Engage your Students with this Free Song Activity Packet: 7 exercises included Click here »

10 Vulgar Spanish Slang Words Used in the Wrong Place

10 Vulgar Spanish Slang Words Used in the Wrong Place

There are many Spanish slang words that are completely okay in one place, and a total disaster in another. These are some prime examples of when you might be using the right word, in the wrong place.

10 Vulgar Spanish Slang Words Used in the Wrong Place

1. Pichar
In Puerto Rico, pichar simply means to ignore or forget about something. For example, if someone says “No, pichea” it basically means, “no, nevermind.”

In Mexico, pichar means to pick up the bill, or pay for something for someone.

As if mixing up “nevermind” and “picking up the tab” wouldn’t be bad enough, in Colombia, pichar means “to fuck.” So make sure you think about where you are before you use this word!

2. Boludo
Boludo is used a lot in Argentina, and sometimes in other South American countries such as Colombia. The meaning doesn’t change by country, but rather by situation. In a casual, friendly environment, this can simply mean dude. However, in a different, more tense context, it can mean “asshole.” Watch your tone!

3. Cabrón
This is another tricky word that can change meanings depending on your tone and context. In Mexico and Puerto Rico, this word can be used casually, with friends, as “dude” or something similar. It can also be “asshole” or “fucker.” In general, this word is much stronger in Puerto Rico, where it is attached to many vulgar phrases.

4. Concha
In most Spanish speaking countries, this word simply means “shell.” However, in Argentina and Colombia, it means “cunt.” So if you ever see a giggling tourist next to hotels named things like La Concha, you can guess they are from somewhere where the word is not quite as innocent.

Vulgar Spanish Slang Words

“Imagine this Puerto Rican hotel in Argentina” -Jared

5. Tortillera
Technically, this word just means “tortilla maker.” However, in a vulgar sense, it means lesbian. Gross, and unfortunate if you are taking a cooking class and actually need to discuss tortilla making.

6. Bicho
In most Spanish speaking countries, this is just a slang term for “insect.” In Puerto Rico, on the other hand, it means “dick.” You can imagine the giggles that follow someone saying “me pican los bichos” (The bugs/dicks are biting me) in Puerto Rico. Read the article 4 Confusing Puerto Rican Spanish Slang Words: BICHO, BICHA, BICHERÍA and BICHOTE for extra information about this particular word.

7. Coger
This is almost always translated as “to fuck,” but not in Mexico, Puerto Rico, or the majority of Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean. In these countries, coger simply means “to take,” so it is not uncommon to hear someone say “Voy a coger un bús.” That’s fine in northern Latin America, but don’t try it anywhere else!

8. Venirse
This literally just means to come, as in, to a place. Of course, just like in English, this can also be translated to the sexual meaning of “to cum or come” as in, to ejaculate.

9. Pendejo
In many countries, this translates to “dick,” but don’t be surprised to hear pendejo used to refer to young boys in Argentina. It is a common word with no negative or vulgar meaning.

10. Pinche
In Chile, this just means a clip of sorts, such as a hair clip or clothespin, but don’t use it lightly in Mexico, as it means “damned” or “fucking” as in “este pinche cabrón!” (this fucking shithead!)

Ah Spanish, it’s never straightforward, is it? As always, you’ve got to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings before you open your mouth and make a fool of yourself.

Check out these other Spanish Slang Word articles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MagEakaWebutante Margaret Nahmias

    Coger is innocent Spain. In almost all Latin American it is to fuck Pendejo means stupid , literally a pubic hair I never heard of it as meaning dick. But that’s good to know So I call a guy pendejo in someplace I calling him a dickhead? I

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Herman/785254881 Susan Herman


    • http://twitter.com/IndecisiveRease Rease Kirchner

      Yes, it in Mexico it can mean dick/dickhead. I know in Argentina pendejo is fairly innocent as well.

      • http://www.facebook.com/MagEakaWebutante Margaret Nahmias

        Oh my goodness. This is why I stay away from these tricky words.

    • Adriana Santos

      Yes Pendejo literally means pubic hair. Pubic hair is annoying…when is in inappropriate places. That is why you can call people “pendejo”. It means they are inappropriate, annoying. Never saw it being used as Dick.

  • Guest

    @facebook-610337631:disqus , yes you are. Jared: This is interesting, but why are lesbians “gross?”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Herman/785254881 Susan Herman

      Oops…I meant Rease.

      • http://twitter.com/IndecisiveRease Rease Kirchner

        Oh my goodness, I in no way meant lesbians are gross, i mean the term is gross. There is no clean way to describe this, the reason a “tortillera” is because the tortilla is being compared to a vagina. I meant that the comparison of a vagina is gross, especially when you are making tortillas in a cooking class.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Herman/785254881 Susan Herman

    Rease, this is interesting, but why are lesbians “gross?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/diana.caballero Diana Caballero

    Another example is the word CAFRE. In Puerto Rico is a low class person, but in Mexico is someone that does not drive well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/junie.cordero Junie Cordero

    I found something wrong in one of your articles so i decided to point it out because I’m a reader and a fan. (7. Coger
    This is almost always translated as “to fuck,” but not in Mexico, Puerto Rico, or the majority of Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean.) ok In Mexico i also means tu fuck .

    • JaredRomey

      Thanks Junie for taking the time to point it out!

    • Racquel Villagomez

      I would say “Voy a coger el tren” when I lived in Spain. No one said anything and I often heard others use “coger” casually as well. …I was told to not say it in Mexico, however.

  • Fredy Navas

    That’s true… almost all latinamerican countries coger means to f***… depends of the context what you use

  • Fredy Navas

    hey… in El Salvador “Bicho” means boy or dude… for girl is “bicha” girlS bichaS

  • Kim G

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico, and the term “pendejo” never means penis, though it can mean “dick” in the sense of “that guy is a real dick.” If you tried to refer to part of someone’s anatomy as a “pendejo,” you’d likely get either laughter or stares of confusion.

  • Adriana Santos

    We use the same word for “pendejo”in Brazil (pentelho). when you use it you mean annoying person. Its used with negative meaning (but we tend to use it as a joke). Saw this being used in Argentina and it has a slightly negative tone to it. Never saw it used to mean Dick. Not literally. If yu want to say somebody is a Dick then yes, you could use pendejo…this guy is a pendejo!

  • Adriana Santos

    Concha can mean pussy. Cunt in America has such a bad meaning that you rarely see somebody referring to pussy as cunt. You use “she is a Cunt” if you REALLY want to offend somebody.

  • J Piedra

    “pinche” in costa rica means ,,, cheap,, or selfish, or someone that bugs like in the verb “pinchar” means to pinch or continuously poke some body.. in mexico the real definition is “worthless” Even the Mexicans in the USA don’t know that! just like we add the word worthless in front of all our bad words to make them harsher,, like you “worthless f_ck” or you “worthless cu_t” in Mexico they have added “Pinche” in front of every bad word they have. reason even Mexicans always tell you the Pinche is a bad word, yet when you ask them which bad word they always give you a different bad word. The truth is that around children they drop the bad word and just use “Pinche” like we would do in front of our children we would say “you worthless blah” like manner the Mexicans now just say “PINCHE” = “Worthless” and assume you know a bad word follows it..

© Language Babel and Jared Romey, 2005-2015 | Note: Please understand that SpeakingLatino.com may in some instances receive financial compensation for products and/or services that are mentioned on the website, and in other cases, SpeakingLatino.com receives no compensation. The needs of our readers come first, and the presence or lack of financial compensation in no way affects the recommendations made on the website or in our newsletters.