A couple of weeks ago I did a Twitter thread on how Spaniards (and Gaditanos in particularly) pepper their informal speech with reference to genitals. The thread went viral (over 2 million views when I last checked) so I thought I’d reproduce it here. But do take a look at the original thread, too, as there are lots of entertaining side comments and discussions that aren’t included here.
The other day, I came across the following phrase:
Y encima tú, con todo tu coño…
= And, what’s more, you, with your whole cunt…
Here’s the whole sentence for context:
Y encima tú, con todo tu coño, no contenta con quedar con un desconocido del que sólo sabes que es un rarito que te cagas, vas y le cuentas el plan.
= And, what’s more, you, with your whole cunt, not content to meet a stranger about whom the only thing you know is he’s as weird as hell, you go and tell him the plan.
So, the speaker is expressing frustration with her friend’s naivete:
= And there you are, Jesus Christ! You meet up with some total stranger – the only thing you know about him for sure is that he’s as weird as hell – and you go and tell him the whole plan.
So coño (=cunt) in that phrase is used to emphasize the friend’s naivete.
The general idea is one of inertia, of insisting on being one’s predictable frustrating self, regardless. If the object of your frustration is male, you can replace coño with huevos (balls).
It’s probably worth noting at this stage that coño is actually a fairly mild expletive and can be uttered, for example, to express frustration and is similar to “shit!” or even to “damn!”
Your teenage son has gone out (pre-lockdown) failing to take keys, despite constant reminders. He turns up at 3 in the morning and you get out of bed to let him in. As you open the door, you greet him with a resigned:
¡con tus huevos!
=with your balls
Or your mother can’t remember where she parked the car and you spend half an hour searching for it. As you recount events to a friend you might say:
mi madre, con el coño
=my mother, with her cunt
=my mum, she’s so absent-minded
So, there is an element of (more or less) indulgent frustration that comes from the fact that the huevos/coño here represent an essential feature of the person’s character. It may annoy us but it is part of who they are.
And, talking of frustration:
estar hasta los huevos/el coño de algo/alguien
=to be up to one’s balls/cunt with something/someone
=to be completely fed up with something/someone
deja de tocarme los huevos/el coño
=stop touching my balls/cunt
=stop annoying me
Genitals don’t have to be frustrating. They can be celebratory or affirmatory too. E.g., if someone does something good, asserts themself, takes a big risk etc., you could say:
¡Ole tus huevos/cojones!
Or if speaking to a woman:
¡Ole tu coño!
=Well done!/Go for it!
My favourite instance of this was when a friend of mine was teaching a flamenco workshop in Edinburgh. At one point, she was demonstrating an arm movement.
To explain to the students the spirit in which she wanted them to perform the movement, she said (in a strong Spanish accent):
Like this. For you, for your cunt!
(así, pa’ ti, pa’ tu coño)
Genitals can also be used as a form of address. I live in Cadiz, and it’s fairly standard to address men or boys as pisha (=cock)
It’s roughly equivalent to “mate”, e.g.:
Qué de tiempo, pisha
=I haven’t seen you for ages, mate
“chocho” (=cunt) can also be used as a term of address for women, although I think it’s slightly less neutral, and seems to be used when there’s some impatience, teasing or whatever.
venga, chocho, que nos vamos
=come on, cunt, we’re leaving
=hurry up, we’re leaving
For neutral or affectionate use of chocho, it’s safer to add a dimunitive:
=hello, little cunt
Sticking in Cadiz for a moment, a variant of this is to affectionately address* a small boy as pishita de plata and a small girl as chochete de oro.
= silver cock/golden cunt
*Not a casual greeting between strangers, even in Cadiz, it must be said.
I also have a fondness for a couple of allusive phrases.
Me la suda
Pragmatically, I’d generally translate this as:
I don’t give a damn
But the la in that phrase actually refers to la polla (cock)
= S/he makes my cock sweat 🧐
Te la van a meter doblada