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Be Careful In Spanish Slang Essay

Spanish Slang Dictionary

This dictionary is a comprehensive and in-depth look at all the slang, vulgarisms, curses, and insults, plus idioms, expressions, and a lot more, available in Spanish. If you enjoy Latin American films, television, or whatever, you'll find many of the words and phrases used in here. As always with slang, be careful using what you hear; it may not work quite the way you expect.


a (la) merced de
idiom. at the mercy of. (n.b.: the “la” is often omitted)

a altas horas de la madrugada
idiom. in the small hours of the morning

a cargo de
idiom. in charge of; responsible for; by

a causa de
idiom. because of; as a result of. (lit.: at the cause of)

a chorros
idiom. in abundance; plenty; lots

a contrapelo
idiom. wrong way; backwards; backassed

a corto plazo
idiom. in the short run; short-term; in the short term. (lit.: at short place)

a deshora
idiom. at an inconvenient time

a diario
idiom. daily; every day

a diario
idiom. daily

a disgusto
idiom. reluctantly

a duras penas
idiom. hardly; barely; with difficulty

a eso de
idiom. around, about (time). (lit.: a this of)

a estas alturas
idiom. at this point; in this situation

a fin de cuentas
idiom. in the end; after all

a fondo
idiom. in depth; deeply; fully

a gatas
idiom. crawling. (lit.: on legs/feet; used with the verbs estar or andar)

a juro
idiom. no matter what. (used in Venezuela)

a la altura
idiom. at the level; up to. (lit.: at the height)

a la intemperie
idiom. in the open. (lit.: at/on the elements. Intemperie refers to the weather and other forces in the physical, natural world, particularly as experienced without the benefits of technology, particularly modern technology)

a la par de
idiom. on the same level as

a la salida del sol
idiom. sunrise. (lit.: at the appearance of the sun)

a la vez
idiom. at once; at the same time. (lit.: at the time)

a la vista
idiom. in view; in sight. (lit.: at the sight)

a largo plazo
idiom. in the long run; long-term; in the long term. (lit.: at long place)

a lo largo (de)
idiom. along; at the other end. (lit.: at the far/long)

a lo lejos
idiom. from afar; at a distance. (lit.: at the distant; allso in the form “a los lejos.”)

a lo mejor
idiom. probably; most likely. (lit.: to the better)

a manos de
idiom. at the hands of

a manos llenas
idiom. generously; lavishly. (lit.: with full hands)

a medida que
idiom. as (something happens or happened); in the process of (something happening)

a medio plazo
idiom. medium-term; in the medium term

a menudo
idiom. often, frequently. (lit.: of often)

a mi modo de pensar
idiom. in my view; the way I see it

a mi modo de ver
idiom. in my view; the way I see it

a otro perro con ese hueso
idiom. go tell it to the marines. (lit.: [give] this bone to another dog)

a palo seco
idiom. on its own; with nothing else

a partir de ahora
idiom. from now one. (lit.: at the start of now)

a pesar de
idiom. despite; in spite of

a plazo
idiom. on credit

a plena luz
idiom. in broad daylight

a primera hora
idiom. at the earliest moment

a primera vista
idiom. at first sight; at first blush. (lit.: at first sight)

a propósito
idiom. on purpose; deliberately

a propósito
idiom. by the way; speaking of which

a punto de
idiom. on the verge of, about to. (lit.: at point of)

a que
idiom. I bet. (lit.: to what)

a ratos
idiom. from time to time

a sus espaldas
idiom. behind someone's back

a tientas
idiom. by touch, by feel

a toda costa
idiom. at all costs. (lit.: at all cost)

a toda máquina
idiom. quickly, fast. (lit.: at all machine)

a toda prisa
idiom. with all speed, hastily, quickly. (lit.: at all haste)

a todas luces
idiom. by any reckoning

a todo correr
idiom. with all speed, hastily, quickly. (lit.: at full running (run))

a toro pasado
idiom. in retrospect; in hindsight. (lit.: by the bull gone past)

a trabajar
idiom. to work. (n.b.: said when encouraging yourself or others to start working)

a tráves de
idiom. through

a veces
idiom. sometimes; at times

a ver
idiom. now then; let's see; hm-m

a verga
idiom. by hook or by crook

a(l) fin de cuentas
idiom. when all’s said and done; when it comes down to it. (lit.: at (the) end of accounts)

n.m. a mess, a sight. (lit.: adam)

n.m. wet blanket; party pooper. (lit.: water on a party)

ahora mismo
idiom. right now; this minute

al azar
idiom. at random; randomly. (lit.: to chance)

al cabo de
idiom. after, since. (lit.: at the finish of)

al diablo
phrase. damn it; drat; darn it. (lit.: to the devil; n.b.: used as an expression of frustration or anger)

al dope
useless; a waste of time. (reversed form of "al pedo"; used mostly in the Cono del Sur)

al fin y al cabo
idiom. in the end; ultimately. (lit.: at (the) end and at (the) finish)

al final
idiom. in the end, finally. (lit.: at (the) end)

al menos
idiom. at least, at a minimum. (lit.: at the least)

al oro
idiom. good; well done. (used in Venezuela)

al parecer
idiom. apparently; apparent; by appearances

al pedo
phrase. useless; a waste of time. (used mostly in the Cono del Sur)

al poco rato
idiom. after a little while

al rape
idiom. closely-cropped; close cut. (lit.: to the monkfish)

al revés
idiom. backwards; the other way around; the opposite

idiom. blockhead; dunderhead; nincompoop. (lit.: cork oak)

adj. tipsy

alegrías balls; testicles; male genitals. (lit.: happiness)

n.f. gem; jewel; fine one. (n.b.: said with irony or humor)

almas gemelas
idiom. soulmates. (lit.: twin souls)

n.f. vagina. (lit.: clam; n.b.: vulgar)

n.f. bullet. (lit.: almond)

n.f. anatomy. (student slang)

anda a bañarte
idiom. take a hike; go jump in a lake; get lost. (lit.: go to bathe yourself)

andar a palos
idiom. be fighting or squabbling all the time

andar como burro sin mecate
idiom. be wild; be out of control. (lit.: to walk like a donkey wihout a leash)

n.m. brute; animal. (lit.: animal; n.b.: applies to both sexes and is insulating)

año nuevo, vida nueva
idiom. Happy New Year. (lit.: new year, new life; used as a greeting or statement around Jan. 1)

n.f. piece of junk; old, ratty thing. (n.b.: derogatory)

apalear oro
idiom. be rolling in dough; be made of money

apretarse el cinturón
idiom. tighten one's belt; economize

armar un jaleo
idiom. make a fuss, commotion. (lit.: to arm or raise a fuss)

armar una bronca
idiom. kick up a fuss

armarse la gorda
idiom. cause a ruckus; have all hell break loose. (lit.: to arm oneself the fat one)

armarse un lio
idiom. raise hell; make a fuss. (lit.: to arm or raise a fight)

arrimar el ascua a su sardina
idiom. put one’s own interests first; work things to one’s advantage. (lit.: to bring coals or embers to one’s sardine)

n.f. nose

así que
idiom. so that, which means that. (lit.: thus that)

atar corto a alg
idiom. keep someone on a short leash; keep someone under tight rein. (lit.: tie someone close)

n.m. idiot. (lit.: tuna)

ausente sin culpa ni presente sin disculpa
idiom. the absentee is always in the wrong. (lit.: absent without blame and no present without excuses)

Ave María Purísima
idiom. for heaven’s sake. (lit.: hail most pure Mary; n.b.: used in religious services, and as an exclamation)

n.f. affair; fling

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tolingo translations


The word cabrón refers to a cuckold, a man whose wife or girlfriend has been unfaithful without his knowing about it. Although the word also means ‘male goat’ and is inoffensive in that context, when used in slang, it can be extremely insulting or offensive. The word also has several other meaning in current slang.

Although the idea of being cheated on by a woman is uncomfortable for men around the world, it is particularly unpleasant in Latin culture, so the word cabrón should be used with caution, and only when you are very comfortable and confident with it. The Real Academia Española gives the following definitions for this word.

1. adj. coloq. Dicho de una persona, de un animal o de una cosa: Que hace malas pasadas o resulta molesto.
2. adj. vulg. Se dice del hombre al que su mujer es infiel, y en especial si lo consiente.
3. adj. coloq. Cuba. Disgustado, de mal humor.
4. adj. coloq. Cuba Dicho de un hombre: Experimentado y astuto.
5. adj. Méx. Dicho de una persona: De mal carácter.
6. m. Macho de la cabra.
7. m. Hombre que aguanta cobardemente los agravios o impertinencias de que es objeto.
8. m. Am. Mer. Rufián que trafica con prostitutas.

In other words, cabrón can refer to something that is annoying, a man whose wife or partner has been unfaithful, a way of describing someone who is experienced, or someone with a bad personality, a man who is a coward and tolerates all manner of annoyances, or a pimp.

As an interjection, ‘carbón’ means something like bastard or asshole.

• ¡Cabrón! (You bastard! You asshole! You stupid ass!)

Calling someone a ‘cabrón’ is to say that the person is a bastard, asshole, or jerk. This can be used directly or indirectly in speech.

• Eres un cabrón. (You are a bastard/ass/asshole.)

• El muy cabrón me robó el carro. (The bastard stole my car.)

The word ‘cabrón’ is used widely in the Spanish-speaking world, though its exact connotation and degree of offensive varies not only with the region but also with the people using it. Teenagers in particular tend to use slang openly and without reservation. Non-native speakers are best off not emulating them.

As with all curses, be very careful when using any form of cabrón. Even native speakers can cause offense, so non-natives are usually better off just avoiding them. But ‘cabrón’ and its accompanying idioms are so common that you have to know them.

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