Debatably, bro is the most common gendered term of casual address used by women for women. Until the 20th Century, the word was merely an abbreviation of the word brother, implying a male sibling, a religious title in Church, or a way for African-American men to express solidarity with each other.
Traveling to Puerto Rico soon? You must be day dreaming Can you call a girl bro? the sun, sand and surf by now.
Probably already packed and mentally checked out from work, right? It would be to your benefit to learn a little Spanish before you go. But I want to introduce you to the fun stuff! So here are 27 Puerto Rican slang words you should know before you visit the Island of Enchantment.
Well, there are lots of great reasons to learn slang. Firstly, slang is an important part of any language. And neglecting it can affect your proficiency in speaking the language. But mastering slang and idioms of any language will help advance you towards fluency. Secondly, learning Spanish slang will help you more effectively understand what you hear when conversing with native speakers.
Or as you hear conversations between native speakers. The better you understand what you hear, the better you can communicate an appropriate response. Thus, learning Spanish will markedly improve your communication with native Spanish speakers. And lastly, mastering Puerto Rican slang words or any slang in the language you are learning will prevent a faux pas, an embarassing remark or act commonly committed in social situations. In other words, knowing slang and using it in the right context can make the difference between being socially appropriate and putting your foot in your mouth!
Puerto Rican Slang To Refer To People Broki Sounds like Bro-key This is among many Puerto Rican slang words used to refer to a friend. This word actually comes from the English word brother or English slang word bro. Just as in other cultures, relationships are highly valuable to Puerto Ricans. And this slang word is used to refer to a friend who is as close as a brother.
Mano Sounds like Mah-no Mano is Spanish for hand. But when referring to Puerto Rican slang, mano is derived from the Spanish word hermano, which means brother.
Can you call a girl bro? is used in the same way as broki. But in Puerto Rico, gato refers to a good-looking man, while gata refers to a good-looking woman. Argentinians use this slang word to refer to a woman who is of…ahem…low moral character. Likewise, in Mexico gato is slang for servant, and gata is slang for maid. So unless you are truly talking about a cat, be careful where and how you use this one to prevent foot in mouth syndrome!
But Puerto Ricans refer to a little boy as nene and a little girl as a nena. It can be used in the same way kid is used in English.
And it can be used to refer to babies and toddlers as well. Based on the context of its use however, it can also mean crap! Jíbaro Sounds like He-bah-row Jíbaro describes a person who is from or lives in the country. Boricua Sounds like Boar-ree-qua The term I learned in Spanish class for Puerto Rican is puertorriqueño. But boricua is what Puerto Ricans call Puerto Ricans born in Puerto Rico. Boricua is derived from the original name of the island. What it was called before Puerto Rico, which is Borikén.
You might also see Borinquen and Boriquén.
Chinese Sibling Terminology / Useful Notes
All nouns are assigned a gender. Generally, nouns ending in -o are considered masculine and nouns ending in -a are considered Can you call a girl bro?. As with anything, there are always exceptions to the rule. In the case of boricua, even when referring to a male, you would say boricua. Just make sure you say el boricua when referring to Puerto Rican male. Use la boricua when referring to a female of Puerto Rican descent. Corillo Sounds like Co-ree-yo Corillo is Puerto Rican slang for a group of friends.
These next few Puerto Rican slang words are derived directly from the English language. And it makes sense, considering Puerto Rico is a U. Which means there is likely to be a certain amount of English language influence.
Not necessarily in the proper Spanish language, but definitely in Puerto Rican slang words and phrases. Here are just a few examples. Hanguear Sounds like Hang-gay-ar And it means exactly what you think it means. Hanguear means to hang out or go out with friends. You might also see it spelled janguear or janguiar. Parquear Sounds like Par-kay-ar Also Can you call a girl bro? exactly what it sounds like.
Parquear means to park a car. And is Puerto Rican slang for to joke around, to fool around or to be goofy. Can you call a girl bro? perfect example of Spanglish. Puerto Ricans use this word to refer to something being awesome or really good.
Like a party or a concert. Gufiao Sounds like Goo-fee-ow This word comes from gufeado, which is a tense of the verb gufear. It actually is slang for Can you call a girl bro? or awesome. Another old school Puerto Rican slang. Chévere Sounds like Chay-vay-ray Slang for cool in Puerto Rico.
Wepa is literally just an exclamation used by Puerto Ricans to express excitement, happiness, admiration, awesomeness, and agreement to name a few. I just like the way it sounds.
Fo Sounds like Foe Puerto Ricans use this word to express disgust. Usually accompanied with the stank face. Puerto Rican Slang That I Like Bochinche Sounds like Bow-chin-chay You probably learned chisme in Spanish class, but Puerto Ricans refer to gossip as bochiche. Sounds like Eye Bend-dee-toe This is a very common Puerto Rican slang phrase. It is used a lot! But its meaning changes depending on the context.
It is used to express everything from surprise, to fear and astonishment. Tapón Sounds like Top-own Its literal meaning is plug or stopper. Which makes sense, since Puerto Ricans use it as slang for a traffic or a traffic jam.
Revolú Sounds like Ray-vol-lew Looks like the English word revolt. And Puerto Ricans us it to describe a brawl or big fight. Puerto Ricans use this slang word to refer to someone who is nicely dressed or dressed up. But if you are Puerto Rican, then this phrase refers to someone who is a snob or stuck up.
Nebuloso Sounds like Neb-you-low-so Nebuloso is Spanish for cloudy. If you are not familiar with that term, it just means someone who is not of great moral character, deceitful and deceptive.
And which ones did you already know? Certainly there are more than 27 Puerto Rican slang words and phrases, so which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments below! I love learning new things from our Spanguist tribe.