No Spanish degree can truly prepare you for the rampant street slang and ridiculous expressions used in Spain…and especially the ones used here in Sanlúcar de Barrameda! Once I became accustomed to the strong Sanluqueñan accent I began to pick up on the hilarious/offensive/weird idioms said by locals. I’ve collected some of my favorite expressions as well as some of the weirdest ones I’ve heard…a few of these are very specific to Sanlúcar and others are used throughout Andalucía and other parts of Spain. If you’ve got a good one to add to my list, or another interpretation of the expression please share in the comments below. This post contains several curse words—you’ve been warned!
Me cago en la leche – This literally means “I shit in the milk”. People usually use this expression when something doesn’t go their way or they accidentally hurt themselves.
Me cago en tu puta madre – This translates to “I shit on your whore of a mother”. Don’t say this unless you seriously want to insult someone…people don’t take your mama jokes very well.
Teskipui – This is the shortened version of the phrase “te quieres ir por ahí?” which is a nice way of saying leave me the hell alone.
Vete hacer puñetas – This is a “softer” way of telling someone to go to hell. Puñetas (from what I understand) are lace sleeves, like in the image below. The literal translation would be “go make/sew sleeves” or something to that effect. People (mostly older ladies) will also say “puñe” instead of saying “oh shit!” when they’re mad or surprised by something.
Guantazo – I’ve heard this word used in various parts of Andalusia and it derives from the word “gaunte” which means glove. Up until the 19th century, people would challenge each other to duels to maintain their “honor”. Apparently a person would throw down their glove in front of an opponent to challenge them to a duel, and the person who was challenged could then respond by slapping that person in the face with their own glove…this gesture indicated the acceptance of the challenge. When a Spaniard says “guantazo” they’re basically describing slapping the shit out of someone.
Se mueve menos que los ojos de Espinete – This expression is used to describe a very lazy person. It translates to “he/she moves less than the eyes of Espinete”. Espinete is a character on the Spanish version of Sesame Street and if you couldn’t guess…his eyes don’t move.
Más lento que el caballo del malo – This is one of my favorite expressions and means “slower than the villain’s horse”…which makes perfect sense because in all the old western movies the bad guy never seems to be able to catch the hero. I particularly enjoy using this expression when we’re stuck behind slow drivers in traffic.
Más peligroso que MacGyver en una ferretería – MacGyver is a character from an action-based television show in the 80’s and early 90’s. He’s a super smart secret agent who defeats his enemies with his vast scientific knowledge. In the series he uses simple objects like a paper clip and duct tape to save the day. This expression translates to “more dangerous than Macgyver in a hardware store” and can be used to describe someone who is in their element, like a hacker with their hands on a computer for example.
Esta Chocheando – A chocho is a vagina and this expression describes a man or woman who is old, cranky, stubborn and probably a little crazy or senile. To my understanding the expression basically means he’s losing it or he’s going senile.
Caricato/a– I think this word is limited to Sanlúcar. If you call someone a caricato you are saying they’re a stupid jerk in an endearing way…if that’s possible.
Gilipolla or Mamaostia – This means the same as caricato/a but it’s a harsher way of calling someone an asshole or stupid jerk.
Caradura – This expression is used to describe a person who has no shame and translates to “hard face”. You could also say “tiene mucha cara” to describe someone who has no shame.
Esta más liado/a que la pata de un romano – You can use this expression to say that you’re as busy as a beaver or bee for example. The expression translates to “busier than the foot of a roman”. I suppose this comes from all the work that goes into tying your roman sandals?
Más puerca que la Cachito – This is a weird one and I’m sure it’s only used in Sanlúcar. Apparently there was a prostitute in Sanlúcar named Cachito and this phrase translates to “dirtier or nastier than Cachito”. It’s normally used in a sexual context.
Se le cae el coño – Coño means vagina and this expression can be used to describe a female. It means something like “she drops her vagina” and you can use to to describe a woman who is lazy, or is too slow or laid-back.
Se le caen los huevos – This is the masculine version of the expression above. Huevos means balls/testicles and the phrase means “He drops his balls” – similarly, it’s also used to describe a man who is lazy, or is too slow or laid-back.
Juan Cojones – This is another expression to describe a good-for-nothing, lazy man. It can also be used to describe a man who takes advantage of “the system” for example—someone who collects unemployment checks and has no intention of actually getting a job.
El que no llora, no mama – If you don’t cry, you won’t get the tit! If you don’t complain, you won’t get anything; this is similar to an American idiom I’ve heard often, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
Culo veo, culo quiero – This one reminds me of “Monkey see, monkey do”. The expression is used when someone copies another person (like purchasing the same thing) or when someone decides to do something impulsively because they saw someone else do it. Culo means butt, and the phrase translates to “butt sees, butt wants”.
Borracho como una cuba – You can use this expression to describe a seriously intoxicated person, one who is so drunk and full of wine/beer/rum, etc. they are “drunk as a barrel”.
Got any other Spanish sayings we should know about? Leave a comment below