[#011] ¡Quedé para el orto!

A couple of days ago I came across a new Facebook page called “Quedé para el orto” and I thought I could explain the meaning of that expression on this blog.


We’ll start with the word “orto“. It’s the same as “culo“, that is to say, “ass”. Now, “culo” in Spain is the ordinary word used to refer to the buttocks, but here in the River Plate area we would normally say “cola” instead. “Culo“, in contrast, is somewhat vulgar here. Some decades ago, it was an awful thing to say, but it has recently become less offensive, though, and now you can use it safely among your friends as if it were any other everyday word. In fact, we have lots of expressions that include “culo“.

But let’s go back to the expression “para el orto/culo” (or also “como el orto/culo“). This means “very bad”, usually in a not so sweet-sounding manner. Here are some examples:

    ¿Cómo te fue en la entrevista? (How did the interview go?)
    Me fue para el orto. (It went really bad.)

    ¿Cómo andás? (How are you?)
    Como el culo. (Pretty bad.)

    ¿Te llegó mi mail? (Did you get my e-mail?)
    No, internet me anda para el culo. (No, my Internet connection sucks.)

    ¿Te gusta cantar? (Do you like singing?)
    No, canto como el orto. (No, I sing awful.)

So going back to the title of the Facebook page, the expression “quedar para el orto” means “to end up in a very bad situation” or “to look really bad”. The idea of that Facebook page is then to share different situations in which people do wrong, embarrassing or ridiculous things, just for fun.

I’ll share one of the page’s posts with you:


Quick translation: A guy in the bus wouldn’t stop looking at me, so I was acting like a diva looking out of the window. Ten minutes later he comes to me, touches my arm, and tells me: “there’s tooth paste on your chin”.

There it is: that person “quedó para el orto” in that situation.

By the way, in that example there are some other words worth-mentioning:

    Un flaco (a guy)
    El bondi (the bus)
    Pera (chin)

The word “flaco“, for instance, actually means “thin”. But when it is used as a noun, it just means “guy”, regardless of the physical appearance of the person it refers to.

Do you remember the word “bondi“? We have seen it in a previous entry of this blog.

And finally, in other Spanish-speaking areas “chin” is translated as “mentón” or “barbilla“, but here we normally say “pera” (just like the fruit “pear”). I don’t really know why, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that we, rioplatófonos, siempre mandamos fruta… 😉

Anyway, if you want to check out the website and have a laugh reading other similar anecdotes, you can click here. There’s lots of rioplatense expressions to practise in there, so… Have fun!


[#010] ¡Qué copado!

Today I bring you a new word that is widely used in the River Plate area, especially among teenagers and young adults. As far as I know, it is not used in other Spanish varieties, so it’s a good word to learn if you want to sound like a real rioplatófono or at least have no problem understanding those cool guys. Here it is:


The word “copado” generally means “cool” or “great”, and if it’s used to describe people, it can also mean that they are friendly, agreeable or even amusing. It can convey different degrees of “coolness” depending on the context where it is used and the way in which it is pronounced. Here are some examples:

    Dale, copado.
    Ok, cool.

    ¡Qué copado!
    That’s great!

    ¿En serio? ¡Re copado, boludo!
    Really? That’s awesome, dude!

    Tengo una idea copada.
    I have a cool idea.

    Facu es re copado.
    Facu is really cool/friendly.

    Mica es una copada, nos re divertimos con ella.
    Mica is an amusing girl, we [always] have a laugh with her.

As you can see, the same word can take different (but related) meanings depending on how it is used. It can also change for number and gender (copado, copados, copada, copadas), and it can be used both as an adjective and as a noun: someone can be “un copado” (or “buena onda“).

Here are some other examples from my phone. In the first conversation, I was texting a friend who also happens to be a Spanish student of mine, and I used the word “copado” while we were agreeing on when to meet for our next lesson. In the second conversation, I was texting another friend, a guy who speaks español rioplatense, and he used this word himself.


(The word “maso” near the end of the second conversation stands for “más o menos”)

  • Ok, ¡copado! 🙂 Is that all, then?

Oh, come on, you know me already! Of course there’s always something more to add. Now we’ll have a look at a couple of verbs: “copar” and “coparse“.

The verb “copar” can be used pretty much like the verb “gustar“. It’s the same thing and there’s nothing special about it, just remember “copar” is used in informal situations. I just googled this verb and found a couple of examples. The first one is from a blog post, and the second one is from Twitter:

    Me copa mandarte mails.
    I like sending you e-mails.

    ¡Me re copa Ellen!
    I really like Ellen!

Now, the reflexive verb “coparse” has a different meaning. If someone asks you “¿te copás?“, well, they might be asking you if you like yourself, but in fact it’s more likely that they will be asking you “are you in?”. So if someone makes an offer or invitation using this question and you want to accept it, you can either say “sí, me copo” (“yes, I’m in”), using the same reflexive verb, or “sí, me copa” (“yes, I like it / yes, it sounds good”).

Another verb you can use in Rioplatense Spanish with the same meaning as “coparse” is “prenderse“:

    ¿Te prendés?
    Are you in?

    ¡Sí, claro! Me re prendo.
    Yes, sure! I’m definitely in.

There, that’s it. I hope you’ve learned something new today, and if you’ve also found it “copado“, then that’s even better! 😉