Cali's Slang - The Spanish we speak in Cali

Hello everyone!

Today I want to share with all of you guys some of the slang words from CALI.:star_struck:

As I love my city and I know many people might be planning holidays… or even if you are not planning to visit some Colombian cities (yet). I invite you to travel there through this video.:wink:

Important Facts

  • Cali is the capital city of Valle del Cauca in the Southwest of Colombia.

  • In Valle del Cauca (and some of the Paisa cities too) we use the pronoun “vos” instead of “tú”. So pretty much like in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, just that in informal contexts and with different prosody.

If you are interested in learning a little bit more about “voseo”, check this link out.

-This city is much more than just Salsa… but, we have lots of Salsa.

Some of the words or expressions you will find in the video.

  • Breve la tavuel (La vuelta): It is something easy/It’s easy.
    *La tavuel: a situation or a thing.
  • Chanclas: flip-flops or sandals.:sandal:
  • Pantacha: shorts or bermuda shorts (especially for men).:shorts:
  • Chontaduro: a fruit from our region. Many people believe it is an aphrodisiac.
  • Champús: a traditional drink from some regions of South America. It is made out of pineapple, lulo, corn and others.ús
  • Cholado: another drink, just that this time it is frozen. It may have fruits, syrup and condense milk.
  • Chavos: money.:money_with_wings:
  • Chichipato: a stingy person.
  • Chinge: swimsuit/bikini (mostly for girls because the guys use the “pantacha”). Some other people use this word as the clothes we pack for a short trip.:one_piece_swimsuit::bikini::handbag:
  • Sancocho: a traditional thick soup. Most of the times made with a hen or chicken, plantain, potatoes and vegetables. There are many variations all over the Americas.:stew:
  • Morocho/a: nice way to call a black person. It is pretty normal to use it with friends or in a familiar context. The same as “mi negro, negrito”, etc. We black people don’t really find it racist since there are other types of discrimination but not much racism.:woman_shrugging:t4:

I would love to compare these words with the ones from other Spanish speaking countries. As well as answering any question if you don’t get everything that is said in the video.



Sancocho is very tasty, I love it… :wink:

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Yes! Especially when they make it in “fogón de leña”. :grin:

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Hey @Michi, thanks for sharing this. I watched “Narcos” on Netflix in Spanish and wondered how authentic the Cali Cartel’s slang is? Have you seen it?

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Hey @kjanina! I watched “Narcos” too. I would say the whole Colombian slang used was pretty much accurate.
Are you curious about a specific expression?
There is lots of cursing :joy:


Even though the slang is correct, the accent that most of the actors have is not the real Caleño. The real caleño accent is waaay more “bacano, oís?”
BTW: I wrote “bacano”, because I think I cannot use the correct word in “paisa”, which is my accent and way of speaking hahahahaha.

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I totally agree with you. I did not like most of the actors’ accent. I mean, what about Escobar’s paisa? :unamused:
But I guess that’s another issue.


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