- Estinche – anglicism for stingy
- Est獺 m獺s perdido que el hijo de Lindberg – “You’re more lost than Lindberg’s kid”. Meaning you someone is lost forever. Originally based on the kidnapping of the aviator Charles Lindberg’s son. It actually refers to being clueless rather than actually lost (as do the next two puerto-riquisms. The reference to Lindberg’s son is very common in Venezuela as well).
- Estas mas perdido que Rolandito – Literally means: “You are more lost than Rolandito”. Refers to a case abut a boy who’s been lost since the early 1990s and hasn’t been found.
- Est獺 m獺s perdido que un juey bizco – Literally means: “You’re more lost than a cross-eyed crab.” It’s usually used to refer to someone who’s confused and/or lost.
- Farandulero – groupie…a fan, someone who faithfully follows an artist or TV shows. It can also refer to someone who likes to gossip.
- Fajao – Contraction of participle tense ‘fajado’. from ‘Fajar’ making a grand effort as when a person is working hard, to really be sweating .
- Farfullero- from ‘farfullar’ (to mumble). Mumbler, a show-off. No Good, Without Value, always speaking nonsense between his teeth.
- Fiebr繳 – feverish, in fashion; a car enthusiast, hot-rodder, grease monkey, car freak. Also used to refer to someone who is very fanatical about something other than cars.
- Fiestal Slang for ‘fiestar’, irse de fiesta, partying… vez que existe dani, jajaja
- Filotiao Coming from the slanged word filoteado that comes from the word filete witch means filet “like a steak filet”. Means to be dressed very sharp and all your clothes ironed.
- 癒Fo! – means “eww”, “gross”, “nasty” or “disgusting”. For example: 癒Fo, que mal huele aqui! (Eww, it smells really bad in here!). This may be an anglicism derived from the English exclamation “FAUGH!” to express disgust (according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “the first known use of faugh” was recorded in the first half of the 16th century).
- F籀falo- small pillow for babies or small pillow for stress relief when squeezed.
- Fofo – flabby, bland, has no substance. Used to talk about bland food or someone weak.
- Fostro – Spanglish for foxtrot usually associated with a bad uncomfortable situation you want to get out of.
- Gafas – universal Spanish for “Sunglasses”
- Gal獺n – Standard Spanish for a ‘beau’, “Someone who looks elegant or dandy.” It also means “the lead actor.”
- Guillao or Guille – “Prideful” or “Pride”, respectively. The phrases Estar guillao and Tener guille” both mean “to have a lot of ego”, “to be prideful”, or “to be full of oneself.” “Tenerlo guillao” – keeping it to yourself.
- Guagua – A city bus. A station wagon or small truck might be called “guag羹ita”
- G羹eb籀n/Huev籀n- Big-balled (testicled) meaning a total asshole or as in Argentina, Boludo.
- Gufiao – Contraction from gufeado?再nglicism for goofy; “Cool”, or “awesome.” Example: 癒El show fue gufiao!
(The show was awesome!”). Heard in the northern part of Puerto Rico
- Gufear – “To goof around”, or “to joke around.” Example: 癒Acho, deja el gufeo! (“Dude, stop goofing around!”) Heard in the northern part of Puerto Rico
- Gusarapo – Renacuajo is the proper Spanish word for the slang. It is tadpole in English. It also refers to the larval stage of mosquitoes or “sea-monkeys”.
- Gavette or Gabete Slang for Cabete, the shoelace. ‘Una mujer suelta como cabete’ ‘A woman as loose as a shoelace’, a slut or promiscuous woman. The word in English would be ‘as loose as a loose shoelace’
- Germ-a street term used against Puerto Rican people with light skin. This term is short for “German” and is very derogatory.
- Hablas cuando las gallinas mean – a phrase literally meaning “when hens pee”. It is used to tell someone to keep quiet ‘or else’. “Tu hablas cuando la gallina mea”
- Hacer de tripas, corazones – Old Spanish expression to make something good out of a bad situation. Literally means “To make from guts, hearts.”
- Hacerse el loco – Equates to “play the fool.”, it means “to try to ignore or distance oneself from a particular situation as if it never happened” or “to disassociate.”
- Hangear – Spanish version of the English “to hang out (with someone)”, although the correct Spanish is “pasar tiempo con alguien”
- Hay que ver como se bate el cobre – lit. To see how copper is beat “To see how things turn out.” You’re going to find out is not that easy…
- Hijo de culebra no nace redondo – Literally means ” the son of a snake in not born round”, slang that refers to a person that is like their parents or to insinuate that a parent cannot ask their children to be different.
- Hijo de gato caza raton – Son of a cat will hunt rats. Nature of the beast synonym.
- Hijo e puta – Refers to a daring person, or the son of a whore or bitch.
- Hijo/hija del lechero – Literally translating as “son/daughter of the milkman”, it describes a child who might not look much like his or her parents or might be lighter or darker skinned than his or her siblings. It is also used in jest in that the child might have been born from infidelity.
- Hijoueputa – son of a bitch, (“ke ijuelagran puta!)
- Horita – (also spelt: “Orita”) Means “Later on”, “not right now, but soon later”. Not to be confused with the “Ahorita” used in most of Latin America which means “right now”.
- Hostia- Old Spanish quite vulgar curse: QUE HOSTIA!!! a word commonly used to curse by extreme anger and hate, the host is the body of Christ El cuerpo de Cristo in catholic church. Que Hostia, cabr籀n me tienes una bola hinch獺!!!
- Huelebicho – Literally: “cock sniffer”. A pejorative adjective for an insufferable person
- Huirle como el diablo a la cruz – Literally: “to run from it like the devil from the cross”. It means to avoid something strongly.
- Incordio Really annoying. Que por el momento esta molestando.
- Insecto – A traitor. Literally, “insect”.
- vete pa la carcel – “To go to jail”
- Irse pa la isla – “To go to the countryside [of Puerto Rico].”
- jaiva meaning a vagina or cunt, also a smart business person.
- Jamona describe a woman that never married. (also, La corrio La Chiva)
- javao term used to describe a white man with black man features. In US they just consider themselves black.?Basketball player Delonte West is a typical example of a javao.
- Jincho/Jincha Slang for a person that’s very white or has fair skin.
- Jincho papujo a person that’s very white or has fair skin.
- Joyo – Slang for ‘hoyo’, hole. Another term referencing to a body part, meaning “butt” “butthole” “culo” “butt-crack”
- Joyete – Slang for the diminutive ‘hoyete’, little hole. And yet another term for “butthole”
- Janguiar – Anglicism for Hanging out/To Hang out”
- Jibaro-people from the countryside/ mountains of Puerto Rico. Puertorican equivalent of a highlander. If used in jibarito, it’s hillbilly. It also means when someone doesn’t know something that’s all on the news, that is sort of disconnected from the modern world. Eres un jibaro! (You’re uninformed/old tradition)
- Jiribiya (o) – slang for a very active child who will just not stay relaxed
- Jurutungo A borough in the town of Jayuya, before cars and roads a very inaccessible place. (also, Jurutungo viejo) – A place very far away and hard to get to
- Juyir- Slang for ‘huir’,to flee
- Juyilanga coger la juyilanga – be gone for a while.
- Jalao como timbre de guagua- as pulled as a bus bell. Someone really thin
- Jamaquiar- Comes from the taino word ‘hamaca’ whence the English hammock derives. Jamaquear means to grab somebody and sway and toss them around, and back and forth
- Jaleo – Standard Spanish for a cheery atmosphere. To be sick to your stomach with the sensation of wanting to vomit, sometimes accompanied with dizziness.
- Jalcoal – Anglicism slang for “Hardcore” used by teens to describe something extreme.
- Jampiarse – Slang for Old Spanish ‘Zamparse’; eat something whole. To eat a lot without decorum.
- Jienda – To get drunk.
- Jediondo – Slang for ‘hediondo’, foul smelling, stinking (apestoso) Bad smelled.
- Jodienda – Comes from ‘joder’, to be screwing around. Something that bothers or annoys you.
- Jodiendo la pita – messing around, continuous anoying action executed by an individual.
- Jorobar – Euphemism for joder. To bother someone.
- Jorobeta – Something that bothers or annoys you.
- Josear/Joseador – Anglicism for ‘hoser’. To take advantage of something/someone/a situation.
- La pi簽a est獺 agria – Literally translating as “the pineapple is sour”, it means “times are tough” or “there’s no money/resources.”
- ‘Lambe queso – * Hit in the back of the head, from the bottom up.
- Lamb籀n – Brown-noser. Similar to “Lambe-ojo”: ‘an ass-kisser’
- La 繳ltima coca cola de el desierto – Literally means “The last Coca-Cola available on the desert”. Is used to refers to an arrogant person who thinks himself as indispensable one, more important than actually is.
- Las cosas se pusieron a chavito prieto, Las cosas se pusieron color de hormiga brava, Los huevos se pusieron a peseta, Los huevos se pusieron duros – Phrases describing a serious situation. They mean “things have gotten tense, (economically) tight, serious, or strict.” They literally translate to “things became a tight? penny”, “things turned the color of fire ants”, “eggs are worth a quarter each”, and “the eggs turned hard”, respectively. The first, third, and fourth phrases have historical backgrounds and relate to the selling of eggs and other raw materials in a town’s central plaza. When the eggs and other goods increased in price, it was difficult for people to get a hold of them.
- La Jara – Police vehicle.
- Las S穩nsoras – A far off place. Similar to “El Jurutungo Viejo”
- Las Quimbambas – Middle of nowhere. See Las Sinsoras, Jurutungo viejo.
- Las ventas de carajo – in the vicinity of el carajo / hell. Anyone sending you there is not happy with you. Vayase a la ventas del carajo.
- Latej籀n Used to describe a big thing… (Commonly used by people at barrio Charcas, Quebradillas)
- Le dieron como a pandereta Aleluya o Pentecostal – “They hit him/her like they do to a tambourine at a Pentecostal church.” It’s used to describe when someone caught a hard beating.
- Le supo a plato curt穩do – Literally means ‘It tasted like dirty dishes’. He or she did not like the outcome of the situation.
- Limbel o limber – From the English name Lindberg, the famous pilot who crossed the Atlantic ocean and also flew to Puerto Rico. The name of homemade Icees. Usually made from natural fruits, or sweet milk mixtures. Sold out of the homes and not in stores.
- Loc籀n/locona – “Crazy.” It can be also used as an equivalent to “dude/chick” or “buddy.” In West Coast communities, the word has been adopted by English speakers as loc.
- Lonchera – Anglicism of “Lunchbox”
- Lo tienes quemao – “You’ve burned it out”, as in “You like something so much that you’re burning it out”, for instance by wearing the same clothing too often or even every day.
- Lambeojo – Literally means eye licker but used like suck up. Brown noser’asskisser.
- Loco/Loca- Means crazy but can be used like dude, i.e.:Mira loco ven pa’ca -stands for: hey dude, come here.?Also, to call a male “Loca’ implies that he is a homosexual.
- Longaniza-refers to a debt to be paid in installments and refers to the links in a long multiple-linked sausage.
- Maceta – lit. a plant pot. Also the mallet in a mortar, therefore it implies it’s slang for penis, or “A person that is cheap, stingy”; frugal.
- Mafutera – Maf’u is slang for Marihuana, so mafutera is slang for “pothead” or “stoner”
- Mahones – Mah籀n is the Capital of the Spanish Island of Minorca, how thejeans ended up being called Mah籀n is anybody’s guessJeans
- Mai – It comes from old Castilian – Mai: Short for mami (which means and is pronounced the same as “mommy”).?Also, it is a term of endearment for females.
- Majadero. From the verb ‘majar’, to mash. Standard Spanish for a fool who persists in his foolishmess; ‘癒No seas tan majadero!’= ‘Don’t be a pest!
- Mamal籀n – From ‘mamar’, to suckle; A large, dumb and clueless individual, a “Mama’s boy”.
- Mamao – A “cock sucker.” Also means wimp.
- Mamey – The mammee fruit; easy stuff (mameyes grow in very tall trees; one has to wait for them to fall to be able to enjoy them).
- Mameyaso – A hard hit.
- Mandulete – Standard Spanish for a lazy and annoying useless man. Is similar to Manganz籀n but applies to all ages.
- Mangar – From the Old Spanish Cal籀 gypsy dialect, to catch someone doing something that is not right.
- Manganz籀n – Standard Spanish for a grown-up man, usually of quite large body build, who behaves like a child and has to be looked-after. A “man-child”.
- Mango Bajito – As in low hanging mango (fruit), Easy pickings, wuss, punkass person.
- 癒Mano! or 癒Si mano! – Short for hermano (“brother”), it means “Hey bro!” or “Yes bro.”
- Mas abajo pis籀 Col籀n – It literally translates to “[Christopher] Columbus stepped lower than that”. It’s used when someone steps on your foot and you want to tell them that the ground is below your foot.
- M獺s claro no canta un gallo. Lit. A rooster doesn’t sing as clear. Implies -“Crystal clear” “It couldn’t be any clearer” or “explicitly stated”.
- M獺s fea que una mordida de un puerco – A phrase to describe a really ugly person. Literally means uglier then a pig’s bite. (Esa mujer esta mas fea que la mordia de un puerco.)
- Mas feo que Julito Lit. “Uglier than Little Julius”; a very ugly man.
- Ma jincho que un sobaco de monja – More pale than a nuns armpit which obviously never sees the sun.
- M獺s lento que una caravana de cojos – A phrase to describe something or someone that is very slow. Literally, it translates as “Slower than an old wobbly people caravan.”
- M獺s lento que una caravana de cobos – Slower than a caravan of small crabs.
- M獺s lento que un suero de brea – See above. Translates to “Slower than a tar drip.”
- M獺s perdido que un juey bizco – More lost than a cross eyed land crab.
- M獺s papista que el Papa – Literally means “more ‘popist’ than the Pope” or “more Christian than the Pope”.?Refers to someone who not being part of a situation, adamantly opines about it.
- M獺s pelado que la rodilla de un cabro- A phrase describing someone who is poor or who has no money at all.?Literally, it translates as “more peeled hair than a goat’s knee.” Pelado/peeled means devoid of money of course.
- Mas trucos que la correa de Batman – ” More tricks up his/her sleeves” or “Tricky Person”. It literally translates as “More tricks/gadgets than Batman’s belt”.
- Me c-a-g-o en tu m-a-d-r-e – See ‘C-獺-g-a-t-e en tu m-a-d-r-e’.
- Melaza – lit. Molasses, “pure sugar cane juice”, it is used to say something, someone, or a situation is great or sweet.
- Me cago en la crica de martha-
- Mel籀n – means melon. There are more specific terms, such as “sandia” for watermelon, etc. Also said to denominate an Independentist (Green Party) who votes for the Popular Party (Red Party), meaning that the person gives the appearance of being green on the outside but is actually red on the inside.
- Me importa un bicho – Lit. “To care for a dick.” equates to ‘I don’t give a rat’s ass.”
- Me tienes una teta hinchada y la otra en proceso or “me tienes un huevo hinchado”. It literally means: “You’ve made my one tit inflamed and the other is in the process of becoming so too”. It’s used when someone is fed-up with a situation
- Me tienes un lado seco- It’s used when someone is fed-up with a situation You are driving up the walls/crazy
- Me tienes un ojo hinchado- lit. You’ve got me an eye swollen. It’s used when someone is fed-up with a situation.?You are driving me crazy.
- Me voy a caballo y vengo a pie. – Literally “I left on a horse and came back on foot”, it is used to express dissatisfaction about a situation in which you might put maximum amount of effort for very little in return or about a situation where you were better off when you started than how you ended. Also, it can be used in place of old Spanish expressions 癒Me cago en tu padre/madre! or 癒Me cago en diez! (“Goddammit!”), which is, in turn, used as a minced oath of the sacrilegious 癒Me cago en Dios!, when someone does not want to curse, as when in front of children.
- 癒Mi amigo el pintor! – Literally translating as “my buddy the painter!”, it’s used frequently to make fun of men that are unaware that they are cuckolds. It was popularized on a TV show called Desafiando a los Genios in which a na簿ve participant would always describe his “best friend the painter” as someone who always takes care of his wife. It was obvious to the viewer that the wife was being unfaithful with the painter, and eventually the phrase came to refer to infidelity outside of the show.
- Mijo / Mija – Puerto Rican Slang Contraction for “mi hijo”, “mi hija”. Doesn’t necessary have to relate to your “son” or “daughter”, just a simple conversation with a friend. “Ay mijo, como estas las cosas!”.
- Me saca – Equates to ‘Getting on my nerves’; annoying. Short for the Standard Spanish “Me saca de quicio” = he drives me crazy.
- Mira pescao – Literally, “look here, you fish!”, usually to express disapproval to someone or from his or her actions, a way to respond to someone who is trying to play a trick or prank on you.
- 癒Mi矇rcoles! – Literally “Wednesday”, it’s a Standard Spanish cacophonous euphemism for the word 癒Mierda! (“Shit”). It’s English equivalent is “Shoot!” It starts sounding like the word you intend to say but at the end you say something that’s not offensive. Popularized by Juanes with “Tengo la camisa negra”.
- Mimil – Baby talk for ‘dormir’, to sleep. “me voy a mimil”, I’m going to sleep.Mira – “Look, look here”
- Mira loco or Mira loc籀n/locona – “Look here, buddy” or “What’s up, crazy!”
- Mistin – “Miss Thing”, from American black slang, popularized in the ’80s by “Guille”, a character from the show “Entrando Por La Cocina” featured by actor Victor Alicea
- Mona Marti – Name used to sarcastically call someone an actor or actress. Someone who makes a big silly act (like someone making all kind of faces after tasting a food that he/she didn’t like) is said to be such a “Mona Marti”. Mona Marti was a famous Puerto Rican (radio/TV/theater/movie) actress (1901??985), who became a quintessential actress for her role playing characters of mothers, grandmothers and, suffering or selfless nannies on Spanish TV soaps.
- Mono sabe palo que trepa y no trepa palo de limones” – Literally means, “Monkey knows what tree to climb and does not climb lemon trees” because lemon trees have thorns. Refers to someone who avoids picking on stronger adversaries to abuse or take advantage of.
- Mot穩n – Standard Spanish for Mutiny, Riot…”Random motion of a crowd or Rebel Fight, usually against constituted authority.”
- Morena/Moreno – From Old Spanish, “Moro” someone form north Africa, tawny skinned, dark skinned, or black
- Molesta – Standard Spanish, Annoyed, mad
- Moyeto – Lit. Old Spanish for a whole wheat/brown bread rolll. Therefore used as Slang for black person
- Mangao – Contraction for ‘mangado’. Again, from ‘mangar’, old Spanish gypsy Cal籀 dialect. Also from a “mangue”, or being caught cheating and under a sure accusation.
- Mamabicho- cocksucker
La Antigua Cafetera de la Bombonera en el Viejo San Juan
- Negrito/negrija – It is used as a term of endearment for any shade of Puerto Rican. It’s related to the Puerto Rican versions of “Baby” or “Honey” as in your mate which are Ay mi negra, Hola negro, Mira Negrita.
- No es f獺cil quitarle el cuchillo a Rambo, pero se puede- It is not easy taking Rambo’s knife away from him, but it can be done. Inspired by the film First Blood.
- No inventes – Literally, stop inventing or “don’t make plans”. Generally meant in the sense of, “Quit making things up.”
- No lo encuentran ni en los centros espiritistas – Standard Spanish idiom. A phrase used to describe someone so lost that they, as it literally translates to, “can’t even be found in a Espiritismo center.” In Puerto Rico, Espiritismo, which is similar to Spiritualism in the United States, was so important that its central belief?hat mediums are able to communicate with the dead?ecame widespread. Using this phrase means that the person being described cannot even be found by a medium or by the spirits of the dead.
- 癒No seas insecto! – Literally, it translates as “Don’t be an insect!”. An “insecto” is a slang term for a Narcotics Agent or a police informant. It is most frequently pronounced with the last “s” in seas and the “c” in insecto muted for an accentuated slang effect.
- No te panikees – Anglicism from “Don’t panic”
- No te rochees – Anglicism from “Don’t rush” or “don’t worry.”
- No J矇 – No S矇 – Means “I Don’t Know”
- 癒No Jodas!- literally means “don’t fuck with me!”, it is also used to say “no way!” In Old Spanish ‘Joder’, came from Jodio, a Jew. As Christians were not allowed by Rome to manage money and interest bearing finances, Jews managed Banking and Savings and Loans. Many unscrupulous bankers would loan on usury monthly interests of 35%+. So ‘una jodida’ equated to being screwed by the Jewish bankers.
- No es f獺cil catchar sin careta- “it ain’t easy to play catcher wothout a mask”Lerroy Lopez Morales expression of life is not easy.
Although the Spanish slang words from Puerto Rico bicho, bicha, bichería and bichote seem to have the same “root” they don’t mean the same. For foreigners this will be confusing to the point that I consider them “false friends”. The two similarities these four words have are the root bich- and that they all have negative connotations.
4 Confusing Puerto Rican Spanish Slang Words
1. Puerto Rican Spanish: bicho
In a previous article Bicho: A Bug or a Guy’s Dick? Well, It Depends on the Country, Jared explains that while the most common meaning of the word bicho in Latin America is a bug or insect, in Puerto Rico means “dick.” Yes, it is a bad, dirty, vulgar word that you should not use in public while on the island. For example, a popular vulgar saying is: mama bicho or “dick sucker.”
2. Puerto Rican Spanish: bicha
Now, if you change the gender of this word to feminine to form bicha, you will get a totally different meaning. In Puerto Rico, bicha is an unfriendly and arrogant person, “a bitch.” For example: No soporto a María, es una bicha or “I can’t stand María, she’s a bitch.”
The masculine for the same meaning will be bicho also, the context of the sentence will help you to distinguish between dick or a male bitch.
3. Puerto Rican Spanish: bichería
So, if a person acts like a bitch, his or her actions are bicherías. In other words, being arrogant and rude. For example: María me salió con unas bicherías esta mañana. ¡Quería matarla! or “María insulted me this morning. I wanted to kill her!”
4. Puerto Rican Spanish: bichote
Finally, the word bichote is used to refer to a high-level drug trafficker or drug lord like the owner of the place where drugs are sold (punto de drogas). For example: Metieron preso al bichote de Llorens, that means “They arrested the big drug big trafficker from Llorens.”
While the meaning of bicho can be tracked back to the Latin origin bestius (beast), the words bicha, bichería and bichote come from the English “big shot” according to the Diccionario de Americanismos.
In conclusion, bicho is a body part, bicha is an adjective, bichería is an attitude and bichote is a person.
Learn more about Puerto Rican Spanish with the books:Speaking Boricua: A Practical Guide to Puerto Rican Spanishand Speaking Phrases Boricua: A Collection of Wisdom and Sayings from Puerto Rico.
Check out these other Puerto Rican Spanish Slang Word articles.
Photo credit: by 00abstrahiert99 via photo pin cc