When you hear the Spanish word taco the first thing that comes through your mind is a delicious tortilla with a spicy beef or chicken filling. Mmm yummy! Try to Google images of taco and you will see that 99.9% of the results are this traditional Mexican dish. But this word has a humongous variety of different meanings in Spanish. Just check the Real Academia Española Dictionary and you will get 27 definitions including some colloquial usages. Here are the Spanish differences for the word taco.
Common Spanish Words for taco
The generic definition of taco is a wedge used to plug a hole or something that obstructs the flow of a liquid. It is also a pool stick or the shoe heel for either men or women. For example, ladies use tacos or tacones (plural of tacón) that means high heels. In Puerto Rico, young women also refer to their high heels as las tacas.
Different Spanish meanings for taco: Beyond Taco Bell
If you travel through Latin America, you will be amazed by the abundance of meanings that this simple word has. In Chile and Colombia it is a traffic congestion. Another meaning in Chile is a scrap of paper to make a quick note, like a post-it and in Costa Rica it is to be scared as in the phrase ¡Qué taco!
Soccer is very popular in Latin America, and in some countries the soccer shoes are called tacos de fútbol.
Spain has several usages. It could be used in reference to years of age such as María tiene veinte tacos. Another meaning is a bad or insulting word and also to make a fuss.
In Venezuela and Cuba taco is an intelligent person. For Bolivians it is a person that has a high alcohol tolerance and doesn’t get drunk easily and when Puerto Ricans say Ese tipo es un taco they mean that he is a very nice person.
If you hear the phrase Darse el taco it can mean to drink wine or, in El Salvador, to brag. There are other expressions such as Se me hizo un taco en la garganta that is used when someone is about to cry and can barley talk after experience a strong moving feeling. In México you will hear un taco de cancer in reference to a cigarette or un taco de ojo when you are delighted by what you see in terms of the opposite sex.
So here I feature only 20 different meanings for taco, but I know that there are many more meanings. How do you use the word taco in your country?
Check out these other Spanish Slang Expressions articles.
Featured photo credit: Taco by TheCulinaryGeek via flickr