Puerto Rican slang: An introduction and video

This week’s Cultural Tidbits Monday will be a short, but nonetheless sweet introduction to Puerto Rican slang! 😉 In a few words: Boricua slang is a ridiculous mix of Spanish and other ill-pronounced Anglicisms, in addition to plain Puerto Rican inventions. I don’t even dare to call Puerto Rican slang Spanglish because I feel that the latter is a tad more refined 😛 Not bashing my homeland, just sayin’…our language is a little dysfunctional 😀 Hope you like the post (and video)!

Now you know what I sound like! 😛 That’s a video shot by Mr Marcello (@WanderingTradr) before heading out on his epic world travels. We’ve been friends since college (back in 2005!) and never lost touch. Glad to see he is doing so well in his nomadic lifestyle 🙂

So! Back to the video! I’ll start by transliterating the Puerto Rican slang you just heard and wasn’t spelled out by Marcello in the video:

Super a fuego

If someone asks “how are you?” and you’re feeling great, you would say “¡Estoy super a fuego!” whose direct translation is actually “I am super on fire!” XD haha!

‘Ta to’ bien

Want an alternative answer if you’re feeling great? “Everything’s good!” It is a Puerto Rican slang abbreviation of the correct Spanish phrase “Está todo bien.”

Bien cangri

When something is awesome, you would say this. It is more of the “guetto” kind of Puerto Rican slang, or the one used by the youth to sound (and feel) “cool.” I didn’t use this phrase much (I prefer “super a fuego” :P)


No, it isn’t bowel XD this is one of those ill-pronounced anglicisms in Puerto Rican slang. We are actually trying to say “blower” or hair dryer!

Que es la que hay corillo!? Todo bien!?

If you are the one who wants to ask a group of friends “how you doing?” you can say this. The direct translation of the phrase is “What is there group of friends!? All good!?” Yeah, doesn’t translate quite right, as the phrase omits a noun or two 😛


Group of friends. I used this way too much in college! So much that when my Latin group of friends made t-shirts for our group, mine said “Corillo” in the back.

Pai / Mai

The very guetto way of saying dad (pai) and mom (mai) in Puerto Rican slang. Ironically, my own parents would almost punish me whenever I would say these words, plus I grew to dislike them anyway.

Selfin’ / Sulfin’

Surfing! 😀

Puerto Rican slang, surfing or selfin

” Selfin’ ” (surfing in Puerto Rican slang!) a wave in Isabela (Photo: RUBEN DIAZ, Flickr)

Now, a few additional words to close Cultural Tidbits Monday with broche de oro! 😉


Another way of calling a friend. The plural form is panas. This word is not exclusive to Puerto Rican slang, as I have heard fellow Venezuelans say it constantly. Additionally, pana is the Puerto Rican abbreviation of panapén or breadfruit, which was brought from the South Pacific to the Caribbean during colonial times. It is now a Puerto Rican food staple!


Nope, not brothel! 😛 Again, another ill-pronounced anglicism, meaning “brother.” Same meaning as the English word, some Boricuas call their “bros” brodels.


Puerto Rican slang for Puerto Rican person, either male or female (yay for unisex nouns!). It actually derives from the Taíno word “Borikén,” which is how our island was named by our native indians, the Arawak Taínos, and means “Land of the Valiant Lord” (Wikipedia).

No, this wasn’t April’s Fool! More Puerto Rican slang to come next Monday

Learn more: Puerto Rican slang lesson, número dos

Video: New Year’s Countdown from Times Square!

I said bye-bye to 2010 in Times Square, NYC and shot an awesome video of that moment! I went nuts (and said “minutes” instead of “seconds”); couldn’t believe I was finally crossing this off my bucket list! =D

To read more about how I basically “seduced” an NYPD officer in order to crash into Times Square and watch this countdown from the VIP lane, CLICK HERE

While I would probably not do all this all over again, it is an experience not to be missed in life, for sure!

Is NYE Times Square on your travel bucket list?

Video: Me salsa dancing for Fox 13 channel

Traveling and languages are not the only passions of yours truly. And due to the lack of motivation (read: Laziness) that a long weekend naturally casts upon you, I decided to make a Random Friday post: A video of me salsa dancing. Yes, I am a salsa dancer (ballroom in fact). No, my technique isn’t perfect. But indeed, I LOVE it.

The video, dated February 2008, was a segment of a morning show on the local (Tampa Bay) Fox 13 Channel. I was helping my dance partner promote one of the many dance events he organizes (note to guys: He’s not my boyfriend *wink*). I was about 21 years old then.

Jump to 1:00 to skip the interview and only see the dancing. Hope you like it! =)

[Warning: Heavy Latina accent]

Do you like salsa dancing? Or do you wish to learn?

Ball Drop in Times Square, NYE! Photos and video

New Year’s Ball Drop in Times Square, NY! Ahhhhh, New York. From your skyscrapers to your boroughs; from your street stalls to your nightclubs. There is something about the aura, the energy, the pace of this city that is simply intoxicating to me. A city that I first disliked, like a Casanova, slowly captured my heart forever. All of this in just 6 visits, 3 of them which took place in 2010 (-2011!) 😀

Statue of Liberty, NYC

NYC skyline

While I could write a book about the Big Apple, today I’m simply going to tell you how I got to see the infamous Ball Drop in Times Square on New Year’s — from the VIP lane!! Woot woot: Officially scratched off my Bucket List! Oh, and did I mention I did it without waiting much?! While I may earn a couple (or many) haters with this post, it is simply a tale too irresistible to not share.

New Years Ball Drop in Times Square, NYC: The Initial Plan

It all started with a $200 ticket for the Madam Tussaud’s New Year’s Eve party. Apparently, this was the only venue that was relatively close to the ball drop & still had NYE tickets that I could (barely) afford. So, Latina style, I bought the ticket last minute–right on the 31st around 4 PM =D to celebrate, I had some HEAVENLY Venezuelan arepas with chimi-churri sauce, GLORIFIED tostones with cheese and spiced-up mayo for dinner at Caracas Arepa Bar on East Village:

Venezuelan food arepas NYC

A such a wonderful dinner, I changed really quick & hit the road. The friend I was staying with didn’t feel like doing Times Square, so indeed, I ventured solo. Yup, SOLO! Gosh, why is it that almost every incredibly memorable experience I’ve ever had has been while venturing solo!?

Ball Drop in Times Square: Barricades and perimeter

SO! I finally get to the ball drop in Times Square perimeter around 10 PM and got through many barricades thanks to my ticket — I thought to myself, OMG, I got the Golden One! But boy, was this “slightly” far from the truth…

Times Square New Years ticket

The Golden Ticket?! *buzzer* Fail.

I get there, oh so close from the ball drop in Times Square…to be told I had to take a left (?) turn. Yes, turn. So there it was, The Ball in Times Square, oh so close yet so far. I was moving behind the building that serves as its base…and after walking for a bit, you can barely see the blessed Ball. So, I stood in the middle of the street, right in between the entrance of Madam Tussaud’s & The Ball feeling defeated, even a bit nostalgic already. A group seemed to have noticed the clear disappointment on my face, so a bright lady in her late 30’s approaches me with her 2 teenage boys…and starts to whisper at me…

The sneaky scheme

Ball drop in Times Square, NYPD

Mr Officer & me! Covered his face for his protection..

“Shhh, hey, same feeling huh? You thought you were going to be by The Ball drop, but you aren’t?! Doesn’t that suck!?” Thank you woman, you just lit up my face with  a huge smile. I nodded, laughing, and we started a conversation. They came straight from Australia *just* to see The Ball, but weren’t going to be able to make it. They thought that maybe they could stay wandering around the barricades and then at least get a little glimpse of The Ball. They asked me to join them. However, 10 minutes later our party was pooped on–NYPD asked us to please clear the street & enter whichever premise we had tickets for. Aussie lady didn’t give up though, oh no she didn’t! She tried to flirt her way…didn’t work. So, we started walking away, defeated yet another time, until one particular NYPD officer whistled at me–I looked back & smiled. He then kind of started to walk toward me, talking–he was a Latino, of course. Aussie mom whispered, “omg, he likes you! I think he could get us in!”

Yes, Aussie mom wanted to use me as The Golden Ticket to be able to see the Ball drop in Times Square. Ironically enough, NYPD officer said “I can only get one of you in, not anymore than that. I’m so sorry.” Aussie mom & her boys looke at me. I stood there silent. We all know what that meant. With a big group bear hug I said goodbye, and Aussie mom, like a champ, just winked at me and said “you go girl.” She took a picture of us, teary eyed, and said “next year, it will be US!” I think I teared up a little as well…

Seducing Mr Officer: Mission complete

New Years Ball drop in Times Square, VIP

Some Latinos in the audience excited to mingle w/ this celebrity, yours truly

And off we were, Mr Officer and me, wandering freely through the barricades…on the VIP lane. Yes, I was passing through a lane only available to magnates & celebrities. Unfortunately I didn’t stumble upon any TV cameras, but people thought I was a celebrity–asking for autographs, screaming at me, taking many pictures, etc. Whoa, I thought to myself, is this what being famous feels like!?

After some wandering, Mr. Officer just looked at me, smile and said: “Happy New Year. Enjoy it!” and left to fulfill other duties. That of course, after he presented me to every single officer on every single checkpoint through the avenue, so I could walk freely between the stages (New Kids On the Block, Backstreet Boys & Elvis Crespo were going to perform!) & then come back to my prime chosen spot…

Ball drop New Years Times Square

Stage where I saw my NKOTBSB & Elvis

VIP NYE Ball drop in Times Square

Mission Impossible Status: Accomplished

New Years Ball Drop in Times Square from VIP lane: Accomplished!

And that, my friends, is how I saw the New Year’s Ball Drop in Times Square on 2011. Furthermore, on the last 15 mins of 2010, I made some new friends, with whom I hung out for the rest of that long weekend.

Ahhh, I love random precious moments like this one!

NYE Ball drop in Times Square explosion

NYE Ball drop in Times Square view

So with a huge grin on my face, some new friends, and The Ball drop in Times Square from the VIP lane, I received 2011 with utter joy from New York City.
What an experience!!!!!

NYE Ball drop in Times Square, VIP lane

Woot woot – scratched from my travel bucket list!

Is the NYE Ball drop in Times Square on your Travel Bucket List?!

Secret Beach in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Just so you get to know me (and my background) a little better, here is a video of possibly my favorite secret beach back home in Puerto Rico.

Located on the east coast of Puerto Rico, Fajardo is one of my favorite towns in the island. And this secret beach, my friends, is how the Caribbean used to be! Disclaimer: Verrry strong Latina accent

Have you been to Puerto Rico? Which are your favorite beaches there?