To help you take your first steps into this world, we’ll look here at a selection of the endless ways that Colombians talk about attraction, dating, getting together and falling apart.
Standard Spanish has a load of different ways to say somebody (or something) is beautiful or attractive.
A number of other very similar words to “mamacita” and ”papsito” – like “mamasota” / “papasote”, “mami” and “mamita” – also have pretty much the same meaning. “Pintoso” is a label applied to a “good looking man” (use of the feminine version, “pintosa“, is much less common).
All these terms are a bit more light-hearted than “estar buena” and some girls can find it complimentary to be described as a “mamacita”. Unlike the previous terms, which are all laden with sexuality, this is a neutral term that does not necessarily mean the speaker is attracted to the person they’re talking about.
So here’s how you should talk about it: No doubt you’ve heard the word “conquistar” in the context of the Spanish “conquistadores” who invaded Latin America several hundred years ago.
Nowadays, the verb “to conquer” is used most frequently in dating scenarios, where it refers to the process of “conquering” another’s heart.
But most of these are far too serious-sounding to be used when chatting among your friends.
Take, for instance, the sentence “Ella es muy bonita”, which is a perfectly legitimate way to say “She is very beautiful”.
To excel in the world of romance, you’ll need to be able to speak reasonably.
For instance, when chatting about the previous night out, a Colombian girl might complain: “Ese man me estaba echando los perros durante toda la noche. ” (“That guy spent the whole night trying it on with me. “el man no se atreve a lanzarse” (“the guy is too shy / doesn’t dare to make a move on her”).
Relatedly, a guy who constantly propositions girls and who is really forward can be described as “lanzado” e.g. Le echa los perros a todo el mundo” (“Juan Carlos is so forward. A phrase used by women to describe men they are keeping “on the backburner”.
It’s difficult to imagine a group of guys hanging out, drinking a few beers, saying this about a girl.
It would be so formal that it’d actually sound a bit weird.
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