Learn Colombian Spanish: Words and Phrases R – Z

Spanish lessons in Medellin and Envigado

We’ll be putting out a collection of Colombian Spanish slangs, colloquialisms, idioms, etc. Follow us on our Facebook to get a regular update of these words and phrases on your News Feed!

A – D | E – J | K – O | P – Q | R – Z


As a “Paisa” is someone from the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío, a “Rolo/a” is someone from the department of Cundinamarca, specifically from the capital city of Colombia, Bogotá. The term “Rolo/a” is also used interchangeably with another term “cachaco/a”.


Meaning: The party itself
I know the word looks like zumba—and hey, that’s a great way to remember it!
Colombians love to dance (not zumba, but close—salsa), so when they say, “La rumba está buena!” that means, “the party’s good.” They’re dancing and having a blast!


Meaning: To go out, to party. There are two ways to spell this word: as shown above, or with an e instead of an i, rumbear. Rumbiar may be familiar to other Latino ears; without a doubt, it’s natural and native to Colombian speak.


Spanish word for “toad”. Besides, it is used as a slang word for “snitch”.


No, not the Mexican food. “Taco” is “traffic jam” in Medellin. However, traffic jam is called “trancón” in Bogotá.


Word commonly used referring to someone who is really good at something. Thus, it might be used to mean “smart”, “capable” or “courageous”.


Despite the fact that “café” is coffee with milk in Colombia, “tinto” translates to “ink” and is a thick, more concentrated black coffee made with quality beans and sold in small cups by people on every corner.


Adjective to describe a bad-mannered, rude person.


Synonym of “camello” that means “job”, “work” or “hard work”. However, this word is more commonly used in Medellin and Paisa region than other cities and departments.



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Colombian Spanish