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¡No te rajes!

The verb rajar literally means “to crack,” “to slice,” or “to tear/rip.”
For example, there was recently a story in a newspaper from Cordoba, Argentina, that reads:
La casa se empezó a rajar.
The house started to crack.
We can see in the accompanying photo that this is indeed the case. Meanwhile, a newspaper in Spain warns of a gang of automobile “pirates” who use:
un método basado en rajar la rueda del coche de la víctima
a method based on slicing the wheel of the victim's car


Idiomatically, rajar often means “to back out,” “to quit,” or “to give up.”  In our most popular telenovela, Muñeca Brava, Ramón, the gardener, talks about men who refuse to accept responsibility as fathers:

Hay tipos así... tipos así que se rajan.

There are guys like that... guys like that who back out.

Caption 75, Muñeca Brava - 43 La reunión - Part 6

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By extension, in Mexico un rajón is a coward, someone who backs out. One of the hit men hired to kill the protagonist of the Mexican movie El Ausente advises his pal:

¡No sea rajón!

Don't be cowardly!

Ni que fuera el diablo en persona.

It's not like he is the devil incarnate.

Captions 34-35, El Ausente - Acto 3 - Part 3

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You will find that Argentines, in particular, ascribe a broad range of meanings to rajar, many of which are on display in Muñeca Brava. For example, Ivo uses the word to say that he will have Mili fired:  

Voy a hablar con mi abuela sobre la cuestión

I'm going to talk to my grandmother about the matter

y la voy a hacer rajar de la casa.

and I'm going to get her fired from the house [staff].

Captions 29-30, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La Apuesta - Part 4

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And Martita, who actually committed the misdeed Mili's been accused of, enjoys a brief moment of victory:


Sí, me encantó que la rajaran.

Yes, I loved that they kicked her out.

Caption 64, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema - Part 5

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In another episode, Gamo, one of Mili’s pals, uses rajar to express that he is leaving in a rush:

Uh, entonces me voy rajando a avisarle al Club,

Uh, so I'm running to tell the Club,

a los chicos que tengo novia.

to tell the boys that I have a girlfriend.

Captions 52-53, Muñeca Brava - 41 La Fiesta - Part 8

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Finally, Milagros quotes Sister Cachete, echoing one of the most common Argentine uses of rajar, “to run away”: 


Que cuando a vos te empieza a pasar algo adentro así, como fuerte...

That when you start feeling something inside like this, like, strong...

lo conveniente es rajar.

the advisable thing is to run away.

Captions 31-32, Muñeca Brava - 44 El encuentro - Part 2

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Stay tuned to Yabla Spanish, as future episodes of our new show from Colombia, Misión Chef, will be using rajar in still another way, and using it a lot!
To read more about rajar, we recommend:
If you find another interesting example of rajar (or any other word or phrase for that matter) in our video catalog, please share it with us at or on our Facebook page!

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