I don’t know what it is about Peru that most of the words I learned were to yell or insult someone.
Perhaps my Spanish has improved enough that I’ve moved onto shredding someone’s self-esteem like a local.
I wasn’t surprised that there were so many words to insult someone.
Some the slang comes from its indigenous roots of Quechua and Aymara but I think the real reason is that people are so expressive in Latin America.
Whether they love you or hate you, they’re going to express it.
There doesn’t seem to be this passive aggressive mentality that we have in Canada – underneath the politeness we really think you’re a douche bag.
The following have been some of my favourite words to use, mostly because Peruvians tend to be surprised that I use them and then give me a pat on the back that I’m learning.
It seems that eggs are used quite a bit here in slang, in Ecuador huevada means bullshit and here in Peru que huevon means what a lazy ass.
Apparently the reasoning behind this is that the person in question has grown such large balls (eggs) that they can’t do anything.
The closest translation would be wanker. It’s a soft insult and doesn’t mean you are calling the other person a chronic masturbator.
This is the first country that has defined a term for this but it means gringo/a hunter.
Some locals, both men and women, are known to chase after foreigners.
Abby in Santiago, Chile calls them gringo collectors. In Cuban slang they are called jineteros.
I’ve noticed this phenomenon more in Latin America than other parts of the world but perhaps it’s because so many travelers welcome the idea of taking a Latin lover.
Poners los Cuernos
Also on the subject of love this literally means to put on the horns but really means to cheat on a partner or spouse.
Sadly enough I had to call someone out on this once, although secretly inside I was beaming because I found an opportunity to use it.
Oh and if you’re wondering about the above photo. I found it in the touristy part of Cusco and while in my bad Spanish translation I knew it meant shitty gringo cultivate ignorance I couldn’t figure out what kurtase meant.
A slightly embarrassed tour guide told me it was Quechua for tonta or silly in Spanish but I suspect it may be a bit stronger.