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Islas Canarias una diversidad en sus expresiones.

Canarian Vocabulary, Know the Essence of its Words

If we travel to the Canary Islands, it is essential to know its Canarian Dictionary and expressions that characterize it as one of the most recognized Spanish Dialects for its wide variety.

Thanks to an excellent geographical location, the Canary Islands have been, without a doubt, a very frequented territory throughout history. Due to the Spanish Civil War, many Canary Islanders emigrated to Europe, and others decided to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Venezuela and Cuba.

The numerous visits of foreign ships and the arrival of Canarians from Latin America gave rise to the Canarian vocabulary, which differs in three essential aspects from the Spanish of the Peninsula. On the one hand, the Canarians pronounce the “c” and the “z” as if they were an “s.” In addition, they do not usually pronounce the final “s” but tend to say it as an aspirated “h”. The aspect that most differentiates Canarians is using “Ustedes” instead of “vosotros.”

The Canarian lexicon is by Spanish speech. Over time, this language has been influenced by Latin American, Venezuelan, Bereber (related to the ancient language of the Guanches in the Canary Islands), English, French, and Arabic. The diversity of Canarian vocabulary and expressions is astonishing.

The recognition of Canary Island Spanish as one of the main dialects of the Spanish language is based on rigorous arguments, as it has its characteristics at all levels of the language.

On the phonic level, the peculiarities we find are the aspiration of final s’s and the subtle articulation of verb forms. On the grammatical level, the absence of the pronoun “vosotros.” On the lexical level, the different voices, from the aboriginal language (perenquén, gofio, tafor or goro), from Portuguese (magua, millo, petudo or fañoso), from American Spanish (guagua, guataca, machango or guanajo), from the Andalusian modality (cigarrón or embelesarse) and from other origins (majalulo or queque) that characterise it, enriching the Spanish lexicon.

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We Show You a “pisco” from the Canarian Vocabulary:

– Abollado – Full to the brim with potatoes and meat, fed up with eating.
– Afilador – Sharpener – Sharpener.
– Aguachirre – A broth without substance or a soft drink.
– Aguaviva – Jellyfish
– Alegar – (1) To talk a lot, to have a lot of talks. (2) To criticize.
– Alongarse – To lean out (or rather, when you are leaning out a lot).
– Amañado – A person who, without being an expert in a specific activity, performs it with a particular skill.
– Ansina – Like this, in this way, in this manner.
– Añurgado – When food gets stuck in your gullet, and neither goes up nor down.
– Arrancadilla – Last drink ordered in a bar before leaving it.
– Arrayar – To aim (e.g.: In a card game: arrayate un millo).
– Arrastrado – Usurero, roñica (very used by the ruinas). (Fuerte arrastrado, he only gave me 20 euros to clean his car).
– Arrebujarse – To get too close to a person.
– Arrequintado – Tight. When something is complete or loaded (arrequintado barrel of wine).
– Arretranco – A junk, Cachivache.
– Arrojar – To throw up (me arroje todo, me vomite encima).
– Arbeja – Pea.
– Asocado – Protected from the wind
– Asadero – (1)Asador (2)Barbecue (to make a barbecue; to organize a barbecue).
– Autodate – Type of potatoes: out of date.
– Atacadera – Anger, visible anger.
– Atotorotao – Atotorotao – To be dull, dull-witted.

– Babieca – (expression from Venezuela) Bobo.
– Baifo – calf of the goat, (2) Se le va el baifo (it goes off the pot).
– Balde – Bucket
– Batata – Clumsy, unintelligent person.
– Belingo – Party, stall
– Bembas – Fleshy lips
– Beterrada – Beetroot.
– Bisnes – Business “cojonudo”. From the English ‘business’.
– Bizcochado – Toasted
– Blocks – Large cement bricks used in construction.
– Bobomierda – A dumb fuckin’ fool.
– Bochinche – Bar, also called chiringo.
– Boliche – Bowling alley.  (from ball age /bó:lich/).
– Bosta – (1) Obese person. From here comes emboste, embostado (2) Cow shit (moñiga).
– Botado – (1) Sucked, easy. (2) Lost, thrown away. (3) Te pasaste, macho (you’ve gone too far, macho).
– Bregador – A fighter.
– Bubango – Squash.
– Buche – A short drink (on the beach with the calufo: give me a drink of water!).
– Burgado – Sea snail

– Caboso – Fish that you usually find in puddles.
– Cabraloca – A crazy, crazy person.
– Cachanchan is good for nothing and a disaster.
– Cachetada or cacheton – Slap on the cheek.
– Cachimba – Pipe for smoking tobacco and other things.
– Cachivache – A generally small and useless item.
– Calufo/a – Insufferable heat.
– Cambuyonero – People who approached foreign ships arriving in port to exchange goods (‘come buy on’).
– Cambado (cambao) – (1) Curved, twisted.
– Canarion/a – Inhabitants of the island of Gran Canaria.
– Cancamo – A repulsive person.
– Canelo – Of brown color.
– Carajera – Relaxation, scandal.
– Cachimba. Smoking pipe.
– Cagarruta – The droppings of goats, rabbits, mice, and rats are usually cylindrical in shapes like a bowling pin or marble.
– Cisco – Used for tiny fragments, not just any piece.
– Cocazo – Headbutt, an involuntary blow to the head.
– Conejero – A person from Lanzarote.
– Coneja – (1) A bleeding wound with a considerable indentation caused by a blow or contusion.
– Consentida – One who thinks she is pretty and attractive.
– Colorado. Red
– Chacho – Boy.
– Chaflameja – Who does things badly.
– Chascar – To eat
– Chalana – Small boat.
– Chascada – Bite
– Cherne – Fish
– Chibichanga – Male reproductive organ.
– Chico – Small (my shoes are too small).
– Chicharrero/a – Dicese de quien pertenece a la Isla de Tenerife.
– Chineguas (or Kinegua) – Type of potato, from the English: King Eduard.
– Chinijo – Small (in the eastern islands).
– Cho – Don/Doña (what happened cho’ Juan?).
– Chocos – Cuttlefish.
– Chochos – Lupins
– Chola – open slippers for going to the beach. (2) Chibichanga.
– Choni – Foreigner
– Chopa – (1) Large cockroach. (2) Big nose.
– Choso – House, home.
– Chorba, chorbo. chico or chica guapo/guapa.
– Chuchanga – Snail.
– Chuletada – The recommended custom of using any excuse to go to the mountains to eat grilled meat (usually pork chops, which is the cheapest).
– Chupa – Chupete.

– Dado – open, outgoing.

– Debruzarse – to lean on crossed arms.

– Declararse – to become excessively fatigued

– Desagallado – Anxious to achieve or satisfy some desire or need.

– Desajeitado- lacking inability.

– Desalado – Terrified

– Desandado – restless, excited, and boisterous.

– Desande – upset stomach.

– Desbastar – to lose weight, to lose weight.

– Descalamoche – wreck, disaster

– Descanarse – to laugh a lot without holding back.

– Deschamizar – to tear something to shreds.

– Deschavetarse – to lose one’s mind.

– Desinquieto – not to be still, a nuisance.

– Desmayo – boredom

– Despalillar – to get rid of something quickly.

– Desperrar – to get rid of someone else’s money.

– Despojo – place at the side of the house to deposit junk.

– Emboste – You can’t fit any more food in your stomach.
– Emperchado – To be straight or straight, with a particular arch of deviation.
– Empenado – To say of something when it should be smooth or straight, but it has a specific arch of deviation.
– Empetado – Crowded with people.
– Enchumbar – To wet, to soak (¡muchacho, que te enchumbas las cholas!).
– Encabronarse – To become irritated, to become furious.
– Encasquetar – To endorse, burden another with what is one’s due.
– Encarnated – red
– Escarrancharse – To get unstuck
– Engrified – (1) Visibly annoyed, upset. (2) For hair: disheveled, disheveled.
– Engriñado – To be regruntled.
– Enfurruñado – Angry.
– Enralado – In the mood for revelry.
– Enroñarse – To become angry, to become obfuscated.
– Enterado – Smarty, know-it-all.
– Enthongado / Piled up
– Enyesque – Appetizer.
– Escachado – Crushed
– Escaldón – Preparation of gofio and broth or milk.
– Escarranchado – To be unstuck.
– Estamparse – To crash, to hit violently against something.

– Fajarse – Loosen up
– Farfullero/ra – A person who cheats, especially in gambling.
– Farruco – Bully, bully.
– Fechillo – A bolt.
– Fisco – A piece, piece, chunk.
– Fleje – A bunch (a strip of stamps).
– Fogalera – Bonfire.
– Folía is – Typical Canarian song.
– Fonil – Funnel (give me something to unclog the funnel).
– Fósforo – Match.
– Fo! Expression of disgust or revulsion (from Faugh! /fo:/).
– Frangollo – Typical dessert (with gofio, honey).
– Furular – What works.

– Gajo – drop. A piece of a bunch of grapes.
– Gaveta – A crate.
– Godo – An inhabitant of the peninsula.
– Gofio – Toasted flour made from millet or wheat.
– Golisnear/ golifiar – To gossip, to snoop around.
– Guagua – A bus.
– Guaguero/a – A bus driver.
– Guanajo – Crowded.
– Guanijei. Copa de whisky.
– Guata – Cotton.
– Gueldes – Fried small fish.
– Guineo – 1. Annoying chant, repeated speech, insistent and monotonous voice. 2. Majesty
– Guiri – Foreigner
– Guirre – (1) Vulture or Egyptian Vulture (2) Wimpy, skinny.
– Guisar – To cook, to boil.

– Habichuela – Green bean.
– Hierbahuerto – Mint.
– Hondilla – Bowl.
– Humacera – Smokehouse.

– Jalar – To pull something
– Jareas – A way of preserving/preparing fish.
– Jartada – To throw oneself into something.
– Jeringarse – To get annoyed, to fuck oneself.
– Jediondo – Hediondo – Hediondo, cochino.
– Jilorio – To want to eat a lot.

– Laja – Cunning.
– Lambiar – Lick. With its many applications.
– Lasca – A piece that is cut out of something. Could you give me a slice of ham?
– Liña – Ropes for hanging clothes (removes the locks from the liña).
– Lisa – (1) Silverfish that eats everything, is like a sea pig, can reach considerable size (2) lizard, dark in color.

– Macanazo – (1) a tough blow. (2) Drink alcoholic beverages.
– Machango – As an insult: wimp, clown, dumb ass. If it’s a non-foul, then it refers to a dummy.
– Machangada – Nonsense.
– Machanguito – Little doll.
– Maní – Peanut, Manises. Cacahuete – Peanut, peanuts.
– Machucar – To crush.
– Magua – Grief, disconsolation.
– Margullar – To dive (he gave himself an impressive bruise). scratch (he fell in the brambles and bruised himself all over).
– Majar – To thresh with something.
– Majado – marinade that is put on meat before roasting.
– Majorero – A person from Fuerteventura.
– Matao – A person from Fuerteventura.
– Mestura – Mixture.
– Millo – Corn (from the Portuguese, milho). Pineapple of millet, corn on the cob.
– Mogollón – (1) A heap (mogollón de cosas). (2) Crowd of people, primarily used in carnivals (we go to mogollones!).
– Mojo – Typical Canarian sauce

– Nalgada – As seems obvious, a cake in that part.
– Naife or Nife. Canary knife (from knife /naif/).
– Nombrete – Nickname, nickname, name with mocking intentions.
– Nota – Guy, character, uncle (I met the nota ese).
– Novelear – to go and see what is going on at a given moment to find out something.
– Novelero – a person who is a novelist.

– Ñame – In addition to a tuber that is eaten, it means foot.
– Ñanga – Lazy, weak individual, changa.
– Ño – Typical exclamation.
– Ñoño – Foot (the plural ñoños refers to the toes).

 Pachanga – To play a game of something among friends.
– Pajiao – To stand still, to “paja” (one can think badly).
– Palangana – Barreño.
– Palique – To rant, to talk non-stop. The person is “palicosa”.

– Pambufo – Chubby
– Papa – Potato.
– Papafrita – Dumb, stupid, stupid.
– Papahuevo – Giant figure used in the parades of the fiestas.
– Papear – To eat
– Parejito/a – Of the same size. Dejame el pelo parejito – Leave my hair even
– Parida – a witticism, generally unfortunate, out of tune.
– Partigazo – A blow, a fall from someone to the floor.
– Pejiguera – A lewd person, a heavy person.
– Pellizcón – To pick up a piece of human flesh with the tips of the index finger and thumb, turn the wrist 180 degrees without releasing it.
– Pelete – Cold, scratchy.
– Perenquen – Small endemic lizard.
– Perreta – Anger is usually produced in children.
– Piba/e – girl/boy girlfriend/boyfriend
– Picón – Small stones (of volcanic origin – due to the local orography) used for various purposes, on roads, in gardens, etc.
– Piche – Tar, the one that is not very funny when it is on the beach.
– Pinga – Cuca or chibichanga.
– Pinocha – The dry leaves of pine trees.
– Piña – (1) Piña de millo – corn cob. (2) Punch, punch.
– Pita – Horn, whistle (of the car, man!).
– Pizco – (In Gran Canaria) A piece, piece, chunk.
– Playeras – Sneakers.
– Pollaboba – Fool, asshole.
– Potra – To have a lot of luck in something (que potra!).
– Potaje -(1) Stew made with pulses, vegetables, and other ingredients. (2) Mess, mess.
– Privado, estar – To be very happy.
– Pufo -Boliche. Marble or glassy. Deception.
– Puntal – The best of a Canarian wrestling team. It can be used to refer to someone by extolling their qualities.
– Pulover – Pullover, jumper.

– Rala – A thin mixture of something.
– Rabuja – Small, skinny, puny.
– Rebenque – Bad, unruly. This child is a “rebenque.”
– Rebujado – (1)Scrambled (2) Confused.
– Rebumbio – is when a football match is played with two teams and only one goal.
– Rejo – (1)Tentacle. (2) Insidiousness. He’s got “a rejo que pa que”
– Relajo – To behave in an unserious manner.
– rente – Adjective meaning something like very short (to cut one’s hair very short).
– Requintado – To be full, full to the brim.
– Revencazo – Equal to taponazo.
– Revortillo – A mess, a tangle of things.
– Riscarse – To fall off a cliff, to fall off a cliff. Also called enriscarse.
– Rodarse – To move to one side.
– Roscas – In Gran Canaria, popcorn.
– Rolo→ Large stone.
– Ruín – Bad of perverse and bad of quality (Milk is ruin”).
– Ruina – Someone of base instincts. Also, a slab (The other day, a ruin came and asked me for a fire).
– Rumbiento – With rust (rusty).

– Tajado/a – To be drunk
– Talegazo – A fall, usually of the back, that is, a fall from the back.
– Tanza – Nylon thread used for fishing.
– Tapaculo – Sole.
– Taponazo – To hit against something firm.
– Tenderete – Popular party in which Canarian music and dances predominate.
– Tenique – Big stone.
– Tiesto – That boy is a potsherd, that boy is mean as hell.
– Tifar. To steal (from thief), used in colloquial language.
– Tino – refers to common sense or clarity “lost his wits.”
– Timple – Typical Canarian guitar, small, with four or five strings.
– Toletazo – Blow
– Tolete/a – (1) Bobo/a, Tonto/a (usually affectionate).
– Tollina – Beatings, physical punishment.
– Tollos – Strips of a dried mako shark.
– Tonga – Many things together, usually on top of each other.
– Tenique – A blunt stone.
– Totorota – Same as tolete. 
– Totufo – More or less the same as “tolete.”
– Traba – Hair or clothes peg.
– To get stuck – On getting stuck or trapped. The lift got stuck.
– Trancar – (1) To close. To do something in a jam is when you do it quickly and carelessly. (2) If someone is stuck, it means that they are a hunk.
– Trillarse – To catch your fingers (or anything else).
– Trompada – A slap.
– Trompo – Top.
– Tuno – Fruit of the cactus.
– Tupir – To clog.

– Vainazo – Reprimand, reprimand, very serious reprimand
– Vacilar – to joke
– Vacilón – State of drunkenness
– Verga – (1)Luck, (2) Chibichanga
– Verguilla – Wire (normal and ordinary).
– Verija – that does not sit still
– Vieja – Fish with delicate and very tasty flesh.
– Vinagre – A person who is very prone to stick his elbow out.
– Virarse – To respond aggressively to a situation. (2) Turn around
– Volador – A firework that only makes noise.

– Zaguan → Entrance or Hall of the house
– Zarandajo – Informal, say of a person who cannot trust.
– Zarcillo – Slope (of course, it is called “sarsillo”).
– Zumbadera – Dazed.

Most Popular Canarian Expressions
  • Estar molido como un zurrón – to be knackered.
  • Pegarse un estampido to hit oneself.
  • Vete por la sombra – way of saying goodbye.
  • Estar caliente como un macho – to be very angry.
  • Pegar una montada  to give someone a hard time.
  • Agüita! – something that surprises us extraordinarily.
  • Chos – exaggerated.
  • Mi niño/a – affectionate interjection.
  • Fos – that stinks, that doesn’t smell good.
  • Mas nunca – never again.
  • Mas nada – nothing more.
  • Tener fundamento – to behave well.
  • Ya yo fui – I’ve already gone.
  • Mandarse a mudar – to leave.
  • Cambate las patas (cambate la peluca) – something that hallucinates, that catches our attention.
  • Chacho – they’re calling you!
  • Déjate estar – keep quiet.
  • Estar hecho gofio – To be knackered.
  • Jartarse como un cochino – To have a copious meal.
  • Más luego – Right now (literally translated)
  • Me jinqué cuatro tunos y me tupí to – I ate four tunes and got constipated.
  • Echa por la sombrita– Farewell equals good riddance.
  • ¡Déjate ir!– Slow down, please.
  • Se me fué el baifo – To get lost, forget something.
  • ¡Vete pal coño! – Get the fuck out of here
  • ¡Ya coño! – Astonishment and concern.
  • ¡Ño!, Yasss/yosss! or “¡chas/chos! – The exclamation of surprise or astonishment.
  • Tener fatiguita/jilorio – To be hungry.
  • Estoy baldado – To be tired
  • Salí saldado – I got burned by something.
  • Estar tupido – To be constipated
  • ¡Mándese a mudar! ¡Lárgese! – Send yourself to move out, but of your own free will and conviction, because it’s annoying.
  • Chiquito – Used before, the noun indicates “very big.”
    For example: “¡Chiquito partigaso!“, “¡Chiquito leño¡(How enormous!).

Every dialect is a temple in which is enclosed the soul of the speaker

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