By Julie Etra
Local Expressions (colloquialisms) and Polite Exchanges
Money: Dinero is broadly used. Lana is synonymous and more common here. Billete refers to the actual bill. Biyuyo is also used here. Moneda is coinage, but slang includes morraya and chincastle.
Bottled water: A big 5-gallon jugs of water is called a garrafón as opposed to a small bottle of water, una botella
Beer: Cerveza is universal, but also known here as a chela. A caguama is the 40 oz version, and a species of sea turtle. A michelada is beer with lime juice, assorted sauces, spices, clamato juice, and chili peppers. It is served in a chilled, salt-rimmed glass. Kind of like a Caesar.
Work: Trabajo is universal but here you will hear chamba (noun), chambear (verb), chambeando (adverb)
Polite expressions for excuse me:
Con permiso: Useful when shopping and you need to get around someone
Discúlpame: forgive me
¡Provecho! Enjoy your meal, said to the adjacent diners upon leaving a restaurant
Boats: Here the smaller fishing boats are lanchas or pangas. Yachts, power or sail, are yates. Big boats are barcos. Sailboats are veleras.
We are even, as in ‘keep the change’ (said when paying a bill): Estamos a mano.
And for fun, here is a pun:
¿Que le dijo un pez al otro pez?