Posted by: janecronin | April 28, 2012

Yoof-speak in Spanish

As a mother in Spain I have to be brought up to date from time to time with the latest slang.  Well, it’s either that or driving the car and listening to comments like “Esa es una garrula”, and spend the rest of the journey wondering what on earth a “garrula” might be.

So on enquiry I have been informed that  “Garrula” is a girl who (typically) has long hair, but loopy earrings,  too much eye-makeup and is a bit “over the top” feminine.   In a similar linguistic vein: “Cani” is someone who’s a bit flashy and tasteless (I suppose a kind of young Spanish medallion man, if one can imagine such a creature) and “choni” is similar to “cani” but predominantly female and cheap-looking.

Oh dear, I’m already afraid that I’ve gone out of my middle-aged depth.  I think I’ll stick to “grown-up” speech from now on.


  1. Ah ha! Did not know the full implications.

    Garrula – I was quite wrong on. I had thought it more a motor-mouth, gobby youth female.

    Cani to me would always have the implication of dodgy (chungo?) and whilst I might not approve of his dress code, I’d be more considered that Essex Boy had eyes on my password or iPhone.

    For more street-speak, you should watch “Pelotas” for your updates! ….sadly it’s shown at about 3am on La 1 but it’s a superb series. Football, “el barrio” (working class, Barcelona), with some very improbable story-lines often “based” on breakdown in communications between different generations ….. and some eye-candy!

    ….and los chanes…..??

    • I’ve just had it confirmed by one of my resident experts that “garrula” also includes loud-mouth and gobby like this: “Muchaaaaachaaaa, que haces aquiiiiiiii” in piercing tones. That’s as much as I can tell you!

      However, I’m also informed that “cani” does not include any suggestion of dodgy or deceitful. Yo qué sé??!!

      As for staying up till 3 a.m. to improve my street-speak, well I suppose I could also go out on the street at 3 a.m. and do the same thing, but both things are a practical impossibility. As I commented to my children when they arose at midday today – I used to fall asleep before they came home in the early hours. Now I fall asleep before they go out!!! Sad, very sad!

  2. Garrula ….Trinidad Jiménez?

    • No, I don’t think so Steve. You might not like her but I think you’re biased because she has a Málaga accent (not Canarian as I mistakenly said before) is female and has long hair. Correct me if I’m wrong, as I’m sure you will 🙂

      • Nothing against her at all. She could have been on my Ana Obregón list if it were not for her appalling English….. although Zappy would not have known! It´s not a bad idea to have an English-speaker to head up your Ministry of Foreign Affairs!

        As it is I´ll have to make do with Esperanza Aguirre y Gil de Biedma and Elena Salgado! (Different politics, same sex!)

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