Customs

Cuzco Has Its Own Slang

Cuzco Has Its Own Slang

Every day more people come to the city of Cuzco. Not all are foreigners. More Peruvians are traveling and visiting Cuzco from the many places they reside in our country. People come from Lima, Arequipa, Puno, and more. Their principal goal is to get to know the attractions of our city as well as Machu Picchu.

When they are in our city, they find a small problem while trying to talk with some people of Cuzco. This is particular trange since we all speak the same language. However, the people of Cuzco, just like those of other cities, have their own vocabulary. It may not be all that perfect, since we say words that you will not find, probably, in the Spanish dictionary. We call these words, jergas, or slang. Different cities have different jergas in Peru.

Cuzco’s jega is used by a large number of people in the city, indeed almost everyone knows them, in order to communicate. You could say that these words and expressions are part of our vocabulary. We use them almsot whenever we talk. Most of the people who use them regularly are male, however.

We have our own way of greeting some used elsewhere and some only here. For example, you can say “hola causa”, “hola cholo”, “hola tío”, “hola chulls”, or some such. People will even use English, since so many of us speak it here. They will say “hola brother”, since they are friends. To say goodbye people will say things like “nos vidrios”, “chaufas”, and “hablamos”. The first two are plays on words where you develop it using other words or suffixes.

When we are hungry we say “vamos a papear” or vamos a “ranchar”. Then we go for food.

When we hail a taxi we usually call the driver “maestro” and if we are in a hurry we will say “altoquepala maestro que estoy más rápido que apurao”.

These are just some of our expressions, our jergas, that we cusqueños use all the time when talking to one another. There are various slang expressions that are created in different neighborhoods and when these people speak it seems as if they were speaking code.

In that is part of the genious and part of the frustration of our Cuzco Spanish. It unites and separates all at the same time.

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