Ecuador slang – 10 ways to sound like a local

Ecuador slang

Ecuador, and especially Cuenca, has it’s own version of Spanish that will take you a bit to get used to. There’s actually a decent amount of Quichua mixed in as well as some weird expressions. If you already know Spanish, check out my top 10 Cuencanismos to learn in order to sound like a local (or a gringo trying way way way too hard to fit in):

Ecuador slang

Hace frio! Changamos!

  1. Achachai!: Geez, it’s freaking cold!!! Pronounce this with the accent on the chai, as in “achachaaaaaiiiiiii” or if it’s reaaaaly cold you can even say achachachaiii! From quichua.
  2. Chévere: Cool
  3. Bacán: Cool
  4. Grandote: Huge!  If something’s big, don’t just say grande, say grandote!
  5. -azo: a suffix applied to adjectives meaning really, as in “Ricazo”: really delicious, or “largazo”: really long,
  6. -ito: diminutive, a suffix applied to nouns meaning little, but applied in Cuenca to way more things than are necessary. As in….”Que le doy? El aguita. Si, cincuenta centavitos”…What shall I give you? The little water bottle. That’ll be 50 little cents.
  7. Que cosa?: Literally, “what thing?” What? Instead of saying “Que?” a lot of people say “Que cosa?”
  8. Mentira!: Literally “a lie!”, in Cuenca Spanish, this actually means that you believe the person, but what they are saying is unbelievable/incredible/surprising.
  9. Changar: Literally to hook, in Quichua, meaning slang to hook one’s leg around someone else’s in a cuddling manner.  As in….”Eres guapo y hace frio, quieres changar conmigo? “
  10. Tirar: literally to throw. In slang, to score or screw a woman. An expression used by the teenage boys in Cuenca. As in “Ayer sali con Maria. Tiraste? Claro!”….”Yesterday I went out with Maria. Did you score? Of course!”
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6 Responses to "Ecuador slang – 10 ways to sound like a local"
  1. Jamie says:

    Lol, I love reading about language differences and slang. You must hear a lot of the dirty stuff though because you have two entries on it!

  2. Roaminglisa says:

    You have no idea haha, I know way worse.

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