Puerto Rican Slang

A

* A calzón quitao – Literally meaning “without pants on,” it is used to mean something said without prejudice but also without tact; bluntly honest.
* Acángana – An interjection similar to “In your face!”.
* Acho or Chacho – Usually, it’s used as a conjunction to bridge between thoughts. Also, it can be the shortened form of muchacho (meaning “guy” or “dude”).
* Acho meng or Chacho meng – “Damn, dude!”, “Damn Yo!”, or simply just “Damn.”
* Acho que fiebre – “Hot or feverish for something,” as in “liking something so much that you have to do it or wear it every day.”
* ¡A las millas de chanflán! – “Driving fast,” “speeding past someone,” or “walking fast.” Used as a criticism, such as “There he goes, driving that car with hellish speed!
* Al garete – As in Nos fuimos al garete. “A runaway horse,” “galloping fast,” or “unbridled.” Also means “wayward” or “without a given path.” It is used to describe something out of control, as in a wild horse, fast riding, a wild horse without a rider, or riding an unsaddled wild horse at high speed. Wild horses are common on the island.
* A mi plín – “I don’t care,” the equivalent of the phrase no me importa in other Spanish dialects; inconsequential.
* Anda pal sirete – “Oh shit.” Similar phrases include ¡Ea rayo! and ¡Diablo!
* Arrollao – “Stranded” or “hanging,” as in Te dejaron arollao. (“They left you hanging.”)
* Arranca en faz – “Beat it!”, “Get lost!”, “Go to bed!” (as from a parent to a child), or “Take off!”.
* ¡Arroz, que carne hay! – Having something and soliciting something else to compliment it, as in a flirty or sexual phrase: “Where’s the rice to go with all that meat!”; “(We need)Rice, you have plenty of meat.”
* Ay que ver como bate el cobre – “To see how things turn out.”

[edit] B

* Bregaste Chicky Starr – A humorous and negative phrase meaning “to play dirty.” Chicky Starr is a Puerto Rican professional wrestler heel. The phrase is said to someone who is not of good faith or who has betrayed or turned on you.
* Bregaste cajita de pollo – A humorous and negative phrase used in a similar manner as Bregaste Chicky Starr and meaning “you acted in a cheap or wrong way.” Cajita de pollo is a reference to a KFC-like chain of fast food restaurants in the 1980s called Fried Chicken Express, which sold 99 cent meals in small cardboard boxes that contained two or three very low quality chicken wings and soggy french fries.
* Broki – “Buddy”
* Bellaca/bellaco- slang term used in Puerto Rico to determine someone being in “heat” or having sexual desires. English slang term, Horny

[edit] C

* Caco – Typically used derogatorily in reference to drug abusers and people who listen to Reggaeton music. Originates from the Greek god of treachery and thieves, Cacus.
* China – An orange fruit. Chinita is used to describe the color orange.
* Colgar – “To fail/flunk in school.” Literally, it translates as “to be hanged.”
* Capear – “to buy drugs”.
* Chancletas or chanclas – Any type of sandals, flipflops, etc.
* Charro – “Unoriginal” or “whack,” as in Ese tipo es un charro (“That dude is whack.”)
* Chavos – “Money”
* Chota – “Tattletale” or “police informant.”
* Come mierda – Literally, it translates as “shit-eater.” It’s used when referring to a person that 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 alma que lleva el diablo! – “As if their soul was possessed by the devil.” Used comically to describe someone who left either very fast or very angry.
* Como el Rosario de la Aurora – Used to describe a party that ends up with a fight.
* Como la gatita de Dorita, si se lo sacan llora y si se lo meten grita – A humorous phrase used to describe someone who’s never satisfied. It literally translates as “Like Dora’s kitty, if you take it out she cries and if you put in she screams.”
* Como la puerca de Juan Bobo – Used to refer to a woman that overdoes makeup and accessories to the point of looking ridiculous. Originates from a popular Puerto Rican folktale.
* Complejar de alguien – “To have a delusion of being like someone else by adopting certain characteristics of that person.”
* Coño – said usually as an exclamation, sometimes when a person accidentally hurts themselves. “Dammit” “Shit”
* Copao – Used to call dibs on something you like even though you have no chance of owning it, as in “I call it.”
* Corazón de melón – A term of endearment to or about someone with a big heart.
* Corillo- “A crew” or “a group of people of like ideas and habits.” Literally, it means “A small choir.”
* 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.”
* Culan – Literally meaning “engine coolant,” it refers to the female derrière due to its similarity with the synonymous culo. Popularized by entertainer Iris Chacon in a car commercial for Amalie Coolant.

[edit] D

* 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.)
* Dar un tumbe – “To steal something.”
* ¡Deja el tripeo! – Literally translating as “stop tripping!”, it’s used to mean “stop being a party-pooper” or “stop seeing only the worst-case scenario.”
* ¡Dejó los tennis en el piso! – “He ran so fast that his feet came out of his shoes!”, as in a cartoonish way, without having to take them off.
* De rola or Irse de rolimpin – “Keep it moving” or “go somewhere else.” Example: Después del cine lo seguimos de rolimpin a Condado. (“After the movies we keep it moving to Condado.)

[edit] E

* Echa caldo – Used to say that something is cool. “Ese carro esta que echa caldo.” (“This car is cool.”)
* Echar leña al fuego – “To add to a controversy.” Literally, it means “to feed wood to the fire.”
* El Oso Blanco – Literally “The White Bear,” it means “Río Piedras State Penitentiary.” The prison is nicknamed this because of its white color.
* En el carro de Don Fernando, un ratito a pie y otro andando – Literally, it translates to “Mr Fernando’s car, some of the time walking and the rest also walking” Used for comical effect when there is no car available to use.
* En el jurutungo viejo – A placeholder name meaning “somewhere far away which is hard or tiresome to get to,” “Timbuktu,” or “BFE.” Example: Ella vive en el jurutungo viejo. (“She lives in BFE.”)
* En el mundo de la Farandula – “In celebrity land.”
* En lo que el palo va y viene… – “Meanwhile…”
* Ése salió por lana y llegó trasquilao A comical phrase meaning that a person went for something and came back worse than when the person left. Literally, it translates to “This one left for wool and arrived sheared.”
* Está que estilla – “It’s cool.”
* ¡Está(s) brutal!! – “You’re brutal!” or It’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!”.
* ¡Estás bueno/buena! – (Flirty) “You’re fine!”
* ¡Esta pasao! – It’s the most fun or the greatest thing. “It’s awesome”
* ¡Estás tenso, papá! – A satirical phrase towards homosexuality popularized by actor and comedian Sunshine Logroño. Literally, it translates to “You’re tense, daddy!”
* ¡Estás tripeando! – “You’re tripping!”, when descriptive, as when someone is literally high, or “You must be tripping!”, when disbelieving, as when someone’s worldview at a particular time might be askew or comical as to differ from the norm.
* Esto es oro de la Palestina – Literally “This is gold from Palestine,” it means that is something very high quality, hard to find, or the best thing in the market.
* Estoy pidiendo cacao – What you say if you are hurt, drunk, or very tired after partying all night long. Almost like asking for forgiveness.

[edit] F

* Faranduleando – “Gossiping about celebrities”
* Farandulera – “A girl who likes to dress up for any event, even if its going to her front porch” or “dressing like a movie star.”
* Fronte – “Attitude.” The phrase Tener fronte means “to have attitude” or “to put up a false front.”

[edit] G

* Gafas – “Sunglasses”
* Galán – “Someone who looks elegant or dandy.” It also means “a leading 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.”
* Guagua – “A city bus” or “a pick-up truck.”
* Gufiao – “Cool,” or “awesome.” Example: ¡El show fue gufiao! (The show was awesome!”)
* Gufear – “To goof around,” or “to joke around.” Example: ¡Acho, deja el gufeo! (“Dude, stop goofing around!”)
* Gusarapo – Renacuajo is the proper Spanish word for the slang. It is tadpole in English.

[edit] H

* Hacer jugo de china – Literally: “to make orange juice.” Refers to the act of utilizing the chainsaw on a Gears of War 2 player. The term picar (meaning “to chop”) is also commonly used.
* Hacerse el loco – Literally translating as “to try to pass off as crazy,” it means “to try to ignore or distance oneself from a particular situation as if it never happened” or “to disassociate.”
* 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 skinned than his or her siblings. It is also used in jest in that the child might have been born from infidelity.

[edit] I

* Ir pa chirola – “To go to jail”
* Irse pa la isla – “To go to the countryside [of Puerto Rico].”

[edit] J

* Joyo – Another term referencing to a body part, meaning “butt” “butthole” “culo” “butt-crack”

[edit] L

* La piña está agria – Literally translating as “the pineapple is sour,” it means “times are tough” or “there’s no money/resources.”
* 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 – Phrses 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 became a peseta,” 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.
* Le dieron como a pandereta de Pentecostal – “They gave it to him/her like they do to a tambourine at a Pentecostal church.” It’s used to describe when someone caught a hard beating.
* Locón/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 – “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.

[edit] M

* Mahones – “Jeans.”
* Mai – Short for mami (which means and is pronounced the same as “mommy”). Also, it is a term of endearment for females.
* ¡Mano! or ¡Si mano! – Short for hermano (“brother”), it means “Hey bro!” or “Yes bro.”
* Más claro no canta un gallo – “It couldn’t be any clearer” or “explicitly stated”. It literally translates to “A rooster does not sing clearer.”
* Más lento que una caravana de cojos – A phrase to describe something or someone that is very slow. Literally, it translates as “Slower than a traffic jam of cripples.”
* Más lento que un suero ‘e brea – See above. Translates to “Slower than a tar drip.”
* Más pelao 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 broke than a kid’s knee.”
* Melaza – Literally meaning “pure sugar cane juice,” it is used to say something, someone, or a situation is great or sweet.
* Melón – “Watermelon.” In most other Spanish-speaking countries, the word for “watermelon” is sandía.
* 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 ¡Me cago en tu padre/madre! or ¡Me cago en diez! (“Goddammit!”), which is, in turn, used as a minced oath of the sacrilegious ¡Me cago en Dios!, when someone does not want to curse, as when in front of children.
* ¡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 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.
* ¡Miércoles! – Literally translating as “Wednesday,” it’s a minced oath for the word ¡Mierda! (“Shit”). It’s English equivalent is “Shoot!”
* Mira – “Hey”
* Mira loco or Mira locón/locona – “Look here, buddy” or “What’s up, crazy!”
* Mistin – “Miss Teen,” popularized in the ’80s by Guille, a character from the show “Entrando Por La Cocina”

[edit] N

* Negrito/negrita – “A dark-colored person.” It is used as a term of endearment for any shade of Puerto Rican. It’s related to the Puerto Rican versions of “My nigga,” which are Ay mi negra, Hola negro, Mira Negri.
* No inventes – “Don’t make plans”
* No lo encuentran ni en los centros espiritistas – 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—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 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 – “Don’t panic”
* No te rochees – “Don’t rush”or “don’t worry.”

[edit] Ñ

* ¡Ñoña es! – “No way!”

[edit] O

* ¿Oíte? – “Did you hear?” (Equivalent to ¿Oíste?; See: Puerto Rican accents)

[edit] P

* Pai – Short for papi (“daddy”). Also, it’s a term of endearment for males.
* Pegandole cuernos – Literally translating as “giving him/her horns,” it is used to describe someone who is being unfaithful or adulterous.
* Pendejiando or Pendejeria – “Clowning around” or “wasting time.” Examples: Dejate de estar pendejiando. (“Stop wasting time.” or “Stop clowning around.”); Deja la pendejeria. (“Stop your clowning around.”) Akin to matando tiempo (“killing time”).
* Peldona ‘sae – “I’m sorry!”
* Pendejo/pendeja – “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.)
* Pensando en pajaritos preñao – Literally “thinking of pregnant little birds,” it’s used to describe someone who has their head in the clouds or who’s daydreaming.
* Perro que huele carne – Literally translating as “dog that smells meat,” it is used to describe a situation where a person might suspect something he or she wants is within reach.
* Pichear – “To ignore.”
* Piragua – A Puerto Rican shave ice treat. They are traditionally served in a paper cone and shaped like a pyramid.
* Piragüero/piragüera – A piragua vendor.
* Pompeaera – “Pumped up”
* Puñeta – “Fuck!” or “Oh fuck!” Also, the act of masturbating, as puñeta is derived from the word puño (“fist”).

[edit] Q

* ¿Qué es la qué estapajando?, ¿Qué es la qué hay?, ¿Qué es la qué?, or ¿Claque? – “What’s up?”
* ¿Qué pasa pai (or mai)? – “What’s up dude/girl?”
* Que tronco ‘e cancha – An esoteric way of saying “that a girl has a big ass” and associating it with a large gathering place that boys are fond of and like to frequent for play: cancha is the basketball court and tronco means “a piece of.”

[edit] R

* Relajo – “Din” or “racket.” The phrase ¡Deja el relajo! can be translated as “Stop playing around!” and is thus similar to ¡Deja el gufeo!

[edit] S

* Salió el tiro por la culata. – Literally translating as “the shot backfired,” it is used when a plan backfires.

Sangana/Sangano-word used to describe a female or male that is acting stupid or foolish. Another word similar in Spanish is “boba/bobo”. “No te hagas la sangana.”

* ¡Se formó un corre y corre! – A comical phrase meaning “a melee” or “running around confused.”
* ¡Se formó un sal pa fuera! – A comical phrase describing a get-out-of-here-situation or a violent situation in which many ran from the scene. Similar to ¡Se formó un corre y corre!
* ¡Se jodió la bicicleta! – A comical phrase literally translating as “the bicycle got screwed!”. It describes a situation that spiraled out of control.
* ¡Se lució el chayote! – A criticism used for someone who is showing off in any way. Lucirse means “to show off” on its own as well.
* ¡Siéntate a esperar! – Literally translating as “sit down and wait!”, it is equivalent to “don’t hold your breath” in English, which is used when a person promises something while lying.
* ¡So anormal! – “You’re so damned stupid/subnormal!”

[edit] T

* ¡Tanto nadar para ahogarse en la orilla! A lamentation literally translating as “so much swimming, to drown at the shore.” It is used to describe someone who has come very close to completing something and yet failed.
* Tato – ¡Tato’ hablao!’, “Everything’s, cool.” “We have an understanding.” Usually said at the end of a conversation right before each person goes their separate way. “Okay, ustedes traen el pan y nosotro’ el queso. Tato.”
* ¡Te cagaste del miedo! – “You shit your pants from fright!”
* Te cojieron de mango bajito – Literally “they took you for a fool,” it’s used when someone was easy to take advantage of.
* TeVeGuia – “TV Guide”
* Tipo/tipa – “Dude/chick.” It’s used when someone’s name cannot not be remembered. Examples: Ese tipo que vino a la fiesta. (“That dude who came to the party”); Ese tipo que es amigo tuy (“Your friend, that dude”). It can also be used for someone who might be familiar but not a friend. Generally, it has negative connotations.
* Toribio – The name of a TV character who was a cuckold, it has come to mean a cuckold in general. Toribio is derived from toro (“bull”) and thus implies being pegged with the horns of infidelity.
* ¡Tú eres bien fiebrú/fiebra! – Usually used as a compliment when admiring someone’s passion for something, especially cars or racing, it means “you’re really into that!”.
* ¡Tú sí que eres presentao!’, ¡Tú eres bien presentao!, or ¡So presentao! – A criticism meaning “You’re very nosy,” “You’re so damned nosy,” or “Stop being nosy!”.
* Toto – a slang for vagina, more likely, pussy. Mostly used to reference the female genitalia when speaking generally to your children. “Vete y lavate el toto”

[edit] V

* ¡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!”). 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.
* ¿Vite? – “Did you see?” (Equivalent to ¿Viste?; See: Puerto Rican accents)
* ¡Volando bajito! – “Keeping a low profile” or “flying low,” usually used to describe speeding drivers or people who try to commit a given act without anyone else finding out.

[edit] Y

* ¡Y se le(s) está haciendo tarde! – “And it’s becoming too late already!” or “You’re running out of time!” It’s a sports phrase used when an individual or team is far behind on scoring as the event nears its conclusion.
* Yuca – Literally, “cassava” or “yuca root.” When used as slang term, it can be used to mean “jerk,” “dork,” (as in ¡Tú eres tan yuca!, meaning “You’re such a jerk/dork”) or “penis” (as in pelar la yuca, meaning “to peel the foreskin back,” and rasca yuca, meaning “scratching the penis to provide pleasure”).

[edit] Z

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