Brief Dictionary of Argentine Words. Letter B, from Banda to Bulto

If you are planning a trip to Argentina, it is not enough to learn to speak Spanish. You must know the slang, if you want to hide your tourist status when you talk to Argentinos. To help with that, I am writing this brief dictionary of Argentine words (BDAW), an essential compendium of words, with their definitions and sounds, ideal for any traveler who plans to visit the lands of Tango.

Today, we are covering words that start with the letter B: from Banda to Boleta.

Banda (noun)

An awful lot, a huge amount of something. Also (and more traditionally), a band, a gang, a group of people, such as a group of old school friends. Let’s see the examples for this two definitions:

Banda: Huge amount of something.
Example: ¿Hay suficientes chorizos para todos? Sí, hay una banda.
Meaning: Are there enough chorizos for everyone? Yes, there are many.
Banda: Group of people.
Example: Llegó la banda, ¡que empiece la fiesta! 
Meaning: The gang is here, let’s get this party started!

Baranda (noun)

The actual spanish meaning is railing, but in Argentina it is also used to mean bad smell.

Example 1: El perro durmió sobre esa manta y ahora tiene terrible baranda.
Meaning: The dog slept on that blanket and now it smells real bad.

Example 2: ¡Qué baranda que hay en la heladera, debe haber algo podrido!
Meaning: There must be something rotten in the fridge, it smells awful!

Bardo (noun)

If you look up bardo in the dictionary, you will find it translated as bard. But in Argentina, the word bardo is more frequently used to mean something complicated, difficult to understand, something messy or untidy (more or less like the word chino). It also refers to a fight, struggle or trouble of some kind, involving a lot of angry people (like the word quilombo). Let’s see a couple of examples to clarify:

Bardo: Something too complicated or difficult to understand.
Example: Intenté usar la nueva aplicación del banco, pero es un bardo.
Meaning: I’ve tried to use the new banking app, but it is way too complicated.
Bardo: Fight, struggle, trouble.
Example: Cuando se acabaron las bebidas alcohólicas se armó flor de bardo. 
Meaning: When they ran out of alcoholic beverages, a terrible fight broke out.

Bicho (adjective)

A person is very bicho when it’s an intelligent, crafty guy, but with unholy intentions. For example, a guy who knows a lot of tricks to avoid taxes.

Example: Este tipo es muy bicho, hacé como él y no vas a tener que laburar nunca más.
Meaning: This guy is very crafty, be like him and you will never have to work again.

Boleta (noun)

It means something dead, something destroyed. You don’t wanna be boleta, as this word is often used as a menace:

Example: Decíselo a la policía y sos boleta.
Meaning: Tell it to the police and you are dead.

Bosta (noun)

Besides the obvious translation (which you can find in any dictionary), the word bosta is used to refer to something useless, something of low quality, something unpleasant, something bad. Perhaps the most accurate translation would be piece of shit (pardon my french).

Example: Este auto es una bosta.
Meaning: This car is a piece of shit.

Bulto (noun)

The “package” men have between the legs.

Example: A ése le gusta usar pantalones que le marquen el bulto.
Meaning: This guy enjoys wearing trousers that stick out his package.

If you find any particular argentine words you don't know the meaning, please let us know by writing in the comments section below or sending us a mensaje by filling the fields at the right, and we will add them to BDAW as soon as we can.

Credit top icon