List of Puerto Rican slang words and phrases

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This article is a summary of common slang words and phrases used in Puerto Rico. Idiomatic expressions may be difficult to translate fully and may have multiple meanings, so the English translations below may not reflect the full meaning of the expression they intend to translate.

  • Estar por la luna - Literally, "to be as if on the moon". To be clueless[1]:75
  • Guingambó - the mallow flowering plant "Okra", multiply known as "ladies' fingers", "bhindi", "bamia", "ochro" or "gumbo"[2]
  • Guares - Twins[2]
  • Jíbaro - peasant.[2]
  • Jurutungo - A distant place.[2][3]
  • Limber - Also, "limbel". A home-made flavored frozen treat usually made from natural fruits or sweet milk mixtures and often served on a small piece of water-resistant paper, a plastic or paper cup, or a popscicle stick.[4]:45 It is generally sold out of the homes and not in stores.[5] The name is said to have originated from the last name of Charles Lindbergh after the islanders noticed how "cold" he was as compared to the warmth of the locals during Lindbergh's visit to the Island in 1928.[6]
  • Moyeto -African American[7]:19 (This is typically used as a slang slur, and isn't typical within Puerto Rico, but rather the Dominican Republic. African American in Puerto Rico is 'moreno'/'morenoamericano' or 'persona de color').
  • Panna or Pana- Buddy[7]:57 ("pana" is a name for breadfruit in Puerto Rico)[8]:45
  • Sínsoras - a distant place.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Baralt, Guillermo A (1999). Buena Vista: life and work on a Puerto Rican hacienda, 1833-1904. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807848012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Finegan, Edward; Rickford, John R., eds. (2004). Language in the USA: Themes for the Twenty-first Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 192. ISBN 9780521777476. 
  3. ^ a b Pérez, Luz Nereida (May 22, 2008). "Hablemos Español: De Las Sínsoras a Jurutungo". Fundéu BBVA (in Spanish). 
  4. ^ Matos, Jose M. Rodriguez (2011). La Mancha que me Persigue (in Spanish). Bloomington, Indiana: Palibrio. ISBN 9781463313203. 
  5. ^ dolphingirlpr (February 20, 2008). "LIMBER en la Cultura Puertorriqueña". Foros Univision (in Spanish). 
  6. ^ "Origen de la palabra "límber"". Coqui Snacks & Mini Donuts (in Spanish). 
  7. ^ a b Sánchez, Marta E. (2009). Shakin' Up Race and Gender: Intercultural Connections in Puerto Rican, African American, and Chicano Narratives and Culture (1965–1995). University of Texas Press. p. 155. ISBN 9780292774780. 
  8. ^ Little, Elbert Luther; Marrero, José (2001). Árboles comunes de Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes (in Spanish). La Editorial, UPR. ISBN 9780847703838.