This is a list of slang terms you will hear in Panama. Eye On Panama does not recommend the usage of these words because some of them are very derogatory. However, we realize the following list below is widely spoken and we would like to educate our readers before they attempt to repeat them:
***** This list was created by wikipedia*****
YeYe = a wealthy person who likes to show off a lot. Preppy boy/girl.
Racataca = A very unsophisticated person – the stereotype usually involves listening to bad reggae dancehall music (or reggaeton), wearing gold teeth, wearing clothes that look like stuff gringo rappers threw in the garbage and were picked up by piedreros, naming their children with strange, multisyllabic composite names like SURISABEL or
YAMIURKA (examples of which you’ll find painted on the windows of most DIABLO ROJOs)
El Chino = a corner store (bodega), lit. “the Chinaman”. Originates from the fact many Chinese migrated to Panama to help build the Panama Railroad, and many
corner stores are owned and run by Chinese immigrants. Other countries have similar social patterns, for instance, the “Arab” corner store of France.
Maleante= “Gang member, criminal, etc.” Racataca’s male mate (see “racataca”). Usually belongs to a gang in the ghettos.
Zambito/a: In the region of Azuero ( The Provinces of Los Santos and Herrera) is a slang meaning dude, Child O Teenagers (Boys) Zambita fem. slang meaning due Child O Teenagers (Girls)
Rejeros=Refers to a group of men who only hang out with males. They usually go out in packs to try to pick up women, but often fail at doing so. During weekends they will typically hang out at a guy’s house and drink between themselves. Also, they can be spotted at strip clubs too. A man who belongs to this group is know as a “rejero”. The word became popular after a TV Show (La Cascara) ran a skit based on four fictional rejeros.
Agua Cero= Heavy, constant rain that often causes rivers of water to run down the street. Usually last for 20-40 minutes, at most an hour.
Maricon = butterfly, gay.
Chombo = derogatory term use to refer to black people.
Cholopop = Person from the countryside, trying to impress by wearing rocker outfits.
Chambón= A clumbsy person
Chifiar= To ignore a person. Ex: Chifea ese awebao (see “awebao”) que es un loser- Don’t invite that guy because he is a loser.
Borriguero= A low ranking employee. Lizard Ameiva ameiva. In the contructions works is the person that do all the hard work.
Chapot= From the English “Shaped up”. Used to refer to someone that is very well dressed. As in “Estas bien chapot”.
Chuchita= Someone who is always being taken advantage of by another.
Pipi sweet= Womanizer or a “Don Juan” (Sweet dick).
Brother surfer= Stereotypically, how surfers call each other.
La kenton= When someone promises you something and does not deliver. “Carlos me hizo la kenton, me dijo que iba traer dos botellas y solo trajo una”. Syn. la pacheca.
Tortillera: Disrespective form to say lesbian.
Congo= Someone who is always taken advantage of, an idiot.
Piedrero = A homeless person that has a deep adiction to “crack cocaine”. Crack in Panamanian Spanish is often called “piedra”(“stone”/”ice”). Can also be used to tell a person that the way they are poorly dressed and not good looking.
Pela= slang meaning “any” woman or chick. (Eg. Vi a esa pela en la discoteca anoche.= I saw that woman in the disco last night.)
Pelao= slang meaning dude. (Eg. Yo conosco ese pelao. = I know that dude.
Cueco/a= Syn:of gay and lesbian. Despective form to say gay ( cueco-man) o lesbian(cueca-
FIRI-FIRI= very skinny man or woman (Ana es una firi-firi). On its superlative form BIEN FIRI-FIRI (extremely skinny!).
Cangreja= “Female crab”. An unattractive woman.
Manzanillos = A rich/famous person’s entourage and leech off of them. Buddies that follow and take advantage of someone for interest (ex. roberto duran).
CHACARON(A) or CHACARUDO(A)= superlative for CHACARA means a very lazy man (or woman) or someone who relies in everybody else to solve his (her) problems.