Today’s word is one you should look out with. Although it’s commonly used in Spain, it has a bad meaning in most parts of Latin-America, where it’s a curse. There the word joder means ‘f*ck’ or ‘to screw’. It can also mean this in Spain, but there it’s mostly used as ‘to annoy’, ‘to bug’ or ‘to rip off’ (also see engañar).

If you watch a lot Spanish television (from Spain), you’ll hear the phrase ¡joder macho! quite often. This is a common exclamation which means ‘for heaven’s sake!’ or ‘good grief!’ (you could translate it to English as ‘for f*ck’s sake!’ or ‘holy shit!’ as well). Like other words that are a curse in many parts of the hispanosphere, joder is perfectly acceptable in Spain and is used by all sorts of people.

*Grammatical note: the verb joderse has a slightly different meaning. In general it means something like ‘to mess up’ or ‘to get screwed up’ (you can guess the vulgar meaning yourself, I think).


Se ha jodido el motor.
The engine’s had it.

Y si no te gusta, te jodes.
And if you don’t like it, that’s tough!

Lo hace solo por joder.
He only does it to annoy.

¡No me jodas!
Bugger off! / Don’t mess with me!

*Sentences taken from “Pocket Oxford Spanish Dictionary”.

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