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Spanish of Honduras 101: Slang, Phrases, & More

The Spanish spoken in Honduras is way cooler than you think!

From the use of Voseo to the minor changes in pronunciation to the amazingly unique vocabulary.

The Spanish of Honduras has blown me away, and I think I am in love. Let’s talk about what you can expect as far as slang, expressions, pronunciation, and grammar!

Honduran cartoon characters infront of a honduran flag that says with big words "Spanish of Honduras"

Summary: The Spanish Spoken In Honduras

Amongst many others, some of the most important Honduran Slang you should know is:

  • Catracho/a - Honduran

  • Birria - Beer

  • Alero - Friend

  • Chamba - Job

  • Cipote - Kid

  • Pijín - Party

With a total of 8 common Honduran expressions in this list, here are my top 3:

  • Dar chicharrón - To kill

  • Tener leche - To have luck

  • Qué pinta - How pretty!

If you want to know all 20 Honduran words and their explanations read the full article where we go over all of the Honduran slang, expressions, pronunciation, and use of Voseo!

¡Disfruta! (Enjoy!)

Honduran Vocabulary

Honduran cartoon characters infront of a honduran flag that says with big words "Honduran Vocabulary""

Guineo - Banana 🍌

This word is important to know in Central America because it’s not just Hondurans that say this.

I was confused in Panama when trying to buy bananas because they are referred to as Guineo! Ex:

Quisiera dos libras de guineo por favor

(I would like two pounds of guineo please)

Caballo - One who doesn’t think about consequences 👨‍🎤

A horse in Honduras is a person who doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions. For example:

¿Podés creer que ese caballo dijo eso?

(Can you believe that idiot said that?)

Catracho/a - Honduran 🙎‍♂️

A Catracho is a person from Honduras. The history of the word is unclear, and if you ask 30 Hondurans a few different stories will be told. So we’ll just leave it at that. Ex:

Él no es de Nicaragua, es tan catracho como un gringo

(He isn’t from Nicaragua, he’s as Honduran as a gringo)

Birria - Beer 🍻

Like in Puerto Rico and Argentina, they say Birra, here in Honduras they say Birria. Adds a little spice to the word, eh? For example:

Me gustaría salir esta noche, tengo ganas de tomar unas birrias

(I would like to go out tonight, I feel like drinking some beers)

Cheque - Alright! Okay! 👍

Saying the word Cheque in Honduran Spanish is just a way of saying you are in agreeance with something. For example:

Vos necesitás hacer las tareas ya mismo - Cheque

(You need to do your homework right now - Okay)

Pijín - Party 🥳

If you are going to a Honduran party, where people will be drinking and dancing, that is a pijín. For example:

Anoche fue una locura, si solo lo hubieras visto el pijín en que andé

(Last night was crazy, if only you could have seen the party I was at)

Alero - Friend 🧍‍♀️🧍

This word is like Pana in the Dominican Republic or Fren in Panama - it’s just their own way of saying Friend. For example:

Carlos es mi alero desde hace años

(Carlos has been my friend for years)

Chuco - Dirty/Stained 👣

Chuco is just like the word dirty in English being that there are multiple uses for the word. But of course for the most common example:

Qué chuco tenés esa camisa

(You got that shirt so dirty)

Chamba - Job 👷‍♂️

Although Hondurans will understand you if you refer to your job as un trabajo, maybe you could give their word a try - Chamba

Yo no ví su hermano en la chamba ayer

(I didn’t see her brother at work yesterday)

Paja - Bullsh** 🙅‍♂️

This word - meaning straw, can express two very distinct things. One, it can mean a lie.

Two, it can mean masturbation. So if you call something a Paja, it’s a lie, if somebody does a Paja, they’re masturbating.

Lo que me dijo era paja obviamente

(What he told me was obviously a lie)

Maje - Friend/Dummy 🤓

This word is used in surrounding dialects as well and can be used as an insult or a friendly nickname.

It’s best if you use it only with your closest friends. It’s like calling someone an idiot, or a dummy.

Vení acá maje, no te veo hace años

(Come here idiot, I haven’t seen you in years)

Cipote - Kid 🚶‍♂️

This word means either - young, or kid. For example, somebody could say “when they were very cipote” meaning young, or they can say:

Es una cosa de cipotes, yo no lo entiendo

(It’s a kid thing, I don’t understand it)

Fresco/a - Chill 😎

Whereas in Peru this means a disrespectful person, here in Honduras it means the opposite.

To call somebody Fresco in Honduras is to say they are chill, calm, not worried, etc. For example:

Ellos dijeron que tenemos todas esas tareas y mirá a él, tan fresco como si no lo hubiera escuchado

(They told us we have all of that homework and look at him, so chill - as if he hadn’t even listened)

Shasta - Bad quality 👎

This word is super Honduran and can either mean something badly made, or to say trash. For example:

Ya le dije, ¿por qué querría comprar esa shasta?

(I already told him, why would I want to buy that garbage?)

Cuete - Gun 🔫

This doesn’t need much explaining but the word Cuete, meaning Rocket, is used to say Gun.

¡Él tiene un cuete!

(He has a gun!)

Bélico - Show amazement 🙀

This can express admiration, or be used as an adjective to say something is pretty. For example:

Mira ese carro, tan bélico

(Look at that car, so pretty)

Yuca - Difficult situation 🙇‍♂️

This word has two main uses, one - to describe a strict person. Two - to describe a tough situation. For example:

Ese examen estuvo bien yuca

(That exam was really tough)

Basura - A bad person or situation 👹

This word meaning Garbage can be used to describe bad people, or bad quality products - just like the word Shasta. For example:

Ese hombre es basura

(That man is terrible)

Planchar - Make a mistake 🤦

Planchar, meaning To iron, is used in Honduras to say that somebody made a mistake. For example.

Ya lo planché, qué se puede hacer…

(I already failed/messed up, what can be done)

Honduran Expressions

Honduran cartoon characters infront of a honduran flag that says with big words "Honduran Expressions"

Dejar a medio palo - Leave something half done 🤷‍♀️

This phrase literally means to leave at half stick and it can be used to say somebody didn't finish something. For example:

Ese chico aún no terminó, dejó el balcón a medio palo

(That boy is not done yet, he left the balcony half done)

Dar chicharrón - To kill 😵

You better hope nobody gives you a pork rind… or well, in the metaphorical sense. Because in Honduras to give a pork rind is to kill somebody. For example:

A ese chico el dieron chicharrón

(They killed that kid)

Colgar los tenis - To die 👟

If somebody gave you a pork rind, that means you’re going to have to hang up your shoes, that is to say, of course, to die. For example:

Le dieron chicharrón ayer. Es triste saber que el chico tuvo que colgar los tenis a esa edad

(They killed him yesterday. It’s sad to know that the kid had to die at that age)

Echar el cuento - To seduce 🗣

To give the story in Honduras means to seduce somebody, for example:

Ella le echó el cuento una noche y ya llevan 4 meses juntos

(She seduced him one night and now they’ve been going out for 4 months)

Estar salado - To have bad luck 🤦‍♂️

To be salty in Honduras means you got bad luck! For example, if you were walking on a handmade bridge, and everybody in front of you got across, but it broke for you:

Estás salado bro

(You got baddd luck)

Tener leche - To have good luck 💁

Well if you’re not salty, meaning you don’t have bad luck - maybe you got milk? If you do, that means you have good luck.

For example, if you’re walking along the street and find a hundred-dollar bill and nobody is around to return it to:

¡Guau tengo leche hoy!

(Wow I’m getting lucky today!)

Qué pinta - How pretty! 😻

What a pint - would probably be the best literal translation for this phrase. What a pint means how pretty/beautiful. For example:

¡Qué pinta! Tus zapatos son tan hermosos

(How pretty, your shoes are so beautiful!)

Mentar la madre - To insult 🙅‍♀️

This is a common phrase amongst Latino American countries, and no matter where you come from it can be more or less understood.

Mentar la madre, meaning name the mother, is a way of saying To insult in Honduran Spanish. For example:

Sí pero vos no tuviste que mentar la madre así, él es un chico sensible.

(Yeah but you didn’t have to insult him like that, he is a sensitive kid)

¡Vaya pues! - Alright, then 👋

This phrase is used in a few Spanish-speaking countries (Including Honduras) and it's basically that "Alright, then" that you tell somebody to get them off the phone when the call has gone on too long.

¿Ya te vas? ¡Vaya pues, nos vemos pronto!

(You're already leaving? Alright, then, we'll see each other soon)

The Pronunciation Features of The Honduran Dialect

Honduran cartoon characters infront of a honduran flag that says with big words "Honduran Pronunciation"

Honduran Pronunciation is actually relatively standard, however, there are some little things I have noticed while listening to Hondurans speak.

Apart from these little differences, Hondurans use Standard-Voseo. We’ll go over it briefly but if you want to understand Voseo 100% check out this article I wrote about it!

Y/LL Pronunciation in Honduras

The pronunciation of Y and LL in Honduran Spanish is most commonly:

  1. Extremely Castilian-like (Standard) Ex: Y/LL = The Y in You

  2. Nonexistent. Ex: Pastilla = Pastia

Pronunciations Of The S In Honduran Spanish

The pronunciation of the S in Honduran Spanish can be heard in three different ways:

  1. The S can sound well pronounced. Ex: Estás/Palabras

  2. The S can be not heard at all. Ex: E’tá’/Palabra’

  3. The S can be aspirated like an H. Ex: Ehtá/Palabrah

Pronunciation of the hard P in Honduran Spanish

One of the things I have noticed about Honduran Spanish is that the P is extremely well pronounced! (cough cough unlike in Colombia).

But seriously I have heard everything from a well-pronounced P to the hardest P sound the human lips can produce! This makes for a stronger, more expressive vibe to everyday speech.

Voseo of Honduras

Hondurans use the same voseo as is predominately used in Argentina, El Salvador, Uruguay, and Costa Rica, to name a few.

This is the most standard use of Voseo where to conjugate the verb - you simply:

Remove the verb ending (Ex: Escribir = Escrib) and you add an accent mark to the vowel you removed, and then an S on the end (Ex: Escrib + í + s = Escribís).

Here are some examples of how Vos look compared with the standard conjugations:

chart comparing voseo and tuteo. How to conjugate with vos

Not too bad, right? If anything I think it makes much more sense because you just change the ending and that’s it.

Whereas with we add other letters that come out of nowhere.

For example: Pensar (Tú Piensas) vs (Vos Pensás)

Conclusion: The Spanish of Honduras

As you have seen, the Spanish spoken in Honduras is extremely unique and fun! I am happy for both of us that we know all of this now.

Who would have guessed that the Honduran dialect would be so unique and beautiful?

If you enjoyed this article and want to check out The Dialect Breakdown series to learn about any Spanish Dialect so you can communicate better with everyone!

Hasta luego amigo/a.

It was a pleasure talking with you!

- Ben


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