Lingo for gringos: five Spanish words you need to watch Narcos on Netflix


I’d heard the word ‘Narcos’ bandied about for a few weeks before we sat down to watch the new Netflix series. I’ll be honest. I didn’t really know what Narcos meant. Neither did I know much about Pablo Escobar. I thought he had been a leader. Or a political figure. Or somebody that I really should have known more facts about, but didn’t.

So I nodded in agreement while people chatted about him at work. ‘Oh yes,’ I said and put on a face that said, ‘I know exactly what you are talking about. I know all about HIM.’

Well, now I do know all about him, but only because I watched the whole series of Narcos. Ten episodes. Of gold. Turns out he wasn’t from Argentina like I thought. (I was probably thinking of Pele). Columbia. That’s where he’s from. Drugs, that’s what he’s about. Narcos, that’s the word means.

I spent many of the early episodes going, ‘What now?’ ‘What happened there?’ ‘Who’s he?’ ‘What’s going on here now?’ Apparently this is a mark of a very good series. If the lady of the house has to ask himself over and over for explanations of what the hell is going on, it means the plot is thick, the action fast and the characters speedy Gonzales from the mouth.

Most of the series is in Spanish and subtitled. The narrator, an American DEA agent, chats throughout scenes in English, but for the most part, you’re following the action through the words on screen. It means you can’t turn away for a second. And that you may pick up a Spanish word or two. Here are five words you should know before watching the Sopranos of the Spanish speaking world.


drink narcos
Prefer el whiskey myself
As the title of the series, it’s good to know from the offset what this word means, because I hadn’t a clue before we turned it on and I felt a bit, well, idiotico. Obviously coming from the word we do know – narcotics – narcos are simply ‘drug dealers’. Not to be confused with those who suffer from narcolepsy. And become a bit narky. Hwuh hwuh.


gringo narcos
Just gonna shoot me some gringos
The Columbians HATE gringos. You, my dear friend, if you are white and not from Columbia – well you’re a gringo. You can’t move for the gringo hate in Narcos. Gringos are to the natives, what motherfucker is to Samuel L Jackson. They use the word a lot. And kinda means the same thing.


house narcos
Wonder if Kevin McCloudico would feature my next house on Grand Designios? Mmmm marble floors
Casa is the Spanish word for ‘house’. Pablo likes to use this word a lot because he has 60 odd houses or so. He’s not really a fan of ‘mi casa, tu casa’ though. He’s a bit mean that way. Better off staying away, in case he blows your cabeza off.


cocaine narcos
Mine, all mine
Yep, Cocaine. Lovely lovely white dusty cocaine. For breakfast. For dinner. For all night parties and for the morning after, before you take the kids to school. Everyone was doing it back in the 80s and it wasn’t even frowned upon. Well not till those pesky DEA agents got involved. Billionas of kilos of cocaina is how Pablo made his money. He’s a great business man and you learn this through his many wheelings and dealings in his drug king career. Think Del Boy on speed. Robin Hood gone a bit wrong. He’s a man of the people until he started a little old war and started blowing everyone up. He’s a bit scary. But sure what drug lord isn’t?

El suéter no el jersey

Lovely jumper
Pablo’s favourite Christmas gift 1984
Good lord the jumpers. For a man with so much cash he buried it in hills, it seems Pablo’s favourite place to shop was Dunnes Stores in the 80s. Patterns. Sailor themes. Abstract triangles. He wore them all and NONE of them looked good on him. It does soften his image though. He looks like every Daddy you remember in the 80s. But behind that chunky wool is a man with a cool heart, a kilo of cocaina and a desire to rule the entire world. Or at least Columbia. Not doing much for Tourism Locala, but I’m sure it’s grand now. No problems with drug trafficking from Columbia these days. No siree. Nente atall atall.


I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and receive a free subscription to Netflix for review purposes. All views my own.


December Girl is now available on Audio. Visit Amazon or Audible or click on the cover below to download.

December Girl audiobook

2 Comments on Lingo for gringos: five Spanish words you need to watch Narcos on Netflix

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: