The quick answer to what coño means is that it’s either a vulgar word for a woman’s vagina, or an exclamation of surprise like “Damn!”
Most popular uses of coño in English
Before diving into the complete answers to what does coño mean in Spanish, here are some of the most common uses:
- ay coño – this is one of the most common phrases used when something surprises you. For instance “ay coño, no me lo esperaba”, it’s like “wow I can’t believe it”
- ¿Que coño está pasando? – what the hell is going on here?
- ¡Coño! – “Dayammmmmmn”, wholly crap that’s nuts, I can’t believe it.
BUT before you say “coño” at someone – you better know what you’re saying.
What is coño in Spanish? Lady Business, Joy or F-Bomb?
Many years ago, longtime President and dictator of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo, was ambushed by gunmen. He allegedly uttered, “¡Coño! I’ve been shot.” He died shortly after with his country’s most popular swear word on his lips.
No other swear word in Spanish has such a variety (as well as shades) of meanings as the word ¡Coño! You may also see it written out as conyo, conio, conjo, coña or cuno. These are all attempts to write out the word as it has been heard by someone, without knowing the letter ñ exists in the Spanish alphabet.
The word as an expression may be as mild as “damn it” or as bad as any “f-bomb”, even a vulgar reference to the female anatomy. It can also be used as a statement of fear, anger, surprise (as when a heavy object falls on your foot ¡Coño!), or even joy (Coño, te quiero).
Why Saying “Cono” in Spanish Can Get You In Trouble Fast
How the Spanish slang word coño is used throughout the Spanish-speaking world depends on what part of the Spanish-speaking world you’re from as to exactly how coño is used, as well as how “bad” of a word it is.
So answer these two questions before you open your mouth – 1) Where am I standing?, and 2) Who am I talking with?
Keep in mind, dropping “coño” into whatever you are saying might not be the best choice at church, a workplace or around kids/grandma. But we don’t know your grandma, so here’s a handy guide to using this bad Spanish word.
Check out our list of “65 Spanish words for Vagina” just so you know these gems when you hear them.
What does coño mean in Dominican?
In the Dominican Republic coño is the versatile expletive that roughly translates to the F-word.
qué coño pasa = what the hell (or fuck, depending on the tone and situation) is going on? (used as a casual excited greeting)
What does coño mean in Cuban (and the Canary Islands)?
Look for coño to be pronounced coñó (accent on the final syllable) and frequently shortened to ¡Ñoooo! And here’s the twist, in Cuba, coño isn’t particularly offensive, it means “darn!” or “wow!”
WAIT! Are you in Miami? It does have one particularly insulting use in Cuba and among Cubans in Miami: “Me cago en el coño de tu madre.” (Cago is the first person singular [I shit] of the verb cagar, which means “to shit.”)
What does coño mean in Puerto Rican?
Just like in the neighboring countries of Cuba and the Dominican Republic, coño in Puerto Rico is used for surprise, like wow, holy cow!, or even Damn!.
Coño in VENEZUELA
Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? coño is used as an extremely offensive insult in the context of “mother fucker.” It also appears as a coñito, referring to an unruly child.
Again, in Venezuela also look for the noun variation coñazo, which means a hit or blow. It also has an idiomatic use in the expression “de coñazo” meaning “all of a sudden.” Both uses may sound innocent enough, but they are still considered vulgar, considering the root word coño.
Coño in CHILE
Not as bad but still rude. In Chile, coño is a slang word for “Spaniard” (definitely not a flattering term). Also in Chile and Ecuador, as an adjective, coño means “tight-fisted” or “stingy” (including Spaniards, apparently).
Coño in MEXICO
In Mexico, a coño is a rap on the head given by one’s knuckles (as in Homer Simpson’s “Doh!”)
Coño in SPAIN
Coño is a vulgar slang word for the lady business (the female genitals). It is the Spanish counterpart to the English “c-word.” This usage also exists in several Latin American countries (Cuba and Venezuela, for example).
So the best advice to avoid offending someone simply stay away from the expletive, noun, and adjective uses of coño (or coñazo) when visiting Latin America. You could, as they say in Mexico, “molestarse con un coño” (find yourself in trouble and get a rap on the head with knuckles).
But remember, asking for forgiveness goes a long way. If you innocently say the word “coño” accidently and someone repeats it back to you with raised eyebrows – that’s a clear sign you said something questionable. Apologize and move on or be ready to duck a slap.
Check out these other Spanish Slang Word articles.