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Swearing in Colombia – watch your mouth!

Shout!!!Having lived in Argentina and Mexico before, and having been taught by teachers from Spain at university, I’ve been exposed to various different ‘Spanishes’. If you’re familiar with ‘castellano argentino’ and Spanish-from-Spain, you’ll have heard a lot of swear words; the Spanish and the Argentinians like to swear and in Argentina at least, the locals will find it hilarious to hear you trying out your newly-learned curses. But be careful about swearing in Colombia! The Colombians don’t swear much, and often try to replace swear words with other words when expressing their frustration at something… for example, ‘hijo de puta’ (son of a b*tch) becomes “hijo de madre (son of a mother) / hijo de puente (son of a bridge(!)) / hijo de no-sé-qué (son of I-don’t-know-what). Similarly ‘puta’ (b*tch/wh*re) becomes ‘pucha’, and ‘mierda’ (sh*t) becomes ‘mier..coles’ (Wednesday).

Some Colombians will find it funny to hear you spout verbal diarrhoea but others will look surprised or even offended. Swearing is considered much ruder here than in other Spanish-speaking countries, so just be sure of who you’re talking to before you start showing off, because once the damage is done, it’s done!

6 Comments on Swearing in Colombia – watch your mouth!

  1. Very interesting! I was in Mexico for vacations in the past and didn’t understand the language other than some basic phrases. Is Mexico similar to Columbia relative to the ‘colorful adjectives’?

    • Thank you for reading! In my experience, every Spanish-speaking country has a different type of ‘Spanish’ – different words, accents, customs regarding swearing.. and every time you go to a new country where Spanish is spoken, you will need to learn about these differences to avoid being met with a puzzled look, or putting your foot in it! If you started speaking like an Argentinian in Colombia (swearing every second word), you’d offend a lot of people!

    • Mexicans have a wide array of profanity and slang which they love to use. Colombian Spanish is quite pure compared to the Mexican.

  2. Thank you for your feedback. I plan on visiting South America soon. I’d like to visit Macchu Picchu, Bogota, and Lake Titicaca, although I ‘m not sure that I can convince my family to go there. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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