This post is also available in: Spanish
Welcome back to our fun and educational Dominican English Dictionary, in which every week we learn more of the words that are used daily in the popular slang of the Dominican Republic, our target is to set a better understanding between Dominicans and foreigners.
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 “Pariguayo”. Pariguayo is an interesting word, and one which came into being during the US military occupation in the Dominican Republic, 1916–1924 and 1965-1966. During this time American soldiers would attend parties, and when everyone was on the dance floor, dancing merengue, there was always someone who would not join in. The person or people who did not dance became know as the “Party Watcher”, which when said by a Dominican actually sounded like “pariguayo”. And so a new word was born into the Dominican dictionary!
Today, “pariguayo” isn’t really used to mean “party watcher” anymore – you can see below the 2 ways it is now most commonly used.
1 – “Pariguayo” is attributed to a slow-witted, shy or silly person, someone who lacks common sense.
2 – “Pariguayo” is also attributed to men who do not have the ability to get a woman.
Dominican 1: Hey, ¿tu hermano ya tiene novia?/ Hey, what about your brother does he have a girlfriend yet?
Dominican 2: No todavia, está medio “pariguayo”/ No yet, he’s a little “shy” with women
Mi hermano presta atención y aprende no seas “pariguayo”/ Dude pay attention and learn do not be so slow-witted
So far we have learnt jumo, guayarse, deg