Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

19+ Dirty Spanish Words You Don’t Wanna Say Accidentally

Lots of seemingly innocent words—common words that you’ll use in casual Spanish multiple times daily—can be transformed into total dirtiness if used in the wrong context.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you’ve used them wrong by mistake—this is part of learning.

And once you solve the mystery you’ll have new curses and dirty words you can use intentionally in jokes and raunchy stories.

Anyone who’s been to Latin America knows that there’s no escaping it—you need to raunch it up with the best of them to fit in, understand humor and have fun.

Wouldn’t it be great to connect with native Spanish speakers on this realest of levels?

In this post, we’ll look at 19 dirty Spanish words you need to know to do so.


1. Sapo

Clean meaning: Toad

Dirty meaning: A lady’s hoo-ha

Curated authentic video library for all levels
  • Thousands of learner friendly videos (especially beginners)
  • Handpicked, organized, and annotated by FluentU's experts
  • Integrated into courses for beginners
Learn more about FluentU
Learn more about FluentU

This one is number one of my list, because I’ve had people laugh at me when actually speaking about toads in the context of ongoing biological research.

There’s no way to avoid the crassness, no matter your context or technically perfect Spanish. If you’re not speaking to biologists, maybe you could pretend you only know the word for frog ( rana ).

I say you tackle this head on, though.

No fear. Make the scientific community (and me) proud by unabashedly using precise language regardless of the consequences.

2. Concha

Clean meaning: Seashell

Dirty meaning: Map of Tasmania

If you didn’t know that Tasmania is shaped like that, now you do—forever. You’re welcome.

This word makes appearances in many explicit phrases used to curse people out, such as “¡Concha [de] tu madre!” and the weirder “¡Concha [de] la lora!” 

3. Perra

Clean meaning: Female dog

Video player for learners like you
  • Interactive subtitles: click any word to see detailed examples and explanations
  • Slow down or loop the tricky parts
  • Show or hide subtitles
  • Review words with our powerful learning engine
Learn more about FluentU
Learn more about FluentU

Dirty meaning: Floozie

This darn gendered language seems like it’s designed to cause these problems on purpose. When speaking, you automatically have to define a dog as a male or female dog, either a perro or perra.

In English, we have our own vulgar word that technically means “female dog” but is almost never used for that reason. Spanish uses “female dog” for another insult, namely “a woman of loose morals” or “a loose woman who’s had many lovers.”

4. Comerse

Clean meaning: To eat (reflexive)

Dirty meaning: To do the deed

This one caused my personal, all-time favorite Spanish embarrassment story.

While talking to my Ecuadorian homestay family about a Spanish class assignment involving “La caperucita roja,” I did a metaphorical faceplant after talking about how the wolf eats the grandmother.

Talk about reinventing classic stories. I will never forget the sound of eight Quiteños laughing hysterically at my Spanish blunder.

5. Rica

Clean meaning: Wealthy (when referring to people), delicious (when referring to food)

Master words through quizzes with context
  • Learn words in the context of sentences
  • Swipe left or right to see more examples from other videos
  • Go beyond just a superficial understanding
Learn more about FluentU
Learn more about FluentU

Dirty meaning: Delicious (when referring to people)

You can make a similar mistake if you’re still confusing ser and estar and want to describe someone as “a good person.”

If you say that “Ella está buena” instead of “Ella es buena,” look out for some raised eyebrows—you just said that “She’s a hot piece of tail,” not that “She’s a good human being.”

6. Culo  vs. Nalga  vs. Trasero

Clean meaning: Butt

Dirty meaning: Butt

Okay, the dirtiness here is caused by a common mix-up between the two words listed above. Culo is a raunchy word that impressionable Spanish learners often pick up by listening to too much reggaeton.

Nalga is a more benign word that means something akin to “butt,” “butt cheeks” when plural and “lil’ butt cheeks” when phrased more diminutively as nalguitas. But despite being more anatomical, it’s still moderately crude.

Stick with trasero, which sounds more like the English “behind,” and you’ll be polite in anyone’s company.

7. Grasa

Clean meaning: Fat, oil

Stop memorizing words.
Start building sentences.
  • FluentU builds you up, so you can build sentences on your own
  • Start with multiple-choice questions and advance through sentence building to producing your own output
  • Go from understanding to speaking in a natural progression.
Learn more about FluentU
Learn more about FluentU

Dirty meaning: Fat

Again, this is another case of word mix-ups. You may have learned that grasa technically means fat, but that doesn’t mean you should refer to your own body fat or someone’s else’s that way.

Instead say, “Tengo unas libras de más” (I have a few extra pounds), rather than pointing to yourself and talking about nasty, greasy lard.

8. Huevos

Clean meaning: Eggs

Dirty meaning: The two amigos

You can always use huevitos if you want to make sure you don’t bungle this one up. In some countries—I am only aware of this happening in parts of Mexico—some native speakers defer to blancos when they’re discussing eggs.

9. Pelotas

Clean meaning: Smaller balls (as opposed to balón or bola which refer to a larger ball) used in sporting events

Dirty meaning: The two amigos

You may be talking about tennis equipment, but this will never not be funny.

Accurate, detailed word explanations made for you
  • Images, examples, video examples, and tips
  • Covering all the tricky edge cases, eg.: phrases, idioms, collocations, and separable verbs
  • No reliance on volunteers or open source dictionaries
  • 100,000+ hours spent by FluentU's team to create and maintain
Learn more about FluentU
Learn more about FluentU

10. Bolas

Clean meaning: General ball-shaped items, balls used for sporting events, edible balls of food

Dirty meaning: The two amigos

There is no Spanish word for sports-related balls that isn’t funny. Sorry.

This particular word is twice as bad because you can also eat bolas in many parts of the Spanish-speaking world.

Suddenly, “¿Qué comiste hoy en el almuerzo?” becomes dangerous.

11. Chorizo

Clean meaning: Sausage

Dirty meaning: Exactly what you think it means

Your home country doesn’t matter—it’s part of human nature to identify vaguely phallic-shaped items and laugh at them. We all know what a sausage looks like and what that word can mean in the right (or wrong) context.

12. Pechuga  vs. Pecho

Clean meaning: Chicken breast/human chest, human breast

Hi, I'm Alan! I became obsessed with learning Chinese, Japanese, and Korean in 2001, and managed to get good enough to work professionally in those languages as a management consultant.

I started FluentU to build a new kind of language app.
Want to learn more about how FluentU got started?

Dirty meaning: Breasts

Let’s clear all this up right away: Pechuga is for talking about chicken breasts and pecho is a more technical term for a human chest.

Pecho can be used when speaking about medical issues, physical fitness, breastfeeding and any other usual topic of conversation.

Pechuga, when used about a person, conveys that you think of that person as a slab of meat. Pecho, used when talking about meat, conveys that you don’t speak Spanish.

You don’t always want to say pecho when talking about people (or yourself) since that can be awkward in the midst of a girls’ night out or something. If you actually want to talk casually about boobies (and not the blue-footed kind) with friends, in Ecuador you can use chichis  in a playful sense and avoid sounding totally awkward.

13. Bolsa

Clean meaning: Bag, shopping bag, sack

Dirty meaning: Sack

Say funda  instead, for the love of God.

14. Pájaro / Pajarito

Clean meaning: Bird, little bird

Dirty meaning: Homosexual (offensive)

This totally innocent word becomes an offensive slur when used in the wrong country. In many places, ave sounds heavy, awkward, or less-commonly used, and that’s where you’ll want to use pájaro to talk about our winged, flying friends. 

In other regions—namely the Caribbean and perhaps a few others—you should only ever use ave.

Pay attention when people speak or ask your hosts if you’re unsure! Honestly, you can never go very wrong with ave, so it’s the safe choice no matter where you are.

15. Ganas  

Clean meaning: Desire, urge; to have the desire or urge to do something

Dirty meaning: Animal urges (ahem)

Sure, you can say “Tengo ganas de comer una hamburguesa enorme” (I feel like eating an enormous hamburger), but don’t pause after “Tengo ganas.”

If your conversation partner thinks the sentence ends there, funny looks will abound.

16. Coger

Clean meaning: To grab

Dirty meaning: To do the deed

In many countries and contexts, this verb is A-OK. The internet will expressly forbid you from using it in most Latin American countries.

But Ecuadorians and Colombians (citizens of countries that are supposed to only know of the dirty coger usage) can be heard innocently saying things like “Voy a coger un taxi” (I’m going to take a taxi) all day long.

It’s pretty much a toss up when you’ll get someone snickering at you for using it, no matter where in the world you are—though I’ve heard the word is actually off limits in Chile and Peru, so you might want to ask when you arrive at your Spanish-speaking destination.

17. Me cago vs. Me caigo

Clean meaning: I fall (me caigo – caerse)

Dirty meaning: I sh*t myself (me cago – cagarse)

Even if you’re not clumsy and falling down all the time, me caigo is a great phrase to have on hand, particularly for the expression “Me caigo de [la] risa,” which is roughly equivalent to ROFL.

This phrase comes from the irregular verb caerse (to fall), not from the similar (and seriously vulgar in every possible context) verb cagarse.

To sound cooler and funnier among friends, you can also say the more vulgar Spanish version of ROFL: “Me cago de [la] risa.” Don’t say this to your boss or your boyfriend’s grandmother.

Beginning Spanish language learners have been known to accidentally mix these up or mis-conjugate or mispronounce their intended verb. Urban Dictionary can’t even tell the difference between these phrases, which shows you just how deep this goes.

Even if you always say “Me caigo” perfectly, you may well have immature jokesters play off your words, twist your words around for jokes at your expense or chuckle at you de la nada.

18. Vaina

Clean meaning: Thing

Dirty meaning: Thang

This is possibly the most frequently-used word in the Dominican Republic.

Everything is a vainaso leave cosa behind once you’ve set foot on Dominican soil.

Since everything can be a vaina, it’s no small wonder that it can be used to casually refer to one’s private parts—mostly for ladies.

You’ll get some giggles if you say this one with misplaced emphasis. Or a silly context where it could be somehow construed sexually or if everyone has had enough Presidentes (popular brand of Dominican cerveza nacional) that night.

19. Estoy caliente

Clean meaning: There is no clean meaning, this is just an all-around sexual thing to say—but lots of Spanish learners say it.

Dirty meaning: I’m hot/smokin’/feeling quiggly

Classic. The ol’ “Estoy caliente” instead of “Tengo calor” switcharoo.

Many Spanish learners have fallen to this phrase before you, and it never fails to elicit a sidelong glance or giggle from native conversation partners.

You were trying to say that you feel hot due to the current temperature or climate, and instead you boasted about your hot bod or eagerness for intimate encounters.

Why Learn Dirty Words in Spanish

Keep in mind that you can use these words perfectly well—in the correct context and everything—and people will still giggle at them. It’s like how somebody might say “I do do that” in English and be met with a “Haha, you said doo doo.”

It’s just proof that, deep down, nobody ever really grows up enough to stop giggling at unintentional sexual euphemisms and scatological humor. We’re all still in third grade.

We’re more similar than we are different.

These phrases are just more evidence of this phenomenon.

Learn them all, and you’ll be in “the know” next time you get laughed at while speaking Spanish. Heck, you might even start laughing when other people say them—and that’s when you officially know you’re a Spanish speaker rather than a Spanish student.

But you also need to watch out and know when to use specific words. Try spending some time watching real Spanish media (stuff like movies and telenovelas) or studying with video clips in the FluentU language learning program.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month)

  FluentU Ad

With a little practice, you’ll soon be talking obscenities like a native.


It’s beautiful, when you really think about it—dirty words intrinsically connect human beings from all races and religions. Dirty humor truly knows no boundaries.

Like, it’s amazing that you can use a public bathroom anywhere in the world and discover that some bored bathroom occupant before you drew a tally-wacker.

It’s something that people just do, regardless of ethnicity or native language.

And One More Thing…

If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.


Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.


Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.


The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe