7 Argentine Phrases You Need to Know

Iguazu Falls, Argentina
Iguazu Falls, Argentina | © Mike/Flickr | https://www.flickr.com/photos/squeakymarmot/142130823/in/photolist-dysxr-skJ7E8-t5jT6s-rKSEyy-remGLA-rmMF57-rJXYSL-rTT8yV-rmYZGK-FNvGSB-siCvCC-AKh1ZZ-nZJrtq-rHBxTw-pXcXBN-s9BroM-QDDTaA-HR2T3c-CLyTxE-5JQqy2-4eHgyz-Fp9Sfd-5xk4S1-oEKCVy-s3kded-5MVHEh-5rYN2u-NHLUz-owmvf7-cB6ssd-AMv1SU-RUsBP-N2RGp-HCCHJG-2GdTTm-2Zih9j-oxq53i-6VvFPx-8WAry-sxSYAz-2SqBe3-seA8nn-rvceab-psj16v-jF9d6d-L5wWh-Ba4D39-95RfJ-acJkY4-eaxGJK
Sorcha O'Higgins

Argentina’s Spanish is a strange and wonderful thing. The language, locally called Castellano, is full of quirks and oddities, and Argentines are fiercely proud of their native slang, or lunfardo. Here are five phrases you should know before coming to Argentina.


‘Che’ is a word that many people will already be familiar with, although they may not know it. Iconic Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara was actually christened Ernesto, and was given the name ‘Che’ because of his prolific use of the word. It is definitely the word you will hear used most in Argentina, and it can mean a number of things. The most common usage means “hey!” or “man.” It is often used at the start of sentences when getting someone’s attention, such as “Che, escuchame,” or “Hey man, listen.” You will also hear it peppering conversation ubiquitously, so it’s no wonder El Che was bestowed with this worthy title.

Che Guevara

Mira Vos!

Mira vos!” literally translates into “Look at you!” which, in English, having someone say this to you would mean you’ve accomplished some sort of achievement. But here it can be translated as someone nodding their head and saying, “Oh, right.” For example, if someone asks you where you’re from, and you say “Canada,” they might nod and say, “Mira vos.” Not that there is anything particularly special to an Argentine about the fact that you’re from Canada, or anywhere else for that matter, but this can be a funny one to get your head around until you’ve heard it a few times.


Argentines are a fiesty bunch, especially when it comes to traffic and road rage. So it’s natural that things can get heated if there is a traffic incident, and locals will exit their cars and have no qualms about causing a scene right in the middle of the road. A word that you’ll likely hear shouted in a situation like this is “pelotudo,” which means asshole, and it’s common to see it accompanied with lots of hand gestures to really bring home the point.


Boludo’ is often heard following ‘che,’ such as “Che, boludo!” Together they mean, “Hey, man!” but by itself boludo can be a term of endearment or an insult, depending on how it is applied. When used with friends, it is an amicable term, and can be thrown in at the start of end of any sentence. With friends it can also be used to mean someone is silly, in a funny way. But when used in a negative way to someone, such as someone who crashes into your car, you might say, “Sos un boludo!” meaning “You’re a complete idiot!”

Los boludos


The literal translation of “Viste?” is ”Did you see?” But in Argentina it is used to illustrate or define a point. The usage here kind of means, “You know?” or “You know what I’m talking about?” So, for example, someone might be explaining something to you, and then at the end say, “Viste?” You nod and say, “Si.” No one ever says no to viste.

Escuchame una cosita

Effectively this can be translated into ‘listen’ in the sort of informal way you would say it if you were having a conversation with someone on the phone. The direct meaning in English would be, “Listen to this little thing for me,” but you will hear it peppering exchanges between Argentines at every turn.

La concha de la lora

Perhaps the best and weirdest Argentine phrase is “La concha de la lora,” which literally means, “The shell of the female parrot,” but here it means “the prostitute’s c**t.” This is bandied about shamelessly and you will hear even the most well-to-do citizens using their fair share of vulgarities. The subject can be interchanged for your mother (“la concha de tu madre”) or your sister (“la concha de tu hermana”) at will, and each is as bad as the other.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.