HomeQ&AWhat is chales?

What is chales?


A kid said this after the teacher told him the answer was wrong in my class and when he didnt make the basketball goal.. Its pronounced Chaw lays...What does this mean?

updated ABR 4, 2016
posted by tamaia

4 Answers


Heads up to whoever asked and answered this question... The question is valid, as "chale" is slang used by various ethnic groups out of the Americas. However, it is mostly considered "calo"... most of the more americanized terms are not Spanish derived, but changes to pronounciations that occur over long periods of time when groups have long since assimilated or at least adapted their language to the states. I say this to explain that a term like "chale" is probably now used all over Spanish speaking countries, but is likely used mostly in the states i.e. East LA or with people whose families could have been here for a long time already. Its not dictionary like word. Straight up slang vato!

Second, the answers to these questions, which were most likely well intended, are way off!!! In some sense, it is a shame that people can lightly give instruction to another knwoing a simple internet search of urban dictionary or search engine is not result in a high chance of accuracy in translation. I guess, Im just saying that because, with a little more effort you guys were on the right track but back then, yall ran the risk of misinforming people who are trying to learn Spanish accurately. HOpefully this kids educational fortitude was not damaged by the misinformation. ; ).

Anyways, to answer the question... my understanding as a person who heard my Dad tell me chale all the time... it means similar too, but not exactly, "Hell Noooo!!!" or if said in an indifferent way "Hell Nahhh (or NO Way)". This is a term popularized by more of the americanized, city folk or pachuco class, not a term a highly educated person who speaks formally would ever use. Also remember, there are very few exact translations from any language to the next, especially when your are talking slang. Understanding a language starts with some basic understanding and willingness to explore the culture with depth and effort.

To say "Chale" means... shut up! is completely wrong if you actually mean "stop talking"... it is much more precise to say it means "no way" or "you dont say".

Lastly, it does not necessarily express "anger or disappointment" but, "non-aggreance or non-compliance or indifference". This is all simply my humble opinion and attempt to retroactively save the skin of this kid who was probably saying "chale" jokingly to make his other classmates who understand laugh... Poor kid probably got expelled or at least detention... and to think he may not have graduated all based on a misinformed translation of what he meant to convey. Kinda sad. Best of luck studying guys!

updated ABR 4, 2016
posted by burtonreynolds
However,... if the word he said on the basketball court was indeed.. "Chales!" that is different and it means "damn" or whatever [insert explitive] ; ) - burtonreynolds, ABR 4, 2016
and there are also other folks straight from Mexico who say "Chales" is not a word at all.. and was simply another mistake in what the person who asked the question heard. - burtonreynolds, ABR 4, 2016
You're a wealth of knowledge. Welcome to SpanishDict. - rac1, ABR 4, 2016

It may express lots lots lots of things... dissapoinment, anger, to make fun of...

updated ABR 4, 2016
posted by AntMexico

It's Mexican slang for damn, shut up, I think there's more meanings but I think he was using one of the first two I said.

updated MAY 11, 2010
edited by 00494d19
posted by indysidnarayan

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chales might prove useful. A rather questionable source, as I'm quite aware, but given the context you provided I believe it's appropriate.

Edit: Yes, what above poster said.

updated MAY 10, 2010
edited by Gravemarker
posted by Gravemarker
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