Mango In Spanish Slang Essay


Cuban Slang Words and Phrases



Most if not all countries of the world have their own little expressions commonly known as slang.  For us kiwis we have words such as ‘tramping’ (hiking to most other people, ‘jandals’ (footwear aka thongs, flipflops etc), ‘munted’ (broken), togs (swim suit), diary (local corner shop), tiki tour (a scenic drive), dodgy (someone or something that shouldn’t be trusted), stoked (really happy about something) etc.  Hear those words and you know that you’re home or in the presence of another kiwi 🙂

Cuba is no different and if you’re planning a visit you will likely hear some of these words and phrases that likely come up in any regular Spanish lessons or in any language text book.  Listen out for them on your visit or throw a few into your conversation to impress the locals 🙂

1. ¿Qué bola?   What’s up?

You probably know ‘¿qué tal? as the Spanish way to say ‘what’s up?’ but ¿qué bola? is the Cuban equivalent and is by far one of the most popular Cuban phrases.

Use it when you see someone that you’ve made friends with ….

¿Oye qué bola?” = “Hey, what’s up?”

2.  Acere or asere – this is a bit like ‘bro’ or ‘homey’ a very familiar expression for ‘friend’ mainly used for males but sometime heard between women. 

.  “¿Acere, que bola?” = “Bro, what’s up?”

3.   Camello – a bus in Cuba is referred to as a camel.  You can probably see why from the picture 🙂

And if you happen to be riding on ‘un camello’ then watch out for our next word …

4JamoneroA creepy, touchy-feely guy.  This term commonly refers to a man who tries to grope girls on the crowded camello buses.

5.   Punto   Now this would be along the lines of the kiwi ‘dodgy’ and is used to describe someone as being a bit of a weirdo.

“Ese es tremendo punto.” = “That guy’s a real weirdo.”

6.  Dale is a common slang expression that you’ll hear in many Latin American countries and Cuba is no different it can mean anything from ‘come on’, ‘hurry up’, ‘go for it’, ‘hit it’ or ‘let’s go’.

7.  Qué paragüero! – What a bad driver!  Use this one in a taxi after a near collision and your driver will be very impressed.

8.  Qué pasa comparde? – What’s up buddy?

9.  La Yuma is how Cubans refer to the USA but ‘yuma’ by itself can also be used to refer to a white foreigner as an alternative to gringo.

10.  Arranca! – Get going!

11.  Blumeslang for undies / knickers.

12.  Hay que hacer la cola! – Get in the queue!  (lit.  You have to get in the queue.)  

If someone says this to you you have probably just pushed in a queue that you didn’t know existed.

13.  Tipo in many other countries just means guy the way we can use it in English but in Cuba it usually carries a slightly negative or derrogative connotation 

“Ese tipo no sirve.” = “That guy sucks.” 

14.  La pincha – work

Me voy para la pincha – I’m going to work.

15. ¡Tu maletín!    That’s your problem (literally, your briefcase)!

16. ¡Me resbala! I don’t care!  (lit. it slides off me).

Cultural Note:  

There are a couple of fruit related phrases that one needs to be aware of when visiting Cuba.


17. Frutabomba   Papaya.

Why don’t they just call it a papaya? Well, because papaya in Cuban slang means something a little different.

18. Papaya   Vagina.  

Yes, as I was saying, good to be aware of these things.

19. Tremendo mangón.    Hottie

If you’re a guy someone may say this to you, if so take it as a compliment, they’re not really saying that you’re a giant mango – it means they think you’re hot!

“Ese hombre es tremendo mangón!” = “That guy is so hot!”

NB:  Girls may also receive a mango comment which also means ‘hot’ as in ‘smokin’ 🙂

“Esa jeva es un mango!” (That girl is super hot).

20. Me tienes hasta el último pelo: You’re driving me crazy!

Lit.  You have me up to the last hair.  I can’t take much more.”

And to finish up – you know the ‘see ya later aligator’ …. ‘in a while crocadile’ farewell that you used to say as a kid?  Well here’s the Cuban equivalent.

22. ¡Chao pescao!     (lit.  Goodbye fish!)

and the response …

23. …¡Y a la vuelta picadillo!  (lit.  and next time mince meat!)

Apparently these sayings come from the old ration cards that would give you fish for the first 15 days of the month and then meat for the rest of the month.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Cuban slang and that it helps you understand the locals better and enjoy your stay even more when visiting this amazing country!

If you’d like to listen to the Cuban accent you may enjoy a couple of Cuban entertainers. (notice how Cuban’s love to drop their s’s) 


Cubans also love to turn their R’s into L’s, particularly at the end of words and they will often complete miss out the letter ‘d’ turning words like pescado (fish) into pesca’o.


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Cuban Words

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Cuban Spanish | Love in Havana | Work in Cuba | Nightlife |

You are Here
Home › Cuban slang

"Want to learn "Cuban Spanish"? 
This page will teach you the REAL words 
used on the island"

I suggest that you carry a pocket dictionary or electronic translator to communicate with the Cubans. 

In the hotels most of the staff speaks English, but in the shops and on the streets a basic knowledge of Spanish can be very useful.

Take in consideration that Spanish is spoken in many countries and that a lot of Latino people live in the United States.


One of the most important words in Cuban Slang is money,
in Spanish : DINERO 
Local dialect for money :
moneda, baro, chavito, divisa, fula, dolars, peso, plata, melon, moni, guanikiki, lana, pasta, yira.

Frequently used words:

  • Asere : friend, mate ( qué bola asere = how are you mate)
  • Ajustador : bra
  • Babaloa : Santeria priest
  • Baro : money
  • Bemba : lips - Radio Bemba : Gossip, Grapevine
  • Bici : bicycle
  • Bici-tax : bicycle taxi
  • Bodega : ( state owned) grocery store
  • Bollo : vagina (vulgar expression)(pronounced: boljo)
  • Bolsa negra : black market (translated: black bag)
  • Borracho : drunken
  • Blumer : knickers
  • Bruja : without money, broke, I have no money
  • Bisnero : business man ( hustler)
  • Campesino : farmer
  • Camello : camel bus
  • Cardosa : sopa (Spanish) soup
  • Carro : car
  • Carnet (de identidad) Cuban identity card
  • Chancletas : flip-flops
  • Chebi : taxi ( official state taxi)
  • Chica : girl
  • Chopin : shopping ( refers to dollar shop , tourist shop)
  • Chocolate : a mobile telephone with a glider..
    Because it is more expensive and the latest, the Cubans call it "Chocolate" as something more valuable and expensive:....a chocolate.
  • Chulo : pimp
  • Cojones : bastard (vulgar expression)
  • Cola : Cuban queue
  • Comemierda : bastard, stupid (translated : eat shit) (vulgar expression)
  • Compay : companion (compadre) buddy, comrade
  • Coño : Bastard, Shit (vulgar) Spanish: esta mierda (see also Pinga)
  • Consorte : friend
  • Chao : (good) bye
  • Chivato : squeaker, police informer
  • Cuarto : a room (in a hotel) (Spanish: habitación)
  • Dale : go for it, it's OK - also used Vale : it's OK
  • Delgado : slim person
  • Descarga : jam session
  • Entufado : drunken (also borracho)
  • Espejuelos : glasses (Spanish anteojos - gafas)
  • Fardo : pants, trousers
  • Filtro : smart person
  • Fiana : police
  • Fosforera : lighter (Spanish: encendedor)
  • Frigi : refrigerator (from frigidaire)
  • Fuki-Fuki : having sex (vulgar)
  • Gallego : bad lover - bad sex
  • Ganso : gay (also: Maricon)
  • Grilla : bad woman, cheap vulgar prostitute,
  • Gringo: foreigner (also: Yuma)(yuma is more used)
  • Guapo : good looking, afraid of nobody.
  • Guagua : autobus (also: Rufa)
  • Guajira : peasant - farmer (female) Guajiro (= male)
  • Guayabera: loose men shirt also named Mexican Wedding shirt
  • intima : sanitary towel
  • Izquierda (translation=left) : por izquierda : through the black market (with the left hand = black market or bolsa negra)
  • Jama: food (jamar: to eat)(Spanish: comer)
  • Jamonero: Cuban slang word for a guy who groped chicas on a crowded camello (camel bus)
  • Jinetera : escort girl, part-time prostitute
  • Jaba : plastic bag (to carry groceries)
  • Joder : fucking (vulgar) No me jodes : don't fuck me up
  • Jodido : fucked up (vulgar)
  • Jeva : woman (Spanish: mujer)
  • Kiosko : little shop
  • Mala Hoja : a bad lover - bad sex
  • Mami : mam (used when addressing a woman) Mamita: (expression used to address a woman with affection)
  • Mangon / Mango : good looking, pretty
  • Maricon : gay, queer (vulgar)
  • Máquina : car (Spanish: coche, carro)
  • Maté : deep kiss, French kiss, (Spanish: beso largo)
  • Monado : police
  • Moni : money
  • Moreno or prieta : black people, (Spanish los negros)
  • Mulatón : a mixture of mulata and black race
  • Ohrishas : the Gods (religious)
  • Paguete : bad lover - bad sex
  • Papi : dad ( used when addressing a man)
  • palestino : stupid, retarded ( used by people from Havana to refer to farmers from Eastern Cuba)
  • Padrino : Santeria priest, counseller
  • Págaro : gay, homosexual
  • Pato : gay
  • Paton : bad dancer
  • Pasta : fiancee (Spanish: novio or novia)
  • Pipo : chap (used when addressing a waiter)
  • Pinga : penis (vulgar expression), shit (also "Fuck off") Esta de Pinga: it's shit Pinguero : male prostitute (derived from the word "pinga")
  • Pinchar : to work (Spanish: trabajar)
  • Playero : beach shirt (similar to guayabera but more colorful)
  • Pulover : T-shirt
  • Queik : cake
  • Quimbar : having sex
  • Rascabuchador : voyeur, Peeping Tom
  • Singao : bad person
  • Sardina : slim woman
  • Singar : having sex
  • Suerte : good luck, happiness
  • Socio : budy , mate
  • Tacos: shoes (women) (also: llanta)
  • Taxi Colectivo : a shared taxi for Cubans only
  • Tenis : sneakers, training shoes, sports shoes
  • Temba : a person over 40 (he/she is over the hill)
  • Tortillera : lesbian (Spanish lesbiana)
  • yin : (blue) jeans
  • yuma : foreigner
  • Zafra : the sugar cane harvest

    Love and Care Expressions

  • Cariño : love, darling, affection, tender
  • Amor : love, sweetheart
  • Linda : Beauty
  • Mi Vida : my love, my everything (translated : my life)
  • Cuidate : take care
  • beso: kiss - besito: little tender kiss
  • Con todo mi Corazón: with all my heart
  • Frequently Used Expressions

  • Hola : Hello
  • Chao : Goodbye, Bye
  • ¿Que bola? : How are you? (Spanish : ¿Como esta?)also ¿Que vola?
  • No es fácil : It's not easy (translated) Life is hard (the living is difficult)
  • Disculpe , permiso : Sorry
  • ¿Te gustas? : Do you like it? (used for a drink or meal)
  • No sé : I don't know
  • ¿Cuánto cuesta? : How much is this?
  • Ser un punto : being stupid, weird
  • Tener un peso suerte : to find an lost or forgotten peso (dollar) in your pocket ( translated: to have a lucky peso or dollar) ¿No tiene un peso suerte? Do you have an accidental peso?
  • Estar a dieta : without sexual contact
  • Bailar con los 5 latinos : masturbation (translated: dancing with the five latinos)
  • Rayar la pintura : unfaithful, cheating (translated: scratching the paint)
  • Quemar petróleo : a white person making love/sex to a black person (translated: burning oil)
  • Estas comiendo mierda : You're eating shit
  • Ese huevo quiere sal : this egg wants salt (expression for wants sex)

  • Related Pages:

    University of Havana
    Work in Cuba
    read more
    Life in the city

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