The word ‘vaina’ is a fundamental part of the Dominican vernacular…a necessity in everyday social communication and arguably the most versatile word in the Spanish language. I’d even go as far as to say that more than a few Dominicans uttered the word ‘vaina’ not long after (if not before) ‘mama’ and ‘dada’.
The Urban Dictionary defines vaina as follows:very useful latin american (especially Dominican) slang for stuff, crap, thingy, thingamabob etc. However, the power of this word does not stop at simply ‘thingamabob’. ‘Vaina’ can be used for any number of situations including hitting on the opposite sex, referring to illicit substances in the presence of children and/or foreigners, referring to a woman’s monthly visitor, in place of misc. or unknown and communicating general unpleasantness/lack of significance in any number of undesirable situations.
Here are a few real life examples
-y que es esa vaina? -what is this crap?
-que vaina! -what a predicament!
-cuidado con esa vaina! – please be cautious when dealing with this situation
-mira…no te metas en esa vaina – it is best not to involve yourself in these dealings
-quitame esa vaina – change the channel
-y que la vaina?! – seriously…w.t.f
-buscame la vaina por favor – please pick up some rum at the bodega
There you are, the chameleon of the Spanish language. A single word that expresses the hopes, dreams, frustrations, cautionary advice and grocery lists of an entire nation.