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How to Swear in Spain

Local profanity is key to surviving in Spain, because being able to curse in a language means mastering a language. At least that’s what my 12 year old students seem to think.


Literally means: Swear words

Tacos is the word for “profanity” in Spain. Swear words are also called “groserías,”  “palabrotas,” and “insultos.”

Mexican tacos from La Fruita Feliz in Austin.

Photo by Ben Turner via Flckr, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Don’t ask for “tacos” at a restaurant and expect to keep a smile on your face.


Literally means: “Fuck”

  • Interjection
¡Joder! Shit!/ Damn!
  • Verb, “to fuck with”
No me jodas. Don’t fuck with me.
La he jodido. I fucked it up.

Me cago en…

Literally means: “I shit on…”

  • Insult to basically anything.

*Hint- The more family members and sacred Catholic beliefs you include, the better.

Me cago en Dios. I shit on God.
Me cago en tus muertos. I shit on your dead.
Me cago en tu puta madre. I shit on your fucking mother.
Me cago en la hostia. I shit on the host.
Me cago en la virgen. I shit on the Virgin.


Literally means: “Communion host”

  • Interjection
¡Hostia! Fuck!/Shit!
  • Abstract comparison
Hace calor de la hostia. It’s hot as hell.
Ella es más fea que la hostia. She’s ugly as fuck.


Literally means: “Cunt”

  • Interjection
¡Coño! Shit!/Damn!
  • Adverb
Qué coño haces? What the fuck are you doing?
Dónde coño estamos? Where the hell are we?


Literally means: “Whore”

  • Insult
Eres una puta! You’re a whore!
Eres un hijo de puta! You’re a son of a bitch!
  • Adjective, similar to “fucking” in English
No quiero mirar tu puta cara. I don’t want to look at your fucking face.
Dame el puto libro. Give me the fucking book.
  • “De puta madre,” something awesome
Esta cerveza es de puta madre! This beer is kickass!
Él canta de puta madre. He sings motherfucking great.


Literally means: “Goat”

  • Insult, similar to “bastard” or “asshole”
Tu novio es un cabrón. Your boyfriend is an asshole.


Literally means: “Shit”

  • Interjection:
¡Mierda! Shit!
  • Insult
Vete a la mierda! Go to hell!
  • Noun, a “shitty” or “worthless” thing
Eres un cobarde de mierda! You’re a goddam coward!
Esa tarea es una mierda. This homework is a pile of shit.
Tu comentario me vale mierda. Your comment is worthless to me.


Literally means: “to fuck”

Me gusta follar. I like to have sex.


Literally means: “dumbass”

  • Insult
Tu amigo es un gilipollas Your friend is a dumbass.
No seas gilipollas Don’t be an asshole


Literally means: “Ass”

  • Noun
¿Has visto su culo? Did you see her ass?
  • Insult
A tomar por culo vosotros! Fuck you guys!

Latin American profanity not used in Spain

  • Pendejo
  • Pinche
  • La verga
  • Chingar
  • Joto
  • Guey
  • No mames

Unless the person you’re talking to has been watching lots of Diego Luna movies recently, you can tell people to “Vete a la verga” or call them a “Pinche pendejo” all you want. Your point will not get across.

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3 Responses to How to Swear in Spain

  1. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas November 2, 2013 at 2:35 PM #

    a girl after my own fucking heart.

    • Kate Peregrina November 3, 2013 at 8:30 PM #


  2. Tyler November 5, 2014 at 1:08 AM #

    Nice list! My Spanish friends taught me one that might go nicely with the others on your list. Apparently “me cago en la puta (madre) que te parió″ is just about the worst thing you can say here.

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