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List of Spanish Slang Expressions Used in Cuba: 10 Common Words and Phrases Infographic

Cuban Spanish is not commonly heard outside Cuba. Sure there are tons of Cubans and Cuban descendants living in the US, Puerto Rico and other countries, but after 30-50 years outside of Cuba, their Spanish should have differences with the Spanish currently used in Cuba. Here is a list of common Spanish slang words still used in Cuba.

List of Spanish Slang Expressions Used in Cuba: 10 Common Words and Phrases

1. Jinetero or jinetera: Literally, this translated to jockey. However, in Cuba, this is can be used to describe a female prostitute. When used to describe a male, it refers to a street kid or man who will sell you something on the black market. It could be anything from cigars to a prostitute.

2. Camello: This word is used to refer to the truck-pulled buses seen around Havana. The term was coined due to the hump shape in the middle of the bus, which is meant to make getting on the bus easier.

3. Asere or acere: Good friend

4. Radio bemba:  In reference to a person who gossips or spreads non-official news. “Bemba” is slang for “lips” so this phrase actually means “lip radio.”

5. Yuma: A word used to describe a foreigner or a person from the United States. “Gringo” is also used, but yuma is more common.

6. ¿Qué volá contigo? or ¿Qué bolá contigo?: What’s up? What’s going on? Literally, “what flies with you?”

7. Me tienes hasta el último pelo: You have me up to the last hair. This basically means “you are driving me nuts and I can’t take much more.”

8. Jamonero: A word used to describe a very specific sort of creep. This term refers to a man who tries to grope girls on crowded camello buses.

9. Rayar la pintura: Literally, to scratch the paint, but used to describe cheating on a significant other.

10. Frutabomba: The name for papaya fruit. Since papaya is slang for vagina in Cuba, people refer to the fruit as frutabomba.

Do you have any good ones to add?

Infographic: Spanish Slang Expressions Used in Cuba

Cuban Spanish Phrases

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Check out these other Cuba Spanish Slang Expressions articles.

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

    Camello is funny because in other places it can mean drug pusher, and that´s how I know it apart from the animal of course.

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

      And Yuma too because it is a city in Southwestern Arizona.

    • Diana Caballero

      My personal favorite is “Radio Bemba” :-)

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  • Shannon Shadoan

    whats la traicion de muerte mean and why would it be a tattoo

    • http://www.speakinglatino.com/ Jared

      In this case the phrase “traición de muerte” literally translates to “betrayal of death” but I couldn’t think of any particular meaning from that. Tattoos tend to have personal meanings, so if you know the person and also by looking at the design, maybe you can guess possible connotations.

  • Hengist McStone

    My personal favourite : ‘Chickideeka’ or ‘Chiquediqua’ (not sure how to spell it. Means small, western Cuba I think

    • nfiori


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