No matter whether traveling to the US Territory, Puerto Rico as a tourist, student, or with the intention of moving there as an expatriate, this guide will serve you well. You probably already know the Spanish spoken by boricuas (native Puerto Ricans) is a distinct and unique idiom, rich with words and phrases they don't teach in high school Spanish class. Intended for English speakers, this book's shares common slang words and phrases that will help you communicate in everyday situations like ordering dinner in a restaurant, shopping at the mercado for fresh produce, flirting, getting street directions, or hiring a taxi.
That said, be advised this little book is neither a complete course in learning the Spanish Language, neither is it a textbook. Instead, it is a basic introduction to Puerto Rican Spanish.It is a good pocket beginners guide you can handily carry on your travels either in your back pocket or tucked away in a backpack.
Before you go, consider taking the time to learn a few Puerto Rican/Spanish words and phrases so you can speak street Spanish like a local. This guide contains a wealth of words and expressions that you can look up when you hear, or read them, in order to know what is going on around you. Even better,spend a night curled up with the bookgaining familiarity with the wisdom it contains. That way, when you hear a vaguely familiar word on the street, you will know which page to consult to refresh your memory.
On the streets (las calles), in the shops (las tiendas), on the beaches (las playas), in the clubs (discotecas) and at the grocery store (el supermercado), knowing at least some street talk will pay big dividends. Instead of being seen as some soul-less gringo tourist, the locals will hold you in higher esteem. As a result you may make new friends, and as a bonus perhaps get a better hotel room or lower prices while shopping.
A cien por chavo - A dime a dozen.
A fuego - Really cool, when something is off the hook.
A juyir crispin - To run away.
Ah, pues bien!-Literally, Oh, well then.
Ahora - Right now. Equivalent to Ahorita in the rest of Latin America.
¡Ea’ Diantre!- Puerto Rican slang for Oh, my God! Wow!
Echa caldo - Literally means that gives broth. Voiced when something is cool.
Echa pa' ca - Come over here. Used to call someone over to you.
Franfura - The venerable hot dog.
Ganso - Wiseguy.
Gas pela - Literally gas peels, but can mean to show heat from a women, as in body heat.
Jaleo - Standard Spanish for a cheery atmosphere. As slang, to be sick to your stomach, nauseated, dizzy.
Limbel - A frozen treat made from natural fruits, or sweet milk mixtures. Sold out of the homes, not in stores. From the English word: Lindberg the famous pilot, who was the first man to fly cross the Atlantic Ocean solo.
¡Miércoles!- Literally, Wednesday, it is a Standard Spanish euphemism for the word ¡Mierda! (Shit). Its English equivalent is Shoot! Voiced sounding like youre going to say mierda, then transitioning in mid word to miercoles.
Ná’- Contraction of Nada, meaning nothing.
Oricua - A native from Borinquen, the island's original name.
Orita - Later on, not right now. Soon. Not to be confused with the word Ahorita, which elsewhere, means right now.
Pasteles - Boiled pies.
Pasto - An herb, either a common weed or marijuana.