[#015] ¡Ahí lo tenés al pelotudo!

After being away for a while, here we have a new rioplatense word that is worth learning: “pelotudo“.


This is a very commonly used word in informal contexts in the River Plate area, and it has actually the same meaning as another word that we have already discussed in a previous entry. Can you guess? I’m talking about the word “boludo“.

Just like “boludo“, the word “pelotudo” has exactly the same literal meaning: “someone with big balls”. But it is used only as an insult, with the meaning of “fool” or “dumbass”. You might remember that “boludo” can also be used to refer to someone in a friendly manner, totally devoid of its negative connotation, just like “dude” or “mate”. However, that is not usually the case for the word “pelotudo“. Even if your friends won’t probably get mad at you for calling them “pelotudos“, remember it will always mean “idiot” or “fool”, with different degrees of aggressiveness, of course, depending on the intonation, situation, etc. For example:

    No seas pelotudo y dejá de llorar.
    Don’t be silly and stop crying.

    Ah, ¡creí que era verdad! Soy un pelotudo
    Oh, I thought it was true! I’m so stupid.

    ¡Qué pelotudo que sos!
    You’re such a dumbass!

I will now share with you a short scene taken from a well-known Argentine comedy film: Esperando la carroza (“Waiting for the Hearse”). This isn’t actually a very recent movie. It’s from 1986, but it has become a cult classic and it very well depicts several cultural aspects and stereotypes of the traditional rioplatense society. So if you want to learn a bit more about rioplatófonos and you don’t mind watching a movie with no astonishing special effects, I highly recommend it!

Anyway, here’s the scene:

And here’s a transcription of the dialogue, plus an approximate translation afterwards:

    —¡Ahí lo tenés al pelotudo! *tocan bocina*
    —¿A mí?
    —¡Cacho! Vos sos Cacho, ¿no? Nosotros somos tus tíos. ¿Te acordás?
    —Uhh… ¡La puta que los parió! Maricones, ahora van a ver… *pincha la pelota* Para que aprendan, ¡hijos de puta!
    —¿La viste a tu abuela?
    *los chicos tiran piedras a Cacho*
    —¡Paren! ¡Paren, carajo!
    —Ya van a ver cuando los agarre.
    —Pará, no te calentés. Pará, escuchame. ¿La viste a tu abuela?
    —Mi madre. La madre de tu mamá.
    —¡Será posible! ¿No sabés lo que es una abuela?
    —¿Dónde está tu mamá?
    —Fue a comprar comida.
    —Bueno, escuchame. Cuando vuelva, que llame urgente a la casa del tío Sergio.
    —¿Cuál tío Sergio?

    —There you have him, the dumbass! *they sound the horn*
    —(Are you calling) me?
    —Cacho! You are Cacho, right? We are your uncles. Do you remember (us)?
    —Ohh… Mother fuckers! Faggots, you’ll see now… *stabs the ball* You’ll know better (next time), sons of a bitch!
    —Have you seen your grandmother?
    *kids throw stones at Cacho*
    —Stop! Stop it, fuck!
    —You’ll see (what I’ll do) when I get ya…
    —Hey, don’t get mad. Calm down, listen to me. Have you seen your grandmother?
    —My mother. Your mum’s mother.
    —Do you REALLY not know what a grandmother is?!
    —Where is your mum?
    —She’s gone to get some food.
    —Ok, listen to me. When she gets back, (tell her to) call uncle Sergio as soon as possible.
    —Uncle Sergio who?

From this dialogue and the way Cacho is characterized in this scene of the movie I guess you can probably gather why they call him “pelotudo“, right?

If there are other words or expressions from this scene that you would like me to cover here, leave a note in the comments section. For now, I just want to focus a bit on the verb “calentarse“. As you can see in the translation provided, when the man says “no te calentés” to Cacho, he is telling him to calm down, to not get mad or angry.

I guess this may not be exclusive to castellano rioplatense, but I still want to point it out as this word may cause some trouble if used in the wrong contexts. Of course, “calentarse” can be used in its literal meaning of “getting hot”. So someone could be “calentándose” if they are next to a heater or in the sunlight. But if someone “se calienta“, it can also mean that they are getting angry, as in the case of Cacho when the kids throw stones at him… Or also that they are getting aroused or turned on! So be careful with these three meanings and how you use this verb.

And to finish this post, we can use the two new expressions together in one sentence: ¡No te calentés, pelotudo! 😉

But hey, more than one translation is possible there…



  1. Muy interesante. 😀

    Una pregunta, ¿se ocupa también la forma «no te calientes»?

    Sé que se dice «calentá» por ejemplo, o «hablá», «prendí», «decí», etc., pero estoy menos seguro de cómo se manejan las formas negativas.

      • ¡Muy buena pregunta! 🙂 Tocaré este tema en alguna entrada del blog más adelante. Respuesta resumida:

        Así es, en español usamos el modo subjuntivo para negar el modo imperativo: HAbla (tú) / no HAbles (tú)

        ¿Qué pasa en el español rioplatense? Usamos “vos”, claro, entonces en imperativo decimos: haBLÁ (vos). Pero en la negación del subjuntivo, coexisten las dos formas, la de “tú” y la de “vos”. Entonces podemos decir: “no HAbles” o también “no haBLÉS“. Ambas formas son válidas y se usan, pero la forma correspondiente al pronombre “vos” suele añadir más fuerza expresiva a la frase. Quizás por eso escribí “no te calentés”. Pero sí, también es posible y se puede escuchar “no te calientes”.

  2. Pingback: [#016] ¡Hijo de re mil P*7@! | Rioplatofonía

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