many of the following vocabulary listed is even unknown to the latest generation of Dominicans it shall as well
serve to keep up genuine Dominican culture and tradition.
It has been a year now that we are compiling this list; now having gone once through the whole alphabet, we will be adding and updating words and phrases weekly. Please look for the
A | B
| C | D |
E | F |
G | H
| I | J
| K | L
| M | | N
| P |
R | S |
T | U | V | X |
Y | Z
- a) Imagine that you have already returned for the twentyfith time at the counter in a public building to get
this one last permit you need and the clerk smilingly rejects your application again as being still incomplete ...
after you have had your colerical outbreak two security guards rush into the office to abuenar you.
b) your girlfriend has disappeared and returned to you after five days ... you actually were boiling mad at here but when
she is standing at your doorstep you hug and kiss her ... all forgotten, well you just have abuenar ed her!
- ABUR - AGUR :
- In the Cibao valley as well as on the Northeast coast you still hear this as a form of "adios!". Other Hispanics seem
not to recognize this greeting. May have originated from Hebrew " nagur ".
- If you are not willing to read any more of this stuff, because you are not interested in progressing in
your Spanish and what do y need to speak this lingo anyway ... well, you are a real achantao.
- ACHOCAO DE LA CABEZA:
- When I am achocao de la cabeza I usually take two of these geltabs.
- Friday is payday, then comes the weekend, then one Monday you are broke again, so you have achocar ed all your salary.
- Ever tried to steal apples or other fruits from the neighbors tree and found out that the fruit was not
yet ripe ? In that case it was still acojolado.
- a) Way in the Dominican countryside you are buying a soda in one of the village's groceries and the farmer's wife
next to you orders: acotejo me one pound of rice, five cents of sausage, two light bulbs and three portions of coffee.
b) Way in the Dominican countryside a group of gossipers talks about the young girl from down the street who will marry this
ugly, fat, old -- but very rich salesman from the capital. At least she will be well acotejar ed !
- AMERICANISM (ANGLICISM):
- Many linguists admit -- without hiding their concern --that the Spanish spoken in Dominican urban environments
is deteriorating and full of foreign (English) expressions. What is rather amusing is the way Dominicans pronounce and
spell those widly used words, here some examples ( please read as spelled ):
- beisbol= baseball
- jonron = homerun
- guachi(man) = watchman, guardian
- teecher = T-Shirt
- sipcoa = zipcode
- zafacon = safety can (understood as: trash can)
- If someone is threatening you with anotar he does not mean to take notes, it is rather understood
that your life is in danger !
- Do not be surprised that you have spoiled your kids caracter, once you have aņoņar ed it all those years.
( got that ? -- another hint: substitute aņoņar for the name of a diaper brand, without s.)
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- If you are a girl going out with more than one boyfriend at a time you are definitely a baboseada!
Note: Not do be mixed up with the word babosada widely used throughout Mexico and Central
America, meaning "useless, irrelevant, meaningless".
- In the Cibao valley babucha is a piece of clothing most of us would only wear as a night gown,
and a babuchon is an oversized longsleeve men's dress shirt, also worn by girls.
Note: In Mexico, Cuba or Argentina though, you wear them babucha on your feet !
- During the main baseball season this is how Dominicans call last saturday's outstanding player
of their favorite team and if you want to express your admiration or surprise about someones appearance or
behaviour you shout que barbaro !
- an adjective used for persons who are of questionable reputation, often used in combination with
the Spanish word for "cat = gato": The boyfriend of your teenage daughter may be called a gato barcino,
Garfield may not, we suppose.
- Don't overfeed your kids with carbohydrates or they will be called a barraquete !
- The average homecoming and bachelor parties usually end up as a bebentina .
Note:The Dominican's preferred liquor is dark rum !
- Once the visitors at the above mentioned bebentina left the ballroom they made so much noise that
many passersby expressed their bijorria .
- Next, members of the group who attented the bebentina started to shout boconadas (bocomerias)
at the passersby who actually where not very impressed nor intimitated.
- In 1961 a popular (political) merengue song hit the streets. Its title was "Buchipluma no ma", and ment
in plain Spanish " Buche y pluma nada más = dogs that bark don't bite". A buchipluma hence was a
Dominican who, in those days. from their exile desperately tried to end the regime of General Trujillo.
(word emailed to us by Heinz M., Vienna-Austria)
- If you live way in the countryside and the next outpost of your favorite supermarket-chain is more
than 200 miles away, you have to rely on your burriquero for grocery shopping. You can't miss
him, he is the one riding the burro !
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Updated: December 19, 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org