I just finished reading the node Dutch Profanity: Categories and Usage and felt that a similar attempt should be made for the Spanish language of Puerto Rico. I am not a native speaker and hope that others, more familar with Spanish, will add to the node and to my education. The best I can do is present a few anecdotes with an apology to those who know the language better than I.


I'm not certain why this word should jump into my mind first -- male chauvinism perhaps. In Puerto Rico this is the most common word for penis. Elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world the word means insect - which leads to some rather humorous situations.

I taught at a private Catholic high school for the flower of Puerto Rican boyhood. On one occasion, we were visited by a Spanish bishop who was touring the New World. In his address to the 300 or so boys in a special assembly, he observed that he had just come from Mexico where they had insects bigger than he had ever seen before. Of course, to the boys he was saying he had never seen such big dicks, confirming what they already suspected about men who didn't marry and who wore dresses. The bishop's remark caused howls of laughter, stomping feet and catcalls. Every time the riot would subside, one kid would titter and they would break up again. Finally the assembly was called off and the holy brothers drew lots as to who was going to tell His Excellency the cause of disturbance.

The most common word for penis I heard in the Dominican Republic was pinga and the word verga seemed to be the favorite in Mexico. In a dictionary of Puerto Rican slang, which I have lost some where in my travels, there were at least twice as many words for penis as there there were for vagina. Now, that tells you something, but I'm not certain exactly what.


This word I've never seen in print, but I've heard it often enough. A synonym I heard less frequently is krika, and I'm uncertain of the official spelling. A linquistic curiosity here is a word I'm told is derived from krika. A really big mess in Puerto Rico is often called a revolú but sometimes a krikal, which I suppose might be translated "a big vagina." A couple times I heard bala used in reference to female genitalia, which suggests to me "ball," but an informant assures me that it is derived from the form in which bread is sometimes baked. That I have to take on faith.


I suppose I can add a few anecdotes of how I learned some useful cuss words.


Almost the first word I learned in Puerto Rico. I was waiting on a busy street corner and just couldn't seem to find a break in the traffic. Finally one driver leaned out the window and shouted, "Hay que tener cojones" which means, "You gotta have balls."


I was familiar with this word but turned red in a bakery shop in south west Puerto when a proper lady asked for tetas de pan, which turned out to be a round loaf of bread with a nipple in the center.


(= Eng. ass) as opposed to nalgas (= Eng. buttocks). I was in the farmer's market and overheard a very elegant lady request "Dáme dos rompes, por favor!" (= Eng. Give me two "breakers", please). The farmer dropped two squat but fat brownish red bananas into a bag and the lady left. With my filthy mind, I thought "breaker" referred to the size of the fruit, when possibly inserted into the culo. I was partly right, as I found out, because the full name of the fruit is rompe culo (Eng = ass breaker) but the lady was too polite to utter the word culo in public.

I had never seen them before and wanted to try them. So I echoed the request, asking for six of them, instead of two. I took my purchase home and tested one. It was so delicious I ate three more. The next morning I learned how the fruit got its name. During the night I had released so much gas that the sheet hovered about four inches above the bed. When I threw off the sheet, the smell left no doubt as to which orifice the gas used to escape. I had wicked cramps and stirred up a minor hurricane in the toilet bowl when I tried to relieve the pressure. Obviously, the ass was broken from the inside and not outside.

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