14 Basic Spanish Words Every 'Narcos' Fan Should Know

Plata o plomo?

Cover image via SAYS PH

Narcos is incredibly addictive!

This Netflix original series is about the legendary Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar and his cartel.

A good sign of good drama is when it's in a completely other language but you'd still tolerate bouncing your eyes from the screen to the subtitle.

The drama is so in-depth that even though it's mostly in Spanish, English-speaking nations are still hooked! (eg. US, Philippines and Malaysia)

And as much as we want to sing along to the Spanish theme song, humming and mumbling "seemingly Spanish words" doesn't really cut it.

Even actor Wagner Moura (who played Pablo Escobar) had to learn Spanish in 3 months before shooting

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Initially, he was told that the script would be in English and that he just needed to "speak in English with a Spanish accent" but there was a sudden change of plans that he had to learn Spanish, andale!

But of course, we're not a brilliant actor who can quickly learn a whole new language, right?

So here's just a bit of the basics to help you understand what Pablo and his muchahos are talking about:

1. Muchachos

In context: Let's have a drink, muchachos!

2. Gringos

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In context: Every gringo who steps foot in Colombia, Pablo knows.

3. Casa

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In context: You may have 80 different casas but not a single one is home.

4. Cocaina

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In context: At the height of Pablo's career he supplied an estimated 80% of the cocaina smuggled into the United States.

5. Plata o plomo

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In direct translation it means: silver or lead. In a Spanish context, it's an expression used to say "take the bribe or suffer the consequences."

6. Hacienda Napoles

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Hacienda Napolés is the vast estate of Pablo Escobar. It had two helicopter landing pads, ten houses, three zoos, 1,700 employees, 27 artificial lakes, life-sized dinosaur statues, and its own gas station.

7. Coma mierda

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In context: Pablo told the Medelin police to coma mierda when they were asking for a million-dollar bribe.

8. M'ijo

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In context: The couch is very uncomfortable, m'ijo.

9. Paisa

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In context: Gustavo is Pablo's paisa.

10. Pendejo

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In context: Cockroach is really pendejo!

11. Hijo de p*ta

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In context: Gacha is a big hijo de p*ta for killing that dog!

12. Sicario

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In context: The minister refused protection and was gunned-down by sicarios.

13. Patrón

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In context: Pablo is the patrón of the Medellin cartel.

14. Comuna

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In context: At the height of the Medellin comuna's power, they employed 750,000 men.

Do you have more to add to our "Linggo for Gringos"?

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