I’m way above averagely interested when it comes to languages, words and grammar. I simply cannot understand people who move abroad without learning the local language at least decently well. However, I do realise that this interest is what most people would categorise as one of great nerds. I do admit it, but I’m not ashamed. I do not learn languages for the practical purpose, but for the joy of it. Because they actually taste good in my mouth. Face palm? I know.
I started learning Spanish in 2009. It was a quick, sometimes embarrassing, but joyful process. As years went by, I kept on teaching myself the slangiest slang I could possibly find. And I have come to realise that Spanish is a humorous, rich but oh so damn brutal language. If you think your own mother tongue has some juicy stuff, I dare say you will be defeated. Just wait for it. And stop reading if you consider yourself a sensitive soul.
Puta. Everybody knows this one, but I’m starting soft. Puta means whore, but the interesting thing about puta, is that is can be both good and bad. Su puta madre is bad. His/her mother is a whore; obviously bad. Or is it that obvious? Moving on to de puta madre. Es un tío de puta madre! He is a guy from a mother who’s a whore. Great! Best compliment ever! Two small letters difference, guys. Welcome to Spain.
Coño. Probably also a familiar one to certain people, literally meaning pussy. The interesting thing about this one though, is that everybody uses it. All. The. Time. Like, you go to the pharmacy, and the pharmacist drops a package of meds on the floor. PUSSY! I mean, if that happened to me in English or Norwegian, my jaws would drop to the floor. Spanish people don’t even react. At least the female genitalia is not a taboo.
Joder. Literally means fuck, but it’s not really used as a verb. They have another word for that. This one is as frequently used as the previous, and you will hear it from children, sweet old ladies and everything in between. I’ve even heard a monk say it. Conservative, catholic Spain, you say?
Soplapollas. Now we are getting into the really interesting ones. This is one of my favourite words, and basically means cockblower. I seem to think it translates better to idiot or fool, because it somehow has a kind of innocent, humorous touch. Always makes me smile.
La polla. Here comes a piece of provocative language sexism! If something is la polla (the cock), it’s great. Now read the next one.
Un coñazo. This means big pussy, and if something is un coñazo, you can be sure that it is a big pain in the arse!
Cantamañanas. If someone calls you this, it means that you’re kind of an idiot. In a charming, sweet way. It’s not really an insult. Literally it translates to a morning singer, which I totally identify with, as anyone who interrupts my mornings with singing, is obviously an idiot.
Abrazafarolas. A streetlight hugger! Isn’t that great? It has the same meaning as cantamañanas, but this one is even more descriptive. You hug streetlights, as if you were wasted. You can’t be very clever. You’re loving though!
Tienes los cojones grandes y bien plantados. You have big and well placed balls. A very illustrating way of describing someone who gives a whole lot of fucks.
Cojonudo. Balls are usually a good thing in Spanish. So if something is ballsy, it’s awesome.
Estás como una cabra. Spanish goats must be crazy. If you’re like a goat, that’s exactly what you are.
Eres más raro que un perro verde. You are weirder than a green dog. So many words for calling someone weird!
Eres más simple que el mecanismo de un botijo. You are simpler than the mechanism of a mug. Again, so much work!
Eres más pesado que una vaca en brazos. Pesado means heavy in Spanish, but it is also slang for a pain in the ass. Knowing that, this joyful phrase gets a double meaning; you are heavier/more of a pain in the ass than carrying a cow in your arms. Also reasonably descriptive.
Eres más tonto que Abundio, que vendió el coche para comprar gasolina. You’re more stupid than Abundio (very, very strange, old Spanish name), who sold his car to buy gas. Maybe there’s a reason why the name isn’t really in use anymore.
Eres más tonto que Abundio, que se cortó una oreja porque la tenía repitida. Abundio again, this time he cut his ear off, because he had two. Who the hell is this guy?
Vete a hacer gargaras con la regla de tu madre. Ok, brace yourself for the worst of them all. Fuck off. Or, as our Spanish friends may say; Go gargle your mother’s period. Grossness times hundred. This one thankfully isn’t very common, but I for one am saving it for a time someone really insults me. Can’t wait to see their face. Just. So many nopes.
No menees tanto el culo, que se te van a marear las bragas. Now, moving on to the compliments. This somewhat strange phrase translates to; Don’t shake your ass so much, your knickers are gonna get dizzy. Exactly what all women want to hear!
Estás como para comerte y luego coserse el culo para no cagarte. So, you’re on a date with a handsome, dark haired Spanish latino lover, he leans forward and whispers in your ear; you are so fine I’m gonna eat you and sew my ass closed so I don’t shit you out again. Seriously? Who makes up this stuff? So, this situation probably wouldn’t happen, because to use this phrase, you got to be like the tackiest person ever to have been born. It does exists, but it’s brutal even for these guys. I can’t help laughing at it though. And the fact that it’s actually meant as a compliment.
Ok, I feel like I blew up the shock scale like three phrases ago. But, if you memorise a few of these ones for your next vacation to Spain, you will definitely impress the locals, and probably make them laugh. Or possibly punch you in the face.
There is more where it came from.