Contrary to popular belief, Chileans do not have a monopoly on distinctive slang. I was reminded of this yesterday, when I stepped out of the shower and exclaimed, "Achachay!"
Had a Chilean overheard me, she may have assumed I had stepped on a nail or reached some kind of psychological breaking point. A Quitenian, on the other hand, would have known I was freezing. I can't count the number of times I've had to explain myself in Chile after sputtering an "Achachay!".
Herein lies the curse -- and the blessing -- of the globetrotter. After spending months adjusting your vocabulary to the local dialect, you find yourself transplanted somewhere where people have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about. Frustrating? Yes. But also demonstrative of the richness and diversity of language.
Without further ado, I present a list of Andean Ecuadorian slang words that I miss:
Achachay! - Brrr!
Llucho - Naked
Chuchaqui - Hung over
Huasipichai - Housewarming party
Fffff - Quito's version of "po," used in many of the same contexts
“Sífffff. Quedé llucho y chuchaqui después del huasipichai.”
“Are you cold?”
“Yeah. I ended up naked and hung over after the housewarming party.”
(Some sound to indicate being cold)
"¿Tay con frío?"
"Sí po. Quedé en pelota y con caña después del carrete de inauguración."
Tomato and tomahto, right?
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