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List of Puerto Rican phrases, words and slangs

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List of Puerto Rican phrases, words and slangs

This article is a summary of common slang words and phrases used in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican Spanish differs significantly from other dialects of Spanish for various reasons. One reason is the island's status as a commonwealth of the United States, which adds sizable English influences to the language of Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans often use anglicisms and words made directly from English; for example, "janguiar" means "to hang out". Puerto Rican Spanish is also influenced by the language of the Taíno people, the original inhabitants of the islands. It is further influenced by the languages of the African slaves brought to Puerto Rico by colonial Spain, and by the Spanish dialects of immigrants from the Canary islands and Andalusia. An example of the latter is Puerto Ricans often leaving "d" sounds out of words, for instance the word "arrancado" (ripped out) is commonly pronounced and spelled "arrancao". Idiomatic expressions may be difficult to translate fully and may have multiple meanings, so the English translations below may not reflect the full meaning of the expression they intend to translate.


  • ¡A galletazo limpio! - to beat up badly with your bare hands, the interpretation is that it is done by slapping someone else on his/her face, that is, with wide open hands rather than with closed fists.[1] The phrase may have been originally adopted from Spain.
  • ¡A juyir, Crispín! - Literally, "Let's flee, Crispin!". 'Juyir' is a slang for 'huir' to flee, to run away.[2] It equates to "let's get the heck out of here!"
  • ¡A las millas de chaflán! - "Driving fast", "speeding past someone", "walking fast", or "at the speed of the chamfer." Used as a criticism, such as "There he goes, driving that car with hellish speed!". Chaflán means "chamfer" in English, as in "chamfered street corners" like those of Barcelona, Spain and Ponce, Puerto Rico. Used to denote something that is done quickly, and alludes to the fact that a driver does not have to slow down as much going through a chamfered street corner as he would if it was a square corner. "Va a las millas de chaflán por la Ponce de León" (He is speeding like crazy down Ponce de León Avenue).[3]
  • Abombao - Smelly...damp cloth or fabric that smells from sitting damp.[4] A very bad or putrid odor or something, namely food, that is spoiled.
  • A lo loco - Literally, 'like crazy'.[5] Done without much thought.
  • A mí, plín - equates to "I don't give a hoot".
  • Abochornarse - To be red-faced with shame or offence. To be ashamed or embarrassed. To blush. "Abochornao" is the contraction of the participle "abochornado"; someone who embarrassed.
  • Acho or Chacho - A contraction of the word ¡Muchacho! (meaning "Man!", "guy" or "dude"). Usually, it's used as a grammatical conjunction to bridge between thoughts.
  • Acho men or Chacho men - "Damn, dude!", or simply just "Damn". Actually "acho men" as in "Oh man!" an expression of disappointment or surprise.
  • Afrentao - Contraction of the participle tense 'afrentado'. An outrageously selfish person. A glutton. A person who wants it all; greedy.
  • Ah, pues bien! - literally "Oh, well then…"; "Oh, Ok!"
  • Ahora - "Right now". Equivalent to "Ahorita" in most of the rest of Latin America.
  • Ajumao - Contraction of the participle tense 'ajumado'. Drunk. A cacophony of ahumado, as in "fumed". Someone who is drunk, besotted and smelly with the fumes of alcohol.
  • Al cantio de un gallo - The distance a rooster can be heard when he crows. Used to insinuate it is close by. Equivalent to the American English "A stone throw's away."
  • Al garete - Without direction or purpose. A garete is the old rudder with shaft. When the masts and oars broke in heavy seas and winds, the helmsman would use the garete (the rudder) as cumbersome propulsion. The expression is originally nautical, meaning "adrift", as in "el barco iba al garete", but it is usually used to mean "a lo loco" (literally, "like a madman"; with no course).
  • Al revés de los cristianos - Literally, "The reverse way to Christians." Old Spanish expression from the times of the Moorish kings. Equates to the English "Reverse Byzantine" expression, and used to refer to something that does not make sense.
  • Alcahuete - The old Spanish Arabic word "alqawwád". The gossip runner at the office or town. Also the matchmaker in illicit romantic relations.[6] Also means to be extremely servile. Also used to describe someone who spoils someone else too much.
  • Amargao - Contraction of the participle tense 'amargado'; embittered. Someone that is constantly depressed; bitter.
  • Anda pa'l - Is an abbreviation of "Anda pa'l sirete" or the bad word "Anda pa'l carajo". Also it refers to one that may be stunned or amazed, also scared at the moment. "Anda pa'l sirete" ("Oh crap!"). "Anda pa'l carajo" (An expression of astonishment roughly equivalent to "Get out of here!".) Similar phrase: "¡Ea, rayo!".
  • Añoñar - To show affection to the point of spoiling someone.[7] Mostly said of affection from adults towards children. It has a somewhat tender connotation. See also "Ñoño".
  • Apretao - Crammed. Used to denote tough situations. Alberto está apretao; Alberto is in a tough situation.
  • Arrancao - Contraction of the participle tense 'arrancado'. Literally ripped out. He pulled on his money so much his pockets are ripped out. Without money, completely broke. Pennyless.
  • Arrebatao - Contraction of the participle tense 'arrebatado'. To be on drugs. "Estoy bien arrebatao" (I'm very high)
  • Arrempujate pa'ca - Come this way. Get closer.
  • Arrollao - Contraction of the participle tense 'arrollado'. 'Arollo is a creek. So, literally it means stranded at the creek's bank. "Stranded" or "hanging", as in Te dejaron arollao. ("They left you hanging.")
  • Así es el mambo - Literally, "That's how you dance the mambo". "Así se baila el mambo" (That's how the mambo goes). It equates to "That's the nature of the beast". That's how it is. "Así es la cosa" ("It is what it is", or "It is how it is, like it or not").
  • Atángana - An interjection similar to "In your face!".
  • Averiguao - contraction of past participle "Averiguado". Nosy. As in, "Hay un perro averiguao en el techo" (There is a nosy dog on the roof).[8]
  • ¡Ay Bendito![9] - literally, "Oh Blessed One" - used to show frustration or exasperation when complaining about something. "An exclamation of woe or pity."[10] The phrase often "stems from a deeply-held empathic sense" towards what is being sensed (heard, seen, touched, etc.).[11]


  • Baile, botella y baraja - Literally, "Dance, Bottle, and Cards". Used to allude to seemingly innocuous, even beneficial, yet premeditated plans intended to keep someone entertained while others (usually, the government) go about not fulfilling their expected duties or obligations. "Mantener entre baile, botella y baraja" (Literally, "To keep between Dance, Bottle, and Cards". To keep entertained so as to keep busy and distracted from what's going on around.[12]) The phrase was coined by historians to describe the government of Miguel de la Torre (1822-1837). "El gobierno de las tres B"[13]
  • Bellaco - Literally, a knave, a sly person. Someone who is in "heat" or having sexual desires. English slang term, Horny.
  • Bembé - Series of afro-Cuban dances dedicated to the orishas. Also term bemba or bembe for lips when used without a diacritical stress.
  • ¡Bendito! - Contraction of "¡Bendito sea Dios!"; "Blessed be God". Equates to the English "Good Lord!", used to show sympathy or sorrow towards someone. See also, "Ay Bendito!".
  • Bicho - Literally, "bug" in Spanish, but in Puerto Rico it is used as a slang word for "penis".
  • Bíldin - Anglicism for "building".
  • ¡Boa! - Literally, a serpent. Used to mock someone in a jokeful manner when he/she falls or trips.
  • Bochinche - Gossip. "Bochinchoso" (Gossiper). "Mijo, que bochinche se formó!" (Man, what a gossip developed!). "Esa mujer es una bochinchosa" (That woman is a gossiper). Also used to describe a heated verbal argument between two or more groups (more common) or between two or more people (less common).
  • Bregar - To deal with something, particularly, to deal with a problem or challenge. To toil in life's travails. "La brega" (The daily travails of life required to make a living.) Also, to deal with something without actually making a concrete commitment to find a soluion. May be heard from government officials as their response for problems in the Island: "Ya estamos bregando con eso." ("We are already looking into that.") "Bregaste" ("You dealt me a bad hand".) A phrase said to someone who is not of good faith or who has betrayed or turned on you by playing a double-face.
  • Brutal - The best or the worst of something. Cool, amazing. "Awesome", if the best of something, or "Aweful", if the worst of something. From the word "Brute".
  • Bruto - Dumb, idiot. "¡Que bruto!" ("What an idiot!").


  • Cabrón - (Vulgar) Bastard. It implies a cuckold, a person spouse or lover is being unfaithful. A bad situation or object. Depending on the context, it is also used when something or someone is very good as the word "Bad" when you mean something is really cool. It's also a derogatory word you can use to insult someone, like for example: "You bitch"; so puta, so cabrona. Additionally the masculine term cabrón is commonly used by male teenagers and young men to refer to each other as "dude".
  • Cágate en tu madre - Literally, "Spew your shit on your mother". Equates to "Fuck you!" in force and effect. See "Me cago en tu madre".
  • Cantaso - A hard hit to someone or to oneself such as it occurs by accident. Similar to "Guatapanazo.
  • Canto - A 'piece' of something. "Mira canto de cabrón!" ("Hey, piece of shit!) Sexually speaking, "canto" refers to the reproductive organs. "No te voy a dar el canto" ("Im not going to give my 'piece" or "I'm not going to let you have sex with me") To get or give a "piece".
  • Carajo - Literally, the tip of the main mast. Carajo was the worst place to be sent on an ancient ship (caravel). Vete pa'l carajo...go to hell!! Estás del carajo = you're too much, you are something else.
  • Cerrao - Contraction of the participle tense 'cerrado' (closed). Dim-witted. Used to describe dumb person, a person lacking common sense, someone who is mentally "closed".
  • Chacón - reference to Iris Chacón, a voluptuous vedette or TV singer/dancer with a variety show in the 1970s-80s. The slang term usually refers to a voluptuous butt and hips.
  • Changuería - This term is used to describe a kid that has a fit (rage): like after his parents do not buy him something he wanted, or he doesn't get to do something he wanted to do [like go out and play]. The term is also used to describe the behaviour of a kid that is exaggeratingly acting up (either for been very sad, not wanting to do something, or just too happy). A kid in this type of situations, is said to have "changuería".
  • Chapusería - Literally, something done haphazardly. Something completed just to get it over with. Not done with any degree of professionalism or care. "Chapusero", someone who usually does this kind of haphazard or sub-standard work.
  • Charlatán - A "clown". Used to refer to someone that acts foolish or disorderly. Someone who is not serious in his acts or dealings. Someone who cannot be depended upon.
  • Chavos - Money.[14] Chavito - A Penny, the one-cent coin. A contraction of Old Spanish, 'ochavo': one-eighth; 'pieces of eight'.
  • Chévere - "Cool"[15]
  • Chichar - (Vulgar) To have sex.[16][17]
  • Chililín - "Just a drop (a little bit)"
  • Chillo - A male lover. "Chilla", a female lover, a mistress.
  • China - The orange fruit. In Puerto Rico, china may refer to the country in Asia, color orange, or the tropical citrus fruit. Naranja, which is used for oranges in most Spanish speaking countries, only refers to the bitter orange in Puerto Rico.
  • Chinchorrear - To go bar hopping. To hang out at bars. "Chinchorro", a small, unassuming bar everyone hangs out at.
  • Chiringa - Kite. In other Spanish-speaking countries it is called "cometa" ("comet") after the tail of the celestial body.
  • Chiripa - Odd job. "Chiripas", odd jobs. "Chiripiar"; to do odd jobs.
  • Chingar - To have sex.
  • Chivo - Literally, "billy goat". A mistake done while house painting the walls/ceiling/etc. When one finds a spot on the wall that was left unpainted (or missed a second coat), the spot itself is called a "chivo".
  • Chocha- (Vulgar) Literally, the lupin seed. The female genitalia. See also: "Crica".
  • Chola - Head.
  • Chota - Whistle-blower. Snitch.
  • ¡Chúpate esa en lo que te raspan la otra! (referring to licking on a piragua); variant, Chúpate esa en lo que te mondan la otra" (referring to sucking on a fruit, like an orange) - Literally, "Suck (variant, 'lick') on that one while they ready the next one." Used when someone is being disciplined (usually your sibling) to express scorning and approval for some punishment given or some unexpected result occurs, such as a minor accident that results in minor pain or discomfort.
  • Churras - (Vulgar) Severe liquid diarrhea that leaves you debilitated.
  • Cocotazo - A hit on the head that leaves a bump, especially when done by someone with the knuckles of his/her fist.
  • Cerrero- Cerro means "hill". So cerrero pertaining to the hills. For people it equates to a well-meaning but rustic hillbilly. For an animal that has strayed away from humans, taken to the hills. "Caballo cerroro" (A wild horse).
  • Coger pon - To catch a ride.[18]
  • Coger sereno - Sereno is 'serene', but also the cold, damp, unhealthy night air, to catch the cold of the night.
  • Cogerlo a pecho - Literally means "To take in the chest". Equates 'take it to heart'. It is used when someone takes something too seriously, or when someone got easily offended by something.
  • Colgarse - Literally, "to get hanged." To fail or flunk a class (in school).
  • Come-mierda - Literally, "Shit eater." It's used when referring to a petulant know-it-all. A person who thinks or acts like he/she is all-knowing and/or all-deserving, also someone of a higher social status who prefers to not mingle with persons of perceived lower status. Essentially, it means "snob" or "arrogant person."
  • Como coco - Literally, "like coconut". Refers to something or someone been strong, robust, or resistant.
  • Como la puerca de Juan Bobo - Juan Bobo, or John Ninny. Originates from a popular Puerto Rican folktale a classical PR literary character. He was a dim-witted hillbilly. He wasn't allowed to take his sow (pig) to a party so he dressed it in full woman's clothing and took it the party. The sow, being a pig, wreaked havoc at the feast. Used to refer to a woman that overdoes makeup and accessories to the point of looking ridiculous.
  • Con las manos en la masa - Literally, "With the hands on the dough". Equates to "With the hands in the cookie jar". To be caught in the act.
  • Confianzú -Contraction of "Confianzudo". A person that is too forward, that comes on strong or whio is overconfident. Somebody that is bold to the point of making people uncomfortable, or who does/says things that might be considered disrespectful."¡Ese muchacho es bien confianzú! Me acaba de conocer y ya me dió un abrazo y un beso en la mejilla." (That guy is too forward! He just met me and he already hugged me and kissed my cheek.)
  • Coño - (Vulgar) Literally, a woman's crotch. "Dammit"; "Shit". Usually said as an exclamation, oftentimes by a person who accidentally hurts himself. Generally used only among friends.
  • Corazón de melón - Literally "mellon's heart", the sweetest part of the fruit. It equates to the American "Sweetie pie", a term of endearment to or about someone with a big heart.
  • Correrle la máquina or Seguirle la corriente - "To keep a joke going at someone's expense", "to follow someone's lead incredulously", or "to tell others to with the intention of laughing at them behind their back." To agree with someone without seriously meaning it, just to politely wait until he is done speaking and then depart and go off to a different subject, thus avoiding the confrontation or offense that would result from cutting him off abruptly.
  • Crica - (Vulgar) The female genitalia. For example, "Me cago en la crica de tu madre" (Literally, "I shit on your mother's crotch". Equates somewhat to "Fuck you!", and is extremely insulting.).
  • Cuando Colón baje el dedo - Literally, "When Columbus lowers his finger". Equates to "When Hell freezes over". The phrase is in reference to a sculpture of Christopher Columbus in Plaza Colon in Old San Juan. When the Christopher Columbus sculpture is viewed from distance it gives to the observer an optical illusion like a hand pointing towards the sky when actually the focus is a raised flagpole. The expression is used to depict that something will never happen. Ex.: ¿Cuando te vas a casar con esa mujer?...(answer:)¡Cuando Colón baje el dedo! ("When are you marrying that woman?... When Columbus puts his finger down (or, When hell freezes over)." Maybe turn actually to say Cuando Ponce de León baje el dedo... a reference to the statue of Ponce de León in front of the old Church of San José. Cuando San Juan baje el dedo is a variant, but refers to the statue of San Juan in front of the Puerto Rico Capitol building in which the right hand index finger points to the sky.
  • Culeco - Slang misspelling of 'clueco'. 'Broody', as in broody hen. A person who is excited with a gain or with long-awaited good news.


  • Dale percha (pronounced pelcha) - Literally "put it on a hanger", it means "take it off" or "don't wear it anymore." (See: Lo tienes quemao below.) You're wearing the same item of clothing too often. - means "To hang it up"
  • Dar chinas por botellas - Literally, "to exchange oranges for bottles". An unfair trade or exchange.
  • Dar pa'bajo - To have sex. Also to beat up someone or kill someone/something.
  • De rolo - To continue without stopping or slowing down. "Rafael nos vio esperando la guagua, pero siguio de rolo ("Rafael saw us waiting for the bus, but kept on going")
  • ¡Diantre! - Expresses excitement, like "Wow!".
  • Dron - Garbage can. Probably an Anglicism of "drum".


  • ¡Ea diablo! - Literally, "Oh, devil". An exclamation, roughly equivalent to the American English expression "Oh, My God!" or "Holy shit!". Could mean "Cool", "Wow" or "Damn!"
  • ¡Ea diantre! - "Oh my God!", "Wow!".
  • ¡Ea rayo! - An expression of astonishment or disbelief roughly equivalent to "Get out of here!".
  • Echa pa'ca - Come over here. Used to call someone over to you.
  • Echar leña al fuego - Literally, "to throw wood to the fire." To add (as in "exarcerbate") to a controversy." Equates to: "to add fuel to the fire".
  • El Oso Blanco - Literally, "The White Bear". The former "Río Piedras State Penitentiary."[19]
  • Embuste - Lie. "Eso es embuste". That's a lie. "Embustero(a)". Liar. "Eres un embustero". You are a liar.
  • En el carro de Don Fernando, un ratito a pie y otro andando - Literally, "In Mr. Fernando's car, some of the time on foot and some of the time walking". Used to refer to the mode of transportation (afoot) when you to get to a place by walking only because you have no car available. Used comically because of the effect caused by the rhythm in Fernando/andando. Alternatively, En el carrito de Don Fernando, un ratito a pie y otro andando. "In Mr. Fernando's little car, some of the time on foot and some of the time walking". (This latter version rhymes at carrito/ratito and at Fernando/andando.)
  • En el jurutungo viejo - A placeholder name meaning somewhere far away which is hard or tiresome to get to. Equivalent to the American English "Timbuktu". Example: Ella vive en el jurutungo viejo. ("She lives very far away.")
  • En lo que el hacha va y viene, el palo descansa. - Literally, "While the ax goes to and fro the tree rests". A rest period between tough situations or tough times. Meanwhile.
  • Enchismao - Contraction of "ensimismado". Someone who is peeved or angry. Similar to being "pissed off".
  • Encojonao(m.), Encojona(f.) - Contraction of 'encojonado'. From 'cojones'. To be red in anger; highly pissed off.
  • Esmallao - Contraction of "esmadallado." To be really hungry.
  • Esmandao - Contraction of "esmandado." Going very fast.
  • Esmonguillao - Contraction of "esmonguillado." From "mongo", flabby. "Somebody who is in a very weak condition or something that is way softer that usual. i.e. Ese chamaco está esmonguillao; this guy is flabby. Estas galletas estan esmonguill'ás; these crackers are flabby.
  • ¡Esnu! - Contraction for desnudo (naked). "Estoy esnu!" (I'm naked!)
  • ¡Está brutal! - That's brutal!, either as compliment or insult, depending on the situation. Usually, it is used as a compliment, like the English phrase "You're a beast!".
  • Está de película - Literally, "It is from the movies." Used when something is done, or when someone acts, "like something from a movie". (El) estuvo de película: roughly equivalent to the American English, "He came out smelling like a rose". Usually used when something awesome occurs.
  • ¡Está pasao! - Universal Spanish for "It's the most fun!" or "It'sthe greatest thing". "It's awesome".
  • ¡Está que estilla! - Used to describe a fine-looking person "He/she is fine or he/she is really hot". Also used to describe someone who is furious.
  • Está quemao - Universal Spanish for he's or she "is burnt up", in hot water, has done something wrong and was found out. Also, the dried out feeling of the mouth after a night of drinking.
  • ¡Estás bueno/a! - "You're hot!" (Flirty).
  • Estar por la luna - Literally, "to be as if on the moon". To be clueless[20]
  • Estirar la pata - Literally, to stretch the leg. To croak, to die.


  • Fajao - Contraction of participle tense 'fajado'. From 'Fajar', making a grand effort as when a person is working hard, to the point of sweating.
  • Farandulero - groupie...a fan, someone who faithfully follows an artist or TV shows. It can also refer to someone who likes to gossip.
  • Fiebrú - Someone who is feverish (as in fashion); a car enthusiast, a hot-rodder, a grease monkey, a car freak. Also used to refer to someone who is very fanatical about something other than cars.
  • Fiao - Contraction of participle tense 'fiado'. From 'Fiar', to lend out, to loan.[21]
  • Fiestal - Slang for 'fiestar'. To go partying.
  • ¡Fo! - Equivalent to the English language exclamations "Eww!", "Gross!", "Nasty!" or "Disgusting!". For example, "¡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.
  • Fofo - Flabby, bland, that has no substance. Said of bland food, of someone who is weak or of something that is weak.


  • Galán - Standard Spanish for a 'beau'; someone who looks elegant or dandy. It also refers to the lead actor in a telenovela or movie.
  • 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. Also a van, station wagon or small truck. These last three may also be called "guagüita", because they are smaller than the larger sized city buses.[22]
  • Guatapanazo - A very hard hit on to someone or to oneself. "¡Que santo guatapanazo se metió! (He got hit so hard!).
  • Güebón - From "Huevón" (Big-balled, big-testicled.) A total asshole.
  • Gufiao - Contraction of gufeado, an anglicism for goofy. "Cool", or "awesome." Example: ¡El show estuvo gufiao! (The show was awesome!"). Heard in the northern part of Puerto Rico.
  • Gufiar - "To goof around", or "to joke around." Example: ¡Acho, deja el gufeo! ("Dude, stop goofing around!")
  • Gusarapo - Tadpole. It also refers to the larval stage of mosquitoes or "sea-monkeys". "Renacuajo", however, is the proper Spanish word for this slang.


  • Hablas cuando las gallinas mean - Literally, "Speak when hens pee". It is used to tell someone to "keep quiet or else".
  • Hacer brusca - Literally, "To make tough". To skip class. To play hookey.
  • Hacerse el loco - Equates to "To play dumb". To try to ignore or distance oneself from a particular situation as if it never happened. "To disassociate."
  • Hay que ver como se bate el cobre - Literally, "We have to see how copper is beaten". Let's see how things turn out.
  • Hijo e puta - Contraction of "Hijo de puta". Literally, "Son of a bitch". A daring person. Also, a curse said to someone (Son of a bitch, or son of a whore). "Hijoueputa" (alternate pronunciation). "¡Que hijoueputa!" (What a son of a bitch!)
  • Horita - (Also, "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 - A very vulgar curse. "Que hostia!", is used to curse by extreme anger and hate. The "hostia" is the body of Christ in the Catholic Church. From Old Spanish.
  • Huelebicho - Literally: "cock sniffer". A pejorative adjective for an insufferable person.


  • Incordio - Someone who behaves in an annoying manner.
  • Irse pa(ra) la isla - Literally, "to go to the Island". To leave the San Juan metro area and travel to Puerto Rican towns elsewhere in the rest of the island.


  • 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.
  • Jamona - An older woman that never got married.
  • Janguiar - Anglicism for "Hanging out/To Hang out". The correct Spanish is "pasar tiempo con alguien."
  • Jediondo - Slang for "hediondo". foul-smelling, stinking (apestoso). Bad smelled.
  • Jevo/a - Slang for boyfriend/gilrfriend.[23]
  • Jibaro - A person from the countryside/mountainside of Puerto Rico.[24] Puerto Rican equivalent of a highlander. May also be used derogatorily to mean "hillbilly". It is also used to refer to someone who does not know something that is all over the news, that is, someone who is sort of disconnected from the modern world. Eres un jibaro! (You're uninformed/old fashioned!)
  • Jincho - (Also Jincho papujo.) A person that is very white or has fair skin.
  • Jodienda - Comes from "joder" ("fuck"; as in the vulgar slang rather than the act of sexual intercourse). Something that bothers or annoys you.
  • Jodiendo la pita - A continuous annoying action by someone. Messing around.
  • Jolgorio - Revelry. Lively and noisy festivities, especially when these involve drinking a large amount of alcohol.[25][26]
  • Joyete - Slang for the diminutive 'hoyete', little hole. Also another term for "butthole"
  • Joyo - Slang for "hoyo", hole. Another term referencing to a human body part: "butt", "butthole", "butt-crack".
  • Jorobar - Euphemism for joder. To bother someone.
  • Jorobeta - Something that bothers or annoys you.
  • Jurutungo - Also, "Jurutungo viejo." A place very far away and hard to get to. Probably originates from a reference to the village by that name located deep in the mountains of barrio Anón in the municipality of Ponce and which is very difficult to reach by standard means of modern-day transportation. Reference: See Jurutungo.
  • Juyilanga - To leave or take off abruptly. As in "Coger la juyilanga." (To take off abruptly).
  • Juyir - Slang for "huir", to flee.[2]


  • Lambón - Brown-noser. Similar to "Lambe-ojo" (an ass-kisser).
  • La última Coca-Cola del desierto - Literally means "The last Coca-Cola available on the desert". It is used to refers to an arrogant person who thinks of himself as an indispensable one, more important than actually is. "Ella se cree que es la ultima Coca-cola del desierto" (She thinks she is the last Coca-Cola in the desert.)
  • Las cosas se pusieron color de hormiga brava - Literally, Things have gotten the color of the fire ant". Describes a tough situation. For example, may mean "the situation got tense (emotionally), or tight (financially), or serious (interpersonally), or strict (discipline)".
  • La jara - A police vehicle.
  • Las ventas del carajo - In the periphery of hell. Used to express sheer dissatisfaction with, even anger towards, someone. "Vete a las ventas del carajo." (Go to hell).
  • Limbel (Also, "limber") - A home-made Icee. Usually made from natural fruits, or sweet milk mixtures. Sold out of the homes and not in stores.
  • Lonchera - Anglicism of "Lunchbox".
  • Lambeojo - Literally means "eye licker". Used to refer to a person that bends over backwards for others to receive a favor. Brown noser'asskisser.
  • Loco - Means "crazy" but can be used to mean "dude". "Mira loco ven pa'ca" (Hey dude, come here.) Also, to call a male "loca' implies that he is a homosexual.


  • Maceta - Literally, the mallet in a mortar. A penis. Also, a person that is cheap, stingy; someone that does not contribute philanthropically.
  • Mahones - Jeans. Mahón is the capital of the Spanish island of Minorca. How jeans ended up being called Mahón is anybody's guess.
  • Mai (Also, "May") - Contraction of mami ("mommy"). A term of endearment for females, other than one's wife, one's girlfriend, etc.
  • Majadero. From the verb 'majar', to mash. Standard Spanish for a fool who persists in his foolishmess; '¡No seas tan majadero!'= 'Don't be a pest!
  • Mamabicho - Cocksucker.
  • Mamalón - From 'mamar', to suckle. A large, dumb and clueless man; a "Mama's boy".
  • Mamao - A "cock sucker." A 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.
  • Manganzón - 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".
  • ¡Mano! or ¡Si mano! - Short for hermano ("brother"), it means "Hey, bro!" or "Yes, bro."
  • Maricón - See pato.
  • Más abajo pisó Colón - 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.
  • Más claro no canta un gallo. - Literally, "even a rooster wouldn't sing as clear". Crystal clear. Something that couldn't be any clearer or more explicitly stated.
  • Más lento que una caravana de cojos - Literally, "Slower than a caravan of lame men." Something or someone that is very slow.
  • Más lento que una caravana de cobos - Literally, "Slower than a caravan of crabs." Something or someone that is very slow.
  • Más perdido que un juey bizco - Literally, "More lost than a cross-eyed crab."
  • Me cago en tu madre - Literally, "I shit on your mother". See "Cágate en tu madre". ¡Me cago en diez! ("Goddammit!") - a minced oath of the sacrilegious ¡Me cago en Dios!; ("diez" (ten) sounds a bit like "Dios" (God) and is used when someone does not want to curse, as when in front of children.
  • Me meo de la risa - "So funny I wet my pants"
  • Me saca - Equates to 'Getting on my nerves'; annoying. Short for the Standard Spanish "Me saca de quicio" (He drives me crazy).
  • "Metió la pata"- literally, put his foot in it (mouth, perhaps); he made a mistake, or blunder.
  • ¡Mi amigo el pintor! - Literally, "My buddy the painter!". It is 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 naïve 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 - Contraction "Mi hijo" (My son). Does not necessarily have to relate to your "son" or "daughter". Usually said during a conversation with a friend. "Ay mijo, como estan las cosas?" (Hey pal, what's up?). "Mija, ellos siempre van hablando por celular" (Honey, they are always talking on their cell phones."[3]
  • ¡Miércoles! - Literally, "Wednesday", it's a Standard Spanish cacophonous euphemism for the word ¡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)
  • Mono - Literally, "monkey." Cute. Se cree muy mono (He thinks he is so cute). Said of someone who thinks highly of himself or herself, either in physical appearance (handsome, elegantly dressed) and/or actions (charming, gracious, etc.). In the extreme of personal arrogance, it can also mean "clown", such as in ¡Que mono eres!" (You are such a clown!). Conceited, self-centered. It may also have a positive connotation: ¡Se ve bien mona! (She looks so cute!).
  • Morena/Moreno - From Old Spanish, "Moro" someone form north Africa, tawny skinned, dark skinned, or black.
  • Moyeto - Lit. Old Spanish for a whole wheat/brown bread rolll. Therefore used as Slang for black person


  • - Short for "Nada."[2] Nothing.
  • Negrito/negrita - It is used as a term of endearment for any shade of Puerto Rican skin. 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 inventes - Literally, stop inventing or "don't make plans". Generally meant in the sense of, "Quit making things up."
  • ¡No jodas! - literally means "don't fuck with me!", it is also used to say "No way!" or "No kidding!"[27]
  • 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 an Espiritismo centers." In Puerto Rico, Espiritismo, which is similar to Spiritualism in the United States, was so important that its central belief—that mediums are able to communicate with the dead—became widespread. Using this phrase means that the person being described cannot even be found by a medium or by the spirits of the dead.
  • No perder ni pie ni pisada - (sometimes "No perder ni pie ni pisa") Literally, "To not miss neither the foot nor the step".[28] To be constantly vigilant, especially as it refers to watching someone else's every move.
  • No te panikees - Anglicism from "Don't panic"


  • Ñoño - A whiny person. Also a naive person who cannot stand up for himself/herself.[7] See also "añoñar".


  • ¿Oíte? - "Did you hear?" (Equivalent to ¿Oíste?; See: Puerto Rican accents)
  • Orejita - Literally, "little ear". A tip, helpful hint.[29]
  • Orita - (also spelt: "Horita") 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".


  • Pa’ lante - Contraction of "Para adelante". Forward. "y a base de eso, vamos pa’ lante" (and based on that, we'll move forward)[30]
  • Pai - Old Spanish for Papa, Short for papi ("daddy"). Also, a term of endearment for males.
  • Pajaro, pajarito - Literally, "bird". Penis or little penis.
  • Pana - friend, pal[31]
  • Paquete - Literally, "package." A lie. As in, "Que paquete mas grande!" (What a humongous lie!). "Paquetero" - Liar (mentiroso) "Esteban es un paquetero" (Esteban is a liar).
  • Parkear - Anglicism for "to park". In other countries is known as "estacionar".
  • Patatús - Standard Spanish for "a fit"...a non-specific ailment that involves passing out, hot flashes, etc. that usually causes a commotion.
  • Pato - Literally, "duck". Used to call a person "fag" or "lesbian", as in homosexual, or gay.
  • Pa'tras como el cangrejo - to make no headway, or to refer to someone that will make no progress. Literally going backwards, like a crab.
  • Pava - A straw hat traditional of Puerto Rican sugar cane harvest laborers. Used particularly as the symbol of the Partido Popular Democratico de Puerto Rico political party.[32]
  • Pegandole cuernos - Literally translating as "giving him/her horns", it is used to describe someone who is being unfaithful or adulterous.
  • Pelao - Contraction of "Pelado". Literally, "peeled". Pennyless; broke (financially).
  • Pendejeando or Pendejeria - from Pendejo, an insufferable fool, a jerk. "Clowning around" or "wasting time." Examples: Dejate de estar pendejeando. ("Stop wasting time." or "Stop jerking around."); Deja la pendejeria. ("Stop your clowning around.") Akin to matando tiempo ("killing time").
  • Peldona 'sae - "Sorry, eh?!" Actually it's said: Perdona, sabes? in grammatically correct Spanish.
  • Pendejo/pendeja -"jerk", "Dumb", "slow-witted", or "easily taken advantage of." Examples: Te cojieron de pendejo. ("They took you for a ride."); No seas pendejo. ("Don't be a dumbass."); Ella es tan pendeja que no entendio. (She so slow-minded that she didn't understand.)
  • Peo - Contraction for "pedo", fart.
  • Peseta - The currency of 25 cents, comes from the Spanish money used in Puerto Rico during its Spanish colonial times.
  • Piragua - While Piragua is the Taino word for a canoe, it is also a treat made from shaved ice and colored/flavored syrup. They are traditionally served in a paper cone. It is literally an ice cone.
  • Por el techo - A Standard Spanish idiom that literally means "Through the roof". Said of someone who is very mad.
  • Por la maceta - As maceta means a mallet, it implies approval by mallet blow. Something that you approved of, like "great", or "good deal", or "awesome".
  • Por un tubo y siete llaves - Literally, "Through a tube and seven faucets". Abundance. An oversupply of things, usually food. At Thanksgiving or Christmas the hostess could tell you to take food home because 'there's food here 'por un tubo y siete llaves'.
  • Puñeta - Used like the curse word "Fuck!". "Hacerse la puñeta" (To masturbate oneself, specifically male masturbation). From "puño" (fist).


  • ¿Qué pasa pai? A contraction for "¿Qué pasa compai?", itself a contraction for ¿Qué pasa compadre? ("What's up dude?)
  • Que tronco de... - tronco means "tree trunk", and the idiom means "a huge piece of something". "Que tronco 'e cancha": since cancha is a basketball court, here it means "what a darn nice basketball court!"
  • Que pajó (que pasó) used to say what happened as in "Que pajo, quien carajo eres tú? (What happened, who the fuck are you?)
  • Quedar retratao - Retrato means a picture, be it photograph or painting. The Standard Spanish idiom means to clearly be guilty after being caught in the act. Means to be exposed.
  • Quien a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra lo cobija - An Old Spanish proverb. Literally translated means "he who takes shelter under a good tree gets the best shade". Means that you will benefit by being close to someone who could give you what you want or need. If you want to succeed, you have to be close to successful people. If you hang around losers, you'll end up being a loser.


  • Revulú or revolú - From the word revuelto "messed-up", "disaster", "noisy."[33] Used for a scandal, loud commotion or confusion too.
  • Relajo - Standard Spanish for "Din" or "racket." The phrase ¡Deja el relajo! can be translated as "Stop playing around!" and is thus similar to ¡Deja el gufeo!


  • Sal pa'fuera - Literally "Get out" or "Go outside". A ruckus or melee that continues outside causing the entire room to be vacated. Typically a fight that either continues outside or causes folks to run out of a place in fear. Generally heard as "Se formo un Sal pa'fuera" ("There was a huge commotion").
  • Salió el tiro por la culata. - Standard Spanish idiom. Literally, "The shot backfired", it is used when a plan backfires.
  • Salpafuera - A "revulú" (see) or a real mess. "¡Se formó un salpafuera! Describes a get-out-of-here situation or a violent situation in which many people ran from the scene. Similar to ¡Se formó un corre y corre!
  • ¡Se formó un corre y corre! - Standard Spanish idiom meaning "a melee" or "running around confused."
  • ¡Se lució el chayote! - A criticism used for someone who is showing off in some way. Chayote is a tasteless tropical fruit, that tastes only as good as its seasoning. "Lucirse" (by itself) means "to show off" as well.
  • Si eres mudo revientas - Idiom meaning "If you were mute, you would explode". Used when someone is bursting to say something.
  • Sinvergüenza - Standard Spanish. Literally, shameless. Someone who is good for nothing, a bum.
  • Dame un Sippi - "A small try or a sip"
  • ¡So anormal! - Equates to "You're so damned stupid / weird!" as anormal is the Spanish word for "abnormal", though its connotation is mostly negative and insulting.


  • ¡Tanto nadar para ahogarse en la orilla! - A lamentation literally translating as "so much swimming, just to drown at the shore." It is used to describe someone who made great efforts to achieve something and yet failed.
  • ¡Tato' habla'o! - Contraction for "Esta todo hablado". "It's all said already. "Everything's cool." "We have an understanding." Usually said at the end of a conversation right before each person goes their separate way.
  • ¡Te cagaste del miedo! - "You shit your pants from fright!"
  • ¡Te dieron chino! - Literally, "They gave you Chinese." He humped your bump!
  • Te gua a dar un mamellazo!! - I'm going to hit you with a (big) mamey!
  • Tecato - A drug-addict. Mostly junkies who use drugs intravenously.
  • Tener complejo de alguien - To have a delusion of being like someone else by adopting certain characteristics of that person. "Roberto tiene complejo de Tarzán." (Roberto thinks he's Tarzan).
  • Tipo - Literally, "type". Standard Spanish for "fellow". Equates to the American "fella" or "guy", "dude", "chick." It is used when someone's name cannot not be remembered. For example, Ese tipo que vino a la fiesta... ("That dude who came to the party..."); Ese tipo que es amigo tuyo... ("That guy who's your friend..."). It can also be used for someone whose real name you actually don't want to say it. In this case, it has a somewhat derogatory connotation.
  • Tira y jala - Literally, "push and pull". Arguments going back and forth between two or more groups or individuals.[34]
  • Tiraera - The act of antagonizing or criticizing someone. "Deja la tiraera." (Stop antagonizing (me/him/her)).
  • Tirarse a alguien - To make out with someone, usually not your boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Tirar la pata - Contraction of "Estirar la pata". Literally, "to stiffen your leg." Equates to "kick the bucket", "to die".
  • Tomar el pelo - Literally, "To take someone's hair." To take someone as a fool, to fool someone. English equivalent: "Pulling one's leg."
  • Toto - A vulgar slang for vulva, vagina. More likely, pussy. Mostly used to reference the female genitalia when speaking generally to young girls. "Vete y lavate el toto". (Go wash your crotch).
  • ¡Tú eres bien fiebrú! - (f.) fiebrua. Contraction of "¡Tú eres bien fiebrudo!" The word "fiebrudo" means suffering from fever or having a fever. The phrase is usually used as a compliment when admiring someone's passion for something, especially cars or car racing, it means "you're really into that!".
  • ¡Tú sí que eres presentado!', ¡Tú eres bien presentado!, or ¡So presentado! - Presentado means presentee, to present oneself without invitation. A criticism meaning "You're very nosy", "you're forcing your presence here", or "Stop being nosy!".
  • Tumbar - Literally, 'to knock down'. To steal something. "¿Te tumbaste eso?" (Did you steal that?).


  • ¡Un muerto hablando de un ahorcado! - literally means "A dead man talking about a hanged man!". A phrase used to call attention to someone who is criticizing someone else who is on his same predicament.
  • Una paja - Masturbation.


  • ¡Vete pa'l carajo! - "Go to hell!"
  • ¡Vete pa'l Caribe Hilton! - A minced oath for ¡Vete pa'l carajo! (the Puerto Rican version of ¡Vete al carajo!, meaning "Go to hell!" or "Fuck you!" or "fuck off!"). The Caribe Hilton is a hotel in the San Juan area. Note: When ¡Vete pa'l carajo! is used, it is sometimes accompanied by so cabrón/cabrona ("you damned asshole/bitch") right after it.
  • ¡Volando bajito! - Literally "flying low". "Keeping a low profile". Used to describe people who are doing something without anyone else noticing or finding out.


  • ¡Wepa! - An interjection used to express jubilation and uttered by many Hispanics but especially Puerto Ricans. It is normally yelled loudly, especially after something that is celebrated. Generally means, "Alright!, Good job!, Congratulations!, Yeah!". When saying "Wepa!" you must hold the "e" for the longest amount of time, and the "a" for just as long. Variations are also acceptable. Pronounced "weh - pah" and must be said loudly and joyfully or there is no true jubilant effect. Examples: (1) Student 1: "I just a 98 on my Chemistry final!". Student 2: "Alright, man! ¡WEPA!"; (2) Puerto Rican singer: "¿Estamos listos?" (Are we ready?). Audience: "WEPA!"; (3) Priest: "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride." Attendees: "WEPA!" (applauding and cheering as the word "Wepa!" is yelled). [Credit - Urban Dictionary]. Also in some parts of the island wepa is used as an informal greeting, commonly used between friends.


  • ¿Y qué? - Literally, "And what!?" Equates to "So what?" or, depending on the context, "So what's up?"
  • ¡Y se le(s) está haciendo tarde! - Literally "And it's becoming too late already!" equates to "Time is running out!" It's a sports phrase used when an individual or team is far behind on scoring as the event nears its conclusion.
  • Yerba mala nunca muere - Literally "(Bad) weeds never die", equates to the American sayings "only the good die young" or "bad blood never runs dry."[35]
  • Yo sé como bate el cobre - Translates as I know how to beat the copper and basically means I know what's going on here, and it's usually used whenever someone is being lied to or told a fib.


  • Zángano - From the name of the male bee (Zangano), whose only duty for the beehive is to breed the queen. So it denotes a worthless idiot. Used to describe a female or male that is acting stupid or foolish. A lazy man. Another word similar in Spanish is boba/bobo ninny, sod. It also means a coward or a weakling akin to the word, wuss or wimp. No te hagas la zángana translates to Don't pretend you are stupid.


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