Slang Word of the Day: Ţeapă

Well yesterday I used a word that some of you had probably never heard before. I do indeed hope you never hear it during your time in Romania or while speaking to Romanians.

Sadly, however, it is a word that’s all too regularly employed. I am referring to țeapă (tZOPP-uh). Sometimes you’ll see it spelled online as “tzeapa” or even “tzapa” due to the inability to write the letter “ț” on many keyboards.

Originally the word meant the sharp end of a hair, whether a human hair or that of an animal. It’s also a word that refers to the sharp little “hairs” or fibers that some plants have, such as wheat. I guess about the closest translation to English that I can think of would be “bristle” or “bristly”.

However the slang use of the word țeapă means a “trick” or a “con” or a “deception” or a “fraud”. As I translated it yesterday, it’s almost identical to “punking” someone or defrauding them, especially when you trick them out of money.

If you watch the above short clip from the Simpsons, you’ll see “Snake” tell the three nerds that he is the “wallet inspector” and then abscond with their money. If he would’ve been Romanian, “Snake” would’ve yelled țeapă!