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Puerto Rican Spanish: Slang, Phrases, & More

Do you want to speak like a Boricua? Well, I got to say, it won't be the easiest dialect, but it might just be the COOLEST!


This dialect flows like no other, and of course, is the dialect that has become the home for the best reggae artists. Check out this video below if you want to hear how it compares to a more standard version of Spanish.



Pretty crazy right? If you want to bond with Puerto Ricans, learning their vocabulary is crucial.


So without any further ado, let’s go over the vocab, phrases, and pronunciation, and lastly I’ll leave you with a Quizlet flashcard deck so that you can practice these terms. ¡EMPECEMOS!


puerto rican flag and bird that says "Spanish of puerto rico"

Summary of Puerto Rican Spanish

The Spanish of the Boricuas is one of the most fire accents in Spanish.


I know for beginners it may be intimidating but don't forget that more or less it’s the same language, just with a fun rhythm and vocabulary.


Some of the most notable Puerto Rican vocabulary mentioned on this list are:

  • Boricua - Puerto Rican

  • ¡Ay Bendito! - Damn!

  • Bregar - To deal (with a situation)

  • Chavo - Money

  • Janguear - To hang out

  • Guagua - Bus

  • Parquear - To Park

Scroll down to the bottom if you want to see the explanations and examples for all of these words - and the Puerto Rican expressions.


This is such a fun dialect, so have fun with it!



The vocabulary of Puerto Rican Spanish

puerto rican flag and puerto rican man standing = that says "vocabulary of puerto rico"

Broki - Bro 😎

The Puerto Rican word Broki comes from the English word broski and it’s used just as such:


Oye broki ya vamos para el party

(Listen bro were going to the party)


Boricua - Puerto Rican 👨‍🌾

The term boricua comes from the name of the island of Puerto Rico - Borinquen. The word traditionally refers to the indigenous of the island. However now it is sometimes used as a synonym for a Puerto Rican, regardless of his ancestral background.


Oye yo hablo así porque soy boricua

(I speak like this because I am Puerto Rican)



¡Ay Bendito! - Damn! 😲

In Puerto Rico ¡Ay bendito! is something that somebody might exclaim after somebody tells them something sad. For example:


Broki mi novia me dejó anoche - Ayy bendito

(Bro my girlfriend left me last night - Oh no...)



Bregar - Deal with a situation 😞

In Puerto Rico, if you are bregando, that means that you are just trying to overcome or get through a situation. For example:


Mi mamá murió hace 2 semanas, solo he estado tratando de bregar

(My mom died 2 weeks ago, so I have just been trying to deal with it)



Chavo - Money 💵

Chavo is a word that can change meanings in just about every country. Here in Puerto Rico it means money.


No voy a salir esta noche, no tengo chavos para hacerlo

(I’m not going to go out tonight, I don’t have the money to do it)



Mano - Brother 👥

Mano, being short for hermano - means brother in Puerto Rican Spanish. For example:


Ey mano, ¿que es la que hay?

(Hey brother, how’s it going?)



Nebuloso - Sketchy 👨‍🎤

The Puerto Rican slang-term Nebuloso originated in the Reggaetón scene. It means sketchy, or something that is undeserving of trust. For example:


Ey mijo no te vayas por allí, esa calle es bien nebulosa

(Hey bro don’t go down that way, that street is really sketchy)



Janguear - To hang out 👯

Janguear comes from the English verb to hang out and is used just as such:


¿Ay papi vamos a janguear por allí, no?

(Hey bro we’re going to hang out over there, right?)



Parquear - To Park 🚕

Parquear is like many other words on this list in that they are Spanish versions of English words. Parquear means to park your car. For example:


Hey mano dónde puedo parquear?

(Hey brother where can I park?)



Guagua - Bus 🚍

The word Guagua is a word that's used in all the Caribbean countries and is a commonly used synonym for the word bus.


¿Tú sabes cuando llega la guagua?

(Do you know when the bus will be here)



Coño - Damn! 😯

Coño is another term that is exclaimed during conversations between Puerto Ricans. It means Damn! like in the sentence:


Ella me dijo que no la buscara más después de la U - ¡Coño!

(She told me not to pick her up after school anymore - Damn!)



Revolú - A mess 👎

In Puerto rico a revolú is a disaster or a mess. For example:


Ay coño la casa se ve horrible, limpia este revolú ya mismo!

(Damn the house looks horrible, clean this mess right now!)



Birras - Beers 🍻

Birras is a word that is used in many other places such as Argentina. In Puerto Rico, it’s used as well - to say beer.


Mijo vamos a tomar unas birras o qué?

(Bro we gonna go drink some beers or what?)



Pichear - To ignore 🤦‍♂️

Pichear comes from the English verb to pitch and is used to say ignore. For example in the sentence


Ella está picheando mis mensajes

(She is ignoring my messages)



Jendío - Drunk 😵‍

The Puerto Rican word Jendío is just a synonym for the word borracho meaning drunk. For example:


Ay el broki ya está super jendío

(Ay the homie is already super drunk)



Phrases That Are Unique To Puerto Rican Spanish

puerto rican flag and man that says "phrases of puerto rico"

Tener el banco virao - To be rich 💵💴💶

In Puerto Rico, you might hear somebody say that somebody has el banco virao which means that they are successful or rich. For example:


Bad Bunny ya tiene el banco virao

(Bad Bunny is already rich)



Está muy chuchi - It’s super cool 👌😎

Another very Puerto Rican phrase is está muy chuchi, and this just means that something is super cool. Chuchi is like the word chévere, or chido. For example:


Ay ese carro está muy chuchi verda’

(Wow that car is hella cool)



Ser un caballo - Be a good guy 🐴

This one always makes me laugh. If somebody calls you a horse, don’t worry, this is a really good thing in Puerto Rican Spanish. For example:


Ese tipo es un caballo

(He’s a really good guy)



Eso es tremendo tostón - That’s really difficult 🏋🏼‍♂️

In Puerto Rico, tostón is fried plantain with delicious seasonings thrown on top.


But if somebody says that something is a tremendous fried plantain with seasoning on top - they mean that it’s difficult. For example:


Él quería abrir un negocio por allá, yo le dije que eso sería tremendo tostón

(He wanted to open up a business over there, I told him it would be really difficult)



Tener más trucos que el cinturón de batman - To be untrustworthy 😈

This is another funny one that deserves its translation first. If somebody says that you have more tricks than Batman's belt - it means they don’t trust you at all! For example:


Si fuera por mí nunca lo diría, ese tipo tiene más trucos que el cinturón de batman.

(If it was up to me I would never tell him, that guy can not be trusted)



The Puerto Rican Spanish Pronunciation

puerto rican flag and man that says "pronunciation of puerto ricans"

The S In Puerto Rican Spanish

The S in Puerto Rico can sound two ways. 1: Like an H, also known as an aspirated S. Or 2: Like nothing, and it just disappears into thin air. Here is an example for each.



Aspirated S In Puerto Rico

¿Ey papi cómo estás? ?Yo te estaba esperando dos horas! (Standard Pronunciation)

¿Ey papi cómo ehtás? ¡Yo te he ehtaba ehperando do’ hora’! (Aspirated S In Puerto Rico)



The Ghost S In Puerto Rico

Ey papi cómo estás? ¡Yo te estaba esperando dos horas! (Standard Pronunciation)

Ey papi cómo tás? ¡Yo te e’taba’ e’perando do’ hora’! (Ghost S In Puerto Rico)



The D in Puerto Rican Spanish

As you might have noticed in the last examples, the D disappears in Puerto Rican Spanish, and well, just about all Caribbean dialects. So for example:


¿Hey broki donde has estado? He escuchado de tu novia que estás encabronado conmigo

¿Hey broki ónde a’ e’ta’o? He e’cucha’o de tu novia que e’tá’ encabrona’o conmigo



The R in Puerto Rican Spanish

The Puerto Rican R at the end of a verb will usually sound like an L. For example the words:

Escribir = Escribil / Aprender = Aprendel / Saber = Sabel / and Mover = Movel



Conclusion: Puerto Rican Spanish

Puerto Rican Spanish is pretty different than the more standard dialects. Nonetheless, if you want to learn it you should! The Puerto Rican accent is unmatched when it comes to flow and expression.


Of course, it´s worth noting that not everybody on the island will speak like a reggaeton rapper - but no matter where you go you’ll hear some of these words and phrases, and you’ll meet incredible people.


Are you planning on learning the Puerto Rican dialect? If you are comment down below and tell me why! If you’re interested in learning about other dialects check out my Dialect Breakdown playlist here on the site.


Enjoy your learning journey friend, y nos vemos luego! ~ Ben




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