Slang Word of the Day: Tare


If you’ve carefully read over the sidebar of my blog, you’ll notice that there’s a phrase “Cel Mai Tare Din Blogging Parcare”, which comes from a memory I have years ago.

I was listening to the radio (trying to learn Romanian) when I heard an advertisement for some contest where the grand prize was a car. The tag line was that the winner (with his/her car) would become “cel mai tare din parcare.” But what exactly does that mean?

I asked my friend and that’s when I learned.

Looking up the (Romanian) definition of tare (tah-ray), we find it’s one of those simple words that have about 50 different definitions, depending on usage, in English.

In general “tare” means:

  • Heavy
  • Strong
  • Resistant
  • Powerful
  • Extreme

It’s also used as an adverb to modify an adjective, like saying “El este tare surd” means “He is very/extremely deaf” and always has this meaning (very/extremely).

So adding all these mostly positive connotations together, in slang usage “tare” is equivalent to the English word “cool”, as in something hip, fun, attractive, trendy, etc.

Therefore if we look at the radio jingle one more time:

Fi cel mai tare in parcare this literally means “Be the most “tare” in the parking lot/carpark”.

And we now know that “tare” means cool, the sentence becomes:

“Be the coolest in the parking lot/carpark”.

In other words, if you win the car, you will become the “coolest person in the parking lot” while showing off your new prize. Sounds a little weird in English but since it rhymes in Romanian, it sounds a little “mai tare” or cooler that way.

A sample conversation:

Elena: A fost tare?
Maria: A fost tare misto.
Elena: Da? Ce tare!

Which means “Was it cool?” “It was very cool.” “Oh yeah? How cool!”

In BritEnglish “tare” might also be “brilliant”.

In USAEnglish “tare” might also be “awesome”.

CE TARE CA STIITI ACUMA CE INSEAMNA TARE! :D

10 Comments Add yours

  1. M says:

    Thanks for this. A Romanian had posted Tare ! on by thread and I didn’t know what it meant. Now I do :)

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Fac si eu o paranteza la exemplul tau cu reclama: sa stii ca, pe langa ‘slangul’ tare intalnit, ‘a fi cel mai tare din parcare’ este chiar o expresie de sine statatoare. Orice copil nascut si crescut aici in Romania o stie. Daca nu ma insel a fost popularizata de desenele animate. In engleza, tot daca nu ma insel, s-ar traduce prin ‘the cat’s whiskers’
    Si acum stii :-)

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  4. Andrei says:

    That’s the case if you use a short, restrained “a”. When you actually think something is cool, you make a longer “a”. When something is cool and has surprised you, the “a” is pronounced with a higher pitch and may be followed by “mă”, “bă” or “tu”.

    When something has impressed you and you say “tare mă” or “tare tu”, you should use a longer “ă” or “u” respectively.

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  5. Andrei says:

    This is useful when someone is really enthusiastic about something and keeps droning on and on about that thing. You say “tare” and smile, and they’ll feel validated.

    In this context it’s used to convey “I’m happy for you” while not necessarily implying you share the same feelings.

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  6. Megan says:

    THANK YOU!!! I was so confused with this one recently, and Google translate can only tell me so much…. I was like *why would she be saying ‘I am very tough’ in this context?* but that makes sense now. Thank you, muchas gracias, mersi, multumesc muuuuult

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