I was born and raised in New York City by Dominican parents. Being Dominican is really a blessing. The culture, the food, the beauty that is our Quisqueya la Bella. It’s great until you’re in Spanish class and you’re told that Poloche is not a word… what you mean it’s not? You know the shirt you wear, with the collar? Poloche? Oh, you mean, Polo Shirt…? Our parents have been in this country longer than we have and somehow, English is still a foreign language to them. “Dominican Spanish” is truly one of a kind. It’s a language all on its own. I decided to share with you guys the Top 5 most commonly used Dominican words/phrases to make your interaction with us a little bit easier.
Coño – Coño is Dominican for “Fuck” or “Damn”. The most used word in all Dominican Republic. I can’t even think of an exact definition because like the words “Fuck” and “damn” it can be used anywhere, and it makes sense.
Coño, que mujer que ta linda! Damn, what a pretty girl!
Kid: Mamiiii??? Mom: “QUE EH COÑO???! “
kid: mommmm Mom: WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?
Que comida que ta buena coño! This food is so fucking good!
Que lo Que– translates to what the what but means “whats up!” (you might see this abbreviated as KLK as well)
Que lo que amigo?!
What’s up friend?!
Dique– (this one is my favorite) really just means “supposedly”. It can be used sarcastically, seriously or as a sentence filler (sort of in the way we use ‘like’ when we don’t know what to say)
Dique ella va ir contigo. Supposedly she’s going with you
DIQUE el no estaba ahi cuando paso eso. He supposedly says he wasn’t there when that happened.
Yo la llame dique para hablar pero ella no contesto. I called her like to talk but she didn’t pick up.
Vaina – is a thing. It’s sort of when you can’t be bothered find the word you’re looking for. (Usually used in a negative term.)
Pasame la vaina esa. Pass me that thing.
Me gusta esa vaina. I like that thing
Deja la vaina. Stop that thing!
Me va dar una vaina. Im going to come down with something.
Tato– means alright or okay or as us in NYC say, “say less”. Usually used as just an answer to a statement.
No vemos a las cuatro. Tato. I’ll see you at 4. okay.
De lo mio: a term of endearment for bro, homie, good friend.
Guagua- the bus
Chamakito/ mikito/ tiguerito- little kid
Quillao- super angry
And some terrible words that we love
Aqueroso- something/someone disgusting
Jablador- a liar
Lambon- an ass kisser
Dominican spanish.. It’s a real thing. I’m not even sure where it comes from or who came up with it. You grow up in a Dominican household, you don’t question it, you take it and roll with it. I only mentioned a few but I could go on for days … I won’t tho because I don’t have the time… I got a one-month old who’s hungry yall. Y ete chamakito eh un tiguere (see what I mean in what way does calling someone a tiger mean they are street smart?) It’s incredible to me that I come from such a culture that can take a language and make it all their own. Like, what is a Sanguche? A sandwich you mean. I’ve given up on trying to understand it and just embraced for what it is, una vaina de loco.