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.
4 Confusing Puerto Rican Spanish Slang Words
1. Puerto Rican Spanish: bicho
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.”
2. Puerto Rican Spanish: bicha
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.
3. Puerto Rican Spanish: bichería
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!”
4. Puerto Rican Spanish: bichote
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.
Learn more about Puerto Rican Spanish with the books: Speaking Boricua: A Practical Guide to Puerto Rican Spanish and Speaking Phrases Boricua: A Collection of Wisdom and Sayings from Puerto Rico.
Check out these other Puerto Rican Spanish Slang Word articles.
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