Useful Peruvian Words for travelers in Peru

peruvian words

This post is also available in: Español

It is true that in Peru they speak Spanish, but it is not the same as the Spanish spoken in Spain, or Argentina, or Mexico. They have many different words to other Spanish-speaking countries so if among your plans is to visit Peru, today we tell you Peruvian words that will be useful to know even if you know how to speak Spanish.

First you should know that Peruvians are very joking and you should not always take them seriously. We give you two tips: you have to be attentive to the intonation and expressions.

Also, on your excursions in Peru you will visit Andean villages that speak more languages such as Aymara and Quechua. But don’t worry, if while doing the Lares Trek you want to talk to a local, you’ll surely end up understanding each other. Now let’s get started!”

Ruins of the sacred plaza at machu picchu

Muletillas

Muletillas are Peruvian words that usually go at the beginning of a sentence and give you a clue to the content of the sentence. That is, when you hear the muletilla you already know if what they are going to say is a complaint, an explanation, a compliment…

O sea

The word “o sea” is also used, for example, in Spain. It is said when you are going to give an explanation to someone. For example, if you do the tour to Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley in Spanish, you will hear “o sea” said to the guide when he goes to give explanations: “O sea, tomorrow we will sleep in Aguas calientes”

ruins of machu picchu

Pucha

This Peruvian word is used when you want to say that you have a discomfort, inconvenience, annoyance… For example: “Pucha, I forgot my charger at home and I need it.”

Bacan or Chevere

Bacan or Chevere are synonyms for “I like it”, “it is good” or “I agree” and is used in more Latin American countries. So you know, if you try any Peruvian food and you like it, you can say ” chevere.”

Cuy dish in Peru

Asu mare

When Peruvians want to say that something bothers them or makes them uncomfortable, they first say “asu mare”. That is, when they complain about something they use this word. Example: “Asu mare, it’s very cold. ”

Words to talk about money

Cocos

If you hear a Peruvian saying the word “cocos”, they are referring to dollars (1 coco = 1 USD). For example, “I have 100 coconuts” means you have $100.

Luca or Lucas

The currency of Peru is the Soles and they are called Luca or Lucas ( 1 luca= S/ 1).

China

Continuing with the soles, one china is S/ 0.50. That is, half a sol (half a luca).

Peruvian slang words related to food

The Peruvian slang words that you will hear most on your trip to Peru are Spanish words related to food, but used with a different meaning. So, here are some typical Peruvian words:

Lenteja

If you are one of those who walk slowly on a hiking tour you may be called “lenteja”. So, this Peruvian word is synonymous with slow, slow…

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Peruvian words Meaning
Palta Fear or shame
Zanahoria Good person
Chaufa Bye
Coca cola Crazy
Chorizo Thief
Churro Attractive
Asado Who has no patience
”No seas pollo” To be light weight

As you now know what the Peruvian words are, you will surely understand the locals a little more. The excuse of not traveling to Peru for not understanding the language is no longer valid, now you have the confidence to go! Out of curiosity, which word has been the strangest for you?

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