Today’s words are “pechiche” and “pechichón,” two words I hear all the time in Barranquilla. However, before moving to Barranquilla, I had never heard the word “pechiche” or “pechichón,”and, since moving to the Caribbean Coast, I have been told it’s because they are fairly uncommon in the interior of Colombia, but loved very much by costeños (Colombians who live on the coast), especially Barranquilleros.
So, what do they mean? Well, pechiche is used mostly as an adjective to describe someone who is asking for a substantial amount of emotional spoilage–some would say someone who is needy emotionally, in a temporary/romantic kind of way. It’s especially used between couples when one person is particularly in need of some loving. For instance, you might hear someone say to their “needy” or clingy significant other, “Amor, estás muy pechiche hoy. ¿Será que te estoy consentiendo suficiente?” (Honey, you are very needy today. Could it be that I am not loving on you enough?). But, you may also hear a mother refer to her child as being pechiche when he/she wants to be very close to her, i.e. crawls into her lap or wants to be constantly held.
One more context in which you might hear someone use pechiche is to refer to their needy pets who ask for or need lots of attention!
You may also hear pechiche used as a verb to refer to spoiling someone emotionally or caressing someone, especially in reference to couples and significant others. In this case, you might hear someone say to their significant other, “Ay, cielo, quiero que me pechiches” (Ah, honey, I want you to spoil/caress me).
Pechichón, then, is used as a noun to refer to the person who is needy, clingy, lacking in emotional spoilage. You might hear someone use it to say something like: “¡El novio de Juanita es un pechichón!” (Juanita’s boyfriend is an emotionally needy person/is in need of emotional attention right now). You can also use pechichón for your pets–as we all know are furry friends can be especially needy creatures!
*It’s important to remember that normally, pechiche and pechichón are used to refer to more temporary emotionally neediness, even though you may hear them used to refer to longterm emotional neediness as well–more pechichón than pechiche.
You can hear a good example of how to use these words in the vallenato song, “El Pechiche” by Iván Villazón: