Spanish is one of the most peculiar and interesting languages in the world but if it has one thing in common with the majority of languages out there, it would have to be the fact that there isn’t a clear and simple list of rules and proceedings as to how one ought to begin his Spanish studies and the way one should carry on in terms of progression. Of course, one of the most obvious and popular ways of learning any language is the academical one. That kind of approach can be boiled down to first and foremost studying all of the fundamental principles of different categories of grammar, pronunciation and other essential principles. This type of structure certainly has its advantages and there’s a good reasons as to why this is one of the most popular ways of learning a new language.
But let’s face it – there’s no fun in it. This kind of approach takes a considerably long time in order to achieve some sort of a grasp on even the most basic and fundamentals aspects of the language. And what can be even more disappointing is that you can’t show off any of the new skills that you acquire along the way to any of your friends since all of the grammatical stuff and all of these rules don’t particularly excite anybody. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not discouraging you from learning Spanish the “proper” way. What we’re simply suggesting here is a fun little detour into the sometimes crude, often hilarious and always interesting world of the Spanish cuss words.
Expressions of profanity, oftentimes even more so than some of the regular words and phrases, are generally not translatable between the languages verbatim or word-for-word. You may not necessarily like it but this is how languages are and there’s quite frankly nothing any of us can do about it. This is one of the reasons that all of the words and expressions we’re going to teach you today will not come with a literal translation. Since there would be no use in that, we opted instead to describe the general meaning or intent that all of these words and phrases are designed to convey. It goes without saying that the degree of offense any of these phrases are capable of causing is going to largely vary and heavily differ depending on the context and person, among other things. Of course, we’re not planning on throwing you under and the bus and if you read our explanations carefully, you ought to come out of this experience with a decent understanding of how most of these Spanish insults work. Now, without further ado, let’s get right into it, shall we?
Expressions That Revolve Around Intercourse
¡Joder! (Fuck!): This verb figuratively and literally suggests the process of screwing. When used by itself and without any conjugation as an interjection, it can express a range of emotions, from absolute bewilderment to overwhelming anger, disappointment or annoyance.
¡Hostia! (Fuck!): This word is more prevalent in Spain and you will be hard-pressed to encounter it in Mexico or any other Latin American country. Hostia does not literally imply the process of intercourse but is used basically the same way you would use “fuck” in English as a form of interjection. Another less profane example of that would be when people tend to say “Jesus” or “Darn it!” as an interjection.
¡Jódete! or ¡Qué te jodan! (Fuck off/you/yourself!): One more interesting way of using the word “joder”, particularly useful when your frustration, annoyance or resentment is directed towards a specific person. Similar to the way we treat this bad word in English, this expression is sometimes applicable in a lighter mood or atmosphere among your friends. But, again, just like in English, you really shouldn’t push your luck too much with some of the Spanish swear words.
cabrón (motherfucker): Cabrón is without a doubt of the most notorious and known Latin American cuss words and insults to the non-Hispanic world and we have a plethora of different movies and TV shows to thank for that. The word is a Swiss Army knife of phrases and expressions and can mean something as mild and unthreatening as “idiot” to something as expressively rude and offensive as bastard, motherfucker, or asshole. Again, it’s all about the context in which you apply this word, so tread carefully.
Phrases and Words That Revolve Around Genitals
Bad words in Spanish, as unique as they generally may be, often involve genitals just as much the next language. Here are a few examples:
cara de culo (ass-face): You just can’t make this up, can’t you? Imagine how fun would it be to literally call someone that knowing they are going to get insulted? Well, you can do that in Spanish. The phrase is incredibly straightforward but it still packs quite a punch. Cara is Spanish for face and culo is the rear. No exactly rocket science, but it gets the job done, so who cares?
bicho (cock): Although this word can absolutely also be used as an innocent slang for a child in almost all of Central America. But put it in the right context, you can turn this word into a powerful insult.
huevo (penis): Huevo is a Spanish word that literally means an egg which kind of explains its alternative usage in some of the more casual settings. In Mexico, the word is often applied as an interjection when a person wishes for you to leave him alone or, to put it in a slightly more crude manner, to fuck off. In other Latin American countries, however, huevo generally tends to feature a slightly milder connotation as a bad word that stands for an imbecile, coward, loafer, or just an idiot.
Additional Spanish swear words
puta (whore): Puta is one of those cuss words that can rival “carbon” in popularity and is generally used as a word for prostitute in all of Latin America. You can also combine it with madre and you will have yourself a puta madre (son of a bitch), another common Spanish expression.
¡Coño! (Damn!): Although this word literally means “vagina”, when used as an interjection, it’s the Spanish equivalent of “fuck” or “damn it”.
¡Vete al infierno! (Go to hell!): this one should be pretty self-explanatory since Infierno already sounds familiar to an English reader so you shouldn’t have any problems with applying this word in public.
¡Come mierda y muere! (Eat shit and die!): Also one of the most common Spanish insults, generally found in Latin America and Mexico. Comer means to eat, mierda literally stands for excrements, and morir suggests that the person should die. So it comes as no surprise that combined together, all of these words transform into one of the most volatile and expressive cuss words in Spanish.
There you go, now you should have enough Spanish insults in your arsenal to impress your friends and have some fun with this language. Don’t forget to be careful with them, however, for with great power comes great responsibility.