27 Puerto Rican Spanish Words & Phrases You Should Know

Today we are going to be going over common Puerto Rican Spanish words and phrases so that you can sound more Puerto Rican when you speak Spanish.

Watch this video for an explanation on the words. You will see a list of the words, their meaning, and an example in a sentence below.

1 - Qué es la que hay?

“What’s up!” This is a phrase you can use when you great your friends.

2 - Chavo

Money. It’s the equivalent of dinero.

Example: Mi amiga me ha prestado chavo. — My friend lent me money.

3 - Pela'o

“Broke” in terms of not having money.

Example: Estoy pela’o, no tengo chavo. — I’m broke I don’t have any money.

4 - Brutal

Something that is amazing!

Example: Esa pelicula fue brutal! — That movie was amazing!

5 - Acicala'o

Flashy or well put together (in terms of dressing and style).

Example: Ese tipo está acicala’o con las cadenas puestas. — That man is flashy with his chains on.

6 - Guagua

Bus or truck

Example: I’m going to take the bus tomorrow. — Voy a coger la guagua mañana.

7 - Revolú


Example: Limpia este revolú. — Clean this mess.

8 - Corillo

Group of friends (gang)

Example: Saldré con mi corillo. — I will go out with my friends.

9 - Birras


Example: Pásame una birra. — Pass me a beer.

10 - Parquear

To park (the car)

Example: ¿Dónde parqueaste el carro? — Where did you park the car?

11 - Bregar

To deal with (something)

Example: No puede venir porque está bregando con cosas de la casa. — He can’t come because he’s dealing with things at home.

12 - Al garete 

Disaster or mess

Example: La situación está al garete por el gobierno. — The situation is a disaster because of the government.

13 - Ahorita (Orita)

Meaning “later.” Not to be confused with “ahora” which means now. Ahorita is an abstract time in the future.

Example: Te llamo ahorita, estoy ocupado ahora. — I’ll call you later, I’m busy right now.

14 - Embuste o Embustero

Lie or Liar. The equivalent to mentira and mentiroso

Example: Él es un embustero, no le creas. He his a liar, don’t believe him.

15 - Bochinche

Bad gossip that usually includes some sort of defamation.

Example: Ellos me dijeron un bochinche de tu amiga. — They gossiped to me about your friend.

16 - Perreo, Perrear 

A term for the dirty type of dancing done to Reggaeton music. This type of dancing is commonly referred to as “grinding.”

Example: Vamos a perrear con las mujeres. — We are going to “grind” with the women.

17 - Mete Mano 

To do something or “try your hand” at it.

Example: Mete mano si crees que lo puedes hacer. — Try your hand at it if you think you can do it.

18 - Acho 

Boy or guy. Short for “chacho” or “Muchacho.” Usually used as a filler word, like “dude or bro”

Example: Acho, que haces? — Dude, what are you doing?

19 - Janguear 

To hang out

Example: Vamos a janguear esta noche. — We are going to hang out tonight.

20 - Guilla'o

Usually meaning cocky.

Example: Tu hermano es guilla’o. — Your brother is cocky.

21 - tiradera o tiraera

A diss to someone usually in music. Lyrical warfare.

Example: Mi rapero favorito grabó una tiraera para tu rapero favorito. — My favorite rapper made a diss for your favorite rapper.

22 - Pichear 

To avoid

Example: Mi novia está picheandome, no me quiere hablar. — My girlfriend is ignoring me, she doesn’t want to talk to me.

23 - Yal

Name for a certain stereotype of a woman in Puerto Rico that is from low income housing, lives off government welfare, but acts like they are the best thing to hit the town.

Example: Ella es una yal, se cree que es mas de lo que es. — She is a “yal” thinking she is more than she really is.

24 - Cafre


Example: Una yal puede ser una mujer cafre. — a “yal” can be a trashy women.

25 - Duro 

In Puerto Rico this means someone that is good at what they do.

Example: Lebron James está duro cuando juega. — Lebron James is good when he plays basketball.

26 - Enfogona'o 

Upset, pissed of. The equivalent of enojado.

Example: Ella te tiene enfogona’o. — She has you pissed.

27 - A fuego

Referring to something being good.

Example: Esa chaqueta está a fuego! — That jacket is fire!


Keep in mind these aren’t all the phrases.

There are many other words and phrases I’m sure I missed but this is a great place to start. 

If you found this post helpful, you’ll enjoy my free training where I reveal my 3 biggest secrets to learn, to speak, and comprehend Spanish faster.

These secrets work no matter what Spanish you’re trying to learn.

I know this post was specific to Puerto Rican Spanish…

But the secrets that I reveal in that free training help you no matter if you’re trying to learn Spain Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Dominican Spain, any Spanish, or any other type of Spanish.


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