Say it in Cuban


Basics of Cuban language

Asere, Que bola? = hey buddy, whats up?

Irse pa’l Yuma = go to the USA

A lo cubano = the cuban way

Pinchar = working

(bolso de) nylon = plastic bag

Hacer la cola = get in line. In cuba when getting in line always ask for “ultimo” who is the last one, as people won’t stay in line physically but they will reserve their spot and maybe go wait in the shade or do something else while waiting.

Timbrar = call someone (a missed call)

Tremendo mangon = smoking hot, good looking

Tu estas con los indios o con los cowboys? = a question for somebody who doesn’t seem to have a clear opinion

Si como no = yes

Fruta bomba = papaya

Camello = camel bus (you’ll know when you see one)

Carro = car

Gringo = foreigner

Yuma = American but sometimes used for a foreigner too

Fulano = Cuban male, rarely usedfor Cuban female (fulana)

Guagua = bus
Paladar = private owned restaurant

Jinetera/o = a person who will sell a tourist just about anything and will forcefully join foreigners in hope for money

Maricon = gay

Pipo = a guy, man

Pitusa = jeans

Peso = local peso, CUP (usually)

Dollar = tourist peso, CUC (usually)

Divisa = tourist currency CUC

Menudo = coins

Billete = note, bill

Mentira = a lie, but also used to point out errors or mistakes, an example you turn left and say “mentira” I was supposed to go right!

Bitcho = literally a bug, used for unwanted, uninvited or misbehaving animals or persons

Malcriado = literally bad education used for misbehavior

Me oiste = you heard me

Viste = see

Como son las cosas = how are things

Entonces… = so….

Oye eso = hear this

Mi hija/mi hijo = mi girl/boy, said together and sounds like Mija/mijo

Guapo = brave, tough guy but also arrogant or a bully, usually used with negative tone

Tu maletin = your problem

Tumba eso = drop the subject

Poner la tapa al pomo = close the case

Calladito te ve mas bonito = being quiet is better

Que me va romper el coco = it gives me headache/go through the rock/break the ice (which I find a hilarious tropical version of breaking ice)

Tsss tssss = somebody trying to get your attention, you’ll hear it ALL. THE. TIME.

Mi vida = dear, literally “my life” but commonly used without deeper meaning

Flaca/o = skinny, thin

Estoy fachao = I’m very hungry, starving

Donde comen dos comen tres = literally where 2 eat, eat 3 reflecting to Cuban hospitality and how the door is always open for unexpected guests

Donde manda capitan no manda soldado = literally where the captain commands, the solider does not, meaning that even though you disagree with your superior you just have to suck it and do what is told

Cuban glossary by Here is Havana


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