Some Boricua slang words ~ Learn Spanish language fast | free memory tricks | Spanish vocabulary lessons.
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Some Boricua slang words


This is a list of phrases, words, and slang used in Puerto Rico. There are many phrases that are funny in one place and mean nothing in another country that speaks the same language.


This can be specially said of Spanish language phrases across Latin America: In Puerto Rico, for example, the word chocha is a slur word for vagina, while in Mexico that same word represents a bird! In Argentina, a chocha, when speaking of it in Puerto Rican terms, is actually called a concha (vagina), a word which in Puerto Rico signifies sea shell. Another example would be that in Puerto Rico, the word bizcocho means cake, while in Mexico it refers to a woman's genitals.

Here is a list of commonly used slangs in Puerto Rico, their purposes and a loose translation into the English language:

* Acho (I can't explain it, but we do say it to bridge between thoughts.)

* ¡Mano! (Literally means hand, but it is short for hermano, which means, Hey brother!)

* ¿Que es la que estapa?, ¿Que es la que? What's up?

* Algarete That's cool, or out of control.

* ¡Ahi va, a las millas del chaflan! There he/she goes, speeding that car with miles from hell! (Criticism)

* joder,chichar (also chingar, often used as 'chingai' as a play on Shanghai) Having sexual intercourse.

* Colgue and its many adjectives, such as colgar, colgaste and others, as in me colge (colgue or colgar, when told to a student who is failing in school, is a criticism.) The literal translation would be, “I got hung over in school.

* ¡Como alma que lleva "el" diablo! He/she took off running as if his/her soul was possessed by the devil! (Comical)

* Dar un tumbe We are going to kill or steal. (Criminal, usually used by mafiosos.)

* ¡Dejo los tennis en el piso! He/she ran so fast that he/she left his/her tennis shoes right there! (Comical)

* ¡En el carro de Don Fernando! (un ratito a pie y otro andando) (We are going) on Mr Fernando’s car, when there is no working car within reach.

* Ese salio por lana y llego trasquilao (Comical, meaning that a person went for something, using lana, money, as an example, and came back worse than when he left.)

* ¡Estas buena(o)! You're fine!

* ¡Esta(s) brutal! You're brutal! (Could be either a compliment or insult, depending on the situation.)

* ¡Esta(s) Cabron! (Same as ¡estas brutal!, only that, when used for a person, its usually a criticism. When used for a subject, it is usually meant as a compliment.)

* ¡Estas tenso, papa! Your muscles are tense, daddy! (Comical, invented by Sunshine Logrono, a satirical phrase towards homosexuality.)

* Las cosas se pusieron a chavito prieto Things turned for a penny each (Comically used to describe a serious economical situation.)

* Los huevos se pusieron duros
The eggs turned hard. (Same as, las cosas se pusieron a chavito prieto.)

* ¡Mi amigo el pintor! My buddy, the painter. (Comical, used frequently to make fun of men whose wives commit adultery.)

* ¡Miercoles! Wednesday! (A less offending phrase than mierda, which sounds like miercoles but means excrement.)

* No lo encuentran ni en los centros espiritistas It can't even be found in a spiritualist center, when things get lost (Comical.)

* Perro que huele carne.... Dog that smells meat... (Comical, describes a situation where a person might suspect something he or she wants is within reach.)

* ¡Se formo un corre y corre! A race was formed for everyone to get out of there! (Comical; exact meaning as,
¡Se formo un sal pa' fuera!.)

* ¡Se formo un sal pa fuera! A get-out-of-here-situation formed! (To describe a violent situation in which many ran from the scene in a lighter way, also used to describe a street fight or other violent situations.)

* ¡Se lucio el chayote! The coyote is showing off! (Criticism to speeding drivers, honking drivers or drivers that screech their wheels before parking their car.)

* ¡Sientate a esperar! Sit down and wait! (Used when a person promises someone something while lying.)

* ¡Tanto nadar para ahogarse en la orilla! So much swimming, only to drown at the coastline! (Lament, usually used for someone who has come very close to completing something but failed.)

* ¡Te cagaste del miedo! You shit in your pants out of fear! (Comical.)

* ¡Tu eres bien fiebru(a)! You are really into that! (Usually a compliment used to admire someone's passion for something.)

* ¡Tu si que eres presentao!, ¡So presentao!, and ¡Tu eres bien presentao! (Criticism, when someone thinks the other person is getting into what is not your business.)

* ¡Va pa chirola! Someone is going to jail!

* ¡Vete pa'l Caribe Hilton! (Less insulting version of ¡Vete pa'l carajo!.)

* ¡Vete pa'l carajo! go to hell! (Insult, sometimes accompanied by a so cabron(a) right after it.)

* ¡Volando Bajito! flying low (Usually to describe road speeders.)

* ¡Y se le(s) esta haciendo tarde! and it's becoming too late already! (Sport phrase used when an individual or team is far behind on scoring as the event nears its conclusion.)

* como el Rosario de la Aurora (This is used when a party ends up with a fight.)

* Se armo la de sanquintin (Similar to "El Rosario de la Aurora.”)

* chota tattletale (Known in Mexico as soplon.)

* comemierda shit eater. (It is used when some person thinks that he/she is the greatest person on Earth, known in American English as "snob".)

* mamabicho cocksucker. (The same as chupaverga in Mexico.)

* loco crazy or crazy man.

Some phrases from other countries (especially those used in El Chapulín Colorado and El Chavo del Ocho Mexican shows) have made their way into Puerto Rican slang. Among the most popular ones are, Chapulíns no contaban con mi astucia (They didn't count on my smarts),
¡Siganme los buenos! (Follow me, the good ones!) and ¡Chavos fue sin querer queriendo! (I purposely did it, but not on purpose!)

Anonymous said...

I think this is a wonderful site. I'm "boriquen tipical". I moved to N.C. many,many years ago. We were the only latinas there. I had not spoked spanish in so long that I forgot it. My grandmother who knows english, will only speak spanish. She told me I should be ashamed of myself. On the first day I understood what everybody was saying, but I could not respond in spanish, I would answer in english. But when we all went back to our homes so far away from each other, I had nobody to speak spanish to. A few years later there was an influx of Laotians and Mexicans in my region. I started making friends but the spanish was so different and the was too. The next time I went back to see family I started to speak spanish and they said, "who in the world have you been talking too"?
I have gone online trying to find some spanish lessons, but I wanted to learn from another Puerto Rican si I could re-learn some of our sayings. Thank you so much. Please continuously update this site so I can keep learning. You know there's a name they call a P.Rican that doesn't speak spanish...but I don't even remember it! Please keep it up.
R. Acevedo

Spanish School in Buenos Aires said...

It's very interesting to see the similarities and differences between Latin American slang. Many of these sayings are similar to Argentine slang, others aren't.

Another interesting point is that generally slang words are created for the same situations in different countries (robbing, fleeing, lieing, etc.)

alen mcmilan said...

I really like your given article and read your stuff what happened with you in the N.C. But I would say Spanish is really very nice and easy language , I like this language.
learning spanish language

Ray Ban sunglasses said...

Slang term for Orlando Florida because of the infestation of Puerto Ricans. Mostly the douchebags sporting "Boricua" stickers on their idiotic vehicles.

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This is a list of phrases, words, and slang used in Puerto Rico. There are many phrases that are funny in one place and mean nothing in another country that speaks Standard Spanish.

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Anonymous said...

The entry on colgar seems a little confused to me. Colgar is a verb, meaning to hang. The forms colgué (I hanged or hung) and golgaste (you hanged or hung) aren’t adjectives, but the 1st person and 2nd person-familiar simple past or preterit forms in the conjugation of colgar.

When I taught math at UPR Mayagüez in 1981, students would sometimes tell me "Me colgué en el examen,” to mean “But, prof, I flunked the test.” What “me colgué” literally means is “I hanged myself” (or “I hung myself”)– like some suicides do.

I love the expression, and don’t think we gringos have any equally colorful way to say “I flunked” (except by resorting to obscenity, like “I really shat the bed on that test.”

If I heard a US student say “I got hung over in school,” I’d take it to mean they’d been drinking the night before but the hangover didn’t hit them until they were in school. I’m 63, and have never heard “to get hung over” mean anything except to suffer the effects of drinking too much.

By the way, here’s a really good book of boricua slang:
Language of the Puerto Rican street: A slang dictionary with English cross-reference; by Cristino Gallo
distributed in Puerto Rico by Book Service of Puerto Rico (1980); ISBN 0960417400; ISBN 978-0960417407

Pops Finn
Winooski Vermont

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Anonymous said...

In response to R. Asevedo who wrote that his family asked, Who have you been talking to? Asce edo says his spanish was hard to understand simply because he spent too much time aroumd Mexicans ( claiming Mexicans speak TOO differently) Well Ascevedo, I'm Mexican ( a Chicano ) I spent 3 months in Humacao at my wife's grandfather's home and I didn't find the difference as difficult as you did..... Are there differences, YES, but not as mind blowing as you described. Sure, there is an accent difference & yes there are meanigs for words tjat differ & there are several differences with the Indigenous words of P.R. (Taino Vs. Aztec) as well as African words brougjt into the mix from slavery days ( yes, Mexico also received African slaves, the difference is that Mexico is 20 times the size of P.R. with a huge Indigenous population which began to mix from day one {1536 until 1829 when Vicente Guerrero, a Mexican of all three bloods {Indiginous, African, Spanish} became president and abolished slavery.... A few Mexican words of African origen are; Chamba = Work, Chinga= { to F@%k} which is the same word in Cuba only Cubans pronounce it SINGAR, Mogo mogo which is equivalent to mofongo & Cuba's fu fu..... Mexico has several towns with African names I.e. Mocambo, Matamboa, Yanga or Nyanga, Mozambique, Mandinga, these towns are in southern Mex. There is no doubt that many Mexicans hide their African roots ( they can since it does'nt show in {most} their phenotype mainly in the north but southern Mex. Still has the African phenotype visible. Not unlike Peru, most Mexicans don't speak of African roots..... In any case, back to my stay in Humacao. Aside from the accent and word variation, I had little to no problem and when I returned home though I carried the accent of P.r. for a couple weeks, my old accent and way of speaking returned. Whenever I go to Hawaii, I always come back speaking pigeon English which doesn't last long. As far as my family gpes they smile when I return. They know how easy it is to pick up accents and word variations.... As I said, Mexico is a big country copared with your small island and because of Mexico's size, there are several accents. Yes, several.... Those in southern Mexico speak with the carribean Spanish accent ( they don't pronounce the letter s and they turn words like cansado into cansao and helado into helao... I don't think the variations nor the accents are causing you trouble. I believe you might just be unable to adjust to change however, there is good news. There are medications that can help you deal with subtle change....Visit your di,tir and ask for a check up. Life is full of change and you deserve to be a part of life.....

Anonymous said...

Wet back!!!! Mexicans suck go back Mexico you immigrants.!

Anonymous said...

If Mexico so fucking big y yall roaches keep trying to cross the fucking border! Atleast Puerto Rico is a United States territory! eat that, lmao!

Anonymous said...

Fuck you you mother fucker your an immigrant to go back were you came from
no one is from the fucking US only my indian ancestors the ones you killed you murder
And by the way I am fucking mexican My family are Aztecs
North America is ours No one belongs in North America that is mother fucking White Spanish Black or anyone else EXCEPT Native Americans this is our territory YOU GO BACK FROM WHERE YOU CAME YOU MURDER!!!!

Anonymous said...

Men People Like You Divide Puerto Rico And Mexico You All should Grow Up.SOMOS LATINOS Porque se tiran. Tu Sabes Que Si Los Latino Se Unen Somos La Familia Mas Grande De El Mundo....Este Mundo Es De Nosotros.We Wont Go No Where Fighting one another. We Are Stronger Together. Both Puerto Rico And Mexico Got Their History So Fucking What We Are Here Now.What are You Doing??? And We Are Fighting for different accent??? We Puerto Ricans Could Help Mexico Become Part Of The USA cause You Know You Cant Fuck With America so if You Cant Beat Them JOIN them Or Multiply Start Fucking And Growing in population

JohnnyBlanco said...

My daughter's mother is from Puerto Rico and her grandmother is from Cuba and her mother was from Nigeria. She says that she is not a Latina, that Boricuas, Dominicanas, and Cubanas are Caribenas not Latinas. She's only half Boricua and she got it right. She even knows about 500 words in Yoruba. Now that's a Boricua and Caribena. The 3 islas caribenas need to stick together and help each other and forget about the Latinos, ha ha.

Anonymous said...

Puerco ricans are consider latinos y no americanos and you know what americans think about you lazy ass crackheads living on welfare .