Brief Dictionary of Argentine Words. Letter C, from Caño to Cuento

What would you do if you’re walking the streets of Buenos Aires and, suddenly, a taxi driver says to you: “capo, no seas careta y subite a este caño”?

With the aid of this Brief Dictionary of Argentine Words (BDAW), you will know he is regarding you as a master (capo) and telling you his cab is a nice piece of machinery (caño) and, if you’re not pretentious (careta), you should hop in.

Below you can read the rest of the definitions for argentine words starting with the letter C. Hope you find them useful!

Caño (noun)

A nice, modern, durable, powerful piece of machinery. This word is commonly used to refer to a car, a motorcycle, a computer or whatever thing its owner can be proud of.

Example 1: Me compré un auto nuevo. ¡No sabés, es un caño!
Meaning: I bought a new car, you should see it, it’s amazing!

Example 2: Esta impresora se la re-banca, es un caño.
Meaning: This printer endures anything, it’s a workhorse.

Capo (noun)

A capo is, by its traditional definition, a mob leader, but it also refers to a person with a lot of experience in a certain task. It’s also used as a vocative; an Argentino will call you “ capo” if he wants to get your attention but he doesn’t know your name.

Capo: a person very experienced in something.
Example: Es un capo haciendo asado.
Meaning: He’s the best making barbecue.

Capo: vocative.
Exmple: Capo, ¿necesitás un taxi?
Meaning: Hey dude, do you need a cab?

Careta (noun)

If you are pretentious, you will undoubtedly be called “careta”. If you don’t want to be careta, you should accept whatever an argentino offers you, no matter if it is a smoke, a drink, or an invitation to go to a non-fancy place.

Example: No seas careta y vení al bar a tomarte una birra con nosotros.
Meaning: Don’t be pretentious and come to the bar to have a beer with us.

Chino (noun)

A very complex, entangled or obscure method to do something, so difficult that is just not worth the effort. For example, tax calculation in Argentina is a real chino. Also, in Argentina, a chino is a grocery store served by chinese people.

Chino: complex method.
Example: No intentes programar el deco del cable por tu cuenta, es un chino.
Meaning: Don’t try to program the cable’s deco on your own, it’s too complicated.

Chino: grocery store.
Example: Voy al chino a comprar galletitas.
Meaning: I'm heading to the grocery store to buy cookies.

Copado (adjective)


Example: Es un chabón muy copado.
Meaning: He’s a really cool guy.

(I guess you realized that chabon means guy)

Cráneo (noun) / cranear (verb)

Cráneo refers to a very intelligent person, and the derivative verb cranear means to put your brain to work in order to solve something.

Example of Cráneo: No te preocupes que este tipo es un cráneo. Él va a saber cómo resolver tu problema.
Meaning: Don't worry, this guy is really smart. He’ll know how to solve your problem.

Example of Cranear: Entiendo que es difícil, pero si lo craneamos un poco, entre todos lo vamos a solucionar.
Meaning: I understand it’s difficult, but if we do some brainstorming, we will find a solution.

Cuento (noun)

A cuento is a story, a tale, according to most dictionaries. But in Argentina it also refers to a scam. Hacer el cuento means to scam, to cheat or to deceive.

Example: No compres un celular usado, te van a hacer el cuento.
Meaning: Don't buy a used cell phone, they will scam you.

NEXT: words beginning with letter D.

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 it to our dictionary as soon as we can.

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