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Colombian Slang Basics #4: Parche

Colombian for “hanging out with friends”
Written by Peter

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]”.

For example:

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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