“Qué bolá asere?”

Today I would like to talk about a beautiful island, that stole my heart many years ago, with its beautiful people, culture and of course language:

Cuba, la isla bonita, as Madonna sings!

Cubans theoretically speak Spanish but they also have a proper slang, which from my point of view it can’t be considered as dialect, but just a different way to speak the native language!

So considering this point, I can say that they speak Cuban slang!!!

For example, I will write below some differences:

Spanish                                               Cuban

Hola, qué tál?                                    Hola, qué bolá asere?

Voy a casa en autobus                     Voy al gao en la guagua

Me he peleado con mi novio          Me he fajado con mi jevo

Quiero comida                                  Quiero jama

Estoy en el trabajo                            Estoy en la pincha


There are so many expressions that I think it might be even possible to create a dictionary of its own!

But let´s start explaining what these expressions mean:

Que bolá asere?” can be divided between Qué bolá? which means What´s up? and asere that comes from abakuá language and it means I salute you. It is important to know that Cuba is a mixture between European and African religions and cultures, so they have Afro-Cuban dances as Afro-Cuban religion, a mixture between the African and the catholic one.

Gao is home, but as I couldn´t find any information about its etimology, I could only think that this word comes from the English house, and this because: as the most of them pronounce guevos instead of huevos (eggs), I can think that they pronounced gouse /gaus/ instead of house /haus/ and cutting it, because in Spanish everyone likes to cut the words, it should be gau-gao through an evolution of the term by time… do you agree?

The word guagua that for the Cuban means bus comes from the English Wa & Wa Co. Inc. (Washington, Walton, and Company Incorporated), which was the first American company to export buses to the island.

Fajarse is another way to say to fight and jevo is a term used to denominate a boyfriend, but not the official fiancé. So jevo/jeva are used to denominate those easy relationships with no official aim.

Jama is the food and as the RAE Spanish dictionary says jamar is to eat and it is used in a colloquial way.

At last we have the word la pincha which means work, job. Pinchar is literally to stab, so what I can think of is that when you stab you focus on what you are doing, so I can say that for a Cuban pinchar is to focus on what he/she is doing?

There are so many Cuban expressions, and it is impossible to write them all here, it would be too long and maybe for someone boring, so I chose a few of them to let you see in this case, once again, the beauty of a slang.

Which more Cuban slang expressions do you know?



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