Panamanian Slang – Some basic words you should learn!
Panamanian Slang – Some basic words you should learn. Having a hard time to understand our Spanish? well, don’t’ be surprised! Not to mention the English speaking people with a basic Spanish level, but sometimes even the Spanish speaking people from other countries in the region may have a hard time understanding us. Why is that? Because Panamanians speak very fast and we use a lot of slangs!
Panamanians speak very fast and we use a lot of slangs!
We also like to mix up some words or invert their order, that’s why we say “Vamos para la Yapla” when we want to go to the beach! Yapla is the inverted version of the word Playa, which means beach in English.
Here are some survivals Panamanian Slangs you may want to learn, they’ll be very useful during your stay in town:
Vaina – it’s a word used to represent any “thing” you want.
Que Sopa! This is similar to the “What’s up” expression in English.
Joven – it literally means “young”, but it is practically used to call up anyone on the street, even for the oldies! It is the “official” word used to call a waiter.
Buco – comes from the French word beaucoup, which means a lot! There is an enlarged version of this slang: Buco Rantan Pocoton – this is one of my favorites, it means A LOT OF… it is used to represent a huge quantity of something.
Una Pinta – this one is important, it means a Beer. Manda una pinta (give me a beer!)
There is a quite complete list of Panamanian Slang from Wikipedia. Give it a read, you’ll have a lot of fun, you will notice that many of those Slangs come from an English word. We sometimes just invert the word and make up a new one (e.g. Yapla = Playa)
Here is a video from a local rapper Kafu Banton that truly represents the Spirit of the Panamanian Slangs, it’s the way a typical Panamanian speaks Spanish: Habla Como Pana (Speak like a Panamanian)