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HomeLanguage Learning31 Vibrant Puerto Rican Slang Phrases to Add Colour to Your Spanish

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

puerto rican slang

How will you add slightly additional shade to your Spanish conversations? 

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

On at this time’s slang agenda, we’ve the wonderful, vivid slang of Puerto Rico.

So dive in and put together to study some nice phrases and phrases!


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

Boricua is just a reputation for the native individuals derived from the island’s authentic identify, however let’s face info—it’s simply extra attention-grabbing 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 enjoyable.

You’ll discover it sounds quite a bit like “grasp.” 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 could 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 which means “to throw” or “to throw away.” Nevertheless, in Puerto Rican slang, it will 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 vital, and slipping up might come throughout as a risk.

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

Nevertheless, these slang phrases are often used between ideas, just 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.” Suppose “Plinko” on “The Value is Proper.”

Nevertheless, 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 be usually used to explain feuds between rappers or individuals. As an example, you would possibly 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 could actually imply “wild,” “off the rails,” “disastrous” or “out of it.”

As an example, when you hosted a celebration and it went poorly or obtained uncontrolled, you would possibly say “la fiesta se fue al garete” (“the get together went off the rails” or “the get together was disastrous” or “the get together was wild”).

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

Nevertheless, in Puerto Rican slang, nebuloso also can imply “untrustworthy.” It’s sort 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 suggests “man” in Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua.

This one’s a superb 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.”

Nevertheless, in Puerto Rican slang, gufiao really means “cool” or “superior.”

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

Bregar is the verb for “to wrestle.” For this phrase, it’s used with an oblique object (le) to discuss with the particular person being affected. Chicky Starr, in the meantime, is a Puerto Rican wrestler, solid 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 adverse phrase. And it actually is entertaining and colourful!

For those who hear somebody say mano, your rapid thought will most likely be that they imply “hand.” Completely comprehensible. Mano often does imply “hand.”

Nevertheless, in Puerto Rican slang, the exclamation ¡Mano! is an abbreviation of hermano (brother). Certainly, in slang it’s used to imply “brother.” Nevertheless, 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 usually used to greet somebody or rejoice 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 “unbelievable.”

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

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

Pana is a time period used to discuss with a “shut buddy” or “buddy.” It’s an affectionate strategy to handle 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 could actually discuss with an individual who’s long-winded, usually 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 discuss with a lady or girlfriend. It’s just like the English slang “chick” or “lady.” It’s an informal and acquainted strategy to discuss a feminine acquaintance.

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

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

Guayarse is a colloquial time period used to imply “getting damage” 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 “loads.” It’s usually 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 gaggle.

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

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

Take into account that in different Spanish talking international locations the which means of this phrase might be adverse, extra within the path of “stubbornness” or “insolence.” 

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

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

Pelotero is a slang time period used to discuss 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 suggests ball.

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

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

Pa’ lante is a shortened type of the Spanish phrase “para adelante,” which suggests “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 just 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 discuss 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 might 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 might be intriguing and interesting, Puerto Rican slang has extra to supply than simply Anglicisms alone.

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

Why Do You Have to Know Puerto Rican Slang?

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

  • You’ll sound native. For those who’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 strategy to expertise extra genuine tradition relatively than all the time being handled as a vacationer.
  • You’ll perceive the Spanish language in better depth. Studying totally different aspects of the Spanish language comparable to Puerto Rican slang will show you how to see the varied and dynamic nature of the language.
  • You’ll be capable of talk extra simply with Puerto Ricans dwelling within the continental U.S. There are a selection of enormous Puerto Rican communities all through the continental U.S. Studying Puerto Rican slang will show you how to talk with Puerto Ricans close to you!
  • Puerto Rican slang is simply plain enjoyable. There are some very attention-grabbing and colourful phrases and phrases. You would possibly work them into your common Spanish vocabulary even when you aren’t speaking with Puerto Ricans. Sure—Puerto Rican slang is that good.

Sources 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 below are some useful assets you need to use to broaden your vocabulary.

For those who’ve loved studying these Puerto Rican slang phrases and wish to study extra, try these posts for extra slang from different Spanish-speaking international locations!


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



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