Be explicit: your guide on how to swear like a Spanish

Unlike many other countries, references to bathroom use habits, male and female genitals and other taboo topics appear in general conversations all the time without anyone thinking about it anymore.

What is all this about people who do their business in “milk”? And why are the “testicles” still mentioned?

Swearing in Spain is as common as ridiculous, so if you want to adopt the ubiquitous bathroom language or just want to understand what your Spanish friends are trying to convey, read on!


Photo: Crimson Vengel

I fall for milk: Spaniards metaphorically fall for all kinds of things when they want to express anger or frustration; from Almighty God (God), to ‘your’ mother (your mother) and the salty sea (the salty sea). Perhaps the strangest thing they choose to defecate mentally is ‘milk’. All these expressions sound very vulgar in English, but in Spanish they are so common that most recipients would barely beat an eyelid.

READ MORE: Five ways in which ‘milk’ means more than just ‘milk’ in Spain


Photo: Kristem Shoemaker

What a pain! If you think this translation sounds bad enough, let us assure you that the most literal would have sounded much worse. If something is a drag, use the expression ‘What a pain!’ The word C in Spanish, much more socially acceptable than in English-speaking countries, is also used to express everything from surprise to outrage: Pussy! Do not be surprised if you listen to everyone, from grandmothers to schoolchildren shouting at maximum volume.


Photo: David Goehring

Host (host / body of Christ): Probably the most common form of blasphemy used by the Spanish. If someone or something is ‘the host’, it is amazing or the bee’s knees. Host! It is only used as cursed or bloody hell in English. Then there is giving someone a host, giving a host, which means hitting or hitting someone.


Photo: Francesco Rachello

Fart / fart: “Farting” or “farting” has nothing to do with flatulence surprisingly. Although the word for a fart in Spanish is fart, expressions are a colloquial way of saying ‘being drunk’. For the sake of interest, in Spanish you fart if you want to say you’ve passed the wind – fart. Not that you would make that public knowledge!


Photo: Alec Schueler

I don’t care about three balls: This saying means “I don’t give a damn” in English. Why testicles? You can ask. Well, ‘fucking’ (balls / nuts in English) is commonly recognized as the Spanish word with the highest number of derived meanings. It is used as a verb (to cushion – to scare), as an adjective (cushioning-amazing) and many more! Even the number of ‘balls’ can change the whole meaning of the sentence: And a fuck! It means “not an opportunity!” while ‘doing something with two balls’ means being brave.


Photo: Paolo Camera

From motherfucker: Calling someone a ‘son of a bitch’ could cause problems in Spain despite the usual use of swear words by many Spaniards. But the most common superlative in colloquial Spanish is ‘de puta madre’, which means great or amazing. It can also be used as an adverb: play motherfucker: play very well.


Photo: Thomas Beck

Bring the tie eggs: The male genitalia are used again in a common colloquial expression in Spanish Spanish. Wearing the balls as a tie translates as being tense or nervous. In fact, Spaniards often hold their throat and say “this is where I have my balls”, with eggs here, when they want to express nervousness or fear.


Photo: Joseph Choi

You screw up: Why something good would induce problems in the bathroom is another mystery. But Spaniards, especially young people, often use this saying when they are excited about how great something is. There is also “¡Cagate!”, Or throw yourself away. You say this when you want to express surprise or surprise.

List compiled by Alex Dunham

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