Puro Carrete: The Basics of Drinking Chilenismos

Consider this your 10-minute crash course on Chilean party/drinking vocabulary.

These are the most basic things you need to know to recount the crazy nights you won’t remember, to describe the behavior you see during and after the Fiestas Patrias, or to elucidate your reasons for not drinking alcohol.

For your reading convenience, the vocab is split into the following four categories:

  • The watering holes:  Where to find the alcohol
  • The drink: Common words for booze
  • The brink: Words for being drunk
  • The sink: Terms for hangovers and the shipwreck that’s left of you the day after.

The Watering Holes

  • Bar or PubClub or Disco(teca): Words not specific to Chile… you can figure them out.
  • Botillería: Liquor stores that are open until crazy late hours of the night and you make purchases through metal grating.
  • Previa: Pregame!  These start at around 9 pm or so and go until people are ready to hit the clubs… usually around 1 am.  Don’t worry, you’ll be home by 5 or 6 am.
  • Carrete: Party.  Excuse me, I meant PARTAYYYYyyyy!  GET CRUNK!  See also: v. carretear, adj. carreteado
  • Vituperio:  A social gathering with the purpose of drinking.  This meaning is exclusive to Chile, as in other places vituperio means offense, disgrace, or dishonorable action.  Interesting.  Here’s some etimología, if you’re interested.

Three hours until the exam? There’s still time to party

The Drink

  • Copete: Usually liquor or a mixed drink with liquor, the most popular copetes being piscola, pisco sour, roncola, etc. (Don’t worry—there will be future posts about Chilean drinks!)
  • Trago: Ackahawl!  I mean, alcohol, in general… some people might use it just for mixed drinks, especially those people who only drink mixed drinks.
  • Schop and chela: Beer.  Usually, a chela or chelita is a bottle or can, and a Schop is supposedly something on tap.
  • Malicia: When you spike a drink with alcohol, like Irish coffee or the “syrup” in Elf.

The Brink

  • Curado: Literally means treated, cured, or even aged, like cheese.  This is the most common way to say drunk in Chile.
  • Cocido: Cooked, stewed, or boiled.
  • Copeteado: You’ve had one too many copetes.
  • Pasado: Steeped.
  • Huasqueado: Whipped. This comes from the word huasca, which is the whip that a huaso carries.
  • Arriba de la pelota, and prendido: see song below.

The Sink

  • Andar con la caña (mala): To be hung over.  Caña is a hollow cane that can be used to make cups for beer and the like, like bamboo.  But don’t get a bad one… they’re no fun.
  • Andar con la mona: Same as above.  I guess this is technically “walking around with the female monkey”… if any of you have any ideas as to why this means hangover, feel free to contribute!
  • Hachazo: Have you ever been so hung over it feels like you have an axe in your head?  Apparently, it’s a common thing here in Chile.  Common enough to call a hangover an axe wound.

Hangover monkey! Your new bff.


One thought on “Puro Carrete: The Basics of Drinking Chilenismos

  1. Pingback: Aro aro aro! Words to Celebrate Chile | Chilean Adventures of the Pelirroja Peligrosa

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