Kulture Keys: Limeño Slang

I recently hung out with some friends from Lima. What I noticed was that the way they spoke had some subtle and interesting differences from how some of my friends from the Sierra speak. What I found out was that there are some slang terms in Spanish that are unique to Limeños (people from the capital city/ province of Lima). Here are 3 new slang terms that I learned how to use. I look forward to trying them out next time I am in the big city of Lima.


The first term I started hearing with frequency was ‘manyas‘. It got tossed in at the end of majority of the sentences. What I found out was that manyas gets used to check for understanding. Or to verify that the person is listening or on the same page as the speaker. It’s like saying “you get what I mean” in English. For example, Estaba tan molesto cuando obtuvieron mal mi pedido, ¿Manyas? Acababa de gastar todo ese dinero por nada ” (I was so upset when they got my order wrong, you know what I mean? I had just spent all that money for nothing).


Another term I heard quite frequently was ‘alucina’. Instead of getting used at the end of sentences, this slang would pop up towards the beginnings. It comes from the Spanish word alucinar, which literally means to hallucinate. Alucina is like saying “imagine” in English. For example, Alucina si ganamos la lotería! (Imagine if we won the lottery).


The third uniquely Limeño slang that I learned might be my favorite slang to date. It gets used in all different types of ways. It’s very versatile and adds an interesting flavor or color to the way you speak. Culo in Spanish literally means ass. However, when used as a slang term, it references a lot of something. In English, its like saying “a shit ton”. For example, Tenía que trabajar por un culo de tiempo (I had to work a shit ton). It might not be the cleanest way to speak, but its authentic!

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