Today the last vulgar/swear word for a while (I don’t want this blog to become “the swear-blog”): carajo.

Personally, I use it once in a while, but most of my friends don’t like that fact. It’s actually worse than joder, although it more or less means the same; “damn” or “f*ck”. It’s a bit hard to explain so read the following examples carefully:


¡Vámonos ya, carajo!
For heaven’s sake, come on!

¡Vete al carajo!
Fuck off!

¡Carajo con el niño!
That bloody kid!

¿Que le pida yo disculpas? ¡un carajo!
Me apologize to him? like hell I will!

No entiendo ni un carajo.
I don’t understand a damn thing.

*Note: So far I know the word carajo is also used outside Spain. At least, I’ve heard it several times in a Mexican movie.

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Spanish Word of the Day: jolín

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Jade March 11, 2009 at 8:24 pm

I dont think it’s so rude you describe in your post. Well… depends. Again, in Andalucia I think is worse than in the rest of Spain (where it’s less used).

In almost all the ways, means the same as pijo… Vete al pijo. Un pijo! Pijo con el niño! No entiendo un pijo!

By the way, it also means penis.

“Carajillo” has another meaning: coffee with a dash of brandy (or something else)

And “carajote” means Stupid (Only in Andalucia, moren in the western Andalucia). You can use also acarajotado (like atontado, “estas acarajotado, reacciona!”)



Ramses March 11, 2009 at 8:35 pm

I used it in a group of friends from Peru and they didn’t like it. But they don’t like “joder” either ;-) .


Graham March 11, 2009 at 10:06 pm

As previously noted, the main meaning of carajo is prick or any other vulgar term for penis.

Its origin is the name for the main mast on a sailing ship in days of old, and was also used to refer to the crow's nest, a spell of duty in which was seen as a punishment or rough treatment, and certainly not something to be relished. Hence the insult vete al carajo.


Ed May 1, 2010 at 5:25 am

>Its origin is the name for the main mast on a sailing ship in days of old, and was

>also used to refer to the crow’s nest, a spell of duty in which was seen as a

>punishment or rough treatment, and certainly not something to be relished.

>Hence the insult vete al carajo.

Indeed, that's the way I've always heard it explained. Particularly the part about the crows nest. "Vayase p'al carajo!", "Subete al carajo!" Not a pleasant experience on a small ship on the high seas.


Ken October 14, 2012 at 8:39 am

This is how I heard it explained: when you can't find your car keys, that's where they're at; and when you're lost, you're there!


Holly November 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm

This word is used throughout Latin America, not just Spain. It is more common in South Ameica than joder. I would say the translation “for heavens sake” is laughable. That’s not what I mean when I say “vamos ya, carajo”.


david castro January 29, 2013 at 1:11 am



Jeproksrivera February 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm

My grandma used to call me Carajo when I was little in which as a third person referred I thought to as an Imp, Naughty and – or, Crazy (literal). I am from the Philippines btw. I am always cutious about the word so I asked my Puerto Rican buddy in the military and told me that it is Crazy in Latin or Spanish.


Giovanni Cabrera March 8, 2013 at 1:19 am

Carajo means the highest sail poll of the sea ships has a sailor looking out for land or ships. That ledge at the highest sail poll is el carajo.


Maro March 29, 2013 at 3:23 am

It’s widely used in mexico and even in Italy “caraglio”


davis June 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm

You mean my West Tampa friends were lying to me when they said "casa de carajo" meant a long way away… as in "Where did you park the car?"…"Out in casa de carajo (way out in hell)."


Mare June 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm

That is correct. I know Cubans use it that way.


Sean Farris June 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I am always cutious about the word so I asked my Puerto Rican buddy in the military and told me that it is Crazy in Latin or Spanish.


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sensitivity to curses depend upon the peson and what "subculture" they belong to


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David July 9, 2013 at 5:25 am

Here in Mexico is widely used. It's not as strong as "fuck" (for that we have "chingar"). And it can be also used as a synonym of a mischievous person, either an "innocent" kid or an adult, for example:

"Este condenado carajo no me deja en paz" . "This damn brat won't leave me alone"

Ese carajo que está en la foto era mi jefe". "That creep in the picture was my boss".

We can also use plural:

"¿Nadamos? ¿Jugamos? ¿Vamos a comer? ¿O qué carajos?". "Shall we swim, play, go lunching or what the hell?"

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