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10 Dominican Slang Terms to Help You Speak Like a Local

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The Dominican Republic is a country with a vibrant, rich, and unique culture. Dominican slang, like any other country's slang and colloquialisms, is an important part of local culture and language. It's a way for Dominicans to express themselves in a more informal and playful way, often with words that have a unique meaning and are not used in standard Spanish.

In this article, we'll introduce you to 10 of the most common Dominican slang terms so you can learn to speak like a local. These 10 terms can be used in everyday conversation and will be useful on your next visit to this Caribbean Island:

  1. Chévere—This is a word you'll hear all the time in the Dominican Republic. It's an adjective that means "cool" or "great." For example, "Esa película estuvo chévere" means "That movie was cool."
  2. Guagua—This word means "bus" and is used to refer to public transportation. "Voy a tomar la guagua al trabajo" means "I'm going to take the bus to work."
  3. Jevi—This is a slang term that means "good" or "awesome." You might hear someone say "¡Eso está jevi!" to mean "That's awesome!"
  4. Pilas—This term means "be careful" or "watch out." It's often used as a warning or to remind someone to be cautious. For example, "Pilas con esa esquina" means "Watch out for that corner."
  5. Fula—This word is used to describe something that is ugly or unattractive. For example, "Ese carro es bien fula" means "That car is really ugly."
  6. Bregar—This verb means "to work hard" or "to struggle." For example, "Estoy bregando mucho en mi trabajo" means "I'm working hard at my job."
  7. Tiguere—This is a term used to describe someone who is street-smart or cunning. It can also refer to someone who is a little bit of a troublemaker. For example, "Ese tipo es un tiguere" means "That guy is a street-smart troublemaker."
  8. Plátano Power—This is a term that refers to the pride that Dominicans have in their culture and heritage. It's often used in a positive way to celebrate Dominican identity. For example, "¡Plátano Power, mi gente!" means "Power to the people of the Dominican Republic!"
  9. Morro—This is a slang term used to refer to a young kid, and can be used for a boy or a girl depending on the vowel ending (morra refers to girls). For example, "Ese morro es muy travieso" means "That young boy is very mischievous."
  10. Vaina—This is a versatile word that can mean anything from "thing" to "problem" to "situation." It's often used as a filler word, similar to "stuff" in English. For example, "No sé qué es esa vaina" means "I don't know what that thing is."

Learning these Dominican slang terms is a great way to connect with locals and gain a deeper understanding of Dominican culture, making your interactions more enjoyable and meaningful. The next time you're in the Dominican Republic, try using some of these words and see how much more easily you can connect with the people around you.