These Cuban words are sprinkled throughout this site. They are words that you'll encounter in Cuba.
Batido – a street drink made of ice, fresh fruit, milk and sugar
Bolsa – the black market; illegal market featuring low-priced goods
CADECA – short form of Casa de Cambio or money-changing booth
Café Americano - American-style coffee served in a coffee cup with milk
Café con leche – an espresso is poured into a cup and topped with hot milk
Campesino = country/countryside (both noun and adjective;
e.g. a country man, a country dweller, a country lunch)
Carné - Cuban identity card or any membership identity card
Carro - car
Casa del habanos – Cigar Shop
Casas particulares – Government-approved accommodation in a private home
Chancletas - flip flops
Chicharrones – Pieces of pig fat are fried till crisp and delicious; crackling
Coquito acaramelado – boiled sweet made of cocoa, sugar and coconut
Cubita – brand name of one of Cuba’s most popular coffees
Ensalada – salad, usually slivered cabbage with carrot and tomato. Any dish prepared and served cold to accompany meals and drinks, or to replace a meal with family/friends at meetings or celebrations.
Flaco - thin (flaquito; skinny, used as an affectionate form of address)
Guarapo – juice extracted from the sugar cane and served
with “ground” ice; also any extremely sweet or sweetened drink.
Guardabolsa, Guardabolsos – sign at the bag check before entering a shop. Sign and office with pigeonholes to have the customers’ bags kept while they are in shop.
Guayabera – a traditional man’s linen loose lightweight shirt popular in Cuba, Miami, Panama and the rest of the tropical Caribbean.
Guagua - bus
Habaneros – natives of the city of Havana
Habano or puro – authentic Cuban cigar
Jinetera/jinetero – literally means jockey but is slang for a hustler
Jugo natural – a drink made from boiled fruit plus sugar
Maní – roasted and unshelled peanuts (sold in a white paper cone)
Paladar (una/la) - a government-approved restaurant run from the family home
Pulóver - t-shirt
Raspadura – boiled sugar sold in chunks similar to maple sugar
Refresco – a sugary drink similar to Kool-Aid
Tenis - sneakers, running shoes
Un cafecito – the intense espresso served with sugar and beloved by Cubans
Yin - blue jeans
Babalawo – a priest of Santería
Changó – the god of thunder
Orisha – a saint or god in Santería
Santero – a practitioner of Santeria