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Published on: Vocabulary

Spanish Curse Words That You Definitely Need to Know

Inevitable! Unavoidable! And totally NSFW! It doesn’t matter where you learn Spanish or the country you are heading to, you’ll always listen to Spanish curse words. Whether you like them or not, they are part of the language; a very colorful part.

Spanish curse words are not only used for insulting or hurting people but also for fun and even to show love among friends. Swearing in Spanish is almost an art form.

In fact, you need to bear in mind that it will definitely be offensive, and curse words should not be used unless necessary.

When to use Spanish curse words?

Well, definitely not with strangers or, at least, not in front of them if you want to avoid troubles. As it should happen in every culture, curse words are used to relieve stress or anger.

Not all Spanish curse words have the same meanings, it depends on the country in which they are used. So, let’s review the words they use in the most visited Spanish speaking countries but first, take a look at what we can call international swear words.

International Spanish Curse Words

The basics to start our cursing course! There are some phrases or just words in Spanish everyone uses for which, no matter the place, the meaning doesn’t change or they have a very similar interpretation.

Exclamations

Use them whenever you hit yourself with something or some situation doesn’t go as expected.

  • ¡Coño!: fuck!
  • ¡Carajo!/¡Joder!: fuck! or damn it!
  • ¡Mierda!: shit!
  • ¡Puta madre!:  goddammit!
  • ¡La madre que te parió!: Damn the mother who bore you!  

Calling someone stupid

These are low-level bad words. However, the tone is what matters.

  • Estúpido/a: stupid.
  • Bobo/a: dumb.
  • Idiota: idiot.
  • Imbécil: imbecile.
  • Tarado/a: moron.
  • Mongol or Mongólico/a: retarded.
  • Huevón: slacker or moron.
  • Tonto del culo: idiot of the ass? No, it is used to curse someone extremely stupid.

Stronger Spanish Swear Words

Now you are talking nasty! Use these wisely.

  • Tu puta madre: your bitch of a mother.
  • Hijo de puta: son of a bitch is a very common and effective Spanish curse.
  • Hijo de perra: son of a bitch.
  • Puta: whore.
  • Zorra: slut.
  • Marico/a or Maricón: sissy or pussy.
  • Maldito/a: piece of shit.
  • Chúpamelo or Chúpamela: suck my dick or pussy.
  • Bastardo: bastard.
  • Lame culo: ass-licker. 
  • Come mierda: shit-eater.

Well, the last two have two words but they go together and people pronounce those as one 😀

Other Spanish curse words and phrases

  • Coger: to fuck.
  • Mierda: miserable and stingy.
  • Mamón: sucker or prick.
  • Maldito + another insult: fucking …
  • De puta madre: Something very good or very bad depending on the tone.
  • Que te jodan: fuck you.
  • Vete al diablo/demonio: go to hell.
  • Andate a la verga: get lost.
  • Culo: ass curse referring to that part of the body.

Spanish Curse Words in Mexico

Pendejo/Pendeja

It’s the first word that people from the United States learn from Mexicans in Spanish. It meant “pubic hair” before but not anymore.

It’s widely used with people who are not considered to be so smart. So, it means dumb or stupid. There is also the possibility of you acting as such.

  • Órale, mijo, estás bien pendejo: Geez, son, you’re so stupid.
  • No te hagas el pendejo: Don’t try to play the fool.

Chingar

Unlike the previous one, Spanish curse words using chingar are pretty vulgar .

Originally from Mexico, chingada is now usually used everywhere in Latin America for memes and everyone loves it. Now, due to its malleability, you’ll have to be careful not to send the wrong message. Chingada could be a deplorable place, state, or condition. So:

  1. ¡Vete a la chingada!: Go to hell!
  2. Esto está de la chingada: This is not good.
  3. ¡Me lleva la chingada!: I’m screwed!

We can also have this word as a verb; chingar, similar to fuck, can be expressed in multiple scenarios. According to the context, it could mean “to annoy”, “to have heavy work” or maybe “to have a lot to do”:

  1. ¡Deja de chingar, cabrón!: Stop bothering, you ass!
  2. Estuve chingándole todo el día: I worked the whole day.
  3. Tengo un chingo de cosas por hacer: I have a lot of things to do.

On the other hand, we have “chingón” which is related to “chido” which is something good. When using “chingón” we talk about the best option:

  1. Carlos es un chingón en física: Carlos is very good at physics.
  2. La comida está bien chingona: The food is very good.

Even though the term is quite common, it is not suitable for formal situations. Some people would consider it rude or vulgar, so employ it with friends. Remember! It’s all about the intonation.

Pinche

More than meant to be a direct insult, this word is something like an intensifier used in Mexico. People put it in front of an insult so it increases its efficacy. 

  • Ese pinche chamaco no deja de chingar: That fucking brat is a pain in the ass.

As it could be taken as “fucking” in English, you can put it everywhere.

  • La pinche lluvia me chingó los planes: The fucking rain ruined my plans.

Culero/Culera

Given the situation, it could be a bad intentioned or cowardly person. 

  • Este pinche culero me quiere hacer trampa: This fucker wants to cheat.
  • Apaga la luz, no seas culero: Turn off the light, don’t be a coward.

Cabrón/Cabrona

If someone tells you this, it’s not implying you look like a goat as the literal translation would refer. Instead, it’s a pretty strong insult meaning “fucker” or “sucker”. It’s only acceptably harmless when your buddies call you this way.

If the situation is fucked up hard, then you can say “está cabrón”. By the way, a non-vulgar expression for this would be “está cañón”.

However, if you are “encabronado”, it means you are actually pretty angry.

Hasta la Madre

Often used by Spanish speakers when they can’t take any more bullshit:

  • Estoy hasta la madre de que me mientas: I’m sick and tired of your lies.

Or when they have too many things to do:

  • Estoy hasta la madre de tareas: I have too many tasks.

On a separate yet important note. If someone tells you…

  • Vete a la verga o te voy a partir la madre: Beat it or I’m going to kick your ass.

It’s a pretty serious threat.

Madrazos/Chingadazos 

Two curse words often used to describe violent impacts. They could be caused by an object, a person, or the result of a crash.

  • Alguien me dio un madrazo en la cabeza: Someone hit me on the head.
  • Se cayeron a chingadazos en la escuela: They started a bad fight at school

Spanish Curse Words in Argentina

Spanish in Argentina has a little change when it comes to the conjugation of the second person singular (the informal you). Instead of using “tú” Argentineans use “vos” and the verb changes a little.

Also, the “Y” and “LL” will be pronounced like “sh” in English.

Las Pelotas

This is an angry Spanish curse for “no”. When you get this, you can’t keep asking. The translation would be “the balls” or, in this case, “my balls” which, in any Spanish-speaking country refers to the testicles.

  1. ¿Me querés ayudar?: Do you want to help me?
  2. ¡Las pelotas!: Hell no!

Romper los huevos

It’s very common to listen to a lot of testicle-referring bad words in Argentina. Along with the previous expression, this one is meant to tell people not to continue with an annoying attitude or to just stop what they are doing.

  • Me rompe los huevos que mis vecinos reparen cosas los domingos: It’s annoying when my neighbors make repairs on Sundays.
  • ¡Ché, pará de cantar, no rompás los huevos!: Dude, stop singing, you’re annoying!

Concha

One of the favorites! If you’re out for a drink with friends, you’ll see it’s used frequently. Concha is about women’s private part and getting the expression directly is an insult to a member of your family.

  • La concha de tu madre: Motherfucker.
  • La concha de tu hermana: Motherfucker.

However, it is also commonly used to refer to a bad situation.

  • ¡La concha de la lora!: Fuck!

They can also send you there so you stop your actions here and go somewhere else. Besides, if they want to emphasize their insult towards the private part, they’ll add “re” to it.

  • ¡Andate a joder a la reconcha de tu abuela!: Fuck off!

Boludo/Pelotudo

Can you guess which one people could accept to be called?

Both are very common curse words yet they are different regarding the level of disrespect. Boludo is the equivalent of saying “stupid” or “dumb” in English and foreigners get hooked easily. It’s acceptable because you are not always actually calling others dumb.

  • Mi hermano es un boludo, pero lo quiero: My brother is dumb but I love him.

Pelotudo, on the other hand, is pretty offensive. People in Argentina are upset when they choose this one. So, unless it is necessary, don’t run this Spanish curse.

  • Pelotudo de mierda: Fucking dumbass.

Orto

In Argentina, they don’t usually say “culo”, they say “orto” when talking about the ass. As concha, you can combine it to get a different meaning. 

“Te voy a romper el orto” depending on the situation it’s either sexually violent or just violent. 

  1. Te voy a romper el orto: I’m going to fuck you in the ass.
  2. Te voy a romper el orto: I’m going to kick your ass.

“Cuando te salga del orto” nothing is coming out of your ass in this case. This Spanish curse means that you were already told to do something and you haven’t done it. They’re ironically telling you to do it whenever you have the time.

“Estoy hasta el orto” we have two options again. Having too many things to be carried out or being fed up.

  • Estoy hasta el orto con tu actitud: I had enough of your attitude.
  • Estoy hasta el orto de trabajo: I have too much work.

“Del orto” usually comes after mentioning an unpleasant situation.

  • Está haciendo un calor del orto afuera: It’s fucking hot out there. 

Cagar

It literally translates to “to shit” and it’s correct but not the whole time. If it is within an expression, Spanish speakers definitely mean something entirely different. 

In Argentinean slang, it could be the very act like me cago which means I shit but if they send you with andate a cagar it expresses that your presence is not wanted here.

Or, they could tell you they shit on someone. Figuratively, they’re saying that the person is guilty of your doings. Of course, they’re going to be using your mother’s private part for this:

Me cago en la concha de tu madre/Me cago en tu puta madre: I shit on your bitch of a mother.

That would be one of the possible translations and it’s pretty strong for them.

As in everything in Spanish, it could be meant to the universe, not someone. Not that you hate the universe but the situation that is currently affecting you. In this case, you’d say:

  • Me cago en la puta: Fuck me sideways.

 Spanish Swear Words in Colombia

I don’t particularly find insults in Colombia to be as disrespectful as in other countries. However, you just can’t take them lightly.

Generally, people in Colombia will go with the formal “you” when talking to other people which is “usted”.

Gonorrea

Yup, it is a sexually transmitted disease but not in this context. The word is strong, Colombians try to avoid using it. Either your actions are disgusting or you’re a disgusting person.

  • ¿Qué le pasa, gonorrea?: What the fuck is wrong with you?

Lámpara

It literally means lamp and they do use “lámpara” for a lamp but that’s an object. Use it to call people “cocky” or “arrogant”. Also, for those who have a tedious attitude.

  1. Soy mejor que el resto: I’m better than the rest.
  2. Ush, no sea lámpara: Don’t be arrogant.

Or

  • Dígale la verdad, no sea lámpara: Tell her the truth, don’t be a douche.

Sapo

It is not a frog as it would literally translate. Among the curse words used for snitches or those who like gossiping, this is the most common one. 

Even when it’s not a strong insult, it’s pretty violent when someone tells you this.

  • Nadie lo llamó acá, no sea sapo: Nobody called you here, are you a snitch?

Hijueputa (Hijo de puta)

A contraction of hijo de puta son of a bitch is the best translation. Call someone like this if you’re looking for a curse word to provoke a fight.

  • ¡Dígamelo de frente, hijueputa!: Say it to my face,  son of a bitch!

If you add numbers, it gets stronger like triple hijueputa, mil hijueputa, setenta hijueputa, and so on… 

People in Colombia use this Spanish curse as a last resort. They would rather take a more peaceful road with “juepucha” when it’s not for people but for frustrating situations like hitting your toe with the table.

Pirobo/Piroba

The meaning changes if you look for it somewhere else different from Colombia. It was used before to call underage men who were associated with prostitution. 

Nowadays, most Spanish curse words in Colombia are used mostly among “ñeros” (or so the locals say) which are low-class folks. We’re not talking about money but about uneducated people or people who want to show a delinquent-like attitude. 

  • ¿Quihubo, pirobo? ¡Hágale!: What the fuck are you waiting for punk?

Care Mondá/Care Chimba

Spanish curse words that are not in the dictionary? Here they are! “Care” is short for “cara de”. About “mondá” and “chimba”  refer to the penis. So, you got “dickface”.

Folk stories tell that the word “mondá” comes from the French “Mon Dieu” meaning “Oh, my God”. When French women arrived at the Colombian coast, they saw black men’s private parts for the first time (maybe) and they went like “Mon Dieu!”. The pronunciation is how locals understood the word.

Anyways, although vulgar, use it to refer to someone close, too. It’s to be taken seriously if you notice an angry tone.

  1. Este care chimba es el mejor: This dickface is the best. (compliment)
  2. Se va a arrepentir, care mondá: You’re going to regret this, dickface. (threat)

Chimba can be found in other situations involving good or bad quality objects.

  1. Mi celular es una chimba: My cell phone is awesome. (cheerful tone)

Chimba de celular tengo: My cell phone sucks. (depressing tone)

Spanish Curse Words in Spain

Unlike Latin America, Spanish people pronounce the letters “z” as a “th” in “thing”, “Thor” or “thought”. This rule applies also to the letter “c” when accompanied by “e” and “i” as in “cacería” and “vacío”. This is only used in Spain Spanish. You better start practicing if you want to learn their accent!

Gilipollas

Someone excessively stupid or dumb. The word “gili” is the one determining stupidity. In Spain, they tend to combine this Spanish curse with other words to make it stronger. This curse word is used only in Spain. Tonto del culo is also used only in Spain with the same meaning.

  • ¡Cállate, gilipollas!: Shut up, dumbass!

Los Cojones

Frequently used in situations where you believe someone is lying or providing too many excuses. You’ll be literally calling the bullshit card. This word is not only used in Spain but other Spanish-speaking countries with differences in meaning.

This is just another word for “testicles” and it wouldn’t make sense or have a completely different connotation in other countries. 

  1. Tío, que he visto un coche volador, coño: Dude, I just saw a freaking flying car.
  2. ¡Los cojones!: Bullshit!

“Tienes cojones” is a slang term you employ when someone is bold or confident.

  • Tienes cojones para desobedecer a tu madre: You’re bold disobeying your mother.

Cagar

The more you shit on someone sacred to others, the stronger the insult becomes. People in Spain have some other curse words to pair up with this one.

Let’s say you’re decorating a cake but it suddenly falls and you lose everything…

“¡Me cago en todo lo que se menea!” An impersonal yet powerful way to express your discontent towards a situation. It translates to “I shit on everything that moves”.

“¡Me cago en Dios!” Another impersonal expression for things that happen to you. This one is pretty disrespectful if you’re a religious person because it translates to “I shit on God”. 

“Me cago en la leche” is very common, too. As well as the previous ones, it’s regarding a situation and not a person.

“Me cago en tus muertos” now, they’re shitting on dead relatives. It doesn’t make any sense if you just translate it but it is meant to disrespect you and your family in this case given that is direct.

¡Hostia!

Another one you won’t find anywhere else but in Spain. The word comes from the Catholic church as Spain has been a very religious country. This is the holy bread you consume during mass but it’s used to express completely different things.

Now, depending on the context, we’ll have different situations.

  1. ¡Me cago en la hostia!: Fuck!
  2. ¡Hostia puta!: Holy shit!

Whack, punch, hit…

  • Me metí una hostia en la cabeza contra la puerta: I hit my head pretty bad with the door.

Full speed, very fast…

  • Llegamos a toda hostia: We arrived very fast.

Extraordinary, huge…

  • La comida estaba de la hostia: The food was splendid.

The best, really good…

  • Pedro es la hostia en ese juego: Pedro is the best in that game.

To express surprise, astonishment, admiration…

  • ¡Hostia! Que me has asustado: Damn! You scared me.

There are just too many Spanish curse words referring to or implying something with the ass. Here are the most popular ones in Spain.

¡Que te den (por culo)! 

They hope you get it and you know where. You can use the whole sentence to be more specific but once you listen to the first part, you already know what’s coming after. Translation on this could be “get fucked”.

    1. Os ofrezco el salario mínimo por las 12 horas: I offer a minimum wage for 12 hours.
  • ¡Que te den por culo!: Go fuck yourself!

¡A tomar por culo!

This is a very popular phrase in Spain. It has two quite different meanings.

For the first one, you’re saying that it’s enough of something and you don’t want to continue making efforts.

  • Ya no quiero hacer ejercicios. ¡A tomar por culo!: I don’t want to exercise anymore. Fuck it!

The second one is about exaggerating a distance.

  • Ellos viven a tomar por culo: They live far away.

¡Que te folle un pez!

Again, a sexual attempt towards you but this one is quite unusual. To get fucked by a fish? At this point, you should have realized that Spanish-speaking countries are very imaginative regarding insult creation.

Even though the possibility of being able to listen to the phrase seems rare, the meaning is not so different from “fuck you” or “screw you”. However, the fish part makes it fun when you use it with friends.

  • Ni de coña, ¡Que te folle un pez!: No fucking way, screw you!

Pollas en Vinagre

In English, dicks in vinegar. It doesn’t make much sense, there are many theories about its origin and not many Spaniards know how to explain what it is.

Most words on the list are expressed in the country where they were labeled but people have heard them in movies or series outside of that country.

However, “pollas en vinagre” is unknown for those who haven’t been to Spain. Its equivalent in English would, of course, depend on the context.

The phrase indicates that an action was not carried out due to difficulties and there is nothing to do about it. So, “fuck it” fits.

  • Íbamos a la playa pero comenzó a llover así que pollas en vinagre, nadie vino: We were going to the beach but it started raining, fuck it, no one came.

Or…

  1. Deberás hacer lo que digo: You will do as I ask.
  2. Sí, pollas en vinagre: Yeah… right! / Fuck you!

Fair Warning with using Swear Words in Spanish

When learning this language you may not realize how strong these Spanish curse words really are given that they just sound different or even funny.

Remember to listen to your Spanish-speaking friends first if you want to learn how to properly use these words. Else, you wouldn’t know if you’re going to be in trouble or hurting someone accidentally

The most important factors are the tone, the context, and the relationship that exists between the speakers. Those will determine the seriousness of most Spanish curse words.

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