The word Yiraje comes from the French flâneur, which means walking around without any specific intention, objective or reason. The term was used in the 19th century, during the French Urbanisation, and referred to the unemployed, urban explorers and people of leisure, who walked slowly around towns and cities without hurrying themselves. In its contemporary meaning, the word flâneur contains connotations of being an aimless wonderer, stroller, affected by phenomena experienced only in passing. Flânering is not about a destination, but rather a pleasure of a walk, discovering details, which in the rush of everyday life too often go unnoticed.It can also include complete philosophical way of living and thinking, including dancing tango.
In the Lunfardo dictionary, the word “Yiraje” means "somebody that goes around". Lunfardo used to be considered a slang language, it was a code of the underworld. The origins of Lunfardo are placed on the border between Uruguay and Argentina, more precisely in the Rio de la Plata (River Plate). Lunfardo is also associated with poetry, it has its own cultural power, its own history, its own mixture of ethnic interaction well rooted in the immigrant waves that many times shaped the social context of the Latin American countries.
The use of the word Yiraje has become increasingly common in the last half a century. In Buenos Aires, for example, taxi drivers use the verb "yirear" (a synonym for yiraje) for “driving slowly in the main roads in order to get costumers”.
At YirajeTango, we interpret yiraje as used in tango songs, such as in the expression "Yira,Yira", by Discepolos (tango composer). It means that, no matter what, the world always turns around itself (yira). In tango, yirear means going around, walking, dancing, observing or looking for something.