Mexican swear words or groserías are some of the most powerful in the world. Seriously, if you yell at someone using Mexican insulting vernacular chances are you will get some respect. Like karate, groserías should only be used as a defense and never as an attack. Mexican Spanish has produced some very interesting and borderline poetic swear words, which are slowly but surely being incorporated into Spanglish and everyday conversation in the U.S. So you better be prepared!
Share this list only with those with whom you share a strong share of trust and camaraderie. And don’t ever share this with your madrecita santa unless you two are really, really into shared banter. Otherwise, she will lavar tu boca con jabón por pelado y majadero, mijo.
“Chinga tu madre”
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When to use it: NEVER, EVER.
Chingar in this context means “to fornicate.” So you are really telling someone to go fornicate with their mom! It is beyond rude and it is the ultimate insult if you want to end a friendship forever. The word “chingar” comes from the gypsy slang čingarar, which means “to fight”. How did that derive into sex? Because us Mexicans are unpredictable and creative!
Credit: 9m0r6p. Digital image. MemeGen
When to use it: when “stupid” is not enough
The word “pendejo” is perhaps one of the most widely used in Mexican Spanish. It is derived from the Latin pectiniculus, which is used to describe pubic hair. Such an insult! No, really, pubic hairs are not pleasant in any scenario… pendejos.
Credit: cabron. Digital image. Yarokobu.
When to use it: when someone is taking advantage of someone else, or when you want to call a friend in a fond manner (we know, it makes no sense)
Cuenta la leyenda that in the past shepherds spend way too much time with their animals, so they would satisfy their carnal needs with them (it is a crime and it is called bestiality). Female goats’ genitalia were preferred by these pervs, so the male goats, or cabrones, would get pissed off and attack the humans. Hence the word. We do hope this origin story is mere cuento and not real at all. To be honest, this origin story is pretty creepy.
Credit: carajo. Digital image. Mira JEREZ
When to use it: when you wanna say “damn it” or when you want to send someone to “la chingada” in a more subtle way
“Carajo” is literally the crow’s nest of a ship, the basket at the top of the mast. Just imagine the seasickness one must feel all the way up there. Young sailors, or those being punished, would be sent to this terrible spot. So in Spanish, you can send someone to “el carajo”, this ungodly basket at the mercy of the rough seas. The word can also be used to simply say “damn” or express disappointment.
Credit: large. Digital image. We Hear It
When to use it: always… when you are feeling bad (de la chingada) or when you want to get someone to F off… “vete a la chingada”
This word is one of the most distinctive in Mexican Spanish. It basically is used to describe a place or existential state that sucks. It is used for almost everything… something sucks… “de la chingada”. Go to hell: “vete a la chingada”. This word is part of the national identity and basically a cultural treasure of sorts.
Credit: significado-de-pinche-mexico. Digital image. Mexico mi pais.
When to use it: add an extra layer of nastiness with this adjective, as in “pinche pendejo”
It literally means “cook’s helper”, so the lowest rank in a kitchen. Mexican writer Jose Emilio Pacheco guessed that the use of the word in a derogatory way could be traced back to haciendas were the help was discriminated against. However, nothing is certain other than the fact that this word is like a magical spell that changes form according to the user’s need. Que pinche chistoso, no?
Credit: valiomadresmeme. Digital image. Chilango
When to use it: when something terrible happens and things are beyond repair
Mexicans have an obsession with using farts and mothers as an insult. “Vale madres” literally means “it went to hell” or, alternatively, “it does not matter” (see below). Mothers are sacred in Mexican culture, so just like swearing using God’s name is considered bad in Anglo countries, swearing using sacred madrecitas santas hermosas is like being rebellious and crass. Vale madres.
“Me vale madres”
Credit: 200x200xfso0tr.jpg.pagespeed.ic.imagenes-memes-fotos-frases-graciosas-chistosas-divertidas-risa-chida-español-whatsapp-facebook. Digital image. Generador de memes
When to use it: when you couldn’t care less
Another use of moms. This means “I couldn’t care less”, but in a very aggressive way. Like if someone breaks up with you but you wanna pretend like it is nothing, you would say “me vale madres”. We could tell Chabelo everyone on the Internet thinks he is the oldest person on Earth and he would reply: “Me vale madres”.
Credit: zpor-qlie-no-quieres-ser-mi-media-naranja-porque-medio-22530381 Meme. Digital image. Meme
When to use it: when calling someone “lazy bastard” is just not enough to describe how incredibly non caring and non energetic someone is
There is no nice way of putting this: human testicles look like a pair of eggs. Huevón means “he whose testicles are so heavy that he can barely move”. Of course, popular lexicon has generated countless versions of this bad word. Such as…
… Que hueva”
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When to use it: when you are tired beyond words; also when you want to describe a boring situation
When one is so exhausted that one’s gonads feel too heavy to be lifted. “Hueva” is also used to describe boredom… if you wanna end one of those senseless fights or discussions, you can say “hueva” and just roll your eyes. You will get your message across, believe us.
Credit: Pedos. Digital image. Tenor.
When to use it: when you or someone else has consumed an excess of alcoholic beverages
In Mexico farts equal drunks and anything alcohol related. Binge drinking is “irse de peda”. To be drunk is “estar pedo”. And, funny enough, if you have a problem you say “tengo un pedo enorme” or “I have a huge pedo”. According to linguists, the word is used because drunkards smell bad, like a flatulence. OK…. we guess it sort of makes sense.
Credit: no-mames-qjlx3r. Digital image.
When to use it: when you want to express surprise (wow), disgust (ew) or joy (yay). Really.
Just like “pinche”, this expression is used in a variety of ways. It literally means “do not suck”, as in “do not consume milk from the breast” or “do not perform fellatio” (sorry, we are trying to be as elegant as possible here). One of the possible origins of this expression is “do not act like a baby, do not suck milk from the nipple”, as in “grow the F up!”. But Mexicans are everyday poets and expand the expressive possibilities of a word to its maximum limit…. no mames.
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