“Mi amorcito” “mi cielo” “bebé”…? Do these phrases sound familiar? Do they sound soothing, exciting, and sensuous? Would you like to know how to use them to woo that guy or girl? Colombian slang has its own peculiarities, and none more so than when it comes to flirting in Spanish. In Colombian Spanish, there is a new way of saying almost everything in typical flirting that you probably never heard before. Especially if you have been practising your flirting in Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Chile, or any other Latin American country.
If you’ve ever seen Colombian TV, you’d be right in believing that telenovela lovers have their own language. Flirting Spanish words full of sweet meanings, flattery, teases, and passion. It’s all designed to make anyone fall deeply in love.
“La pasión Latina” or “latin passion” is an expression that exemplifies how important love is for people with beautiful culture, traditions, and music. If you ever have the opportunity to visit a Spanish speaking country in Latin America, you might have noticed that people are affectionate. From kids to adults, no matter how hard their lives might be, latinos will always have a smile on their faces when you ask them “¿Cómo estás?”
Let’s look into some of the most important Spanish words and phrases Colombians use and how culture and language combine to create sparks.
Living and Loving In Colombia
Today we will focus on one specific country, Colombia, tierra de sabrosura. This amazing country is located in the north of the South American Continent, next to Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil, and east of Panamá in Central America.
Colombia is salsa, good coffee, beautiful people, culture, and amazing biodiversity.
But how do I flirt with locals? Well, hearing sweet words in Colombia is a daily reality, so you might find it easy to engage in a conversation with someone you find attractive. And talking of attractiveness, Colombians love blue or green eyes, a foreign accent, or someone who knows how to dance. If you have one or all of these features, your ability to flirt with Colombians has already passed stage one. Who knows? Maybe the love of your life is waiting for you there.
Here are some cool Colombian flirting phrases of words you can use to sweeten your speech:
|Mi amor||My love|
|Mi cielo||My sky|
|Vieja||Old lady (this is commonly used to refer a woman regardless of age)|
|Man||Man (commonly used to refer a man regardless of age)|
|¡Qué bonito(a) eres!||How cute you are|
|Me gusta tu sonrisa||I like your smile|
|Me gustan tus ojos||I like your eyes|
|¡Bailas muy bien¡||You dance very well|
Phrases You Need to Know
Estar bueno / estar buena
Makes reference to the beauty of a woman/man. Specifically about “physical attributes”, i.e. muscular guy, tall dude, hot woman or nice booty.
- She’s pretty, she’s hot = ella está buena or esa vieja está buena
- That guy is hot/you have a nice body = ese man está bueno/tú estás bueno
This means to give kisses but sometimes used to refer to “sweet” kisses. “Pico” means “beak” so it makes reference to the way birds “give kisses”.
- No lo vas a creer, ¡María y Camilo se dieron un pico hoy en la escuela!
Creative Language Uses
It’s important to remember that in Spanish, a word can have a “smaller or bigger version”. Spanish speakers love to make words smaller and sound cuter, if the situation requires it. So, try to apply some of these changes:
- Instead of “amor” you could say “amorcito”.
- Instead of “cielo” you could say “cielito”.
- Instead of “sonrisa” or “ojos” you could try “sonricita” or “ojitos”.
That will give you extra points and your future Colombian husband/wife will appreciate it very much.
And this can also happen with names. Yes, calling someone “little” + his/her name sounds cute and Spanish speakers love that too.
For example, if you meet with someone called “Andrés”, you could call him “Andrecito”.
If you know someone called “Andrea”, you can call her “Andreíta”.
Everything in Spanish sounds sweeter when you add a suffix to change it into its diminutive form. It’s a term of endearment.
Calling someone “little” + his/her name sounds cute
How to Make things smaller and cuter
While this is not strictly “flirting” vocabulary or “slang”, it is a grammatical part of the Spanish language and it has its rules. It also varies between Latin American countries.
This is how it works in Colombia and a lot of other Spanish-speaking countries:
If the word is Masculine:
1) if the word ends with “o” you replace it with “-ito” or “-itos”, if it’s plural. For example:
- carro = carrito
- cielo = cielito
- perro = perrito
- ojos = ojitos
2) If the word ends with consonant or “e”, add “-cito” or “-citos” if it’s a plural form. For example:
- amor = amorcito
- café = cafecito (this particular example, the “e” loses its accent to follow a grammar rule)
- corazón = corazoncito
If the word is feminine
1) If the word ends with “a”,replace it and add “-ita” or “-itas” if it’s plural. For example:
- Princesa = princecita (this word changes its “s” into “c” for grammar purposes)
- Vieja = viejita
- Casa = casita
2) If the word ends with a consonant or vowel “e”, you have to add “-cita” or “citas”. For example:
- Bebé = bebecita
- Canción = cancioncita
What about names?
For names, these rules are a little different but here’s how to change a person’s name into its diminutive form.
- “Carlos” will change into “Carlitos”
- “Andrés” will become “Andrecito”
- “Camila” changes into “Camilita”
- “María” can be changed into “Maricita” or “Mariíta”
Feel free to practice and put them in good use when the situation requires it. Creativity is one of the fun and interesting things about Spanish and learning a language means also feeling and understanding its deeper forms and structures. In this way, you can emotionally connect with the language and improve your learning process.
Some verbs you can combine to win the battle for love are “to like” “to love” or “to miss”. An explanation of proper use of these verbs will also help us understand the differences in Spanish and English.
In Spanish, we don’t actually say “I like you”, we say “you please me”.
- Me gustas = I like you
- Me gustas un poquito = I like you a little bit
- Me gustas mucho = I like you a lot
When using this verb, pay close attention to how it is formed. You don’t want to sound selfish and say “Te gusto” because that’s understood as “You like me” and that might just end the conversation.
On the other hand, “to miss (someone)” will follow the same structure as in English:
I miss someone = Yo extraño a María
But watch out!t If you want to use an object pronoun, i.e. “I miss you”, you have to remember that these pronouns are placed before the verb.
- I miss you = Yo te extraño
- You miss me? = ¿Tú me extrañas?
Feel The Passion: Verbs have intensity
You might have encountered situations in which you don’t know if you have to use “gustar”. “amar”, “adorar”, “encantar” to explain the intensity of your feelings towards something or someone.
|Level||Verb in Spanish|
|Highest level||Encantar/Apasionar/Volver loco/a|
|High level||Amar/Estar enamorado|
What about my accent?
Have you ever heard a Russian, French, Italian or Latin person speaking your language? For most people, accents are interesting and even sexy.
Some Spanish learners feel uncomfortable speaking because they think their accent sounds silly.But an native speakers love to hear their own language and local expressions in a different accent.
Sometimes a soft or strong accent will make you more interesting to others.
All Colombians speak Spanish and in some cases, native languages in small indigenous communities. But in every departamento (the name of every territorial division in the country, similar to “states” in the USA) they speak with a different accent and use different expressions or idioms.
Hanging out with verbs
Many verbs have no literal translation or have a completely different meaning in English. But they sound great and will get you street cred.
|Parchar||To patch||To hang out / have a good time|
|Echar los perros||To throw the dogs||To flirt|
|Caer||To fall||This means “to flirt” but needs an Object Pronoun.|
|Coquetear||To flirt||This is the softest and most neutral verb for this action|
A typical conversation using these verbs would be something like this:
(Context: two friends from Medellin are talking about doing something tonight.)
“¿Qué más parce? ¿qué va a hacer hoy?”
– “¿Bien o no? Bueno, hoy es sábado, tenemos que hacer algo”
“Parce yo voy a salir a parchar con Camila”
– “¿En serio? ¿Le está echando los perros a Camila?”
“Sí parce. Creo que ahora sí le gusto”
– “Bueno, yo voy a escribirle a unas amigas a ver si quieren salir hoy.”
“Listo. Me avisa y salimos como a las 10:30”
Note: Some expression or slang words like “parce” or “listo” change according to the region you are visiting or where the speakers come from.
Language is Culture
Speaking Spanish requires creativity. If your language skills rely too much on logic or are too analytical, you might stifle your progress.
Try to use your heart when flirting. Make mistakes. It can be endearing. Use the new words you have learned with friends, lovers, and even random strangers. Words like “sabroso”, “qué rico”, “muévelo” will become part of your journey when learning more of Colombian’s culture of love.
So go ahead, try, practice, and most of all, have fun!
Straight from Colombia, Daniel Marchan is an amazing Spanish teacher with a passion for helping others learn his native language. For over 4 years, he has created his own materials and discovered the best way to motivate students to learn Spanish. Daniel always adds fun and professionalism to his unique and dynamic lessons.