Spanish Pig Latin: Idioma Efe

In English, we have a few gibberish languages. The most popular is, “Pig Latin”, which is an alternate way of speaking English in “code”, usually for fun, or to make it harder for others to understand. While there are variations, the biggest rule of “Pig Latin” is that you move the initial consonant sound to the end of the word and affiix an “ay”, (Pronounced like the first letter of the English alphabet.)


“Ide-hay e-thay ookies-cay. E-thay ids-kay are-ay oming-cay!”

Which means, “Hide the cookies! The kids are coming!” (See, I gave you a very useful phrase.)

Well, English isn’t the only language with a gibberish version. French, Hebrew, German, Swedish, Italian and Spanish are just a handful of the languages that have something similar to “Pig Latin”.

In Mexico and Central America, “Idioma F”, “Idioma Efe”, “Lengua F”, and “Lengua Efe”, (which all basically mean “F Language”), or simply “Efe”, is their version of “Pig Latin”. The rules are as follows:

• First, divide the syllables of the word.
• Second, to each syllable, take off the consonant and replace it with “F”.
• Third, put the original consonant back where they belong.

For example, the word, “Hola”:
Break into syllables:  Ho – la
Replace consonants with “F”:  Fo – fa
Then put the original syllables back where they belong.

Combined, you have the result: Hofolafa


  1. omg! I’d already forgot about this funny way to talk…but I remember when I was en la secundaria, we used to speak like this. So funny for us and so annoying for my mom, thanks for bringing me back all those memories.

  2. I’ll have to ask the family over Christmas dinner if they ever spoke this way. Doubtful, as they were mostly raised here, but maybe the older brothers will remember, or some of the SIL’s. I’ll let you know what they say. Merry Christmas Sra. Lopez, que te pasa con mucho gusto y con mejor comida ;)

    • @ Humincat – Let me know what the in-laws say! … If you want to jog their memory, apparently there was a commercial in Mexico in the 1980’s or 1990’s, and there was a cartoon ghost. The entire commercial was spoken in Efe. I can’t remember what it was they were selling, but it drove parents batty, yet all the children understood it. It was praised as being very clever marketing.

      Feliz Navidad a ti y a tú familia, y sinceros deseos que el Año Nuevo va a estar llena de salud, alegría y prosperidad, (en otras palabras, que el 2010 va a salir mucho mejor que el pinche 2009. Jajaja ;)

  3. uhm what would que be then? what about like the 3 or 2 letter words cause they said other things to so I really don’t get it

  4. oh btw one time I over heard my uncle and brother say ese repe opo idk what that means if you can find out that would be awesome!!

    • Hi Aracely, my husband says they were saying “ese reo” – the word “reo” in English is “convict.”

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