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I was on the bus in Lima this afternoon and there was a bit of a commotion. First of all, we stopped at a station and the doors did not open. No one got in, no one got out. Waited 5 minutes, moved on, then started to pass by stops without stopping which upset passengers.

This went for a while. Repeatedly, many times, I heard what sounded like "chorros" and "piso". And also "llama la policia". Somebody must have indeed called the police because when we did stop it took a while to open the doors and the police was talking to some men when I got out. All 3 words were repeated multiple times by different people throughout the bus.

Being a crowded city bus and the lack of panic or anything, but the police still getting involved I would guess at either some groping or a pickpocketing incident, not someone boarding without a ticket (which are in any case controlled before boarding). And other passengers would not want the police to get called in for a fare or other transit infraction. Mind you, it could have been someone who somehow blocked the door at the start. The police were talking quietly to whoever they were questioning as well. In any case, it was serious enough to justify serious disruption of the bus itinerary.

Looking it up, "chorros" means jet and "piso" floor, neither applying in the least. But again, different passengers all decided to use those terms, so they must have been pretty applicable and I am pretty confident in my approximate spelling of what I heard.

Is there another meaning in South American slang? I tried to ask a passenger but my Spanish, never good, quickly failed to get his explanations.

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That's a great thing you experienced! I have no experience with buses in Peru, but in Colombia they were always a source to great moments...

So you heard two words: chorro and piso.

  • 'chorro' can mean jet or stream, but it has some regional meaning also: as DAMER shows, 'chorro' can mean, among others, thief or scammer. This is reported to apply to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, but it may well be the case in Peru also.
  • 'piso' is what you said: floor.

So the context would be exactly the one you indicate: there were thiefs in the bus, so they decided to keep the gates closed until they had a police checking.

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  • I also see the following definition in DAMER>: "a ~. loc. adj. Ch. p.u. Referido a un ladrón, que arrebata a la carrera algún bien a alguien". I guess that "Ch" means "Chile" and that this slang is also used in this country? – Alan Evangelista Dec 18 '19 at 23:18
  • so, no piso slang? oh well, will have to ask locally. – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Dec 19 '19 at 14:59
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica well 'piso' is not used in Spain, but it is common in all contexts in Hispanic America. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Dec 20 '19 at 11:12

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