Sunday, January 9, 2011

day nine - Spanish curse words

This is an insomania-driven post. I’ve decided that rather than toss and turn in bed its much better to make productive use of insomnia hours, particularly if I don’t have to be anywhere in the morning.

I’m in luck, though: insomnia in Spanish is “insomnio” ("tengo insomnio") that’s so easy that my MS Word just tried to automatically change the word back to “insomnia”. Watch it Bill Gates! I’m speaking Spanish now.

[Note: little piece of trivia about “Bill Gates” (hey, its 3 in the morning and I have insomnia). You know why the BeeGees are called “the BeeGees”? It’s the “B” and the “G” from “Bill Gates”. I’m not kidding with you. But its not that Bill Gates. Apparently a DJ in Australia named “Bill Gates” was the first one to discover them back in the 60s. So there you have it.]

I’m going to make it easy on myself today. A friend of Claudia’s suggested that in order to really learn Spanish I need to learn the “curse words” – “palabrotas” ( as opposed to “palabras” for just “words”).

We’ve already learned “damn” on a prior day is “carajo” as in

“me no importa un caraja” – I don’t give a damn

Apparently one can also use “joder” in the same context which is a slightly more benign version of f***. So “me no importa un joder”. [update: I'm told this make no sense for "joder"]

Of course there are some very important uses of this in business settings:

cállate ya ¡joder!” – shut the f*** up!

And, of course, when I go to my favorite dictionary writer (see day 4), he has some choice usages:

“ellos a hacerse ricos y los demás a joderse” = “they get rich, and the rest of us can go to hell!”

So from that I gather, “Rico” is “rich” and “los demas” is “the rest of us”. I suppose also (using what I learned the other day, one can say “ellos a hacerse ricos y lo otro no importa” (they get rich and the rest don’t matter) )

“Mierda” is “Shit”. As in “me no importa un mierda”

Again, a usage from my favorite Spanish-English dictionary writer:

tu hermana es una mierda” – your sister is a shit.

I really wish I could interview that guy. I KNOW he has some stories.

I’m not even going to tell you what he has to say about “puta”. My kids might read this blog some day and it would be offensive.


  1. You are right on that last sentence, it is very offensive, Spanish is a passionate language and they are not kidding!

    Funny about the Bill Gates!

    Lo siento que tuvistes insomnia, no puedo creer que el diccionario dice insomniO, quizas estuve lejos de Sud America por mucho tiempo, y no recuerdo bien! Joder!

  2. A little correction: you should say: "no me importa", instead of "me no importa".
    No me importa un carajo.
    Also, "joder" as "f***" is mostly used in Spain but not so much in south american countries. We use "joder" as "bother", like: "dejame de joder" ("leave me alone!"). "Ese mosquito está jodiendo".
    Also as in "joke": "me estás jodiendo" = "you're kidding me".
    Of course it's always slang.

  3. La Boluda, thanks! Correction noted: "no me importa". Claudia says also that if the expression is right, then you don't even need to say "no" but I don't think I have the confidence to pull that off.

    Good notes on "joder". I guess my main use would be the first one: "dejame de joder". I'll have to think of a few people that I will regularly say it to.

  4. Yes, you could say "me importa un carajo" without the "no". I think it´s like "I give a damn".
    But only in this case. Otherwise (when not cursing), if I say "me importa" (I care) it's the opposite of "no me importa" (I don't care).
    Here in Argentina "joda" also means "party".
    "Hay joda esta noche" = "There's a party tonight".
    This is very fun! LOL

  5. PS: my nickname is also "mala palabra" (= palabrota).
    Find out the meaning next time you're insomniac. :)

  6. This blog is hilarious. And you're learning fast!

    This post may help you on how not to use the F word literal translation in Spanish :-)



  7. holy shit. you are fn hilarious.

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  9. I agree with your post. Sometimes when I write something in Spanish then the MS word changes it to something else because of its auto-correct feature. It is very irritating. Thank you for sharing your blog. It is quite hilarious actually.

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  10. I thought BeeGees was after BG for Brothers Gibb.