29 Ecuadorian Slang Words To Sound Less Like A Tourist

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Ecuador is a country home to thousands of expats, not to mention the backpackers who pass through while traveling around South America. Whether you are planning to visit Quito, hike the Cotopaxi volcano, or perhaps you have an Ecuadorian amigo, learning the best Ecuadorian slang is often the best short-cut to impressing the locales.

Sidenote: This post is the latest post in a series where we explore slang for every Spanish speaking country

And now, the 29 most common Ecuadorian slang terms.

1) Achachay

If you’re feeling cold (which will happen if you visit the capital Quito), you can use this word instead of “frio”.

  • ¡Achachay! pásame el abrigo – It’s cold! give me the coat

2) Amiguero

Ecuadorian slang for someone who is a people person.

  • Juan es muy amiguero – Juan is a people person

3) Bacán

When you find yourself surrounded by amazing people or experiencing a new, cool and exciting experience, bacan is the word to express this feeling. Similar to cool.

  • Este libro está bacán – This book is great

4) Biela

When you want to order a couple of beers, while sounding like an local, biela is a word that would help you with both tasks.

  • Vamos a tomarnos unas bielas – Let’s drink some beers

5) Chuchaqui

After a night full of bielas, this word will express everything what you’re feeling the next morning: a hangover.

  • Tengo un chuchaqui terrible – I have a terrible hangover

6) Chapa

Slang for a policeman.

  • Ese chapa me detuvo – That policeman stopped me

7) Chiro

Another word for a person without money (even if that person is you).

  • No puedo ir a la fiesta, estoy chiro – I can’t go to the party, I have no money

8) Cholo

In Mexican slang, this word is another term for a gangster. In Ecuadorian slang, it refers to a person who has tacky behavior or bad taste. It can also be used as an adjective to describe places or situations.

  • Esta fiesta es bien chola – This party is so tacky
  • ¡Pedro qué cholo eres! – Pablo you’re so tacky!

9) Chucha

It’s common to hear this word in an informal conversation, but you have to be careful because it’s a strong curse word. While it’s used “damn”, in some contexts, it means female genitals.

  • ¡Chucha! se me perdió la cartera – Damn! I lost my wallet

10)  ¿Cachas?

This word can also be used as a verb “cachar”, which is influenced by the English verb to catch. In Ecuadorian slang, it means to understand something, which I guess is similar to how we sometimes use the English equivlant.

  • ¿Cachas lo que te digo? – Do you understand what I’m saying?

11) Chumar

Means to drink or to get drunk/wasted.

  • ¡Hoy me voy a chumar! – Today I’m gonna get drunk!

12) ¡Chuta!

Ecuadorian slang for “crap”, used when something is surprising, discouraging, terrible or frustrating.

  • ¡Chuta! no pasé la prueba – Crap! I didn’t pass the test

13) Cojudo

Depending on the context, and the tone used, this word can be a little bit insulting as it means silly or stupid.

  • Juan es un cojudo – Juan is stupid
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14) ¡De ley!

Another way to say “of course!” or “absolutely”.

  • ¿Vas a la fiesta de Camila? – Are you going to Camila’s party?
  • ¡De ley! – Of course!

15) Farra

If you’re with your new Ecuadorian friend and want to have some fun, it’s time to go to a farra (party).

  • Vamos a una farra esta noche – Let’s go to a party tonight

16) Jaba

This word makes reference to a pack of 12 bielas (beers).

  • Me chumé con una jaba – I got wasted with a 12-pack.

17) ¿La plena?

Seriously?, Really?

  • – María está embarazada – María is pregnant
  • – ¿La plena? – Seriously?

18) ¿Mande?

A respectful way to say “what?” or “tell me”.

  • – ¡José!
  • – ¿Mande? – Tell me?
  • – Ven por favor – Come here please

19) Ñaño/a

Ecuadorian slang for brother or sister.

  • No sé dónde se escondió mi ñaño – I don’t know where my brother is hiding

20) ¡Qué bestia!

Used as an expression to say that something is crazy!

  • ¡Qué bestia esa idea! – What a crazy idea!

21) Soroche

If you do some hiking in Ecuador, then it’s likely that you’ll hear this word – it’s a slang term for altitude sickness.

  • Ella tiene soroche – She has altitude sickness

22) Vacilar

If you think of yourself as the romantic type, then you need this Ecuadorian slang term as it means to flirt with someone and/or make out.

  • Estaba vacilando con María – I was making out with María

23) Tímbrame

Let’s imagine that you’re in a farra, you meet someone interesting or bacán and this leads to exchanging phone numbers. This word is another way to say “call me”.

  • Timbrame cuando llegues a tu casa – Call me when you get home

24) Jamear

Ecuadorian slang verb for eating.

  • Más tarde podemos irnos a jamear algo  – We can go eat something later

25) Acholarse

To get really embarrassed and/or not dare do something, to chicken out.

  • No la invita a salir porque se sigue acholando – He doesn’t ask her out because he keeps getting scared

26) Amarrete

To be greedy or selfish.

  • No seas amarrete, dame a probar al menos. Don’t be so selfish, let me try it at least

27) Charamitate

Ecuadorian slang for personal stuff, your belongings.

  • Solo necesito recoger mis charamitates y puedo salir – I just need to pick up my stuff and then I can leave

28) Guacharnaco

Used for someone who has very poor taste – can be applied to anything imaginable.

  • Pero que auto tan feo, debe ser un guacharnaco el dueño – Look at that ugly car, the owner must be a guacharnaco 

29) Guaspete

A trago, or an alcoholic drink in general.

  • Puedes pedir un guaspete al mesonero – You can ask the waiter for a drink
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