Just like there are many passionate ways to say “I love you” in Spanish, there are Spanish curse words – among the most colorful and expressive in the language – that will help you ask someone to fuck off.
They can also be used to vent frustration, show excitement, or simply add emphasis to what you're saying – just like in English. Learning some Spanish swear words will also help you get a better feeling for the language and make yourself sound like a native.
But, like any other type of words, they should be used sparingly and only in appropriate contexts. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most common Spanish curse words and their English translations, along with situations in which you can use them. Just remember, use these words at your own risk!
One of the most common Spanish curse words, cabrón literally means “big male goat,” but it is used as an insult to refer to a man who is considered to be foolish or stupid. It can also be used to describe someone as aggressive or mean, but native Spanish speakers usually use it as a sarcastic remark rather than an insult.
Ese cabrón me robó mi bicicleta.
That bastard stole my bike.
No seas cabrón, déjame entrar.
Don't be a jerk, let me in.
This is probably one of the most versatile Spanish swear words. It can be used as a standalone exclamation, or it can be employed to emphasize just about anything. But, don’t be alarmed – while its closest English equivalent is “fuck,” it actually isn’t as potent as you may think.
In many Spanish-speaking countries, the word joder is well-accepted and isn’t considered offensive – both adults and teenagers alike use it loosely.
¡Joder, qué calor!
Fuck, it's hot!
¿Qué te ha hecho ese jodido perro?
What the hell did that fucking dog do to you?
Hijo de Puta
Meaning: son of a bitch
This is another one of the most common Spanish swear words used as a general insult, similar to “bastard” or “son of a gun” in English. Considering its literal translation, you can imagine how offensive it can be.
However, you can also use this Spanish curse word to express how surprised you are – in cases of both good and bad news.
¡Eres un hijo de puta!
You son of a bitch!
¡Hijo de puta! No sabía que ibas a venir.
Son of a bitch! I didn't know you were coming.
The literal translation of la mierda is “shit,” but it can be used as a general curse word to express frustration or anger. It can also be used to describe something that is of poor quality.
¡Esto es una mierda!
This is crap!
¡Mierda! Me olvidé de la entrevista.
Shit! I forgot about the interview.
You can also use it as a Spanish insult, like this:
¡Me cago en todo lo que se menea!
Meaning: I shit on everything that moves!
Speaking of…, Spanish words Me cago en... literally translate to English as “I shit on…” and can be used to combine just about any word to form a swear word. Spanish speakers usually use it to express that they cannot stand something or when they’re angry.
They usually aren’t translated that literally, like here:
¡Me cago en la hostia!
I'll be damned!
Me cago en la puta.
However, you can get creative with this one and use other variations of phrases that start with Me cago en…
Here are a few handy options:
Me cago en tus muertos.
I shit on your dead relatives.
Me cago en Dios
I shit on god.
Me cago en la madre que te parió
I shit on the mother that gave birth to you.
Me cago en la leche
I shit in the milk.
Tonto del Culo
This Spanish curse word is used to describe someone who is exceptionally stupid. It literally translates to “idiot of the ass,” with the word “asshole” being the closest English equivalent, so you can imagine how strong of an insult it is.
No hagas eso, tonto del culo.
Don't do that, you asshole.
¿Cómo puedes ser tan tonto del culo?
How can you be so fucking stupid?
Que te den por Culo
Meaning: fuck you in the ass
This phrase is a bit more graphic than the previous one. This Spanish curse phrase is a way of telling someone that you hope they get what they deserve, usually something unpleasant. In other words, it’s a perfect phrase to tell someone to go fuck themselves.
¡Que te den por el culo, hijo de puta!
Go fuck yourself, son of a bitch!
Ella piensa que es mejor que todos nosotros, ¡que se la den por culo!
She thinks she’s better than us, fuck her!
This Spanish word is a vulgar slang word for female genitals and has a variety of uses. It can be used as a standalone exclamation, an interjection in the middle of a sentence, or even to address someone personally.
It can also be used as a filler word in conversation, similar to how English speakers might use “fuck” or “shit.”
Here are a few examples:
¡Coño! ¿Me has roto el coche?
Shit! You've broken my car?
No puedo creer que hayas hecho eso, coño.
I can't believe you did that, cunt.
Just be careful not to use it around children or elders (or anywhere, really), as it can be really offensive when used in the wrong context. For instance, in Latin America and some other Spanish-speaking countries, this word is considered to be very offensive and should be used with caution. You don’t want to get yourself in trouble.
This is one of the most versatile Spanish curse words and can be used in a variety of situations. Literally meaning “testicles,” cojones can be used to express frustration, anger, or surprise. It can also be used as a term of endearment or to show admiration for someone else's bold or brave behavior.
¡Me cago en los cojones!
What the fuck!
Ese niño tiene muchos cojones.
That kid’s got big balls.
Puta Madre is one of the most famous Spanish insults that doesn’t need an introduction. Its literal meaning is “your mother is a whore,” but it is usually used in the meaning of “motherfucker.”
You can use puta madre to express disagreement, anger, frustration, and disbelief, but also satisfaction, and it can be directed at both men and women.
Here are a few examples:
Este taco está de puta madre.
This is a motherfucking amazing taco.
Eso debió doler como la puta madre.
That must have hurt like a motherfucker.
¡Cállate, hijo de tu puta madre!
Shut up, son of a fucking bitch!
Meaning: holy fuck
La hostia can be used among friends in the meaning of “holy fuck” or “holy shit.” However, this is also a term related to the holy communion in the Catholic Church, as catholicism is still very popular in the Spanish-speaking world. In such a context, it will mean “the host,” so it can be perceived as vulgar or offensive in especially religious regions.
When using it as a swear phrase, you can combine it with other words to emphasize the impact and express your emotions, from anger to frustration and annoyance.
¡Me cago en la hostia!
Esa hostia de mi jefe me tiene hasta los huevos.
I'm sick to death of my boss.
The Bottom Line
So, now you know some of the most common curse words used by Spanish native speakers both in Spain and Latin American countries. With a few Spanish curse words up your sleeve, you can now speak Spanish at a whole new level of proficiency!
Next time you see your Spanish-speaking friends, you’ll be able to surprise them by adding a couple of dirty words to your daily conversations. After all, swear words aren’t necessarily bad words – in many cases, they help you express precisely how you feel.
If you want to build up your Spanish vocabulary, download our Langster app and start learning Spanish with stories! This is the most fun way to master your language skills. Good luck!