Saturday, January 11, 2014

Está curada

Every time I go to Mexico, I learn something new.  The things I learn are like that box of chocolates Forest Gump talks about, you never know what you're going to get.  Sometimes it's useful, sometimes it's just interesting and fun.  The one thing I have learned however, is that no matter how strange or useless I may think a word or expression is, I always end up hearing it again later on.  With that said, let's get started.

Está curada

Curada means to be cured, as in curing meat.  It also means to cure someone of something, like an infection.  Except in this example, that is.

Está curada
It's cool

Ese coche está curado
That car is cool

Tu camisa está curada
You shirt is cool

A few related expressions would be:

Que padre, que chido, que bien

It's my understanding that this is an expression used in Northern Mexican, especially in Tijuana.  Toss it around with your Mexican friends and see what happens, I'll bet it leads to a few laughs, a great conversation and someone asking you, "where did you learn that?"

Up next we have the word chiloso.

¿Está chiloso?
Is it spicy?

And by spicy I mean spicy hot.  Here are a few other related terms:

Enchiloso is another word for spicy.  Enchilar is to season food specifically with chili's.  I'm not sure how wide spread these words are in Mexico much less the Spanish speaking world, but everyone should understand the words picante and pica.

¿Está picante?
Is it spicy?

¿Pica mucho?
Is it spicy?

So much for my adventures in food.  Surprisingly the next word I'm going to tell you about I learned while checking in to my hotel.  It's not much of a story, but here's what happened.

After I finished checking in, the young lady behind the desk turned on the intercom and called for botones.

Instantly I thought, buttons?  OK, a half second later I realized she wasn't randomly screaming out buttons in the hotel lobby.  No one responded to her, so I wasn't able to figure out what the heck she was talking about.  I had to wait until I got to an internet connection to solve that riddle.

Botones simply means bell hop.  Now you won't have the same stupid look I had on my face when I heard this.

By the way, if you're not familiar with the Spanish you need to check into a hotel, read my entry,
¿A qué hora es la hora de entrada?.

As a tourist, I take a lot of taxi's to get around.  And I learned long ago that in Spanish you use the verb tomar to talk about taking a taxi.

Tomamos un taxi
Let's take a cab

Too bad my Spanish books never told me there's more than one way to catch a cab in Spanish.

So there I was telling someone that I was going to take a taxi, and I'll never forget the answer I got.

En México no tomas un taxi. Agarras un taxi.

Agarrar is the verb, and it's typically means to grad or to hold on.

¿Dónde puedo agarrar un taxi?
Where can I catch a taxi?

Agarra un taxi, no es caro
Grab a taxi, it's not expensive

After that, I heard people using agarrar to talk about catching taxi's and buses every time I turned around.  You can also coger a taxi, but to my knowledge this isn't widely used in Mexico, but it is most certainly understood.  And don't worry, even though many people in Mexico use agarrar to talk about catching a cab, many people use tomar as well.

Before I let you go, you may have noticed the new About Me button at the top of the page.  Or maybe not.  Anyway, if you've ever been wondering about the man behind the curtain, err, blog, you can simply click on that button to get the answers to your deepest, darkest questions about me.  Or you can just click here.  And be sure to follow my other ramblings, Helping You Learn Spanish and No Seas Pelongoche.  Although I must warn you that No Seas Pelangoche is for those of you who want to know all about bad words in Spanish.

That's it for today!  I hope you learned something new.

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. Great article. It's good to get reference to the local expressions of different regions. All the food talk makes the mouth water. Do you have a favorite Mexican dish?

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Two of my favorite Mexican dishes are Chilaquieles and Camarones al Diablo.

  2. Amazingly explained! I am kind of doing the opposite in my blog translating a collaborative work with my friend to English. We are both Mexicans so we come up with the ideas and dialogues in Spanish and I translate the final work. I have a small correction in here:

    ¿Está enchiloso? - You used the correct word a bit later; should be "enchiloso,"
    Is it spicy? - never really heard the word 'chiloso' used in Mexico.

    Everything else is great. I would add that in northwestern Mexico (I'm from Sinaloa, and I recommend everyone to visit Mazatlan), we use adjectives ending in -illo, -illa. It works like -ito,-ita "chiquita," "guapito" : chiquilla, guapillo... Especially with "curado,a" we would use "curadillo, a." We normally use it to portray something 'modestly' the adjective. As in something modestly curado will be "curadillo." <- Note: the "LL" is pronounced as the "y" in "yeah" not as in village.
    Of course, in Sinaloa if we want to say something is more than modestly 'cool' we use another word instead of curado (maybe "padre" to avoid vulgarity). In Tijuana and San Diego border areas, 'curado' is widely used but I never heard the word as commonly in other areas of Mexico.

    All of this just to add that I would appreciate any recommendations and/or corrections to my blog! Thank you and have a nice day.

  3. I've read that you have to be careful about the word coger. It might prompt some giggles si digas que necesites coger un taxi.


    1. HI Jozeph!

      Your friends might rib you a little, but there's nothing wrong with using coger to talk about catching a cab. If you normally use coger, continue to do so. People will realize that you aren't Mexican, and they won't even blink an eye.

      Or if you want to sound like the locals switch to agarrar. At this point it's up to you. And now that I think about it some Spanish speakers use the word agarrar to refer to sexual relations. You can't win for losing, LOL.

      Seriously, don't worry about it. Use whichever term suits you, coger, agarrar or tomar.