This post is also available in: Inglés

dominican - enlgish dictionary

In this week’s Dominican-English dictionary post, Candiver Bienvenido, a very amusing young Dominican describes to us the double-meaning of the word ‘Chivo’ in Dominican! 

Some may think straight away that this is just means goat in spanish – but it does not! For us Dominicans it means another thing completely! In Salvadorean Slang (from El Salvador) this word is used as an adjective to describe something as cool, but in Dominican slang this means that you’re nervous about something or that you are Tattletale – someone that tells on others.


When you are nervous: “Las alturas me ponen chivo.” (Heights make me nervous / I’m afraid of heights.)

When you are a tattletale: “Ese  muchacho es un Chivo, no se puede confiar en el.” (This boy is a tattletale, I wouldn’t trust him)

We try to stay away from people like this – they could get you in lots of trouble!

As a teacher I would like to point out yet another meaning for the word ‘chivo’ which I have learnt since I started teaching here – the pupils use the word ‘chivo’ or ‘chivos’ to mean a piece of paper they’ve written answers on to use to cheat in a test!