9 Curse Words With No Translation That Will Make You Want To Learn Spanish

An earlier version of this article was published in May 2013. We’re revisiting it in light of the interest awakened by our earlier posts on Spanish words with no direct English translation.

Warning: This article contains explicit language that some readers may find objectionable.

Aviso: Esta nota contiene palabras que podrían ofender a algunos.

As anyone who speaks more than one language knows, words don’t always translate precisely.

In Spanish that’s particularly true of curse words.

Many Spanish swear words and insults cover similar territory to their English counterparts. Defecation, genitalia and sex provide the basis for a lot of both languages’ more taboo expressions.

But there’s a lot of Spanish words out there whose literal meaning differs considerably from its figurative meaning. For Spanish speakers, it’s not confusing — the colloquial meaning of the words are clear, whether or not one reflects on the words’ origins.

English speakers, on the other hand, might have a hard time understanding why some Spanish speakers refer to idiots as «pubic hairs» or others say that they «poop on the poop» when they’re frustrated.

Check out 9 palabrotas that make no sense when translated into English below.

  • Literally: “Poop-eater.”It’s a combination of an idiot and a space cadet.

  • Literally: “The holy host.”It’s a meaningless intensifier used frequently in Spain, due to their Catholic devotion.

  • Literally: «Male goat»Most commonly associated with Mexican slang, it’s generally always understood as an insult.

  • Literally: “I poop on the poop.”It means you’re angry about something.

  • Literally: “It touches my testicles.”It means that something bothers you.

  • Literally: “Big egg/Excessively testicled.”Widely used as an insult in South America, the word «huevón» can also mean «lazy.»

  • Literally: “Pubic hair.” It’s used to call someone a moron or a coward, depending on the region.

  • Literally: “De-motherization.”A disaster.

  • Literally: “Go take a poop.”It’s an angry way to say “go away.”

UPDATE: This post was updated to clarify that the word «huevón» can also mean lazy.