It is mind-blowing that every country in Latin America has their own version of Spanish. For travelers visiting Honduras, here are some expressions you should know to get the conversation flowing with the catrachos. ¡Vaya pues!
It is our own special way of saying “I’m from Honduras”. Catracho is the spirit of the country, showing our pride and patriotism; the true love we have for our nation.
Alero/a is your best friend, specifically, the one guy or girl who is always up for any of your adventures.
Warning! If a Honduran friend says that you are going to catch a pijin this weekend, it means the party mode is on… No mercy on the drinks.
The morning after the pijin, there is a high chance you’ll be suffering a great goma, or hangover. Word of advice: cure it with a few baleadas and a big glass of ice-cold horchata.
You have probably read this word in news articles sometime. It has two radical connotations:
Negative: Gang of criminals from Central America.
Positive: Your usual crowd. THE crew. “Ando con la mara en la disco.”
This can be confusing.
Never reject a birria from a catracho. Salva Vida, Barena, Imperial, or Port Royal, there is one for every taste. FYI, Birria means beer.
This is one of the most common words used in an everyday conversation. It is a synonym for “O.K”, “Alright”, “Great!”.
Q: Dinner tonight at 8:00 p.m?
The armed forces have a strong presence in the country, taking part in major public events throughout the year. They even have a nickname: chafas.
In Honduras you don’t ask to borrow money, you ask for some pisto.
Translation: kid. Honduran moms say cipote/güirro to address their children and get their attention more quickly. “Cipote/güirro, come here right now!”
The younger generations use it as a cute way to refer to their friends. “Te quiero, güirro/a”
Knowing it’s meaning is a MUST while in Honduras. Only close friends can call each other maje or “mate”, otherwise it can be offensive as it also means “idiot” or even worse.
Positive: “Maje, ¿want to catch a movie?”
Negative: “¡He’s a total maje!”
Something is macizo when it is top notch, cool, or amazing.
Q: We won free tickets to the Maroon 5 concert.
A: ¡Qué macizo!
We all know a friend from our mara who is a constant bragger, making his/her stories hard to believe. They are always exaggerating everything and talking paja. Paja means lies.
Example: “Ya vos, dejá de hablar tanta paja”
Funny enough, the exact translation of the word is “straw”.
You have been waiting hours for your turn at the bank queue, and you get distracted by a puppy passing by. While you were petting him, someone else takes your turn. When you tell the story later, your sister tells you, “Ay no, ¡qué muela que sos!” Muela is similar to having your head in the clouds.
If you are blondISH, chances are Hondurans will nickname you “La chele” or “El chele”
Before making a phone call, you need to know that Hondurans answer with a cheerful “¿Aló?” Pro tip: Make sure to prolong the “o” sound.
My personal favorite, this catchy phrase is even the title of a famous Honduran song. Vaya pues is used to agree with enthusiasm. We also say vaya pues as a farewell expression.
Q: See you tomorrow Maria.
A: ¡Vaya pues!