Lets continue with the colloquial words today. No, today’s word mono doesn’t mean ‘monkey’. Well, ok, it does mean monkey, but there’s a wide range of other meanings, most of them being colloquial.

Unlike other episodes of Spanish Word of the Day, I’ll simply give a list of what it means in different parts on the hispanosphere. Do you have additional suggestions? Feel free to comment!

  • When it’s used to refer to a woman, it means pretty in colloquial context (note: use mona in this context).
  • Next to refering to women, it can mean charming or lovely as well. Don’t forget to use the right gender (mono or mona).
  • When used to refer to a kid, it means cute.
  • In the Andes and Mexico it can be a comic (una revista de monitos)
  • It Chile it can also be a cartoon (mono animado).
  • Also in Chile, it can have the meaning of snowman (mono de nieve).
  • Mono can be an overall or a jumpsuit.
  • In Mexico it’s also used to refer to a leotard.
  • When someone goes cold turkey, está con el mono.
  • …anything else? You say it!
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Related Posts:
Spanish Word of the Day: ese
Spanish Word of the Day: valer
Spanish Word of the Day: piba
Spanish Word of the Day: onda
Spanish Word of the Day: tipo

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Steven Capsuto December 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm

In line with the cold-turkey/withdrawal symptoms meaning (which is used primarily in Spain), it can mean “cravings” related to a real or figurative addiction, usually in the expression “quitarse el mono.” For instance, if I’ve been craving something sweet all afternoon, I might have a small ice cream “para quitarme el mono.”


Jade December 7, 2008 at 11:53 am

In general, mono/a as adjective means nice, cute… so your first lines could be mixed in one.

You can also use mono in “deja de hacer el mono”. It could be translated as “stop doing stupid things”. It’s just comparing the subject of the sentence as a monkey when it does those stupid things


Ramses December 7, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Pretty, cute, and lovely/charming are three different things eh, although similair.


Chris March 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm

There used to be a silly little sentence my spanish teacher used to use to show how there are so many meanings for the word mono. I think the sentence went something like "El mono mono lleva mono"


Haraldo Oppenheimer January 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm

In colombia it can also mean blonde. Monito= blondie


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FaceBump January 25, 2014 at 4:18 am



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