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I was watching an episode of "Fear the Walking Dead" when one of the actors playing a Spanish resident of Los Angelos said "Ten Cuido" instead of "Ten Cuidado".

Is this Spanish slang or is it made-up or pretend Spanish that was made up by that actor? I watch Spanish television all the time and can comprehend most movies on HBO Latino except for uncommon words like "lujuria"

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  • I initially thought it was an error, but googling a little shows that is used commonly, apparently just on informal texts. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Oct 6 '15 at 11:53
  • Never heard that in peninsular, but «cuido» as a noun is valid. – guillem Oct 6 '15 at 12:04
  • @guillem You can say "Te cuido" (i take care for you). – amchacon Oct 6 '15 at 12:21
  • @amchacon yes, yes, of course. But I meant as a noun. Then there's no grammatical reason (I don't dare to go beyond grammar here) for «cuido» not being a valid D.O. for «tener». – guillem Oct 6 '15 at 12:35
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    BTW @jerry... Do you happen to have a link to the scene, so we can give it a go listening? Perhaps it was just an elision of the «d», which is frequent in some dialects: cuidao, cuidau. – guillem Oct 6 '15 at 14:20
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I am a native Spanish speaker and I can assure you that there's no such thing as "Ten cuido": The correct form is "ten cuidado" if you want to say "(you) take care".

The word "cuido" is the conjugation for the first person of the singular ("yo"/I) present for the verb "cuidar" (care), whereas the word "cuidado" refers to the second person of the plural ("ustedes"/you).

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My guess, is that it was a mistake. I don't know if you just heard it like that or you also saw it on the subtitles, but I'm pretty sure is not the correct form.

I have never heard anything like "ten cuido". I would bet that the actor playing the Spanish L.A. resident did not learn his line well. Or maybe he/she just said it really fast, and sounded more like "ten cuido" instead of the proper "ten cuidado".

There's always the remote possibility that it is actually slang for a certain urban tribe in a certain area, but if I had to bet my money I would bet it was just a mistake, not that they were intentionally using some obscure slang term.

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Solo si vives en Argentina seria correcto en el habla:

"Tene cuidado"...


En la escritura se sería correcta la forma:

"Ten cuidado"...

No sería correcta la forma:

"Ten cuido"...


En el caso de Argentina se utiliza el voseo, es una forma antigua de hablar español que perduró en el habla argentina. Tenia que ver con las formalidades de la epoca.

Voseo español: Este tipo de voseo era la fórmula de cortesía empleada en la Edad Media en España y equivaldría al uso de usted en la actualidad. Actualmente solo se puede encontrar en novelas históricas, películas, etc. Se forma utilizando el pronombre vos + verbo en la segunda persona del plural.

Fuente: Pronombres determinantes "Voseo"

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Just a note: lujuria is not an uncommon word (at least not in Spain). Regarding the "spanish" actor... he surely is not spanish, I've seen a lot of movies where an english actor speaking spanish says some nonsense like T2's "no problemo". It doesn't matter in his case since he is not acting as an spanish character, but I've seen movies where english actors pretend to be spanish, and that clearly stands out like in this case. "Ten cuido" is completely wrong.

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