INSULTS IN SPANISH: How to Know If Someone Is Insulting You!
Warning: this article contains profanity.
Have you ever heard people talk in your face or behind your back, in Spanish, and you weren’t entirely sure what they were saying, but you felt they were insulting or maybe mocking you? Not a nice feeling, right?
So, in today’s lesson I’m going to teach you insultos y maldiciones (insults and swear words), so you are able to recognize when people are using lenguaje soez (vulgar language) against you or someone else.
Now, please keep in mind that neither I nor Spring Spanish condone or promote the use of insults or swear words. I personally don’t use many of them because son muy ofensivos (they are very offensive), but they are part of conversational Spanish regardless of whether I like them or not.
Therefore, I thought que sería una buena idea (it might be a good idea) to teach you these words and phrases just so you are prepared in case someone around you uses them.
General Swear Words
Cada país hispanohablante (each Spanish-speaking country) has its own insults and swear words, pero la mayoría (but most of them) refer to someone’s intellect, sexual orientation, or mother. Do insults and swear words in your country focus on those things as well? Let me know in the comments!
Alright, time to get real! First, I’ll teach you insultos y maldiciones (insults and swear words) people might use or understand en cualquier país de habla hispana (in any Spanish-speaking country). Then, I’ll teach you insults and swear words used en países específicos (in specific countries). If you’re particularly interested in Mexico, I suggest you stick around and read this article until the end to discover the words and phrases Mexicans use when they’re upset!
Mexico is particularly obsessed with the word madre (mother). Spring Spanish teacher María Fernanda prepared an entire piece where she explains all the meanings that this word has in Mexico.
Insulting someone’s intellect
The following are insults and swear words que puedes escuchar en cualquier país (that you might hear in any country).
If you hear someone say this, you know they’re insulting a person’s intellect (hopefully, not yours):
- ¡Mira a ese baboso! ¡Ha de pensar que es de goma! (Look at that dumbass! He must think he’s made of gum!)
You’ll hear this often on the street, when someone crosses it carelessly or recklessly. Now, if we don’t want to refer to the person, but to the stupid thing they did, we may use the word babosada, as in Acabas de hacer una babosada, ¿verdad? (You just did something stupid, right?)
The following words and phrases are used to talk about someone’s nasty or reprehensible behavior by insulting that person’s intellect:
- No le hagas caso; es un idiota. (Just ignore him. He’s an idiot.)
- No le hagas caso; se dedica a decir idioteces. (Don’t listen to him. He loves saying stupid stuff.)
- Ya cállate, imbécil. (Shut your mouth, asshole!)
- Ay, ¡qué tonta! Olvidé mis llaves. (I’m so stupid! I forgot my keys!)
- No digas tonterías. (Stop saying stupid stuff.)
Bitches and Pussies
Debes saber que (You should know that), although things are gradually changing, it is mainly men who use insults and swear words.
In fact, in practically all Spanish-speaking countries you’ll hear many men saying hijo de puta (son of a bitch) and maricón (pussy). I personally hate these words because they insult someone’s mother or make fun of homosexuals. Still, you’ll hear them often in phrases like these:
- ¡Se robó todo el dinero! ¡Es un hijo de mil putas! (He stole all the money! He’s a son of a thousand bitches!)
- ¡Me despidió el hijo de su puta madre! (That son of a bitch fired me!)
- Me la vas a pagar, hijo de tu puta madre. (I will get my revenge, you son of a bitch!)
- Ni quien te haga caso, maricón. (Nobody gives a damn about what you think, pussy.)
- Me la pelas, pinche maricón. (Literally, you peel my cock, pussy.) —This is typically Mexican. Mexicans can be very offensive, but more on that later…
Insults in Spain
Before I teach you Mexican insults and swear words, let’s go over one that is only used in Spain: gilipollas (dickhead).
You’ll hear this one in movies and on the street. Honestly, as a speaker of another variety of Spanish, this particular word sounds hilarious to me…
It makes me think of a chicken because pollas sounds like pollo, which means chicken, so I wouldn’t feel offended at all, but I’ve heard people from Spain use it when they are very, very upset in phrases like this one:
- Ese tío es un gilipollas de mierda. (That dude is a shitty dickhead!)
Insults in Argentina
Most Spanish-speaking countries also refer to testicles to insult someone. Muchos países (many countries) say huevón, which basically means that a man has huge testicles. I honestly have no idea why that’s an insult. ¿Tú sabes? (Do you know?) Let me know in the comments!
Anyway, Argentina has its own word for that: pelotudo. This word comes from pelota, which means ball. So, like in English, testicles are also called balls in Spanish.
Pelotudo is the Argentinian word for asshole and you’ll hear it often in soccer matches:
- ¡Perdimos por culpa de ese pelotudo! (That asshole is the reason why we lost!)
Insults in Mexico
Las groserías mexicanas son muy coloridas (Mexican swear words and insults are very colorful) and there are many combinations. The word pinche, for example, which could be translated as fucking, may be combined with any other swear word to emphasize it.
- Pinche puto (fucking pussy)
- Pinche pendejo (fucking dickhead) —This is the worst insult in Mexico. So, use it wisely because it might get you into trouble.
- Pinche idiota (fucking idiot)
- Pinche mamador (fucking show-off)
- Pinche culero (fucking asshole)
- Pinche mamón (fucking jerk)
Disclaimer: Please remember that Spring Spanish neither condones nor promotes the use of these words. We just want you to know them so that you are able to recognize when people are using vulgar language.
You could also use pinche simply to indicate that you don’t like something:
- La pinche lluvia arruinó mis planes. (The fucking rain ruined my plans.)
You will also hear the word pinche in the following phrases, which are used very often in Mexico:
- Me debe dinero el hijo de su pinche madre. (That son of a fucking bitch owes me money.)
- ¡Me dolió, hijo de tu pinche madre! (That hurt, you son of a fucking bitch!)
Another word that Mexicans use frequently is chingar, which literally means “to fuck”, and others that derive from it. Look:
- Deja de estar chingando. (Stop bothering me!)
- Ve a chingar a tu madre. (Go fuck your mother!)
- Chingas a tu madre, pinche pendejo. (Fuck you, stupid asshole!)
- ¡Ah, cómo chingas, cabrón! (You are very annoying, dumbass!)
- ¿Qué chingados? (What the fuck?)
FREE Spanish Training
Phew! You can’t imagine how hard it was for me to write down all those insults and swear words. Have you heard any of these before? Have people used them while talking to you? Which ones do you think are the worst?
Important: ten cuidado (be careful) if you try to use these yourself! It’s difficult to swear in a foreign language because you don’t have the same sensitivity to the “severeness” of an insult that you have en tu lengua materna (in your mother tongue). So, you might want to avoid using them yourself.
Now, if you want to improve your overall Spanish skills, sign up to our free Spanish training. In it, you’ll discover an innovative method that will allow you to speak Spanish fluently without worrying about word lists or conjugation tables. Additionally, you will get sample lessons from our Academy! Don’t miss this opportunity!