What does Paisa mean?

Paisa is a slang-word of Spanish origin that conveys a variation of different meanings, depending on the region it is used in.

In Northern-America, the term is often used as a slang by Mexican people to address other Mexican nationals, and dark-skinned Latino people in general.

In Southern-America, the word paisa refers to both the region, and the people who inhabit the northern part of Colombia, specifically the Antioquia region and Medellin.


What's the origin of Paisa?

The etymology of the word traces back to the Spanish expression paisano, which means “local farm worker” or “countryman”. Paisa is an abbreviation of this expression.

Spread & Usage

How did Paisa spread?

In the Colombia region the term has been used to address individuals since the establishment of the governments in the area.

However, the term has been used to name the region only from the mid-19th century, and was popularized by a local separatist movement.

As a U.S. slang word, paisa gained popularity at the end of the 20th century, and is still often used in relation with smugglers, narcotic dealers and ghetto people.

External resources

  • Urban Dictionary – Paisa

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