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Spanish profanity

"Joder" redirects here. For the community in Nebraska, see Joder, Nebraska.
This article is a summary of Spanish profanity, referred to in the Spanish language as lenguaje soez (low language), maldiciones (curse words), malas palabras (bad words), insultos (insults), vulgaridades (vulgarities), juramentos (oaths - swearing), palabrotas (lit. "big words"), tacos (in Spain), lisuras (in Peru), puteadas (in Argentina), desvergue in El Salvador, garabatos (gibberish or shootings/firings in Chile), or groserías (impolite words). Spanish profanity varies in Spanish speaking nations, and even in regions of the same nation. Several of these words have linguistic and historical significance.

It is important to note that idiomatic expressions, and this is particularly true for profanity, are very hard to translate into another language, and so most of the English translations offered in this article are very rough and most likely don't reflect the full meaning of the expression they intend to translate.

Verbs denoting the act of sexual congress

The following verbs are equivalent to the verb "to fuck" in English, though not always in all its possible meanings, and mostly limited to specific geographic regions.

  • Chingar comes from the Caló (Spanish Romani) word čingarár, meaning "to fight". In the form "La Chingada", it was famously applied to La Malinche, the mistress of Hernan Cortes. Mexicans, or at least the Mestizos among them, sometimes refer to themselves as hijos de la Chingada, her offspring, and in this sense it is not considered a profanity. In Mexico chingar means "to fuck someone" or "to screw something up". Chinga a tu madre or Ve y chinga a tu madre ("go fuck your mother") is often considered the strongest Mexican curse, and vete a la chingada roughly translates "go fuck yourself". Other uses are somewhat more tame — a Mexican might say no me chingues, a fairly strong version of "don't annoy me", "are you serious?", or "get out of here!" that literally translates as "don't you fuck me", or if a Mexican is beaten in a business deal or in sports, me chingaron ("they fucked me") might be used. Also used is the expression estás corriendo en la chingada, literally "you are running in that which is fucked." Soy chingón could mean in English "I rule" or "I'm the man" ¡No chingues! or No Manches! means something like "No way!" (literally more like "don't screw around"). ¡Qué chingón!, could be used to say "Wow, that's cool!" in a more aggressive way. ¡Qué chinga! roughly translates to "What a heavy duty!" ¡A la Chingada! can be a curse at someone or an expression of shock. Machín is another variation on chingar, a contraction of lo más chingón, roughly translated, "the baddest motherfucker". The word is understood in Spain and Puerto Rico, and used in the latter. It could mean from something related to sexual relations to being screwed up.
  • Cachar is commonly used in Peru for "to have sex". In Chile it can have this meaning when used as a noun (cacha, pegarse una cachita; "to have a little sex"), but it's mainly used for "to understand". It comes from the English "to catch" something or someone.
  • Singar is most commonly used in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Cuba to mean "to have sex", but chingar also has the same meaning. It is less commonly used in Puerto Rico.
  • Clavar means to nail something. In Puerto Rico it can be used as both vulgar and obscene expressions "la clavé" (I fucked her), "Me la clavaron" (They screwed me up).
  • Coger can be translated as to get, to seize, to catch, to take (e.g. a bus), to pick (e.g. fruit from a tree), to pick up (in all senses of the English word), used most commonly in Spain, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Panama. However, in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile, it is used as synonymous of "to get (some)" in the sense of a sexual encounter (to fuck), and cannot be said in polite company. It can be used in both senses (i.e. literal and obscene) in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela and the southwestern United States. In Puerto Rico, Cuba and Spain coger is totally inoffensive, unless used clearly in a phrase having literal sexual connotation; it is used mostly as a way to say "Go away, you annoyance!"
  • Comer means to eat. In Colombia and Panama (in youth slang) its used frequently to mean the same as fuck, e.g. "Me la comí" (literal: I ate her, metaphorically: I fucked her). In Chile (again youth slang) it's meaning is making out with someone without further compromise. Also in Spain means fellatio at "comerla" or "comersela" so do "chuparla" or "mamarla"
  • Correrse means to get off, to have an orgasm. Used comonly in Spain. Otherwise, it means to get off the way.
  • Culear derives from culo, which means "ass" in most Latin American countries. In Spain and Puerto Rico, where culo means "buttocks", culear means moving one's buttocks, especially now among young people and in reggaetón song lyrics. In Mexico, it also means to be afraid, as in te culeaste (you got scared). In slang it also means to make life difficult for someone, but it is rarely used in Spain and has little or no sexual reference. In Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and other Latin American countries, it means "to have sex" (not necessarily anal intercourse — compare with English slang "getting a piece of ass"). A more polite term for the buttocks is nalga. The term is rarely if ever used in Cuba.
  • Dar, literally "to give", means in Argentina and Uruguay "to fuck (someone)".
  • In Panama and Puerto Rico, the verb hacer(lo) (lit. to do (it)) also denotes "to have sexual intercourse". To say Lo hice con él/ella ("I did it with him/her") means "I had intercourse with him/her". Please note that "hacer" does not necessarily mean sexual intercourse.
  • The phrase Echar un polvo actually means "to have sexual intercourse", most commonly used in Spain, although it is fairly common in the Dominican Republic and it has gained popularity in Panama, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Puerto Rico. In Peru, the variant Tirarse un polvo is used.
  • Follar another synonym, used particularly in Spain and to a lesser extent in Cuba, but rarely found elsewhere. In these countries it means to have sex.
  • Hundir, literally means to sink, but in Puerto Rico is occasionally used as meter, a slang for male to female intercourse. Common uses and variations are voy a hundirselo and hundirle los pelos ("sink the curlies"; pelos is a reference to female pubic hair).
  • Joder means "fuck" in terms of intercourse, and also the notions of "fucking with someone" and "screw something up". In Spain, the word is also used as an interjection, as in, ¡Joder! ("Fuck!"). The word joder comes from the Latin futuere (cognate with French foutre, Italian fottere, Romanian fute, Catalan fotre, and Galician and Portuguese foder). In parts of South America, joder means both "to annoy" (no jodas = "no kidding") or "to have fun" (vamos a joder = "let's have fun") and is deemed mildly vulgar but not obscene. In Chile, Dominican Republic and Panama, joder can be used as a vulgar substitute of the verbs to annoy, or to fool/to mock (No jodas conmigo = "Don't fool with me", Tú me estás jodiendo = "You've got to be -fucking- kidding me"). The substantive joda is used as "fun" ( joda loca = "great fun, wild party"), and the word jodido as "difficult" (examen jodido = "hard exam"). In Cuba and Puerto Rico, the word is used in all of its meanings, but the terms of intercourse are the least used. In Spanish slang, joder is commonly used to suggest amazement (¡¿Joder, sabes español?! can mean Cool, you know Spanish?). Also in Spain, jodía (usually the imperfect tense of joder) used to refer to a Jewish woman (now judía). Joder can also be used in competitions, specifically games of Go-Fish involving small Spanish children and Americans. They often say joder after losing, often resulting in a nod of approval from the father to signify "damn straight".
  • Meter, which can be translated as the inoffensive verb "to put in", can sometimes be used in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, or even Spain to imply the insertion of the male penis during sexual intercourse. (Yo se lo metí a ella = "I put it inside her").
  • Pisar, which is used in Central America (chiefly El Salvador and some parts of Honduras) and to some extent in Chile, Guatemala, and Cuba, translates as "to step on", which implies "stepping on" or being on top of another person during intercourse, like the rooster does to the hen.
  • Ponchar is another variant of "to fuck" used in Mexico, also means "to pinch". In other countries, it means "to strike out" (baseball) and is unoffensive. In Panama it is used in both ways.
  • In Argentina, Ponerla, literally "to put it", means to have sex ("hoy la puse" means "I had sex today").
  • Puñeta is an expression widely used in Puerto Rico. It is tough to translate properly into English by itself, it is more easily defined by it's context. By itself, it is usually used as a vulgar expression of surprise or aggravation. One could say "puñeta!" when staring at a beautiful girl for example, but also when hitting oneself on the head. "Una puñeta"("a puñeta") means a "yank", as in yanking one's penis(masturbation). It is only used to refer to male masturbation, not female masturbation(which is called "dar deo", to finger). "Hacerse una puñeta" means to pleasure one's self.
  • Ra'par is a variant dealing with intercourse, used in the Dominican Republic. It is a variation of the verb raspar (to scratch), with its mid s almost silent.
  • Tirar (to pull, to shoot, or throw away, among other meanings) is sometimes used in Spain, Nicaragua, Perú, Chile, and Puerto Rico, although it is rather common in Venezuela. In those cases, it is used when one says me la tiré (I fucked her). In Argentina, tirar la goma translates as "to throw the rubber" and involves a fellatio.
  • Chimar is another variant of to fuck used in Guatemala.
  • Limar (to smooth out)is used in Guatemala by a very small population which speaks Caló (a slang language)and is another variant of to fuck. In Argentine slang, it means to be out of your mind, and also to be very amazed by something.
  • Mámalo is a Mexican-American Spanish term meaning "suck him off". It is commonly considered slang when used between males (as in the adjective "mamalón", which means "outstanding") and derogatory when spoken to females.... Comes from the verb "mamar" which means "lactate" (the act of sucking a breast to feed from its milk) which is used as a verb for fellatio in Spanish from the Americas.

Differences in regional Spanish can sometimes produce awkward situations in communication between two Spanish speakers of different countries, but such differences are usually known internationally and taken humorously, although some can cause awkward confusions. The word culantro refers to an aromatic herb used in cooking, but in Puerto Rico it also means ass. Also, the phrase esa señora tiene muy buena cuchara translates literally as "that lady has a very good spoon" and means "that lady cooks very well", referring to the use of a cuchara/spoon while cooking. However, in Guatemala, the word cuchara is used as a synonym of "vagina", which can lead to a very unpleasant situation.

  • Dar un poco de caña - identical to the British "give a bit of stick" or the American "give a kick in the ass", meaning abuse or admonishment to correct some behavior. This expression holds primarily in Spain. In other regions it is unknown and the listener may mistake it for a crude sexual reference, although in Cuba a similar term is used, "Dale leña", or "give'em wood."
  • Pinga or less commonly Pingo is literally penis, cock or dick. Considered crude in most regions, although its male variant (Pingo) may also be a word describing a horse. However, in Mexico it is also used as a term of endearment for a devilish but likable character in the manner of a Puck, Huckleberry Finn, or Dennis the Menace. The equivalent word in other regions for such people is travieso/traviesa. In Mexico, Central America and other parts of South America, Verga is commonly used. Pija is also very common in Argentina and Uruguay (the adjective pijudo describes a man who has a big pija.)
  • Chichar is like Chingar, but with a slight variation of a movement taken from the Cha Cha Cha.


Chaquetearse is a verb that can be used as to masturbate mainly in Mexico. It is not used in European Spanish. In Chile, it means "to change one's posture rapidly".

Also very common is the use of puñetero, which derives from puño ("fist"), and means to masturbate, as in Me hice una puñeta. This sense requires the use of the word puñeta in singular; when used in the plural, like in vete a hacer puñetas, the meaning is completely different: this could be roughly translated as "Go to hell" and makes reference to the adornments that lawyers and judges wear in the wrist (puño) of shirts. These adornments are very laborious and require many hours of production, so making such adornments (hacer puñetas) is supposed to be unpleasant and tedious labor. Other word for male masturbation, used in Costa Rica, is sobo ("rub") for the physical description of the hand movements. This does not apply to female masturbation, which in the Dominican Republic is referred to as darse dedo (lit. "fingering (-self)"). The word apuñalar(se) (lit. to stab (yourself) with a dagger) means to masturbate in Panama.

It has another possible meaning in Mexican Spanish: "to create false hopes" or "to hallucinate", hacerse una chaqueta mental (literally "To make a mental masturbation"); compare to the English expression "mental masturbation" and to the European Spanish paja mental, which is an almost literal translation of the English phrase.


Gilipollas is a term used mostly in Spain and lacking an exact translation to English. Although the most frequent equivalents when translated in books, films other media are jerk or asshole (in English), con (in French) and boludo (in Argentinian Spanish), there usually is a subtlety missing therein which is seldom captured in languages other than European Spanish -- to wit, the word may imply self-aware idiocy or incompetence, with this self-awareness occasionally stressed to the point of (presumably futile) complacence. Nevertheless, this is not always the case and the common ground for every accepted meaning of the word is limited to any combination, however unequal, of obnoxiousness and stupidity.

The etymology of the word itself immediately confirms its genuinely Peninsular Spanish origins and preponderance, as opposed to other profanities perhaps more linked to Latin America: it is the combination of the Caló jili, usually translated as "candid", "silly" or "idiot", and a word which according to different sources is either polla (listed below) or a colloquial evolution thereto of the Latin pulla (bladder).

Perhaps due to the alternative origins of the latter part of the word, there has been some controversy concerning its status as a real profanity, although its clear phonetic evocation of the word polla leaves little room for doubt, at least in its common daily use. It is due to this that attempts at a euphemism have at times become popular, as is the case with gilipuertas (puerta standing for door). In relatively recent times, further rough equivalents have appeared, especially in Spain, although most of them (such as soplapollas, literally "cock sucker") delve much further into plain profanity. A cognate in Catalan is gilipolles.


Mierda is a term which signifies excrement; the connotations are approximately the same as those of "shit". Terms such as vete a la mierda, however, means to go to hell. Caca is a less offensive term often used by children, and is loosely comparable to the English "poop", which is not used as a swear word in all countries. Also, the phrases "come mierda" & "come caca" literally translate to "eat shit" in Puerto Rico and Mexico, and often is used as an insult. In Cuba, come mierda may also mean a clueless idiot, someone out of touch with his or her surroundings. In Puerto Rico, a "come mierda" is a snobbish, stuck up person.

It is also used to describe unpleasant or negative things, such as tiempo de mierda ("shitty weather") or auto de mierda ("fucking/bloody car", "lemon"). A less common use is as a translation of the British profanity "bugger". The euphemisms miércoles (Wednesday) and eme (the letter m) are sometimes used as minced oaths.


Maricón (lit. "faggot") and its derivative words marica and marico are words used for referring to someone as a gay man, or for criticizing someone for doing something that, according to stereotypes, only a gay person would do. In Spain and Cuba the word has a stronger meaning with a very negative emphasis; akin to "faggot" or "poof" in the English language. In southern Spain the term maricona refers to a male gay queen; which is often used humorously. However, maricona is exclusively used to refer to a lesbian in the Dominican Republic. In Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, maricón or marica is especially used to denote a "chicken" (coward), and it is not considered an expletive. Some examples of the uses of this word are:

  • Eres una marica. ("You are a faggot")
  • Mano, eres tremendamente maricón. ("Dude, you're really gay!"; note that maricón is actually used as an adjective here)
  • Yo sí soy maricón, ¿y qué? ("I am gay, so what?")
  • No seas maricón ("Don't chicken out")
  • Que Maricon de mierda eh?("What a Faggot!")

One important exception is Colombia, where marica is used as a slang term of affection or as a general exclamation ("ay, marica!" being equivalent to "oh, man!" or "dude!" in U.S. English). This often causes confusion or unintended offense among first-time Spanish-speaking visitors to Colombia. Maricón, however, remains an insulting and profane term for homosexuals in Colombia as well.

Other synonyms are: Julai, Julandrón, Mariquita, Afeminado, Invertido (official noun under Spanish dictatorship), Mariposa, Mariposón, Plumón, Sarasa, Desviado, Bámbaro(south of Colombia) Bujarra, Bujarrón, Cabro, Hueco, Pato (Puerto Rico, Panama), Trucha, Joto, Puñal, Trolo (Argentina), Pargo, Parcha, Parchita, Plon, Homogay, Homo, Loca(Cuba), Raro, Rarito, Roscón, Mariconsón, Puto, Tragasable, Tragaleche, Chivo, Cabro, "Rosquete", "Loca" (Peru), Comilón, Cundango (Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba), Pájaro (Dominican Republic, Cuba), Cueco (Panama), colizón, hueco, fleto, maraco, cola (Chile), Playo (Costa Rica), Culero (Honduras, El Salvador), Cochon (Nicaragua). In Cuba, Cundango refers specifically to a male sex partner. ("Tommy has been Robert's Cundango for years")

Probably the strongest profanity referring to a homosexual male is puto; literally male prostitute. it is highly offensive, but is sometimes used by members of the gay community to refer to themselves (to create a comical effect). This corresponds to the use of "bitch" between English-speaking lesbians or gays and in the prison population. Puto can also be used as a masculine equivalent to the term puta, lit. "prostitute/whore", with the closest translation as far as understanding the meaning or impact of the word, being "bitch".

Spanish being a grammatically gendered language, switching the gender of adjectives and/or pronouns when referring to someone of either sex can imply homosexuality, much as in English one might refer to a flamboyantly gay man as her. Some words referring to a male homosexual end in an "a" but have the male article "el", a deliberate violation of Spanish grammar for a paradoxical effect.


Paja directly translates to English as "straw", used in farms for cattle and other animals to lie on. In South America and Panama hacerse la paja (correrse la paja, in Chile and Peru) means to masturbate. In most parts of Central America and the Spanish Caribbean (and Chile as well) to masturbate is to pajearse. In South America, Spain, and the Dominican Republic paja is more often used as hacerse una paja. Pajero, or Pajillero in Spain, is a masturbator (wanker) and also can imply a weakling or a fool, due to cultural beliefs that masturbation created mental weakness. In certain countries, such as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, Pajero (fem. Pajera) can also mean lazy person, and in Guatemala and Honduras it means liar, Vos sos bien pajero = "you're such a liar". In Costa Rica, Venezuela, Honduras and El Salvador, hablar paja can mean either to talk nonsense tú solo hablas (pura) paja = "you're just talking nonsense" or small talk estuve hablando paja con un amigo = "I was making small talk with a friend." After this, calling a person pajoso/a means he/she either lies a lot or speaks nonsense. However, to call someone pajúo/a means he/she is a stupid person.

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors has a sport utility model called Pajero. The original intention was to call the car after a South American wildcat, but the company's failure to check other uses of the word caused many chuckles. In the Americas and in Spain, the vehicle was rebadged as the Montero. (It has since been replaced in North America by the Mitsubishi Endeavor.) In Peru , paja can also mean cool: que paja tu carro = "you have a cool/nice car".


Pendejo is related to the Latin pectiniculus, meaning "pubic hair" or "anal hair". It may be translated as "asshole" in many situations, though it carries an extra implication of rank and willful incompetence. The less extreme version, which is used in most Spanish speaking countries translates more or less as "jackass". The term however, has very high offensive connotations in Puerto Rico.

In Mexico, Central and Northern South America, pendejo refers to a stupid person (estúpido), synonymous with idiota (idiot) or moron (moron), although it carries a much stronger connotation than the words in English may imply. It is a much stronger word in Mexico and Central America than it is in Panama, where, while still impolite, it is not as offensive, especially among younger people. In Peru it means a person who gains benefits from an advantageous situation in an immoral or deceptively persuasive manner (usually involving sexual gain and promiscuity, but not limited to it) and if it used referring to a female, ella es pendeja, means she is promiscuous (but the sense of female con-man can also apply). There the word "pendejada" and a whole family of related words have meanings that stem from these. In South America pendejo is also a vulgar, yet inoffensive word, for children. It also signifies a person with a disorderly or irregular life. In Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, it has different meanings depending on the situation. It can range from Te cogieron de pendejo! = "You were fooled!" (e.g. by a con-man), to Qué tipa pendeja! = "What an asshole!" (as when some unknown woman unexpectedly offends you with no apparent motive, and just leaves turning her back on you). In Mexico and some countries of Central America, especially El Salvador, una pendejada is used to describe something incredibly stupid that someone has done. In many countries, "pendejo" also means coward (with a stronger connotation), as in No huyas, pendejo! = "Don't run away, chicken-shit!".

In Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, pendejo or pendeja refers to a child, usually with a negative connotation, like referring to immaturity or brats.

In South America it refers to a person regarded with an obnoxiously determined advancement of one's own personality, wishes, or views (a smart ass).

In the Philippines, the word pendejo is a very offensive word meaning "cuckold". When said to a certain person, its intent is to degrade that man and rob him of his pride.

In Spain, this word is never used.


Puta literally means whore, and can be extended to any woman who is seen as being sexually loose. The origins of the word are ancient, and it is quite literally an abbreviation of the word prostituta: p'uta. The word is used in quite a few common expressions. Hijo de puta (literally "son of a whore") is roughly comparable to "son of a bitch", "bastard" or "motherfucker" in English. The use of puta as bitch has led to its use as slang for the word bitch in the United States by people of immigrant backgrounds.

In Honduras and El Salvador, the word "Puta" is a very common part of everyday speech, and it is not such a strong word as it is in the rest of Central America.

An expression used very much in Spain is me cago en la puta virgen (literally "I shit in the whore of the virgin", but better translated as "I shit in the fucking virgin").

Puta madre (literally "whore mother") ["de puta madre" is an expression used in Spain, Mexico, Peru and Chile], on the other hand, while vulgar, can also be a term of praise, ("me siento de puta madre", for example can be translated as "I feel motherfucking great"). So, the use of "puta madre" is comparable to how "motherfucker" can be used positively in English, although more uniformly positive: Escribe como la puta madre (in Spain: escribe de puta madre) might be rendered "He writes like a motherfucker"; es una tía de puta madre can mean "she's an awesome chick" There is also a pejorative way of saying it, which is vete con la puta madre que te parió! which means "go to your whore mother that gave birth you!"

While "hijo de puta"("son of a whore") is a common insult in Latin American countries(and is even dismissed as a not very offensive one), saying "tu madre es una puta"("your mother is a whore") while just a slight rewording, is MUCH more offensive to the average Latin American, since it is perceived more as an insult to one's mother than to one's self.

Hayao Miyazaki's Japanese film 天空の城ラピュタ (Laputa: Castle in the Sky) was marketed outside Japan with the title "Castle in the Sky" because la puta means the whore in Spanish; this expression is used for denoting surprise or just insulting someone. The Japanese name of the film was a reference to Jonathan Swift's book Gulliver's Travels, in which Laputa is the name of a flying island. In the Spanish dubbing of this movie, the flying island was referred as "Lapuntu" as a euphemism.

The expression hijo de puta is often transformed into hijo de la gran puta (literally son of the great bitch) or simply hijo de la gran (literally son of the great) to emphatize the insult. Another possible deviation is "hijo de mil putas" (literally "son of a thousand bitches").

Also, when referring to a specific person rather than arbitrarily blurting hijo de puta, one may proclaim hijo de su puta madre in order to specify a certain person with whom he or she is displeased.


The male equivalent puto has different meanings in different parts of the Spanish-speaking world: in many places it is a pejorative for a gay man (this usage is present in Don Quixote), in others it is simply a comment on a man being sexually loose (depending on context or tone, it can be extremely offensive or just a joke). Puto could also be translated as fucking, shitty or bloody; ¡dame el puto dinero! means "give me the fucking money".

Other terms

  • Almeja (clam) and conejo (rabbit) are also used as synonyms of cunt (in Spain).
  • Ahueonao/Ahuevado/huevón/boludo (lit. that has balls/big balls; see huevón) is the word for jackass in many Latin American countries. Awebao is the popular Panamanian form, and a good example of one of the most famous qualities of the Panamanian accent: dropping final consonants (and sometimes even vowels). Even though an insult, it's also used, especially in Chile and Panama, the same way as dude in North America (much like güey in Mexico), comparably with Greek malaka. For example in Chile is totally understandable a sentence like Puta el huevón huevón, huevón (Damn what a stupid guy, dude). In Mexico, huevón is a pejorative term usually used for a habitually lazy or sedentary male. In Peru and Venezuela, güevón/güebón is the preferred form. In Argentina, the word boludo is extremely widely used and is synonymous with "idiot". In Chile, the preferred form to use is huevón (pronounced hueón) and ahuevonado (pronounced ahueonao).
  • Armado (lit. Armed) (viz. "hung"-U.S.) is used in Mexico and South America to denote a man that has a large penis.
  • Avión (lit. Airplane) and Avionazo (lit. big airplane) are Dominican equivalents to the English term slut. Cuero (lit. leather), used for describing hotties in Mexico, is used in Dominican Republic to refer to a whore.
  • Bicho is the main vulgar word used to reference to a male penis in Puerto Rico, and also the very less used word pinga, yet in most other countries it is just a reference to an insect, and not a vulgar word. In Venezuela it can be used as an exclamation. In El Salvador it is commonly used as the slang equivalent of "kids". In Nicaragua and some parts of Costa Rica, bicho is used to reference the vagina. In Spain, bicho is applied to people (both male and female) to mean a bad person, often used as mal bicho ("bad bug"). However, in other contexts, specially applied to children, it can mean a naughty boy or girl.
  • Bellaco is a Puerto Rican word. It translates into horny.
  • Cabrón (literally "big goat"), in Spain, Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico, means a "prick" or a "motherfucker". It may also imply that the subject's significant other is unfaithful, and even worse, that the subject knows it and is either too weak or stupid to do anything about it; a cuckold. The expression ¡Ah cabrón! is used sometimes when one is shocked/surprised by something. Among close friends, the term is often inoffensive; however, it is not a word to be used casually with strangers. As an adjective it is equivalent to "tough" as "it is tough" (está cabrón). To some extent, it can also be expressed as a compliment meaning great, amazing, phenomenal, or bad ass. Such expressions would be said as: "¡Estas cabrón!" or "Yo soy cabrón!". In Panama, it is used as an adjective to mean something/someone very annoying (that pisses you off); it comes from cabrear (to piss someone off). In Peru, cabro means "faggot", hence cabrón is its corresponding superlative (lit. "big faggot"). In Spain and Puerto Rico it additionally refers to a husband who has a cheating wife equivalent to the English word "cuckhold". Hence the man has "horns" like a goat and are aware of the fact and they're either too weak or stupid to do anything about it (extremely insulting). The term cabrón also means a prostitute handler, comparable to pimp in English. The most common way to refer to a pimp is Spanish is by using the term chulo as a noun. In some countries chulo can be used as an adjective somewhat equivalent to "cool" (Ese hombre es un chulo = "That man is a pimp" versus Ese libro es chulo = "That book is cool"). The word is quite flexibly used in Puerto Rico, and it can even have completely opposite meanings depending on the context. Best friends call themselves "cabrón" in a friendly manner, while it may also be used to offend someone. When something is good or desirable, you could say "Eso esta cabrón"("that is cabrón"), and you could use the exact same phrase to describe something horrible.
  • Cagar means to (take a) shit. It also means to screw (something) up, e.g. ¡Cagaste la radio! ("You screwed up the radio!"). Particularly in Spain, there are a number of commonly-used interjections incorporating this verb, many of which refer to shitting on something sacred, e.g. Me cago en Dios (I shit on God), Me cago en la Virgen (I shit on the Virgin), Me cago en la hostia (I shit on the Host), Me cago en tu madre (Lit. "I shit on your mother"), Cágate en tu madre (Lit. the command "Shit on your mother"), ¡Me cago en la leche! (Lit. "I shit in the milk!"). In Spain and Mexico it also means to make a big mistake la cagaste (Lit. "you did shit it"). In Mexico City it may be used to indicate 'good luck': te cagaste (Lit. "You did shit yourself"). In the latter country, it can also mean "you fucked" or "scolded" somebody: "te cagaste a ese cabrón."
  • Carajo means cock in Spain, although it might also mean a small cup of coffee, or the crow's nest, the topmost part of the mast of a ship. In Latin America, carajo is a very common interjection that can be translated to "fuck!" or "shit!", as Nos vamos a morir, ¡carajo! ("We're gonna die, fuck!") or a far away place, likened to hell: ¡Vete al carajo!. The diminutive, carajito, is used in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela to refer to (usually annoying) children, or to scold a person for acting immaturely, e.g. No actúes como un carajito ("Don't act like a brat!"). Caray is an inoffensive minced oath for this word. Ay caray could be translated "Dang it" or "Darn it!" The word caracho is also used in the non-offensive way like caray. The connotation of "far away place" is reportedly based on the name of the Cargados Carajos, which belong to Mauritius. Unofficial odes to both Cuba and Peru are common utterances in both countries: ¡Viva Cuba, carajo! and ¡Viva el Perú, carajo! Is is said that the term carajo originated during the period when the Moors were in Spain, and applied to a physical description of a Muslim inhabitant as having a (cara de ajo, garlic-face or garlic-shaped face) and later contracted to "carajo."
  • In Panama, Peru, Ecuador and Chile, another common profanity exists: chucha. It is the equivalent to pussy/cunt (coño) and/or damn (coño/carajo). The phrase "Chucha de tu madre!"(lit. "your mother's pussy") actually means "You motherfucker!" Chucha! (alone) means "Damn!", "Cunt!", "Fuck!"...
  • Concha (Lit. shell) is an offensive word for a woman's vagina (i.e. something akin to English cunt) in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. It is commonly heard in the phrase ¡(La) concha (de) tu madre! ("Your mother's cunt", a direct translation of the Arabic profanity kiss ummak), which may be used either as an impersonal interjection expressing anger, surprise or frustration, or as a direct insult. Depending on the context, the phrase may cause massive offense. Chucha/Chuchamadre and Chucha de tu madre (respectively) are the Panamanian and Chilean equivalents. Although Toto would be the Dominican equivalent, semilla (Lit. seed) is often used in a similar context. In Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, chocha or crica imply the word pussy, although the latter in other countries may have a different (non vulgar) meaning. ¡Crica! may also be used as an interjection, expressing anger or frustration, like "May I be damned!" In Venezuela, chocha can mean female genitalia, but it can also mean a type of round seed or a particular type of bird. Chocha is also a game bird in Spain. The painter Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes made a painting with that name depicting some of those hunted birds. The term conchetumadre is very common and very offensive in Chile, as well as in Ecuador.
  • Coño is a vulgar word for a woman's vagina. It is frequently translated as "cunt" (and is, indeed, etymologically related) but is in reality significantly less offensive (it is much more common to hear the word coño on Spanish television than the word cunt on British television, for example). In the Dominican Republic it is amongst the most popular of curse words. The word is frequently used as an interjection, expressing surprise, anger or frustration. If you hit your finger with a hammer, ¡Coño! would be like "Shit!" or "Goddamn it!" It is also common to use the expression ¿Pero qué coño? that could be translated as "What the fuck?"
  • Cuca (sometimes cucaracha) is the equivalent of "cunt" in Venezuela and Colombia. Slightly milder than coño, and is almost inoffensive in Dominican Republic. However, the term has other meanings. While in the Dominican Republic it is a common term for a parrot, in Chile, cuca is criminal slang for paddy wagon. It is also an inoffensive word for the penis that many children use in Spain. It also has a slightly archaic use in Spain and all Latin America to describe a congenial, outgoing person with a gift for flattery ("Julia is very Cuca") or ("Eddie is so Cuco; look at all the friends he has.")
  • Cueco and pato (from Latin Pathus or "sexually submissive") are synonyms for "faggot" in Panama and Puerto Rico.
  • Culo is the Latin American Spanish term for arse and the Iberian Spanish term for "buttocks". In El Salvador, "Culero" refers to a male homosexual, while in Mexico it refers to a prick/bastard. The words cola and nalga are inoffensive equivalents to "buttocks"."vete a tomar por culo" is an expresion used in Spain, it's like "vete a la mierda" but more offensive, because means to wish whom is said to be sodomized, as "fuck off"
  • ''Cuero' refers to whore in the Dominican Republic or prostitutes
  • ¡Demonios!, "demons", is used as a curse when something malfunctions or a mistake is made; the English equivalent would be "hell!",or "Que demonios!" it would be,"What the hell!"
  • Diablo or Diablos, literally the devil and the devils, respectively are used as expletive equivalents to "Hell" in (orig. American, now general) English and is usually translatable to (now limited use) UK slang usage of "devil". No sabemos qué diablo/diablos ese cabrón hará means "We don't know what the hell/devil that jerk is going to do!" Diablo is often added to comparisons to indicate extremes in the Dominican Republic (El examen fue más difícil que el diablo = "The test was extremely difficult" - literally "The test was tougher than the devil"). The phrase "más que el diablo" (which could be translated as "Yeah, right") is also used often in the Dominican Republic right after a statement that is believed to be false is made. (Ese examen fue fácil... más que el diablo. = That exam was easy... yeah right!).
  • Diantre is used as a minced oath for diablo. Diañe, and Diache are also used as substitute terms in the Dominican Republic. Its equivalent in English would be "deuce" or "dickens" (example: ¿¡Pero qué diantres has hecho!? - "What the deuce have you done!?").
  • Fundillo or Fundío is heard in Mexico and the southwestern United States as the obscene term specifically for the human anus. It carries about the same weight as the American usages of the words "asshole" or "butt-hole" (but note that fundío is only used to refer to the anus and not as an insult towards a person.) ¡Métetelo en fundío! (or in Mexican Spanish Métetelo por el fundillo means about the same as the English expression of reproachful refusal, "Shove it up your ass!" The variant fondillo is also found in Puerto Rico. In the Dominican Republic, the milder term fullín and the very offensive cieso may also be used.
  • Goma (rubber, condom) can be used as a minced oath. For example, vete a la goma can replace vete a la verga or vete a la mierda. In Chile, goma is also an offensive term for an assistant. In Puerto Rico, a goma is an automobile tire. In Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Goma means "hangover". For example "Jose esta de goma!" means "Jose is hungover".
  • Güevo means cock in Dominican Republic (and to a lesser extent, Puerto Rico). Highly offensive Dominican insults involving this term are mamagüevo (lit. cock-sucker) and mamagüevaso (lit. big cock-sucker). Ñema is used to refer to the penis' head.
  • Hueco In most Spanish-speaking countries, the word simply means a hole. In Chile and Guatemala however, it is also a derogatory word for a homosexual.
  • Huey/Güey is a common term in Mexico, coming from the word buey that literally means "ox" or "steer" and is equivalent to "stupid" as an adjective or to a "cheated husband/boyfriend/cuckold" as a noun. Like cabrón, it is not as offensive when used among close friends. Young Mexican and Chicano men use this word routinely in referring to one another, like the English word "dude".
  • Huevón (big balls) is a common word in South America, especially in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Venezuela (where it is pronounced more like güevón and, often, ueón). Its meaning goes from buddy to idiot. In Mexico it means to be a slacker. In El Salvador it means to be lazy, it can be loosely translated to being a "couch potato". It can also be used as "tengo hueva", or "I'm feeling lazy". In Ecuador there is a typical phrase among youngster in its capital Quito as "Ni cagando huevón" which means "Not even think about it" or "Absolutely not".
  • Huevos (literally "eggs"), pelotas (literally "balls"), and albóndigas (literally meatballs) all mean testicles in a profane manner. They are equivalent to cojones in many situations. In Mexico, in a situation where any ambiguity might arise, it is reasonably common to avoid this word for its literal meaning of "eggs", substituting the inoffensive blanquillos (literally "little white ones"). "Huevos de toro" (bull's testicles) is a common 'meat' dish in Argentina.
  • Joto (literally a "jack" or a "knave", from Western card games) is a word used in Mexico and the southwestern United States -- usually pejoratively -- for a male homosexual. Arguably more universally offensive than the similar word maricón, joto carries with it an accusation of utter fecklessness, societal worthlessness, and perhaps the hinted accusation of closeted homosexuality. A Mexican gay man, for example, might refer to himself risibly as a maricón, but probably not as a joto. Recently the use of joto, jota or jotita in Mexico have changed, and it is used widely among the gay community, mainly as an adjective: Es una película muy jota ("It's a very gay movie"). Definitely not to be confused with the word jota, which refers to a traditional Spanish, Mexican or Argentine parlor dance.
  • Macha refers to a lesbian/dike. In Costa Rica, macho or macha is not derogatory but common slang for European looking, or similar to saying blondie.
  • Madre, depending on its usage (e.g. madrear - to beat, or hasta la madre - full), can be profane in Mexican Spanish, where it gives the biggest offense due to the cultural tendency in that country to mother-ruled homes. Chinga tu madre could be considered the best way to offend someone. This word is not always offensive, though it could be vulgar, like ¡Que poca madre! ("That's terrible!") and Esta madre no funciona ("this shit doesn't work"), also it could be used in a positive way, as in ¡Está de poca madre! ("It's fucking awesome!"). Chingo tu madre en el asno todas las noches (I have anal sex with you mom every night).
  • Maldita sea means Damn it. It is commonly used as an interjection and almost universally across Spanish speaking countries. It literally means let it be damned (by God). Despite the literal meaning, it is widely used in Spanish-speaking television, since it is not considered very offensive, it is always much more preferable than a Coño.
  • Mal nacido or mal parido ("badly born"), sometimes shortened in one word (malnacido/malparido), is used in many Latin American countries as synonyms for motherfucker, particularly in Colombia.
  • Mamañema is also used as an insult sometimes. Both terms are deformations of the Spanish words huevo ("egg") and yema yolk).
  • Mamabicho, slang used in Puerto Rico meaning cock-sucker, bicho being a slang for penis. Bicho (bug) is commonly an inoffensive word elsewhere.
  • Manflor and its variant Manflora are used in Mexico and among Spanish-speaking Americans to refer, usually pejoratively, to a female homosexual or Lesbian. It is used very much the same way as the English word dyke. As with this English word, monflora can be extremely offensive - or relatively benign, if used between friends, especially within the G/L communities. Oye, güey, no toques a esa chica; todos ya saben que es monflora. ("Hey, dude, don't hit on that girl; everyone knows she's a dyke."). However, the most popular prejorative way to call a lesbian is tortillera ("tortilla maker"). Lesbian sex is often referred to as tortillear or hacer tortilla ("make tortillas"). Lesbians can also be called patas (female ducks), pájaras (female birds), or cundangas in the Dominican Republic. It is common to refer offensively to LGBT community people by terms that imply some sort of flying.
  • Mariposa (literally "butterfly"), maricón/marica/mariquita or puto (literally "male prostitute") all mean "faggot". A common variation, especially in Spain and Mexico, is mariposón.
  • Commonly in Panama, micha is used to refer to the female pussy/cunt (Micha is also a type of bread). Picha is the equivalent to the male dick/cock.
  • Ojete is derived from ojo ("eye"), and literally means "eyelet"; it is the name for the anus in some countries, but it also is used as an adjective to qualify the morality or behaviour of a person, not unlike the word "asshole": Se portó muy ojete conmigo ("He was a really bad person with me, or he was an asshole to me"). A popular naughty graffito in Mexico among schoolchildren is "OGT". When one pronounces the letters individually, they sound like ojete.
  • Panocha In Mexico, panocha refers generally to sweet breads or cakes, or, more specifically, to a raw, coarse form of sugar produced there. It is also a fudge made with brown sugar, butter, cream or milk, and nuts (penuche). In New Mexico it means a sprouted-wheat pudding. In the southwestern United States (and northern Mexico, perhaps?), however, it often refers to the female genitalia (pussy). Use of this word has been known to cause embarrassment among Mexicans from Mexico and their American-born relatives. Etymology: Spanish penuche, panoja: ear of corn, from the Latin panicula whence comes the English word "panicle": pyramidal loosely branched flower cluster.
  • in Cuba, the word "papaya" has multiple meanings: in some regional dialects, it means cunt. There are tales of North American tourists who asked a grocer for a papaya (fruit) and being angrily informed that he was not a pimp.
  • in Venezuela, the words papo and chocho also mean cunt.
  • In Panama, the word pipí (lit. piss/urine) is used to refer to the dick/cock. Example: Se me paró el pipí (My dick has become erect).
  • Pinche literally means a cook's assistant, and is an expression of mediocrity. It is often aimed at another person, as in pinche guey, or to any particular object, which is usually of poor quality, esta muy pinche (it is very low quality). In Mexico, it is often equivalent to the English terms "damn", "freakin'", or "fuckin'", as in estos pinches aguacates están podridos... ("These damn avocados are rotten..."), pinche Mario, no ha venido... ("freakin' Mario hasn't come yet"), or ¿¡Quieres callarte la pinche boca!? ("Would you like to shut your fuckin' mouth?" or "shut the fuck up!"). Sometimes pinchudo(a) is said instead. In Puerto Rican and Dominican Spanish pinche is a hairpin.
  • Polla (lit. chicken, or hen), in Spain (and in Puerto Rico, to a lesser extent) the word polla is used as slang for 'dick' and also for a (young) girl (as in chick).
  • A verga is a part of a ship's mast (a yardarm), but its slang meaning is the penis in most Spanish dialects, and as a Latin word, in other Romance languages such as Italian. In Venezuela and Mexico the word is used quite commonly. In the former country it can be used as a generic stand in for an object that is being referred to, but also as an exclamation. A common expression in Mexico is ¡Vete a la verga!, meaning "get the fuck out of here!". In Mexico can be used as bad or ugly Esta de la verga!, This is ugly, or Sabe a verga!, this tastes bad. In Guatemala, it also refers to a state of drunkenness as in "Esta bien a verga", meaning "he's really drunk!". It can also be used to express greatness as in ¡Se ve bien vergón!, which means "It looks great!". In Honduras it is used in the expression "No vale la verga", meaning "no good".
  • Puñeta In Puerto Rico is an exclamation, akin to the english ""Shit!".

References in media

  • On their 1997 album ¿Dónde Jugarán Las Niñas?, Molotov recorded the songs "Chinga Tu Madre" and "Puto".
  • At times on his sitcom, George López can be heard saying, "Ah, que la chin....." - a censored reference to "Ah, que la chingada".
  • Also in his stand-up act, George Lopez: America's Mexican, he mentions puto as in being gay and masputo as "really gay".
  • Following his defeat in a 1994 boxing match, Julio César Chávez was extremely upset that Frankie "The Surgeon" Randall got the victory & told the post fight reporter, "Dile a ese guey que es un fuck you!" ("Tell that guy he's a fuck you".
  • In a match at the 1994 FIFA World Cup against Ireland, after scoring a goal, Mexican striker Luis Garcia appears to be yelling, ""A huevo hijos de su puta madre!!".
  • In the film Blood In Blood Out, in an attempt to keep him from returning to prison, Cruzito tells Miklo to "Stay straight, pendejo!"
  • On his 2004 hit single, rapper Pitbull sings "Ahora que si, esa hevita esta enterita tiene tremendo CULO!".
  • In the Mind of Mencia, "The Rich Sheik" sketch, Carlos Mencia sings the hook as "Jala-mela-Jala-mela-Jala-mela".
  • In another Mind of Mencia skit, the last gringo in a town taken over by Latino people finds out he is being served "Chicken pendejo, with cheese puto", and advised to try the "enchilada maricόn" next time, things "not on the menu", since he is unaware of their meaning.
  • In Giannina Braschi's Yo-Yo Boing!, a Japanese artist brags of her worldliness, proclaiming, "I know five bad words in Spanish: coño, pendejo, puta, maricón, carajo!"
  • In the song Caress Me Down vocalist Bradley Nowell states that more than any kind of music he loves "panochita".
  • In the film LA Confidential "Chinga tu madre" is used by a Mexican inmate as an insult directed towards a police officer.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers have a song called "Cabron" on their 2002 album By the Way.
  • In the film 2 Fast 2 Furious, Roman Pearce say "Kiss my ass, putos!" This line was repeated by Joseph Mencia in a Mind of Mencia skit.
  • In a match at the 1998 FIFA World Cup against Cameroon, after getting a yellow card, Chilean striker Iván Zamorano appears to be yelling, "Concha tu madre!!".
  • The death metal bands Brujería and Asesino have a lot of Spanish profanity in their songs
  • In the film The Big Lebowski, Jesús Quintana greets Walter with the phrase, "Let me tell you something, pendejo! You pull any of your crazy shit with us, you flash a piece out on the lanes..."
  • Ska-p wrote a song entitled "A La Mierda" meaning 'to hell' or 'fuck it'.
  • In the movie "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar", John Leguizamo's character says to drag-queen Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) that she is a "gringa with a pinga", that is, a white female American with a penis.
  • In the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Cesar Vialpando and other Hispanic people are known to swear a lot in Spanish, favouring the words 'puto' and 'pendejo'.
  • In the video game True Crime: Streets of LA, if you accidentally bump into one of the Hispanic men on the streets, he may say, "Easy, cabron. I got a greencard, okay?"
  • In the 2006 movie Idiocracy, Joe Bauers' lawyer is called Frito Pendejo (literally Fried Pubic Hair).
  • In "Rosenrot", Rammstein recorded the track "Te Quiero Puta", translated into English as "I love you, whore".

See also


External links

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