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13 Things Argentines Say Vs. What They Really Mean

by Cathy Brown Jun 18, 2014
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What they say: “I’ll get there around 9pm.”

What they mean: “I’ll get there probably before midnight, but not a chance in hell before 10pm. Whatever. I’ll show up eventually. Maybe.”


What they say: “We should go to Punta for New Year’s…”

What they mean: “We should go to Punta (del Este) for New Year’s…but we both know that it won’t actually happen as the peso is dive-bombing and on what we make, we couldn’t even afford to split a bottled water there in high season. But let’s ignore reality for a second and talk about how we are totally going, anyway, and how epically awesome it’s going to be.”


What they say: “Let’s go out. It will be an early night.”

What they mean: “We’ll get in about 3am. Unless it’s going well, in which case we will change the plans and it’s quite possible we’ll roll in around 8am.”


What they say: “No, I don’t have a girlfriend…”

What they mean: “You mean that girl that I’ve been living with the last eight years who I have a couple of kids with? Nah, I mean, I wouldn’t actually call her my girlfriend. Let’s go out, todo tranquilo…”


What they say: “Oh my God, sweetheart, you are the most divine, beautiful angel to ever walk the earth. Your ass looks like it’s been sculpted by Michelangelo, I want to suck on every square inch of your body.

What they mean: “Hi.”


What they say: “Mañana.”
What they mean: “Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. Quite possibly never.”


What they say: “Cualquier cosa que necesite, avisame.” (Whatever you need, let me know.)

What they mean: “Definitely don’t count on me.”


What they say: “Hijo de re mil putas, la re concha de tu hermana, boludo de mierda…”

What they mean: “Dude, I’m mad at you. But like any good Argentine, my emotions will drastically swing in about 10 seconds, so by then we will be back to being best friends and act like I never said these things about you, your mom, and your sister. I actually love you, bro!”


What they say: “Let’s go to _____ Bar (insert any expat hotspot in Palermo).”

What they mean: “Let’s go pick up some drunken gringas who just arrived in town, who are way too easily enchanted by our suave pickup lines, nice shoes, and pretty hair, and who think we will fulfill every fantasy / expectation they have had since they were 15 of a Latin lover…it’s gonna be like shooting fish in a barrel.”


What they say: “What (soccer) team do you support?”

What they mean: “I will judge you immediately and on-the-spot decide whether we can be friends or not.”


What they say: “Seguramente” or “Seguro que” (for sure)

What they mean: “There’s not a chance in hell.”


What they say: “How far is that from here? 4 or 5 blocks, right?”

What they mean: Could be one block. Could be 30. The place could possibly not even exist. Chances are we don’t have a fucking clue.


What they say: “Y…es complicado…” (Yeah…it’s complicated.)

What they mean: “It’s so far beyond complicated that it’s a total clusterfuck. Or, alternately, I just don’t feel like coming up with an actual reason, so saying this is a good way to end the conversation here with no more questions asked.”

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