Sunday’s word (joder) attracted quite some visitors: more than a whopping 15,000 hits it received over the last three days. Coincidence? I don’t know, but it’s the first more or less vulgar word discussed at this blog, and it got massive attention right away. Although I love all these new visitors (especially stumblers: WELCOME!), I’m not going to post a vulgar word every day. Still, the discussion that developed in the comments was quite interesting and resulted in today’s word: coño.

Coño is, in general, considered as an extremely vulgar word. To put it mildly, it means the feminine genitalia (or ‘c*nt’ if you don’t like the mild stuff). It can also be translated to ‘f*cking hell’ or ‘bloody hell’. Still, it’s used among men (and to a lesser extent women) in Spain as an exclamation.

*Note: As pointed out in the comments, the word coño has no real meaning in many parts of Latin-America. Instead, the word concha can be used in Argentina, Chile, Peru or Uruguay.

**Extra Note: Long-time visitor Graham added this quote from the book “Pardon my Spanish!”. Thanks Graham!:

Coño is one of the most offensive words in the Spanish language and is always considered to be vulgar. Nevertheless, it is widely used for emphasis and as an interjection, and it is not unusual for it to be said by politicians or businessmen or in front of members of one’s own family in these senses. Whilst for sense 1(a), the translation c*nt might seem to be the obvious choice, in fact coño lacks the taboo and sexist connotations often still associated with this English term, and it is much more commonly used by both men and women to refer to the vagina.

Sentences

¿Qué coño te pasa?
What the hell is wrong with you?

¿Dónde coño has estado?
Where the f*ck have you been?

¿Quién coño es este?
Who the hell is this?

*Sentences taken from Wordreference.com.

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Related Posts:
Spanish Word of the Day: coña
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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

SpanishOmelette November 19, 2008 at 12:10 pm

“Coño” is a great word :)

I will follow your blog with interest…

Reply

Pepe November 20, 2008 at 1:49 am

Sobre tu comentario sobre las visitas que tuviste a raiz del “Joder” te cuento que en varios blogs se posteo un link a tu pagina sobre eso.
El motivo de este comentario es para hacerte una correccion, la palabra “coño” no se usa para nada en Latino America, donde si se usa mucho es en España. En Latino America el equivalente a “Coño” es “Concha” (que en España es nombre de mujer)

Por eso te digo…ANDATE A LA CONCHA DE TU HERMANA!!!

Reply

Andrés November 20, 2008 at 2:26 am

jaja buen comment Pepe, son de 4ta estos tipos
“Coño is, in general (and especially in Latin-American), considered as an extremely vulgar word. ” that’s NOT TRUE. You’re giving a very wrong impression. Here in Argentina we say coño ONLY when we act like we where spanish as a joke. You can say that anywhere, you won’t offend nobody. Argentinian equivalent would be… CONCHA.

¡Chau!

Reply

Patty November 20, 2008 at 5:31 am

I was told many years ago that this originated from the saying ‘Acona tu Nai’ meaning the c*nt of your mother. From this is became just Coño. I was not sure of the validity of this until I read this blog. Does anyone else have any more on this?
On another note. There was even a store in Miami Beach name ño! that had t-shirts with the same as ño is the even shorter version of this oh so multi-use word.

Reply

SpanishOmelette November 20, 2008 at 9:59 am

Patty: Cona is Coño in Galician and nai is mother… The phrase is “A cona da tua nai” The c*nt of your mother. You can say “Cago na cona” that is something like “fucking shit!” but is Galician. I don’t know nothing about “ño”…

Reply

galaaad November 20, 2008 at 11:13 am

Here,in the Canary Islands (Spain,nearby Africa),the people use “ño” ( it sounds “ñooo”),it does not mean c*nt,just something like “wow” or “what the…”

But remember,only in the Canary Islands,if you say “ño” in the rest of Spain,nobody knows what are you talking about.

Reply

Alan November 20, 2008 at 12:02 pm

About the visitors: a very popular Spanish blog (“Microsiervos WTF”) linked your post about “joder”. That´s how I got here.

Like other Argentinians have allready said, “coño” means nothing in Argentina. Latin-America is very big, and is a very big mistake to think that Spanish is spoken the same way all over the continent. I think that you could write “México” instead of “Latin-America” in most of your posts, and that would make them more accurate. You have to be very carefull about Argentina (and Uruguay), because Spanish is very different there. You have a parody of this fact (a bit exagerated, but funny) that you can read here.

Alan’s last blog post..Diario del internauta neófito: 6. El Blog

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ManuFM November 20, 2008 at 12:04 pm

The Spanish word coño, the Galician cona and the Catalan cony, all derived from the Latin word cunniculus, which is a diminutive for cunnus (vulva).
In Spain, the word conejo (rabbit) is a synonymous with coño (I don’t know if this is true for other Spanish-speaking countries). As I said above, cunniculus means little vulva in Latin. But there is a very similar Latin word: cuniculus (rabbit, burrow). Probably, both words merged, due to their likeness, into cuniculus, but holding all their meanings. This is a very useful way to create euphemisms. Finally, cuniculus evolved to present-time conejo, but lost the meaning burrow on the way.

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Ramses November 20, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Thanks for the corrections. The reason why I assumed it’s vulgar in LA is because some friends of mine from el área del caribe and México said so. Will change it a bit. Thanks!

Reply

do you want to November 20, 2008 at 4:47 pm

No me toques el coño (=los huevos/cojones/ovarios) = Don’t piss me off!

Y tambien se dice estoy hasta el coño (tambien intercambiable por ovarios,huevos o cojones), que seria estar harto de algo (ahora mismo no me se me ocurre la traduccion al ingles, perdona!)

Ovarios seria una manera mas fina de decirlo y considerada menos vulgar y la usan solo las mujeres, pero coño/huevos/cojones lo usan ambos sexos.
Coño esta bastante mal visto, mas que mierda o joder o me caguen (me cago en…) y se considera MUY vulgar y barriobajero.

Tengo prisa asi que si puedo traduzco el post luego!

Reply

Ramses November 20, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Jeje, no pasa nada :) . Entiendo todo que has dicho ;-) . ¿De dónde eres? Porque muchos españoles creen que coño es una palabra vulgar, no MUY vulgar…

Reply

Rosa July 13, 2010 at 8:01 am

I don't think "coño" is a very vulgar word anywhere, and it is only common in Spain and here in the Dominican Republic (as far as I know, anyway) Here, it is extremely common for everyone, men and women. You use it as an exclamation, to express surprise, anger, delight…practically anything, and even though it is a "bad word", it's not considered "too bad" because of how common it is for everybody. Oh, and very few people here actually know it means "vagina" too, but if you look it up in any dictionary, that's what'll tell you. Creía que en España era menos vulgar que aquí.

Reply

MaRGa November 20, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Pues estoy de acuerdo con ‘do you want to’. A mi parecer, “coño” es MUY vulgar, al menos cuando se usa para referirse a la vagina. No parece tan vulgar, o al menos no se ve así, si se usa cuando se está enfadado, simplemente “¡Coño!”, lo que traduces como “Bloody hell”, o como en “¿Qué coño te pasa?”
En general creo que si una mujer se refiere a su vagina como “coño” está usando una palabra muy vulgar. En el resto de los casos es una palabra muy extendida y, aunque vulgar, se usa muy a menudo.

Reply

meruelo November 20, 2008 at 8:14 pm

I agree with “do you want to”. I think “coño”, the word only, is not “muy vulgar”, but in some sentences it could be:
“¿Donde coño has puesto el puto boligrafo?” -> “Where the hell did you put the fucking pen?” – Familiar.
“Yo hago lo que me sale del coño” – “I do whatever I want” – Muy vulgar.

P.D: I wrote this reply before reading Marga’s post; I basically agree with her.

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do you want to November 20, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Soy de Asturias, del norte :)

Aqui somos mas de usar el me caguen la virgen, la madre que te pario, la santina… etc que de coño xD Ademas de que usamos el bable/asturiano para los insultos como babayu (tonto)

Y como dijo MaRGa, coño seria muy vulgar si se refiere a los getinales,

como exclamacion estaria mas aceptado pero creo que joder esta mejor vista que coño.

Muy buen blog por cierto, a mis favoritos que va!

Pero bueno, como ya sabras con tantos paises y regiones distintas el idioma cambia mucho :)

Reply

Graham November 20, 2008 at 8:50 pm

This is all very interesting! Also interesting is the amount of interest this subject arouses ;-)

On a related note, what does the difference in meanings given to the ‘augmented’ coñazo and cojonudo tell us?

Graham’s last blog post..Una cigarra por la noche

Reply

Misha November 20, 2008 at 11:51 pm

It is true that here in Spain, “coño” is often used by men, and a large amount of women as well. But in many parts of Spain, women tend to use a modification of “coño”, which would be “coñe” … or even “…oñe…” (pronounced “coh-ñeh”) in an attempt to sound less vulgar. In the last case, they use it as an exclamation as to say “oh my!” “wow!” “f*ck!” “hell!” and sound puzzled but still not posh or snob enough to use a more delicate word… you get the idea.

It’s also true that in Argentina (and I guess Uruguay too), we don’t say “coño” at all, except when we want to impersonate a spanish-speaking person. This might not apply to Chile, I think I heard that they do use “coño” there.
South America’ Spanish is very different from Spanish language from Mexico and Spain itself.
Sorry for my English!
I live in Spain but I’m from Argentina
PS: “cojonudo” means “great!” and “coñazo” is something tricky, hard to do or to handle. It’s usually used for an action.

Reply

Airos November 21, 2008 at 1:31 am

We also use alone the word “coño” when we get a inmediate fright or as a surprise exclamation (“¡Coño!”). Also, we use “coño ya” when want to stop someone who bother us.
Excuse if my English is not good enough.

Reply

Anonymous November 21, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Hi there.

The best word in Spanish is “cojones”.

Antonio Pérez-Reverte wrote a paper about this word. Here you are: http://asturianosdesanabria.es/node/724 (sorry: it is in spanish because in english it has no sense :D ).

Maybe you want to comment this word in any of your sections.

¡¡ See you !!

Reply

Persona November 21, 2008 at 5:07 pm

No me toques el coño (=los huevos/cojones/ovarios) = Don’t piss me off!

Creo personalmente que esa expresión no se usa, nunca lo he oído… suena demasiado literal. En todo caso se dice “¡No me toques los cojones (hombre) / ovarios (mujer)!” que es una adaptación que usan las mujeres que suena un poquito mejor y sí que se oye mucho.

Reply

Nat November 22, 2008 at 10:38 am

I’ll give you something to think about: Why boring/annoying stuff is a “coñazo” and something great is “cojonudo”? XD

@Anonymous: It’s Arturo, not Antonio!

Nat’s last blog post..Pornografía infantil NO

Reply

Pepe Potamo November 22, 2008 at 4:22 pm

“Sunday’s word (joder) attracted quite some visitors: more than a whopping 15,000 hits it received over the last three days. Coincidence? I don’t know,”
Yeah man!! In Spain we called it the Microsiervos effect XD
http://wtf.microsiervos.com/from-lost/spanish-only.html

Pepe Potamo’s last blog post..Cuestión filosófica

Reply

arrallateunmillo November 22, 2008 at 11:35 pm

coño is not an ofensive word in spain … it’s an expression

arrallateunmillo’s last blog post..Miquel Barceló y su Costosa obra de arte

Reply

Stef December 6, 2009 at 5:11 am

I recently read a book called "Dirty Blonde and Half-Cuban," and in this fiction the term "¡Coño!" was used a lot, implictly as an exclamation or a cuss word. Anybody translate how it's meant in Cuban Spanish? Just how vulgar do Cubans think the word is? Thanks!

Reply

Lizzy June 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

For Cubans, Dominicans & Puerto Ricans it pretty much means about the same thing- "Sh*t", "H*ll" or "F*ck" when used on its own. It's pretty vulgar but commonly used amongst those you know well, you wouldn't say it around strangers or little kids simply out of respect for them. Sometimes "ñooo" is said, as a shortened version of the entire word, it still means the same thing but it's just a shorter version.

Reply

Ramses December 6, 2009 at 6:54 pm

It's used in the same way, but in in Cuba and other islands it's used a lot on its own instead of in a sentence.

Reply

Lorraine February 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm

"Coño Men”!!!!

Gotta laugh!!! My 6 year old every now and them when he speaks via phone to my dad, his Cuban Grandpa, says "Hey, coño men!" Trust me he is clueless as to what he is saying!

Cant go worng with a Blonde Blue eyed 1/2 gringo saying that!

Reply

Adam May 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I hear a lot of Cubans (Men and Women) use coño in their every day vernacular amongst close friends and family. I figured it was diminutive for cuñado, kind of like Memo is diminutive for Guillermo. I'll be more attentive when I hear it used and the context of the sentence it is being used in next time.

Reply

Nicole December 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

My kids (9, 5, 3) say it too (coño man). In Colombia, it is not vulgar in the sense that the word c*nt is. It is more like "damn," "dang," or "dangit." :)

Reply

hulala March 31, 2010 at 10:06 pm

and what does it mean "y un cojón", please?

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Ramses April 1, 2010 at 11:19 am

Did you try looking it up in a dictionary? :-S

Reply

al estilo de mexico May 12, 2011 at 7:48 am

Bueno yo no se mucho de palabras ni esas cosas pero,visto peliculas
Traducidas en el idioma espaniol originario de espania y traducidas en
Espaniol propio de mi pais,logicament en la pelicula no escuchas la palabras
Bulgares tal y como en la calle,pero para mi los espanioles dicen
“Coño” tal como un mexicano diria “que poca madre”;q si son palabras fuertes.Ahora en mexico dentro del mismo pais hay variantes en la forma de hablar y de la region de mexico donde yo creci “Coño” se entiende tambien como el organo reproductor femenino , aunque de forma vugar

Reply

Kelly Anne October 7, 2011 at 12:55 am

We’ve heard people using the word coño quite a bit, but didn’t exactly know what it meant. It’s become a term in endearment around our house. Lol.

Reply

Khari March 15, 2012 at 3:07 am

I must say Dominicans use it A LOT! Any time I hang out with them it's Coño this or Coño that. Lots of diablo and mierda too.

Reply

Jose July 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Dominicans invented it

Reply

PBG June 20, 2012 at 6:17 am

Just discovered your site – love it!

Reply

Tony October 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I have the opinion that really important is to know the meaning of each word since the spanish speaking countries are many, in order to keep a good relationship in special for people that use to travel and meet different cultures very often due that the same word used in one country could be normal and be offensive in other place.

Reply

kingcarcas December 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm

The only good thing to come out of the movie Scarface

Reply

Rodriguez January 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm

in1996 i went to Dominican Republic and said "hey coño qué pasa?" to a local i knew that in Spain its not offensive (almost like saying "hey tio!", i think) and the local didnt like it very much( i understood -from that moment on- that it might be a bit offensive).

Reply

joe March 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I only know the name cono?

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Jacqueline Lisbin September 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm

My boyfriend from Caracas Venezuela uses it all the time and his family is also from the Canary Islands in Spain . explanations are helping me a little more to understand the meaning and figure out if its really so bad or not… and I guess I’m concludng that maybe it’s not that.bad… & a very common slang word that does not really have such negative intentions. would you agree that that’s an accurate assessment?

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