The Slang Expressions Used in Buenos Aires Called Lunfardo Are Primarily Derived from What Language?

Discover the fascinating origins of Lunfardo slang in Buenos Aires, derived primarily from Italian with influences from other languages.

The Origins of Lunfardo Slang

Lunfardo is a unique slang dialect that originated in the region of Buenos Aires, Argentina. This form of slang is primarily derived from a mixture of languages, with a significant influence from Italian. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Italian immigrants heavily populated the city of Buenos Aires, bringing their language and culture with them. Over time, this Italian influence seeped into the local Spanish dialect, resulting in the creation of Lunfardo.

Italian Roots

Many of the slang expressions used in Lunfardo can be traced back to Italian words and phrases. For example, the Lunfardo term “laburar” meaning to work, is derived from the Italian word “lavorare” with a similar meaning. Similarly, the word “feca” which means coffee in Lunfardo, is believed to have originated from the Italian word “caffe”.

Other Influences

Aside from Italian, Lunfardo also incorporates elements from other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, and even indigenous languages. This melting pot of linguistic influences has resulted in a rich and diverse slang dialect that is unique to Buenos Aires.

Modern Usage

Today, Lunfardo continues to be widely used by the people of Buenos Aires, especially in informal settings such as among friends or in popular culture. Many Lunfardo expressions have even made their way into mainstream Argentine Spanish, further solidifying its place in the local dialect.


In conclusion, the slang expressions used in Buenos Aires called Lunfardo are primarily derived from Italian, with influences from other languages as well. This unique dialect reflects the rich cultural history of the city and continues to be an integral part of its linguistic identity.

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