Today’s slang word is “parche”; a term the dictionary would have you believe just means “patch”. In Colombia, it has an altogether more useful meaning too.
While no exact English translation exists for Colombians slang use of “parche”, it roughly means: “a group of friends getting together to do something”.
So, talking about a fun night you had the previous day, you could comment to a buddy:
¡Qué buen parche el de anoche!
Later, another Colombian friend asks you about the plans for the weekend by saying:
Entonces, ¿vamos para la playa este finde o qué?
You could then hit them back with the nicely Colombian response:
Hágale, a mí me encanta ese tipo de parche
Meaning: “let’s do it. I love that kind of thing”.
And the verb “Parchar”
By turning “parche” into “parchar” it becomes the verb “to hang out [with friends]”.
Nosotros siempre parchamos en el parque
Meaning: “We always hang out in the park”.
Dañaparche – a buzzkiller
A “dañaparche” is the name for someone who ruins (“daña”) the “parche”. It is the Colombian slang version of “aguafiestas”, or “spoilsport”, heard in international Spanish.
In conversation, the term might be used as follows:
Si ustedes van a esa discoteca, yo no voy a ir. Siempre hay mucha fila y me da pereza esperar
Ey, no seas dañaparche. ¡Venga pues!
That is: 1. “If you guys are gonna go to that club then I won’t come. There’s always a long queue and I can’t be bothered to wait” 2. “Hey, stop being such a buzz killer and just come along!”.
“Estar desparchado” – to have no social plans
At the other end of the spectrum, “estar desparchado” is the way to describe someone who hasn’t got much going on in their social life, and who is probably a bit down as a result.
Take this joke complaint, for example:
Lo típico: cuando estoy desparchado, hace sol; después me sale un buen plan y llueve
This would translate as: “Typical. When I’ve got nothing going on, it’s sunny outside. Later, something good comes up and it rains”.
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How Do Colombians Rate Your Spanish?
The whole time you’re in Colombia — studying, attending classes and practicing your Spanish out in the big wide world — you should be constantly improving. I’ve always found Colombians to be very tolerant of those still brushing up their Spanish. Between friends, however, the opinions expressed are more honest and verge on the brutal.
The Many Meanings of “Berraco”
Of all the many Colombian slang terms explained on this blog, one of the trickier terms to get your head round is “berraco”. It is extremely easy to get confused with this one. Technically, a “berraco” is a sort of pig, but if you hear this word in Colombia, it is almost certainly not being used to refer to the animal. But it is not always an easy matter to figure out what the word is being used to mean.