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Dominican English Dictionary: Chivato

This post is also available in: Spanish

Dominican DictionaryChivatoA new week means a new word… better said a new Dominican word! We hope this week has been wonderful, and full of learning, so as a bonus to you all, here we add a little fun knowledge of the Dominican language.

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 “Chivato”. Chivato is a funny word, often used among Dominicans to describe a person who cannot keep secrets, the kind of person you can’t tell anything too because they will immediately start telling everyone else, or worse you do not even have to tell them anything, they simply observe what someone says or does, and then they use that as something to talk about (normally in a negative way) to someone else, or lots of people! Be warned “chivatos” are everywhere! It is especially used when someone is telling tales to a person of authority – it’s the Dominican word for “snitch”.


1 – “Chivato” is attributed to a person who acts as an informer. Basically it’s the kind of person who secretly tell someone in authority that someone else has done something bad, often in order to cause trouble: in English we call these people “Snitch” .

Example 1:

Dominican 1: ¿Le puedo contar acerca de nuestra travesura a Francisco? / Can I tell Francisco about the prank?

Dominican 2: No, que él es muy “chivato” y puede delatarnos/  No, he’s a “snitch” and could betray us

Example 2:

Nadie quiere estar contigo porque eres muy “chivato” / Nobody wants to be with you because you’re a “snitch”

So far we have learnt jumo, guayarse, deguabinao, jartura, yeyo, chepadiqueempepillar, moriqueta, decricaje, motete, pinta, timbí, clavo, chapusero, manganzón, titua, jociador, pecozón, pariguayo 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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