“Pata” & A List Of More Peruvian Slang Words

15 November 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House

Unsplash: Frágil y fugaz

People in Peru don't speak Peruvianese or Peruningian or Peruganesque. In fact, those so-called language names you just read are made-up words. So they don’t really exist. In actuality, most people in Peru speak Spanish or Peruvian Spanish. Let’s not forget that some communities in this South American country also speak Quechua and Aymara, which both are indigenous languages spoken by indigenous communities.
Peruvian Spanish has five dialects: Equatorial Spanish, Amazonic Spanish, Peruvian Coastal Spanish, Andean Spanish, and Andean-Coastal Spanish. Of course, these different dialects have the characteristics that make them unique and very, very distinct. Now, it’s very possible that non-locals may not hear the clear distinction between the different dialects. And that’s okay because if you’re not used to hearing Peruvian Spanish, then how would you know? Nevertheless, it is important to remember that Peruvian Spanish and the indigenous languages spoken in this region are rich and diverse.
Like any other country in the world, Peru also has its rich variety of Peruvian slang. These slang phrases are special to the country, culture, and the Peruvian people. And, as you may have guessed, many of these casual words are used in daily conversations between family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. So if you travel to Peru, there’s a major possibility that you’re going to hear this set of slang phrases. What are they? Scroll down and find out!

  • al toque (ahl toh-keh): right away or straight away
  • choche (cho-che): aka a friend
  • chochera (cho-che-rah): aka a friend
  • pata (pa-ta): aka a friend
  • paja (pa-ha): cool; awesome
  • cocho / cocha (co-cho) / (co-cha): an old person
  • germa (her-ma): a girl or a girlfriend
  • jato (ha-to): a house
  • monse (mon-seh): stupid
  • suzuki (su-zu-ki): aka “sucio” which means dirty
  • luca (lu-ka): money
  • porfa (por-fa): short for “por favor” which means please
  • bamba (bam-ba): fake
  • bacán (ba-kan): cool
  • chela (che-lah): a beer
  • choro (cho-roh): a thief
  • nola (no-lah): no
  • lechero (le-che-roh): someone lucky
  • habla (hab-la): another word for “hello”
  • al toque (al toh-keh): right now; right away; very quickly
  • clarinete / clarines (cla-ri-neh-teh) / (cla-ri-nes): of course
  • oe (oy): a contraction of “oye” which means hey
  • grifo (gri-fo): a gas station
  • piña (pin-ya): someone who has bad luck
  • playa (pla-ya): refers to a parking lot
  • chévere (che-veh-reh): great; cool