Art and Culture

Dominican English Dictionary: Arranca’o

This post is also available in: Spanish

Dominican-DictionaryarrancaoIn this edition of our Dominican English Dictionary, we bring you a new Dominican word, as always, you will find several examples with which we try to explain in the best way possible these words used daily by Dominicans.

Our hope is to facilitate a better understanding between Dominicans and foreigners, which is why we’re bringing you one Dominican word per week, to help you comprehend our unusual, yet creative form of speech.

The word of this week is “arranca’o”. Briefly we could say that the word “arranca’o” is the most often used among Dominicans to express when someone is really broke.

Here is the definition of “arrancao”


“Arrancao” is the dominican word used to describe someone who is “broke” or “bankrupt”, which means they having completely run out of money. But just like in English, when we say “estoy arranca’o” (“I’m broke”) it does not necessarily mean we are on the point of bankruptcy!

Example 1:

Dominican 1: Hey, vamos al cine esta noche / Hey, let’s go to the movies tonight

Dominican 2: Oh lo siento no puedo ir porque estoy arranca’o / Oh sorry I can’t go cause I’m broke

Example 2:

Cobré la semana pasada y ya estoy arranca’o / I was paid last week and I’m already broke!

So far we have learnt jumo, guayarse, deguabinao, jartura, yeyo, chepadiqueempepillar, moriqueta, decricaje, motete, pinta, timbí, clavo, chapusero, manganzón, titua, jociador, pecozón, pariguayo, chivato, agallú therefore if you missed out on any of your classes you have time to catch up by clicking on any of these links.

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