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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

31 Vibrant Puerto Rican Slang Phrases to Add Colour to Your Spanish

How are you going to add somewhat additional coloration to your Spanish conversations? 

It’s straightforward. Put the textbook down for a minute, and begin choosing up some new Spanish slang.

On right now’s slang agenda, we’ve the fantastic, vivid slang of Puerto Rico.

So dive in and put together to be taught some nice phrases and phrases!


Boricua is a time period used to imply “Puerto Rican.” Earlier than the Spanish arrived on the island now known as “Puerto Rico,” the indigenous Taíno individuals known as the island Borikén (additionally spelled Boriquén and Borinquen). 

Boricua is solely a reputation for the native individuals derived from the island’s unique identify, however let’s face information—it’s simply extra fascinating than puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican).

Whereas the spelling varies, janguiar, janguear and hanguear are all slang for “to hang around.” Use it to speak about hanging out with mates or simply stress-free.

You’ll discover it sounds quite a bit like “dangle.” That’s as a result of this slang phrase is an Anglicism and was derived from the American expression “hang around.”

Broki is Puerto Rican slang for “buddy.”

Once more, this phrase might look acquainted. That’s as a result of it’s derived from the favored English-language slang “bro.” The “ki” suffix makes it diminutive, making the time period extra affectionate.

You most likely already know tirar as a verb that means “to throw” or “to throw away.” Nonetheless, in Puerto Rican slang, it may possibly additionally imply “to hit on,” “to diss” or “to shoot” (as in an individual).

Given its numerous meanings, attempt to watch out along with your use of tirar. Context is necessary, and slipping up might come throughout as a menace.

Acho and chacho are each quick for muchacho (man). Alternately, it may possibly additionally imply “what’s up?”

Nonetheless, these slang phrases are often used between ideas, much like how we use the phrase “properly…” in English to transition between concepts or change topics.

A mi, plín actually means “to me, plink.” Nonetheless unclear? Nicely, “plink” often means “to shoot at for enjoyable.” Assume “Plinko” on “The Worth is Proper.”

Nonetheless, in Puerto Rican slang, a mi, plín often means “I don’t care.” It’s a bit extra colourful than no me importa (I don’t care).

Tiraera or tiradera is the noun type of the verb tirar. Whereas the slang tirar can imply “to diss,” tiraera or the alternate spelling tiradera refers to a diss, a verbal feud or the act of purposefully antagonizing.

Tiraera or tiradera can also be typically used to explain feuds between rappers or individuals. For example, you may say Kanye West and Taylor Swift have a tiraera/tiradera.

Al garete initially referred to when a ship was adrift. It’s used as an adjective. In Puerto Rican slang, it has all kinds of meanings. It might imply “wild,” “off the rails,” “disastrous” or “out of it.”

For example, for those who hosted a celebration and it went poorly or acquired uncontrolled, you may say “la fiesta se fue al garete” (“the social gathering went off the rails” or “the social gathering was disastrous” or “the social gathering was wild”).

Nebuloso actually means “cloudy,” “foggy” or “imprecise.”

Nonetheless, in Puerto Rican slang, nebuloso can even imply “untrustworthy.” It’s type of just like the English slang phrase “shady” in each its literal and figurative meanings.

In Puerto Rico and its neighbors Cuba and the Dominican Republic, chavos is slang for “cash.”

Don’t confuse it with chavo, which implies “man” in Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua.

This one’s an excellent instance of the pinballing paths slang phrases can take as they develop. Gufiao is a contraction of gufeado, which is derived from the English phrase “goofy.”

Nonetheless, in Puerto Rican slang, gufiao truly means “cool” or “superior.”

Like gufiao, gufear is derived from English. Nonetheless, on this occasion, gufear means “to goof round” or “to joke round.”

Bregar is the verb for “to battle.” For this phrase, it’s used with an oblique object (le) to confer with the particular person being affected. Chicky Starr, in the meantime, is a Puerto Rican wrestler, forged because the antagonist within the ring.

In slang, bregarle Chicky Starr means “to play soiled with somebody,” “to betray somebody” or “to activate somebody.” It’s a humorous however destructive phrase. And it definitely is entertaining and colourful!

Should you hear somebody say mano, your fast thought will most likely be that they imply “hand.” Completely comprehensible. Mano often does imply “hand.”

Nonetheless, in Puerto Rican slang, the exclamation ¡Mano! is an abbreviation of hermano (brother). Certainly, in slang it’s used to imply “brother.” Nonetheless, as an exclamation, ¡Mano! roughly means “Hey, bro!”

Wepa is a flexible phrase that Puerto Ricans use to precise pleasure, pleasure or shock. It’s typically used to greet somebody or have fun a optimistic second. You should utilize it to convey enthusiasm about one thing. 

Chévere is a well-liked slang time period used to imply “cool,” “nice” or “improbable.”

It’s generally used to precise approval or admiration for somebody or one thing. It’s a flexible phrase that can be utilized in varied contexts to convey a optimistic sentiment.

Guagua is the phrase Puerto Ricans use to confer with a bus or any type of public transportation. The time period is derived from the English phrase “bus” and has turn out to be extensively used on the island.

Pana is a time period used to confer with a “shut pal” or “buddy.” It’s an affectionate approach to deal with somebody and is often used amongst mates.

It displays a way of camaraderie and friendship, so strive it in your Puerto Rican mates later!

Matraca is a slang time period used to explain somebody who talks excessively or talks quite a bit with out saying a lot of substance. It might confer with an individual who’s long-winded, typically occurring tangents or rambling.

The phrase is derived from the sound of a loud rattle or clapper, symbolizing the fixed chatter of somebody who loves to listen to themselves speak.

Jeva is a slang time period used to confer with a woman or girlfriend. It’s much like the English slang “chick” or “woman.” It’s an informal and acquainted approach to discuss a feminine acquaintance.

Quillao is a time period used to explain somebody who’s indignant or aggravated. It’s derived from the Spanish phrase “quilla,” which implies “anger” or “annoyance.”

It’s typically used to precise frustration or irritation in the direction of an individual or scenario.

Guayarse is a colloquial time period used to imply “getting harm” or “injured.” It’s generally used when somebody experiences bodily ache or sustains an harm.

It may also be used metaphorically to explain emotional or psychological ache.

Chorro is a phrase that Puerto Ricans use to imply “quite a bit” or “lots.” It’s typically used to explain a big amount of one thing.

For instance, if somebody has a chorro of cash, it means they’ve some huge cash.

Pégate is an invite or request for somebody to come back over or be a part of a bunch.

It’s actually translated as “come nearer” or “get nearer,” so it may possibly even have a flirty that means, like while you’re dancing, instance. Ricky Martin, a Puerto Rican singer, additionally has a track known as Pégate.”

Chulería is a time period used to explain somebody’s swagger or confidence. It refers to an individual’s model, appeal, and self-assurance. It may also be used to explain one thing as cool or spectacular.

Remember the fact that in different Spanish talking nations the that means of this phrase may be destructive, extra within the path of “stubbornness” or “insolence.” 

Tíguere is a slang time period derived from tigre (tiger) which means “streetwise particular person,” typically related to somebody who’s resourceful, street-smart, and is aware of how you can deal with themselves in varied conditions.

It’s much like the English slang “road sensible” or “smart man.”

Pelotero is a slang time period used to confer with a baseball participant. Baseball is a well-liked sport in Puerto Rico, and this time period is often used to speak about gamers or the game itself.

It’s derived from the Spanish phrase “pelota,” which implies ball.

Tumbao is a time period used to explain a rhythm or groove, significantly in music. It refers back to the catchy beat or circulate of a track that makes you wish to dance or transfer.

It’s generally used to understand and acknowledge the musicality and rhythm of a bit.

Pa’ lante is a shortened type of the Spanish phrase “para adelante,” which implies “ahead” or “forward.”

It’s generally utilized in Puerto Rican slang to encourage somebody to maintain going, persevere, or transfer ahead in life regardless of challenges or setbacks.

Wao is an exclamation used to precise shock, astonishment, or admiration.

It’s much like the English “wow” and is often utilized in Puerto Rican Spanish to convey a way of marvel or amazement. It’s a brief and easy expression that conveys sturdy feelings.

Babilla is a time period used to imply “bravery,” “braveness” or “machismo.” You should utilize this to confer with an individual by altering it to babilloso

What Makes Puerto Rican Slang Distinctive?

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory. Why does that matter to Puerto Rican slang?

Nicely, maybe due to Puerto Rico’s relationship with the U.S., quite a lot of Puerto Rican slang phrases and phrases are Anglicisms, or phrases/phrases borrowed from the English language.

Anglicisms may be helpful for English-speakers studying the language, as a result of they really feel acquainted and are subsequently straightforward to recollect.

Whereas these Anglicisms may be intriguing and interesting, Puerto Rican slang has extra to supply than simply Anglicisms alone.

Puerto Rican slang additionally typically focuses on abbreviating longer phrases in fascinating methods. This may be complicated for non-native audio system, however it results in a extra dynamic and thrilling language.

Why Do You Must Know Puerto Rican Slang?

Getting snug with Puerto Rican slang will open home windows to a new side of the Spanish language and to the on a regular basis tradition of the island. Right here’s how:

  • You’ll sound native. Should you’re touring to Puerto Rico and don’t wish to stand out, studying Puerto Rican slang is without doubt one of the quickest methods to sound native. This can be a nice approach to expertise extra genuine tradition slightly than at all times being handled as a vacationer.
  • You’ll perceive the Spanish language in larger depth. Studying totally different sides of the Spanish language resembling Puerto Rican slang will allow you to see the varied and dynamic nature of the language.
  • You’ll be capable to talk extra simply with Puerto Ricans dwelling within the continental U.S. There are a selection of huge Puerto Rican communities all through the continental U.S. Studying Puerto Rican slang will allow you to talk with Puerto Ricans close to you!
  • Puerto Rican slang is simply plain enjoyable. There are some very fascinating and colourful phrases and phrases. You may work them into your common Spanish vocabulary even for those who aren’t speaking with Puerto Ricans. Sure—Puerto Rican slang is that good.

Assets for Studying Puerto Rican Slang

In case you have a limitless urge for food for Puerto Rican slang and 31 phrases and phrases aren’t sufficient, listed here are some useful assets you should use to develop your vocabulary.

Should you’ve loved studying these Puerto Rican slang phrases and want to be taught extra, try these posts for extra slang from different Spanish-speaking nations!


Congratulations on studying some intriguing Puerto Rican slang. To be taught extra, get pleasure from time in Puerto Rico or hang around with Puerto Ricans close to you!

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