The 20 Strangest Cuban Expressions and How to Use Them

Cuba Languages
by Sandra Alvarez Aug 31, 2015
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1. For a Cuban you are not the boss and the one who makes the decisions…You are the one who cuts the cod. (El que corta el bacalao.)

2. A Cuban isn’t going through a bad patch or has many economic problems…He is eating a cable. (Se está comiendo un cable.)

3. A Cuban is not upset at someone…He is giving that person a watercress. (Le da un berro.)

4. A Cuban is not stingy…He walks on his elbows. (Camina con los codos.)

5. When a situation reaches its limit and become chaotic, a Cuban doesn’t say What a big mess!…He shouts with all of his power: Tula’s room is on fire!!! (¡¡El cuarto de Tula cogió candela!!)

6. A Cuban doesn’t fight with someone…They tell them what condition they’re going to die of. (Le dice hasta del mal que va a morir.)

7. Cubans don’t say that a situation got a lot worse…They exclaim: We were only few and Catana gave birth to a child. (Éramos pocos y parió Catana.)

8. A Cuban won’t describe it as ‘being so close to reaching your goal.’ They say: So much swimming just to die on the other shore. (Tanto nadar pa morir en la orill.)

9. A Cuban woman is not left waiting for a date who doesn’t show up…She’s left like Pacheco’s girlfriend…all dolled up, but without going to the party. (Se queda como la novia de Pacheco… vestía y sin ir a la fiesta.)

10. A Cuban is not going to cry when the situation worsens…He’s going to cry because “he lost his pacifier.” (Va a llorar porque se le perdió el tete.)

11. A Cuban doesn’t ask you to not worry so much…He’ll ask you, “not to fight, as there’s a lot of cane sugar.” (No cojas lucha, que la caña es mucha.)

12. For a Cuban a situation is not terribly difficult…Instead, “The ball must be played low and near to the ground.” (El pitcheo está bajito y pegao.)

13. For a Cuban the weather is not perfect…It’s “beach-beach-swimming pool-swimming pool.” (Paya playa piscina piscina.)

14. For a Cuban one is not responsible for his own actions…But, “A goat that breaks a drum pays with her own skin.” (Chivo que rompe tambor con su pellejo paga.)

15. A Cuban doesn’t cause damage to himself…He dies like Chacunbele! (¡Muere como Chacunbele!)

16. For a Cuban there are not great problems that come all of a sudden…There is a great belebele. (Se formó tremendo belebele.)

17. A Cuban doesn’t get angry…He become like Picones. (Se pone como Picones.)

18. A Cuban is not lazy nor does he lie…He’s throwing a face! (¡Está tirando con la cara!)

19. A Cuban doesn’t come to the wrong conclusion…He gets lost in the curve. (Se pierde en la curvita.)

20. And a Cuban doesn’t motivate you to enjoy yourself…He’ll tell you enjoy the ball! (¡¡Goza pelota!!)

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