Sh** Colombians Say, Part 4


means to peel or skin something. Bogotanos and Tabiunos use it to talk about beating something/one up, or something that’s worn out. As in, “Quería cascarlo!” (I wanted to kick the ish out of him!) or “Mis zapatos están cascados”  (my shoes are totally trashed.) Don’t you love a good metaphor?

Hoy en ocho/quince días…

This one is just confusing. When Colombians are talking about something that will happen next week or in two weeks, their words are literally “Today in eight days” or “Today in fifteen days.” It’s not “a week from today,” it’s eight days. Really? As if I didn’t have enough problems counting, we’re adding an extra day to the standard week? Is it an extra weekend day I don’t know about? Or are there really two Tuesdays and that’s why they seem so long?

Today is Wednesday. Today in eight days is next Thursday. Today in eight days in Colombia is next Wednesday. Why? WHYYYYYYY?

Pilas is one of my favorite Spanish words ever. They say it here, in Ecuador, in Guatemala and probably a lot of other places. It literally means “batteries,” but it’s also commonly used to mean a certain type of intelligence. It’s not necessarily the booksmart genius, but someone who’s sharp or on the ball. They might be bright, quick-witted, or have good judgment. There are dozens of uses within this definition, from complimenting someone’s intelligence or reminding a friend not to be an idiot.

I like to say ganas and pilas are an unbeatable combination.