READER DISCRETION ADVISED: foul language below. Not suitable for children.
I began learning Spanish 20 years ago and spent 4 months in Spain, but somehow I never learned of the propensity Spaniards have for using foul language. I remember realizing that they used joder a little more often then their South American counterparts, including the free use of it on primetime TV (something you’d get a hefty fine for in the US). However, I didn’t realize the extent of the expletives.
Until…I moved in with a Spaniard. I’ve known my boyfriend for 8 years, so I knew of *his* love of expletives, but I didn’t know it was a cultural norm. We began watching episodes of Los Hombres de Paco, an 8-season TV series from Spain about a police station in Madrid: part comedy, part drama. That was when I began to realize it was more than just my boyfriend’s personality. Even the Commissioner likes to put things in his “santísimos cojones” (my favorite part). We have even watched several Spanish movies and they are all the same…puta madre, joder, me cago en _____ anytime, anywhere, with just about anyone. As an American it is quite amusing to listen to. They are very creative! Here is a list of some. I know what they mean, but I don’t think expletives ever translate well, so I’ll give you the literal translation of some words in parenthesis, but you’ll have to extract the full meaning for yourself:
-de puta madre (puta = whore, prostitute, hooker)
-me cago en Dios (cagarse = to shit)
Also seen in …me cago en la leche
…me cago en tu puta madre…they like to shit on things.
-la virgen puta (this one cracks me up! How is that even possible?! Haha)
Then, of course there are the usuals that some of you may have heard before – coño, mierda, hijo de puta, etc.
It has been a fun cultural learning experience and I now find myself easily inserting these foul phrases into my daily conversations in Spanish. Who’d of thought?
Have you heard any creative expletives in Spanish you’d like to share? If so, please leave them in the comments and say which country they hail from. What do you think of this cultural trait in Spain. Love to hear from you!
The Commissioner of Hombres de Paco played by Juan Diego. Here’s some of his best!