READY for a party? Who isn’t? Then let’s get festive with five Panamanian Spanish phrases and other terms that will break the ice and have you speaking like a native.

1. Eres como culei

This literally means: You are like Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid? Yes, some years back this just-add-water drink used to be the beverage of choice at most social gatherings, thanks to its bargain basement price. So if you were like Kool-Aid, that meant that you were a social butterfly.
Example: Ese buay es como culei. Está en esta fiesta también.
Translation: That boy is a social butterfly. I can’t believe he’s at this party too!
I’ll drink to that!

2. Eres como carne en palito

Word for word this phrase means: You are like meat on a stick. At Panamanian gatherings, typical shish kebabs are standard fare. Once again, just like Kool-Aid above, it became synonymous with the party animal.
Example: Esa man es carne en palito. No se pierde ni una.
Translation: That guy is a party animal. She’s at all of them.
Mmmm… I’m sorry. I’m suddenly feeling very hungry. Could you pass the…?

3. arranque

In Spanish motor de arranque is the term for a starter, like the one in your car. But for Panamanians it is the start of something far more exciting: a party!
Example: El gobierno se va de arranque la última semana de diciembre.
Translation: The government’s going to party the last week in December.

4. arrepinchoso

Are you the life of the party? Then, this is your word!
One man tweeted: “Realmente el panameño es arrepinchoso. No hay lluvia que lo detenga para cualquier evento.”
Translation: “Panamanians are such party animals that not even rain can keep them from showing up at an event.”

5. rumbero

Locally a party is known as a rumba.
So if you are a rumbero, you’re a partier!
One man posted: “No soy rumbero, pero la soledad me obliga.”
Translation: “I’m not a partier, but loneliness compels me.”
Another man wrote: “Algunas personas tienen un rumbero interior por descubrir.”
Translation: “Inside some of us there’s a party animal waiting to get out.”

So live a little! Let that party animal escape once again —Panamanian style.
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