Puerto Rican False Friends Words: Bicho, Bicha, Bichería and Bichote
Although the Spanish slang words from Puerto Rico bicho, bicha, bichería and bichote seem to have the same “root” they don’t mean the same. For foreigners this will be confusing to the point that I consider them “false friends”. The two similarities these four words have are the root bich- and that they all have negative connotations.
What does bicho mean in Puerto Rico?
In a previous article Bicho: A Bug or a Guy’s Dick? Well, It Depends on the Country, Jared explains that while the most common meaning of the word bicho in Latin America is a bug or insect, in Puerto Rico means “dick.” Yes, it is a bad, dirty, vulgar word that you should not use in public while on the island. For example, a popular vulgar saying is: mama bicho or “dick sucker.”
What does bicha mean in Puerto Rico?
Now, if you change the gender of this word to feminine to form bicha, you will get a totally different meaning. In Puerto Rico, bicha is an unfriendly and arrogant person, “a bitch.” For example: No soporto a María, es una bicha or “I can’t stand María, she’s a bitch.”
The masculine for the same meaning will be bicho also, the context of the sentence will help you to distinguish between dick or a male bitch.
What does bichería mean in Puerto Rico?
So, if a person acts like a bitch, his or her actions are bicherías. In other words, being arrogant and rude. For example: María me salió con unas bicherías esta mañana. ¡Quería matarla! or “María insulted me this morning. I wanted to kill her!”
What does bichote mean in Puerto Rico?
Finally, the word bichote is used to refer to a high-level drug trafficker or drug lord like the owner of the place where drugs are sold (punto de drogas). For example: Metieron preso al bichote de Llorens, that means “They arrested the big drug big trafficker from Llorens.”
While the meaning of bicho can be tracked back to the Latin origin bestius (beast), the words bicha, bichería and bichote come from the English “big shot” according to the Diccionario de Americanismos.
In conclusion, bicho is a body part, bicha is an adjective, bichería is an attitude and bichote is a person.
If you want to learn more about the local Spanish from Puerto Rico, use the Speaking Latino free slang dictionary search box at the top of the page or check out the books: Speaking Boricua: A Practical Guide to Puerto Rican Spanish and Speaking Phrases Boricua: A Collection of Wisdom and Sayings from Puerto Rico.
Photo credit: by 00abstrahiert99 via photo pin cc