Double Talk

Words in Spanish with double or triple meanings:

Tacos – The food we all know and love, and also means soccer/fútbol cleats

Paloma – Dove (the bird), also a nickname for the penis, and “palomitas de maiz” (little doves of corn) is used for popcorn.

Esposas – Wives, handcuffs (Hmmm. Macho or kinky?)

Huevos – Eggs, testicles

Muñeca – Doll, wrist

Cola – Tail, line (of people), soda

Derecho – Right (direction), Right (legal)

Listo – Smart, Ready

Rico – Delicious, Wealthy, Really nice feeling

Can you think of others?


    • @ Melanie – I call high heels “tacones” – didn’t know they can be simply called “tacos” as well.

      Salvadorans use the word “paloma” for the penis – not sure what other countries may also use it.

    • @ Sandy – I knew “codo” to mean elbow, but not stingy. I’m learning new stuff here! I use “tocaño” for stingy.

    • I use that to mean stingy as well. There is even a body language sign for it where you tap your elbow with a closed fist to point someone’s stingy if you don’t want to say it. Maybe it’s just a Puertoricanism of language.

      • @ Lifeclearyethazy – Yes, I love the elbow “sign language”, but I’ve always used this with “tocaño”. Now maybe that clears up the word’s origin? I didn’t make the connection. Interesting! Thanks for commenting!

  1. Ok, I use tacones, not tacos, and have never heard another use for taco besides the edible kind. I also use codo to mean cheap/stingy or elbow. I’m pretty sure there are a million ways to say penis, lol, but have never heard of paloma. And esposas for handcuffs is definitely a macho thing, as my hubby smirked when I asked him about it.

  2. Yeah, I have never heard Tacos as cleats either, in Spain, Peru, Mexico, or Colombia. Maybe elsewhere? My hubs makes *anything* a double-entendre….so it’s hard to talk about food at all! My contribution is “tirar”- which means to throw, and also can mean to…um, do the horizontal mambo? :) Enjoyed the post.

  3. Hola Sra. López, “derecho” also means straight ahead, not to be confused with “a la derecha” (to the right) when giving directions!

    • @ Amanda – I didn’t include “por qué” (why) and “porque” because although they sound the same, written, they are different. Same with “sí” (yes) and “si” (if) … This is a whole different category with many more words!

      I didn’t know “manzana” could be used for a “city block” in Argentina – thanks for contributing!

  4. Okay, here’s a question. When I spent a summer in Mexico City as a college student a loooong time ago, I took classes (cursos temporales) at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México.

    An American girl who had been living and studying in Mexico for a couple of years, told me never to go to a grocery store and say “¿tiene huevos?” to the clerk. My American friend said that would mean “do you have testicles” and would make the clerk burst out laughing.

    My friend said the right way to ask if a store had eggs was to say “¿hay huevos?” Since then, that’s what I’ve always said, but I’ve also always wondered if she was right.

    I’d love to hear comments on this.

    • @ Rita – I’ve also heard that no Mexican woman who considers herself a lady would ever ask for “huevos” at the market – they use a different word but I can’t remember what it is. Don’t know if this is true, but the fact that you heard something similar lends some credibility. We’ll see what everyone else says!

  5. :) Hola! Algunas personas en El Salvador usan Bicho referring to kids and it means bugs in other countries and my Puerto Rican friend says it is another word for penis

    • That’s true – good one! … My kids feel funny using “bicho” because of it’s similarity to the English curse. LOL. I explained over and over that it’s not bad, it’s a different word, what it means, etc – but they still stop and look at me when they say it to see if they’ll get in trouble!

  6. Hope you don’t mind me peppering your older posts with comments… I’m reading through your blog slowly but surely like a good book :) Anyways, here are a few more!

    Coco — Coconut, head, bump on the head

    Pedo — Gas (as in, echastes un pedo?!), drunk

    Pista — runway, clue

    Lana — wool, money

    Tomar — drink, take

    Chupar — suck, drink (alcohol)

    • Great ones! Thanks for contributing to the conversation. Please, continue to leave comments on older posts – I love it :) Glad you’re enjoying my blog enough to go through the archives.

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