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How to Curse in Spain - Spanish Swear Words
It is important to note that the Spanish language, like English, is different the world over.
Just like US English use words that English English doesn't have, and vice versa, Mexican and South American Spanish has many words not used by the Spanish Spanish speakers.
This article relates to swear words in Spain, as spoken by the Spanish people of Spain, and differ from the bad words or malas palabras spoken in other Spanish language countries.
I think that anyone learning a new language prefers to learn the swear words first. There is a very good reason for this.
Knowing cuss words in the language you are learning can help you avoid accidentally saying them.
For example, you may wish to buy a half chicken and chips from your local fast food restaurant.
You would ask for "un medio pollo y patatas". You could accidentally ask for "un medio polla y patatas".
Just one letter difference changes the whole meaning of the sentence.
Un pollo is a chicken, un polla is a delicate part of a mans anatomy!
Coño means a ladies private parts. Oh might as well say it, it means c*nt. Strangely enough it is not used in an unsulting fashion. It is used in much the same way as we might say "dammit" or "bloody Hell".
It is used as an everyday expression. You even hear it used frequently on television by actors and presenters.
"Coño,you nearly burnt me with that candle!" or "Coño,he went and married her?"
Joder literally means "to f*ck". Just like the word f*ck is overused in the English language likewise joder in Spanish.
No mi jodes - literally, don't f*ck with me, but taken to mean "You're kidding, right?"
Joder! On hearing bad or shocking news. Joder! Your football team has just been beaten.
Like coño (above), joder is an acceptable word in Spain (though not so in South America, I believe).
You often hear the word joder repeated on Spanish TV where is generally used to mean "for goodness sake!"
Follar is also "to f*ck" but is much more literal than joder. You want to know a bad word, you got it!
An especially greasy Latin type may glide you across the dance floor, then lean in close and mutter follarme in your ear.
Which is your chance to tell him " Que the follen" or "vete folle". Literally, f*ck off.
Cabrón is a bad word. It is not nice to call someone a cabrón, even in jest. The Spanish will take offence if you use this word, which can be taken to mean "b*stard".
Literally it means a big male goat with horns.
Que Cabrón!, on the other hand, is an expression that is much milder and more acceptable. "He's just ran off with another woman and left his wife. Que Cabrón!"
This means dickhead, more or less, and is used when referring to someone who is or has done something stupid.
Basically it means a jerk or an asshole, and would not be considered especially offensive, unless of course someone was referring to you!
This word is used to describe stupid things or happenings as opposed to people.
You might say that running with bulls is a gilipollez, or Spain's entry into the euro was a gilipollez.
It is a vulgar word, but more or less acceptable and widely used, even on television.
An un-named Spanish woman was ordered to pay €1000 ($1,400) to her ex-husband by a court in Madrid, after uploading a photograph of herself wearing a T-shirt with the words "Mi exmarido es gilipolla" on Facebook.
The T-shirt, which had been a joke gift from her new partner, was deemed offensive and damaged her ex-husband's reputation.
The woman was reportedly shocked and stunned at the amount of the fine, as it will take her many months to pay this money out of her low wages.
La madre que me/the/los parió!
Literally this just means "the mother who gave birth to me/you/them". However, it is a commonly used expression and a lot of people seem to think it is translated as motherf*cker, but I don't think so.
I hear it a lot, and tend to think it is equivalent to us saying "Jesus Christ!" or "for God's sake!"
I hear La madre que me parió! most often, and used as an expression of shock or anger.
The police stopped me and gave me a ticket! La madre que los parió!
Hija de puta (eecha-de-poo-ta)
This mean 'daughter of a whore'. I have yet to hear a Spaniard say hijo de puta, which is son of a whore, it's always 'hija' - daughter.
This not very nice expression is aimed at anyone, male or female, if they have done something to annoy.
"He passed me in his car and didn't offer a lift - hija de puta!"
"He beat her up - hija de puta, sin vergüenza, maleante!"
Sin vergüenza - shameless. Maleante - bad person.
[note: vergüenza is pronounced ber-wen-tha]
It can also be used as an expression of mild envy - "He won the lottery, hija de puta!" or "He got a new car, hija de puta!"
Puta madre (poo-ta mad-re)
Puta - whore or prostitute, madre - mother.
This is an odd one because it is either a really nasty cuss at someone, or it is the most fantastic thing ever, depending entirely on how is it said.
The easiest way to explain it would be to say that if it is directed at you, then it is a curse, but if said randomly, then it's not.
Here in the South of Spain, it is frequently just shortened to puta, except when it is an expression of great pleasure.
"Spain won the world cup, la puta madre!" "This wine is de puta madre!"
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