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Written by and/or contributed to by Christopher Baker
Asere Man, brother Bárbaro Cool, killer Baro Money (dollars or pesos) Bróder Brother ¡Coño! Used as an exclamation for good and bad things Dame un chance Let me pass / let me jump the line Está en llamas She’s/He’s/It’s ugly or in a bad shape Fiana Police Fula Dollars Güiro Party Jamaliche Food / food junkie Jinetera/o Hooker, hustler Kilo Centavo(s) La lucha The daily struggle Loca Homosexual, queen Mamey Fine/cool Está mamey She’s/He’s/It’s fine / cool Jaba de nylon Nylon is just any piece of nylon, but NOT a bag Papaya Vagina – the fruit itself is called fruta bomba everywhere except in Oriente where it’s (rightly) called papaya Papi Daddy – used as a term of endearment for males (especially from younger girlfriends!) Pepe (Spanish tourist) Pincha Job Pollo, pollito Pretty girl Por la izquierda Through the grey/black market Prieto/a Dark skinned Puto/a Gigolo/prostitute ¿Qué bolá asere? What’s up? How are you? ¿Cuáles la mecánica? What’s the process here / how does this work? Tortillera Lesbian /dyke Yuma Someone from the US

Pick up lines Cuban style (Piropos)
by Juliet Barclay

Cubans are world champion flirts and it’s usually done with such style that one struggles not to become putty in their hands. Calling out piropos to passing women is a time-honoured Havana tradition. Piropos are nothing like the tacky remarks that northern women have to put up with. OK, they’re macho, but it’s hard to resist smiling at the most of them and men know that the wittier the piropo, the more satisfactory the result is likely to be.

1 Por eso hay tantos apagones, porque la Empresa Eléctrica confía en que tú nos ilumines. So that’s why there are so many power cuts: the Electrical Supply Company is counting on you to light us all up.

2 Si cocinas como caminas, me comería hasta la raspita. If you cook like you walk, I’ll scrape the pot clean.

3 Niña, estás como la quincallita, chiquitica pero bien surtidita. Girl, you’re like the ironmonger’s shop. Small, but well-stocked.

4 Hombre: ¿Tú te llamas Alicia?’
Mujer: Yo no, ¿por qué?
Hombre: Porque una mujer como tú solo puede venir del País de las Maravillas. Man: Is your name Alice?
Woman: Me? No, why?
Man: Because a woman like you could only have come from Wonderland.

5 Podré no verte, podré no hablarte, pero lo que jamás podré será olvidarte. I could bear not seeing you, I could bear not speaking to you, but what I could never bear would be to forget you.

6 Bendito el escultor que hizo tus curvas. Blessed be the sculptor that made your curves.

7 Las estrellas están enojadas con Dios, porque no las hicieron tan hermosas como te hicieron a ti. The stars are angry with God because he didn’t make them as beautiful as you.

8 Estás como los almendrones, de uso pero en buen estado. You’re like a classic car, used but in good condition.

9 ¿De qué juguetería te escapaste, muñeca? Which toyshop did you escape from, you doll?

10 Quisiera ser un cigarrillo para quemarme en tus labios. I’d like to be a cigarette, to burn up on your lips

11 Amor, ¿quién fuera patito de goma para nadar en tu bañera? Love, if only I were a rubber duck to swim in your bath.

12 Ay mamá, tú con tanta carne y yo pasando hambre. Oh, Mama, you with so much meat and me so hungry.

13 Si algún día quieres matarme no lo hagas con un puñal, deja un momento de amarme y el golpe será mortal. If one day you want to kill me, don’t do it with a knife, just stop loving me for one moment and it’ll be a mortal blow.

14 Si el sol pudiera mirarte, nunca sería de noche. If the sun could see you, night would never come.

15 Eres más linda que un domingo de dominó en la playa. You’re better than a Sunday of dominoes on the beach.

16 Si vuelves a sonreír me derrito como helado en agosto. If you smile again I’ll melt like an ice cream in August.

  Christopher P. Baker is a professional travel writer and photographer, and leads tours of Cuba for MotoDiscovery and National Geographic Expeditions. His six books about Cuba include MI MOTO FIDEL: MOTORCYCLING THROUGH CASTRO?S CUBA (National Geographic Adventure Press), winner of two national book awards.
? Christopher P Baker
travel writer ? photographer ? moto-journalist ? cuba expert |

Lowell Thomas Award 2008 Travel Journalist of the Year  

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