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Introduction

According to correspondence theory, if you say or think something that does not correspond to reality then you have said something that is false. While this is an obvious concept learned in childhood, and while is true that we say many things that are false, we seldom say that ‘something is false’ — at least in Spanish. Instead, we distinguish between different types of falsities and use the idiomatic expression most appropriate to the situation.

The sophist falsity

If somebody say things that consist about fallacious arguments, sophisms or false statements with the objective of gaining reputation or prestige we may say either that he chamuyó or verseó; or that he is a chamuyero, versero (the correspodent adjectives). The former comes from caló chamullar while the latter comes from verso (verse, because of the idea that often a verse can be sweet to the ear but with a false content).

What English idiomatic or slang words fit best for the description I gave?

  • Be careful because the words sometimes could be used with the meaning of seduce or charming which often have a positive connotation. I think a lot of terms which fall into this category: sweet-talker, enchanter, delighter, etc. But the most usual sense is negative.

  • The words could be confused with an adulation. But this one focuses on the listener, while chamuyar focuses on the speaker. The idea behind the word is not that you are ‘specifically and constantly’ interested in someone, but that you are under pressure (e.g. an exam or a presentation) and you utter a nice discourse in order to (try to) show that you know what you are asked for. I found: flattering, charm the pants off, licker. But I think these terms are synonyms of adulate.

Example #1:

A: —How would you explain that a diode performs poorly at higher frequencies? What happens?
B: —The diffusion capacitance predominates. [Thinking that because he used the term difussion capacitance then A will be convinced that the answer is good]
A: —That's chamuyo / verso. I'm not asking how can you model a diode, but what represents the capacitance in the model of the diode that was given in the lecture.

Maybe ‘that's bullshit’ could be used, but this word is much more aggressive.

Example #2:

A: —I can't believe that X got his project approved by the committee. The stats and numbers he presented are nonsense.
B: —What a chamuyero/versero he is! [said as a complain]

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    Do you mean that "bullshit" is more aggressive, or that "chamuyo/verso" is more aggressive?
    – alphabet
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 4:09
  • You need to ask a philosopher or translator specifying in philosophy how this is usually translated/expressed rather than making up your own translations.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 8:38
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    Is there a policy here that questions can be closed as duplicates if answers (broadly) correspond? This seems to go against regular SE guidelines.
    – Joachim
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 18:30
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    @Joachim At last, a reasonable remark about CVing...
    – fev
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 18:57
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    @Lambie I don't agree. Actually, if you know for what the sophists were accused for, then you only need a slang for a person who does the same (just like a sophist). And the definition you provided is not enough accurate, I don't care what the RAE says.
    – tac
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 19:56

2 Answers 2

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I believe there is no single word or expression that fits all contexts and your examples. Deceive is a common and general verb (and deception for the noun) that covers the definition, but it is not slang and it won't work in every situation.

deceive verb
deliberately cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, especially for personal gain.

Google Dictionary

For your first example, bullshit works as a slang word; but if it is too vulgar (as you've mentioned also), you could use nonsense.

That's nonsense. I'm not asking how can you model a diode, but what represents the capacitance in the model of the diode that was given in the lecture.

or you could start with saying "Don't fool me!". To fool someone is slang for to trick or deceive (someone).

For your second example, con artist works as a slang word.

What a con-artist he is!

con artist
noun INFORMAL
a person who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true.

Google Dictionary

Note: As you've mentioned also, in some contexts, chamuyar is used for to flatter, to charm, to sweet-talk, to butter up etc.; but you wanted to get away from that connotation and focus on the sense "deception with false statements".

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  • con artist is the wrong word for the Spanish.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 19:10
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    @Lambie I wouldn't say just "wrong" brusquely. There are details in the answer. Bullshit and its variants are vulgar slang. Even the OP mentioned that bullshit is too strong. Chamuyar is not vulgar slang also. It is about equivalency and there are different usages, not about exact translation.
    – ermanen
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 19:21
  • chamuyar is not con. verbiage aimed at impressing or convincing. , translated from the RAE dictionary, link above. Bullshit may be too strong for the OP; not for me. :) Translation is about equivalent meaning, not equivalency. One translates meaning. Of course, nothing is 100% the same in the other language. The RAE does say colloquial.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 19:24
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    @Lambie con artist is a good equivalent it works only as an adjective but it's ok
    – tac
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 19:59
  • @tac Do you mean chamuyero (and versero) only works as an adjective? Con artist is a noun and your second example requires a noun. Equivalency between languages is not always exact; even in terms of parts of speech; and especially with colloquialisms. However, you can still find some adjective equivalents in English, like slick or sleek which could work in some contexts.
    – ermanen
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 21:33
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In American English, possibly other dialects as well, someone who is able to convince people using facile arguments and perhaps some flashy charts and graphs, with a bit of charm thrown in, can be called a bullshit artist.

What a bullshit artist he is!

It's somewhat harsher than "con-artist".

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  • bullshit artist is good but con artist is not good here. Or even bullshitter.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 19:09
  • @Lambie: Say why. I'm suggesting it for "What a ________ he is!"
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 21:58

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