Spain has a unique mix of subcultures. Some of these urban tribes might remind you of people from home, but they all have a Spanish twist. Maybe you can see yourself or someone you know in the “dogflute”, Perroflauta or the posh
Warning: all of these terms can be used with pride or to insult, so be careful how you use them!
pasota, hippie, perroflauta…
The name comes from the perro (dog) that they keep for company and the flauta (flute) that they play.
These tribes can be found on the streets selling their handmade jewellery, playing their guitars, juggling and protesting.
The English equivalent might be ‘hippies’. “Pasotas” or “Perroflautas” wear baggy, colourful clothes and many have dreads. Left wing and alternative, they’re anti monarchy, anti capitalism and anti convention but they are not activist at all. Many were part of the Occupy movement and lots are students or graduates.
Words based on Perroflauta’s ideals make it into their songs.
“libertad” – freedom
“felicidad” – happiness
“contrapoder” – counter-power/ opposition
The word probably comes from Andalusia, meaning Gypsy or Romany. A bit like the British stereotype ‘chav’, Canis wear gold rings and chains, tracksuits, Nike shoes and caps. The stereotype dictates that they are trouble makers, but the reality is that they are typically young who learn from the streets. Their “enemies” are the Pijos.
Canis use a mix of phrases from Andalusian expressions and 80s gangster films.
“ta flama” from esta flamente. Can be used to describe their new car.
“ira” comes from mira, meaning look.
“Me entiende?” You get me? Can be added to the end of sentences
Pijos have, or appear to have, a lot of money. Right now in Spain, this can get resentment from the other tribes. Pijos can be spotted by their designer labels, side partings and expensive watches. They might also be wearing the Spanish flag.
Like the English word posh, pijo can be used in both a negative and positive way. It can mean elegant and refined, or snobbish.
The English version might be preppie, while in Mexico they say fresa (strawberry)!
The word pijo spices up many sentences…
“Que pijos!” What the hell?!
“No entiendo un pijo.” I don’t understand a thing.
“Qué pijos haces aqui?” What the hell are you doing here?
A very singular character from the south of Spain. It is very easy to recognize them : they tend to have long curly hair, wear shawls, gold, and vintage clothes, play guitar, etc...
You can find them anywhere but especially at the fair, on the river,in the subway, in the park below home singing , on the beach…always playing “rumba” with the guitar.Their religion is called “Flamenco”. Their God and prophet is the most famous flameco singer, Camarón.
“Arsa, quillo!”: Ole!
“Dame algo!”: Give me some coins!
“Tirititraun!”: (common word used in their rumba songs)
This kind of pimp also emerged in the mid 70’s in London city. His favorite pastime was making graffiti on the walls and also mock the military and police. They love punk-rock concerts and of course beer!
“¿Qué pasa, tronco?”: What´s up, dude?
“Dame una birra”: “I want a beer”