23 Canarian expressions that you should know when visiting the island


If you have decided to go on a trip to Gran Canaria, knowing some Canarian expressions can help you a lot in order to develop in a more natural way in this place.

For this reason, in this article, we will show you some of the most popular Canarian expressions so that you can soak up the local culture while enjoying a relaxing holiday in the Canary Islands.

What are the best known Canarian expressions?

From the way to call for a bus, until the way you express that you are hungry or the way to say someone is considered “stupid”, there are different Canarian words and expressions that serve to express different feelings, wishes and surprises.

Some of the most popular expressions in the Canary Islands are:

1. ¡Ños!

This is one of the Canarian expressions that allow us to communicate surprise and amazement, having the possibility of lengthening with a long “ñooosss” to express intensity, in which the “s” is pronounced as an aspirated “h”.

This is one of the Canarian phrases in which it is clear that the person feels perplexed to find himself facing something that he loves, such as the fact of contemplating a beautiful place when he visits for the first time.

2. Mi niño

This is one of the Canarian expressions that serve to indicate emotional closeness, suggesting sweetness in the treatment. Although it is a phrase that can be thought to refer only to children and young people, it can also be used with people of any age, even if he is an old man.

3. Chacho

This Canary expression is characterized by the fact that it has several uses, being an abbreviation of the word “boy”. It is used as a wake-up call or surprise, however, Chacho has more alternatives to use, being a word that can be used in different contexts.

4. La guagua

The use of this Canary expression is international and has the meaning of “bus”. You can use it when you are looking for a bus stop, for example.


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5. Fisco y pisco

The meaning of both fisco and pisco is “little”, but it depends on the area of ​​Gran Canaria where it is used, since fisco is used in the west of the island, while pisco in the east.

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You can learn more about its meaning during shopping, although its use is colloquial.

6. Hace pelete

It is used to express that it is very cold, regardless of whether the temperature is 16º since in Gran Canaria the temperature to which the locals are generally accustomed is usually higher than this.

7. Tener jilorio

Is one of the Canary expressions that is commonly heard on the street or when people are entering restaurants or bars, especially during lunch or dinner, referring to being hungry.

8. Papear

This expression is related to “potatoes” or “potatoes”, which are one of the most typical dishes of the Canary Islands, referring to eating.

9. ¡Fuerte Calufo!

This Canarian expression is used when there is haze, that is, a wind with sand that comes from the next North African Sahara Desert. Also, it serves to say that it is very hot.

10. !Fuerte solajero!

It serves to mention that the day is clear, it has no clouds and it is very hot.

11. Talegazo

Means “blow” and is pronounced “telegaso” since the “z” is pronounced as an “s”, used to mention that someone has fallen or when blows are made in the well-known Canary struggle. For example, when an opponent receives a “punch” somewhere on the body.

12. Échale mojo

This is one of the Canary expressions that refers to mojo, one of the most famous sauces of Canarian gastronomy, being used to show surprise and amazement.

13. Eres un puntal

It is used as a word of praise for a person and serves as recognition of admiration for their capabilities.

14. Le falta un chaparrón o le falta un agua

This is one of the funniest expressions of the Canary Islands, which allows us to state that a person is not in his right mind or is immature, which is equivalent to the peninsular expression “le falta un hervor” (the lack of a boil).

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15. Estoy añurgado o Me añurgué

Used to indicate that a food is not following its usual course into the stomach, but it can also have another meaning, when used as a reference to a person, indicating that there is a lack of affinity and understanding.

16. El choso

The meaning of this expression is “house”. When you hear “se va pal choso”, you will know where the person is going home.

17. Arrancadilla

This is the last drink that is drunk in a place before someone goes home when they go out for a drink.

18. Fos

It serves to show that there is something that literally smells very bad. In the case of this word, the “s” is pronounced as an aspirated “h” and the more prolonged and exaggerated its sound is, it indicates how unpleasant the stench is.

19. Tenderete

Makes mention of a good party where there is an abundance of food and drink.

20. Machango

Although it literally means doll, it is also one of the Canarian expressions that can be used with a disqualifying tone to tell someone “silly” or “clown”.

21. Golifiar

Means spy. It is used to refer to meddling in the lives of others.

22. Abollado

It is one of the funniest canary expressions, which is used to mention that someone is very full after eating.

23. Tolete

Its literal meaning is male reproductive organ, which is also being used as one of the canary’s insults to express that someone is “dumb” or “stupid”.

Where to stay in Gran Canaria?

If you want to know and visit the best places in Gran Canaria and you still have no place to stay, the hotels of the Lopesan Group are the ideal place for you to experience the true luxury of feeling at home by the sea.

To learn more about our services, contact us.



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