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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish Word of the Day: Flipar

Here’s a word that you’ll hear a lot in casual conversation with Spaniards and which can have negative and positive connotations. Learn it and you'll be one step closer to sounding like a local. ¡Vas a flipar! (You're going to love it!).

Flipar can also be used to describe shock, adoration and more in Spanish.
Flipar is a verb that can be used to describe shock, adoration and more in Spanish. Photo: Niamat Ullah/Unsplash

Flipar is a fantastic Spanish verb which has several meanings.

It can be used to describe something that you’re crazy about or very fond of, similar to ‘me encanta’ (I love) but not in a romantic sense. 

Example: 

Me flipa la música reggae.

I’m mad about reggae music. 

It can also be used to describe a situation in which you’re in awe of something, in shock or disbelief, for both negative and positive surprises.

Example:

¡Estoy flipando! No me creo que hayan roto.

I’m speechless! I can’t believe they broke up.

Or

Hemos flipado con lo buena que es jugando al baloncesto.

We can’t believe how good she is at playing basketball.

Similarly, if someone is getting ahead of themselves, you can use flipar to tell them to calm down and stop daydreaming. 

Example:

¿Acabas de empezar a aprender a hablar castellano y quieres ser profe de español? ¡No te flipes!

You’ve just started learning Spanish and you want to be a Spanish teacher? Don’t get carried away!

On the same note, you might hear Spaniards just say ‘¡Flipa!’ which is somewhat like saying ‘Can you believe it?’ or ‘Crazy!’ as an interjection in English.

Flipar can also be used to describe someone who is under the influence of drugs, in which case Spanish speakers often say ‘flipar en colores’ (literally meaning ‘tripping out in colours’), presumably alluding to some colourful acid trip. 

But this expression is used more often than not to describe behaviours or comments which would indicate that someone is not thinking straight, behaving almost as if they were drugged. 

Example:

¡Estás flipando en colores! ¿Cómo te vas a ir a vivir a la Patagonia?

You must be mad! How are you going to live in Patagonia?

And to round things off, there are a couple of other Spanish words with the flip- root you should learn as well.

There’s the word flipado or flipada, which describes someone who is overly confident in their abilities, or who is extremely passionate about something, so again it depends on the context to understand whether it’s good or bad. 

Example:

Ese tío es un flipado, se cree Bruce Lee.

That guy is full of himself, he thinks he’s Bruce Lee.

Or

Carlos es un flipado de los videojuegos, hasta compite en torneos.

Carlos is video game-crazy, he even competes in tournaments. 

And finally there’s flipante, an adjective which describes something that’s astonishing or amazing, usually in a good sense. 

Example:

Es flipante que Nadal haya ganado el Australian Open después de perder los dos primeros sets.

It’s unbelievable that Nadal won the Australian Open after losing the first two sets.

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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

This adjective is essential slang talk in Spain, a word with lots of meanings, all of them fairly negative.

Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

Chungo is a colloquial way of saying that something is difficult, dodgy or bad. 

It can be used to describe a variety of scenarios and it’s a great way of talking like a native Spanish speaker. 

You can talk about the weather being chungo if there are ominous black clouds up ahead.

If you’re stepping into a dodgy neighbourhood, then watch out because it’s un barrio chungo

If you bought a hairdryer at the rastro (flea market) and it doesn’t work properly, then it’s clearly chungo, and the seller is just as chungo.

Maybe you’ve just sat an exam with complicated questions, you’d call it un examen chungo.

Or if you don’t feel very well, then you’re the one that is chungo

There’s even an expression to say that things aren’t looking good – la cosa está chunga.

All in all, chungo is a very versatile adjective that you can incorporate into most daily speech even though it’s colloquial. 

Here are some examples to help you get used to using chungo.

Example:

Está el tiempo un poco chungo, mejor no vamos a la playa.

The weather isn’t very good today, it’s best if we don’t go to the beach. 

Example:

¡Ojo! Es un tío bastante chungo así que no te fíes de él.

Be careful! He’s a pretty dodgy guy so don’t trust him. 

Example:

Le has comprado un perfume muy chungo a mamá por el Día de la Madre.

You’ve bought Mum a really crappy perfume for Mother’s Day.

Example:

El barrio de El Príncipe en Ceuta es muy chungo, ¡ten cuidado!

El Príncipe neighbourhood in Ceuta is very dodgy, be careful!

 

Example:

Me encuentro un poco chungo, con mareos y nauseas. 

I’m feeling a bit bad, I’m dizzy and nauseous. 

Example:

¿Dama de honor cuando el novio es tu ex? ¡Qué situación más chunga!

Maid of honour when the groom is your ex? ¡That’s an uncomfortable situation!

Example:

¡La cosa está chunga! El Barça tiene que marcar cinco goles para clasificarse.

Things aren’t looking good. Barça have to score five goals to qualify.

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