11 Nicaraguan Words and Phrases You Need to Know

People in the street in León
People in the street in León | © Guillaume Baviere / Flickr
Jack Guy

The Spanish language varies as you move from country to country and from province to province. In Nicaragua it’s no different, with a number of distinctive local words for you to learn. Here are some common pieces of Nicaraguan slang that you should get your head around before you visit.

Granada, Nicaragua

A todo mamón

You might hear this if someone drives “super-fast,” as a way of describing their speed. El chofer manejaba a todo mamón means, “The driver was going really fast.”

Chele

A white or pale-skinned person is often referred to as a chele, from leche, meaning “milk.”

Dale pues

It might literally translate as “Give it, then,” but the phrase is used to mean, “OK.” “Shall we go to the cinema?” “Dale pues.”

L’Eglise de la Merced, León

Maje

This is used to refer to a person, but mainly among young people. Some adults might not be too pleased to be referred to as a maje, so use it carefully if you are in older company.

Deacachimba

Use this to describe something that you think is really cool. Tus zapatos son deacachimba means, “Your shoes are super-cool.”

Cuecho

If you hear this one, you might be about to get in on a secret. In Nicaragua, cuecho means “gossip.”

El cumiche

If you’re the youngest of the family, you’re el cumiche. Mi hermano Roberto es el cumiche means, “My brother Roberto is the youngest.”

Andar en la ruta 11

Literally, this one translates as “walking 11th street,” but it’s used to mean “walk,” because your silhouette looks like a number 11.

Solo mate sos

If you don’t believe something, you can use this phrase to show your disbelief. For example, if someone says they went on a date with a celebrity, you can respond with Solo mate sos.

Chocho!

Use this one if you are amazed to hear something. It’s the Nicaraguan equivalent of “Wow!”

Tuani

This one can also be used to describe something cool. Tus amigos son tuanis means, “Your friends are cool!”

Want to know more about Nicaragua? Don’t miss these movies.

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