Cubonics

I’m an admirer of Cuban culture. I love how Cubans, Cuban-Americans, and other Latinos incorporate English words into their particular brand of Spanglish.

Note: some of these are just “disparates” I’ve heard over the years. Please accept this blog entry with the affection with which it was intended.

The Growing Cubonics List:

This is just a starter list; please enter your own below and I’ll add them.

Food:
Ambége = hamburger
Otdó = hot dog
Quácke = Quaker Oats
Conflé = Corn Flakes, or ANY cold cereal
Sángweesh = sandwich
Esláy = Slice
Quéi = cake

An actual sign from a Little Havana bakery

Products:
Bibaporrú = Vick’s Vapor Rub
Bébi Yónson = Johnson’s Baby Shampoo or Baby Aspirin
Pécksi = Pepsi
Esprái = Sprite
Colgáteh = Colgate toothpaste

Construction:
Tinsé = Thin Set
Chípi Jáme = chipping hammer
Chi Ró = sheet rock
El Fórley = the fork lift
La Casina = lacquer thinner

Automotive:
Esparplú = spark plug
Páwed Estíri = power steering
Fígaro = fill it up
Picó = pickup truck
Transpoteíchon = junk car “jalopy” only good for “transportation”.

Businesses:
El Públi = Publix
Blu Cro Blu Chiz = Blue Cross Blue Shield
Macdóna = McDonald’s
Toy Serao’ = Toys ‘R’ Us
La Vaquita = Farm Stores
El pollo del viejito = KFC
El Cuiche = Quick Chek (defunct grocery store chain from the Winn-Dixie family)
Guindíci = Winn-Dixie
Jofú = Whole Foods
Cóco = Costco
Besbái = Best Buy
Papayón = Papa John’s Pizza
Picksa Hó = Pizza Hut
Dónki Dónah = Dunkin Donuts

Household items:
Pin-pam-pum = fold away bed
Frijidáire = any refrigerator (Frigidaire)

Technology:
Lató = lap top
Copiúti = computer

Places:
Mayamidéi = Miami-Dade
Cora Géibo = Coral Gables
Coco Nogró = Coconut Grove
Jónste = Homestead
Déilan = Dadeland
Tirate al mar = Miracle Mile
Ayuda de Juan = US1
Nodee = Northeast
Noweh = Northwest
Sauee = Southeast
Saueh = Southwest

Miscellaneous:
Jónle = homeless
¿Guasápeninmeng? = What’s happening man?
Guarejáu = warehouse
Flonquear = to flunk a class
Day care = take care
Dayó = day off
Ícotá = income tax
Da sol = That’s all
Cóli = college

Bueno, da sol for now. Please add your own below! Day care.

Steve

By | 2017-01-14T23:54:11+00:00 May 25th, 2010|blog|50 Comments

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50 Comments

  1. Ralf Gonzalez May 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    CONSTRUCTION
    Wiril – Weed Eater
    Gampao – Compound
    Bais Bol – Base Board

    FOOD
    Eslay – Slice
    Berberkin – Burger King

    BUSINESS
    Toy serao – Toys ‘R’ Us

    Guarenjau – Warehouse

  2. Blanca Stella May 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Lol..I need to bookmark this post for future pop ups in my head.

  3. Jessica de la Torre May 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Food:
    Sprite = Espriy

    Products:
    Robitussin (cough syrup) – Rubytuseen

  4. vicequeenmaria May 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Buenísimo!

  5. Geo Rodriguez May 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Growing up, my family always said “El pollo del viejito” when referring to KFC.

    And I was always told never to stick my finger “en el chucho de la corriente.”

    My beat up Ford LTD in high school was “un transpotachion.”

    and my room was full of tarecos.

    I can go on….

  6. Pelle May 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    El Chucho de la corriente. LOL.

  7. ines May 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    you forgot LACASINA for Lacquer thinner 🙂

  8. Profile photo of Steve
    Steve May 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    LOL! Ines, that’s hilarious.

  9. Lorena May 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    How about…
    El pisicorre – the station wagon
    El qui-che (quick check) the predecessor of WinnDixie
    Flonquear – flunk a class

    I’m sure I can think of more…

  10. CWE May 26, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Another popular grocery store chain in Miami is Wíndíci, as is the more upscale Jófú.

  11. Phil Colodetti May 27, 2010 at 9:10 am

    rayqenpi = rack and pinion (car)

    dayo’ = day off

    incota’ = income tax

    lato’ = lap top

    coli = college

    quei = cake

    big lost = big lots (Marisela Verena)

    saca = soccer

  12. Phil Colodetti May 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Please fix my spelling of cubonics if these words make to the final dictionary!

  13. Jesus Reyna May 28, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Ecuby du
    Enake

  14. Jeannette Mantilla May 31, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    In honor of my late father-in-law, his favorite Cubonics word ever was:

    sonamambiche – son of a bi%^h

  15. Natasha June 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Cambia Cambia: Remote Control
    Conflei: Corn flakes, or any cereal at that.
    Vacuum: bacum cleaner

  16. Phil Colodetti June 5, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I just came back from the mechanic because my van was overheating. He changed the radiator and also put new “antifre”.

  17. Sal Picao June 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    on april FISTIN tienes que FAILEAR el “LINCOLN TA” named after the president yo creo

    JONLES = Homeless
    MAYAMIDEI = Miami-Dade
    CORA GEIBO = Coral Gables
    COCO NOGRO = Coconut Grove
    JONSTE = Homestead
    DEILAN = Dadeland

  18. Profile photo of Steve
    Steve June 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    ño, Sal Picao, te la comiste!

  19. Phil Colodetti June 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Again, I am here at El Exqisito Restaurant, and I’ve just ordered a “CONTEIN” to take my food home (container).

  20. Phil Colodetti June 13, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    One more!

    BéBaBión= Bed Bath & Beyond

  21. Luci Colodetti June 14, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    How to orient yourself in Miami

    NE= Noree
    NW= Norueh
    SE= Sauee
    SW= Saueh

  22. Solange June 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    One more

    Ayuda d’ Juan= US1

    No one told bout this..my uncle says it all d time..Lol

  23. Tracy August 27, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Love this! … We have a grocery store called “Food Lion”. Local Latinos call it “Food Leon” – not sure how widespread that is. LOL

    • Profile photo of Steve
      Steve August 27, 2010 at 8:14 am

      That’s a good one. South Florida does not have Food Lion, but if we did I have a feeling it would be “Fulái” in Cubonics.

  24. Julie Diaz Asper August 27, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Brillant! Reminded me of my Cubonics childhood in Miami! Love it!

  25. Jeannette August 27, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Okay, my freng, I have a few to put for consideration in your Cubonics dictionary.

    First, a couple blasts from the past:

    Gran Joonion – Grand Union

    Saire – Zayre’s

    These came into my mind today:

    El Mol de los Judios – 163rd Street Mall – this is one my parents used.

    El Farito – Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

    Sansgiving – Thaanksgiving, of course

    Sank joo beri mooch por putting this together! I love Cubonics! Although, I’m surprised, you haven’t made a fan page on fb yet! LOL

  26. Brandon October 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    “No me trabaja el low en el condichiner de aire.” The low function doesnt work on the air conditioner.

  27. gopalo November 2, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Just saw this on Facebook: jonrón = Home run

  28. Jenny Saxton November 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    My personal fave: “Viva Peru” (Vick’s Vapo-Rub)

  29. Rey Baumel February 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    • Tankento = Stan Kenton (great Jazz big band in the 50s)
    • Zico = Zip Code
    • Liti = Lipstick
    • Aycri = Ice Cream

  30. Joe P. February 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    And don’t forget the popular hardware big box store: Don Pipo (Home Depot)!

  31. Phil March 25, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Every time I go to the mechanic (cubanazo), I learn something new. Today he said that my radiator needed a “flucheo”. That means to flush the fluid, to clean, and to put new fluid.

  32. Alex de Carvalho March 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    eeees ok, sankyu!

  33. Meli April 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Sorry con escuse mi!

    My grand mother use to say it all the time!

  34. Mike LaMonica May 4, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Pin-a-sol > Pine Sol

  35. Mike LaMonica May 4, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Dee jing > I go to Dee Jing

  36. Profile photo of Steve
    Steve May 4, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Maik: Dees ees guay joo loo so goo, beecoss joo aulweis go too dee jing.

  37. Olive March 9, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Thanks for making me laugh! ;0)

  38. Skruzzz July 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Pahahhahaaaa hysterical! Lets not forget:

    Swéte=sweater
    Yáque= jacket
    Pulóber= tshirt
    Chore=shorts
    Los teni=sneakers
    La wawa=the bus
    El wow wow=the dog
    Misu=the name of every cat
    Estraberi=strawberry
    Epageti=spaghetti
    Gud lo= good luck
    El prínte= the printer
    Ju=you
    Sau beesh=south beach
    Beger keen= Burger King

  39. Adal August 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Fotochó – photoshop
    Finalcó – Final Cut
    Jonpipo – Home Depot
    Berberkin – Burguer King
    El troli – CGables Trolley
    El Deni – Denny’s
    Guendi – Wendy’s
    Guolmal – Walmart
    El Taogüer – Tower Theater
    Soni Aislan – Sunny Isles
    Güingüo – Winwood (vamo pa’ Guinguo)
    Champú – shampoo
    Condicion – Conditioner (hair)
    Eatenchon – extensions (hair)
    Espagueti – spaghetti
    Aicrin – ice cream
    Quiwé – key west
    El Pinter – printer (correct Spanish is: impresora)
    Integné – Internet
    Güindo – Windows (software)
    Móden – modem
    Waifai – WiFi

  40. Anthony September 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    This is great!! Brings back many memories hanging out with my grandparents. 4 grandparents and 2 great-grandparents!!!! One grandmother is still living, 97 yrs old and STILL SAYS things that leave me speechless.They said some interesting words and many of the ones listed on this website. I didnt see these on the list.
    TENSEN= the 5 & 10.
    SEBE NO= 7 UP
    NO GU=. No good
    YOGU= yogurt

  41. Ricky Ricardo October 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Y que no se les olvide, cuando salen de Mayami(Miami) para ir a Disni Wol (Disney World) tienen que cojer el Tunpique(Turnpike)

  42. El Cubacho July 16, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Guaraji = water heater
    Esplipi = split pea

  43. Patequi Misifu July 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Miami Beach—–La Playa
    Southwest Miami—-La Saguesera
    Plastic Bag—-nailon
    Beck’s Beer—-la llave
    Cerveza Polar—-oso sudando
    Cerveza Hatuey—Indio sudando
    Hippie—hipaldo
    Policeman—-el mono
    Take it easy—tek eetche
    Blender—–oysterayser (regardless of brand)
    Pancake—-panque
    Smoker—-fumeco
    LeJuene—–Leyun
    Hialeah—–Iahlea

  44. Patequi Misifu August 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Hot Dog—-franfura
    Pizza—pisa
    Palmolive—pamolibe
    Bleach—–cloro

  45. Patequi Misifu August 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Otro típo de Cubonics—–Another type of Cubonics Part One
    From Cubano to English

    The light in front is the one that illuminates
    For if the flies
    It doesn’t matter 3 pickles
    I’ll crap in ten
    You put the top on the jar
    It’s hotter than 3 pairs
    They’re going to finish the ranch and the mangos
    Not even the Chinese medic can save you
    Don’t dance at the top’s house
    He doesn’t even show up in a spiritual center
    The peanut vendor sang for him
    He lost the board
    He doesn’t paint nor cut

  46. Patequi Misifu August 14, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Otro típo de Cubonics—–Another type of Cubonics Part Two
    From Cubano to English

    More roll than film
    Throw the house out the window
    Hold on to the brush, I’m taking the ladder
    I’m going or you go to the crow’s nest
    A tree meant to make a violin makes sounds in the forest
    You have a Chinaman behind you
    You’re a white yam with a tie
    It shakes the monkey
    Lip radio
    She/he sold the little box
    I know you codfish, even with a costume
    It’s turned into rice and mango

  47. Jose October 26, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Tiendas:
    panty pry : Pantry Pride

    curses:
    San a bam binche : SOB

    Places:
    Artur gofree : Arthur Godfrey 41st. MB

  48. Cristina March 1, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Cubanisms

    Loca de la cintura para abajo- Crazy from the waist down-Usually used when referring to craziness in relationships. Mom, “That girl is crazy!” Si, loca de la cintura para abajo!!

    Asi es como mato a un chino en Cuba- That’s how a Chinaman got killed in Cuba, a warning about doing something you’re not supposed to do, that’s how he got killed!!

    Words to add to the dictionary:

    Ronal Ray-gun Ronald Reagan

    Geor Buch George Bush

    Jello-Yellow

    Sang-wishee-Sandwich

    Salchicha-Sausage

    Aire Condition-aw-Air Conditioner

    Lincoln Caramello-Lincoln Continental

    Cadeelac-Cadillac

    Corbete-Corvette

    So happy that I found this site!! Brings back so many happy memories of my grand parents and my child hood!! I love it!!

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