Word Wednesday: Pelado/a

Posted on 18/09/2013


Beginning today, every Wednesday I am going to tell you about a Colombian Spanish word I think you should know–both for your own sake as well as to enhance your Colombian Spanish skills for current and future traveling in this lovely  and sometimes quirky South American country.

Today’s word is “pelado” (masculine) /”pelada” (feminine).

“Pelado” is a very common word in Colombia. While the literal meaning is “peeled,” bare,” “bald,” or “shaven,” in Colombia it is most often used to mean “kid.” By “kid” I don’t actually mean a small, young child, but rather a young girl or boy between the ages of, let’s say, 12-20 (approximately). You might hear someone, for instance, say the following: “Ayer yo vi un pelado peleando en la calle” (Yesterday I saw a young boy fighting in the street). Or, you might here someone say, “Ella es todavía muy pelada para hacer estas cosas, ¿no?” (She is still very young to be doing those things, right?).

And, here are some “pelados” dancing in my local supermarket, Exito:

The important thing is that you know “pelado” refers to a young person, not something “bare” or “bald.”

Hasta la próxima,