The Meaning of Cabrón: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of cabrón? This guide will provide you with all of the info you need on the Spanish word cabrón, including its translation and definition, etymology, example sentences, and more!

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What does the Spanish word cabrón mean?

According to Dictionary and All The Rooms, the literal translation of the Spanish word cabrón is “male goat.” However, this is usually used as a rude, somewhat offensive term to mean ass, fool, or idiot. This is considered offensive and vulgar and should not be said around children. Similarly to how vulgar words are used in English to emphasize something, the word cabrón can be used similarly. For example, you can call someone a cabrón if they messed up on a project. You could also say that you are bien cabrón at something, which is similar in English to saying that you are “f***ing good at something.” Cabrón is most commonly used in Central America, in countries like Mexico and Puerto Rico. Mexican Spanish speakers will use this term more often than people outside of Central America in other Spanish-speaking countries like Chile, Colombia, and others. The female term for cabrón is cabrona, which utilizes the feminine a that is commonly added to the end of Spanish words in order to make them feminine. 

The word cabrón has different translations into many languages, however in all of these languages the term refers to some bastard or other form of contemptible person. Many of these words should be wholly avoided when in polite, professional, or formal company and should be exclusively used with people you know well or whom you are joking around with, like close friends and family. These vulgar words should never be used in formal or professional settings such as with co-workers as it has a very impolite connotation.  This list of translations is provided by Word Sense.

  • Norwegian: drittsekk‎ (masc.)
  • Turkish: piç‎
  • Cyrillic: битанга‎ (fem.)
  • Portuguese: filho da mãe‎, sacana‎ (masc.) (f), filho da puta‎ (masc.)
  • Mandarin: 王八蛋‎ (wángbadàn)
  • Indonesian: bajingan‎, bangsat‎, (more vulgar) keparat‎, hina dina‎
  • Serbo-Croatian: gad‎ (masc.), gadura‎ (fem.), gnjida‎ (fem.), probisvijet‎ (masc.)
  • Danish: røvhul‎ (neut.)
  • Roman: bitanga‎ (fem.)
  • Finnish: paskiainen‎, kusipää‎, mulkku‎, roisto‎
  • Javanese: bajingan‎
  • Swedish: skitstövel‎ (common)
  • French: fils de pute‎ (masc.), salopard‎ (masc.), salaud‎
  • Greek: μπάσταρδος‎ (masc.), καθίκι‎ (neut.)
  • Dutch: bastaard‎ (masc.), hoerenjong‎ (neut.), klootzak‎ (masc.), rotzak‎ (masc.), hufter‎ (masc.)
  • Catalan: fill de puta‎ (masc.)
  • Romanian: bastard‎ (masc.), haimana‎ (fem.), haimanale‎ (fem. pl.)
  • Russian: ублю́док‎ (masc.), су́ка‎ (masc.) (f), муда́к‎ (masc.), козёл‎ (masc.), гад‎ (masc.), су́кин сын‎ (masc.), сво́лочь‎ (masc.) (f), вы́родок‎ (masc.), мерза́вец‎ (masc.), подо́нок‎ (masc.), негодя́й‎ (masc.), гнида‎ (fem.)
  • Bulgarian: копеле‎
  • German: Bastard‎ (masc.), Mistkerl‎ (masc.), Arsch‎ (masc.), Hurensohn‎ (masc.)
  • Spanish: desgraciado‎, hijo de puta‎ (masc.)
  • Estonian: tõbras‎, jobu‎, värdjas‎
  • Italian: bastardo‎ (masc.), figlio di puttana‎ (masc.)
  • Polish: sukinsyn‎ (masc.), (vulgar) skurwiel‎ (masc.), (vulgar) skurwysyn‎ (masc.)
  • Macedonian: копиле‎ (neut.), кучкин син‎ (masc.), бита́нга‎ (fem.)

What is the origin of the Spanish word cabrón?

According to Slang Lang, the term cabrón originates in calling someone a goat as an insult, which is a term that dates back to the 13th century. Goats are considered dumb and will eat practically anything, which is where the origin of the insult lies. This term has also turned to the positive similarly to English terms like sick or wicked that can mean cool or badass. 

How can the Spanish word cabrón be used in a sentence?

There are many different ways that someone can call someone a cabrón. A list of conjugations is below alongside their translations.

  • Soy un cabrón – I am a bastard.
  • Tu eres un cabrón – You are a bastard.
  • Él está un cabrón/Él es un cabrón – He is currently a bastard, he is a bastard.
  • Esa/ese está un cabrón/cabrona – That is currently a bastard.

In the below example, Jesus and Juanito are discussing Jesus’ grades.

Jesús: Estoy tan molesto. El Sr. González me dio una calificación reprobatoria en la tarea porque olvidé escribir mi nombre en ella.

(Jesus: I’m so annoyed. Mr. Gonzalez gave me a failing grade on the assignment because I forgot to write my name on it.)

Juanito: Qué cabrón.

(Juanito: What a bastard.)

Jesús: ¡Lo sé! ¿Quieres conocer la peor parte?

(Jesus: I know! Do you want to know the worst part?)

Juanito: Por supuesto.

(Juanito: Of course.)

Jesús: Marqué un cien por ciento.

(Jesus: I scored a one hundred.)

What are English synonyms for the Spanish word cabrón?

There are many different words in English that can be used in place of the Spanish word cabrón. If you are speaking with someone who does not speak Spanish, it is useful to know many different synonyms for Spanish words. Otherwise, they may be very confused. Additionally, synonyms are useful to know to expand your vocabulary and to avoid repeating yourself. This list of potential English synonyms for the Spanish word cabrón is provided by Thesaurus

  • boob
  • ass
  • twerp
  • fair game
  • stooge
  • dope
  • simpleton
  • sap
  • schlemiel
  • illiterate
  • sucker
  • dumbass
  • dolt
  • numskull
  • goose
  • birdbrain
  • ignoramus
  • moron
  • cretin
  • jerk
  • nerd
  • loon
  • innocent
  • idiot
  • turkey
  • dunderhead
  • badass
  • cuckold
  • pimp
  • pendejo
  • oaf
  • bonehead
  • lightweight
  • buffoon
  • halfwit
  • nitwit
  • easy mark
  • bastard
  • lamebrain
  • nincompoop
  • fathead
  • twit
  • clod
  • silly
  • ninny
  • dimwit
  • clown
  • blockhead
  • bore
  • dumb ox
  • imbecile
  • victim
  • fool
  • dunce

Overall, the Spanish word cabrón directly translates to male goat, but is one of many offensive slang terms that one may use to refer to an idiot or a bastard. This term is commonly used in Central America and is considered very informal. Stick to only using this term and other slang expressions among close friends and in informal settings.

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/fool
  2. https://www.alltherooms.com/blog/mexican-slang-only-locals-know/#:~:text=While%20the%20literal%20translation%20of,fucker’%20or%20’bitch’.
  3. https://www.dictionary.com/e/translations/cabron/
  4. https://www.slanglang.net/cabron/#:~:text=What’s%20the%20origin%20of%20Cabron,back%20to%20the%2013th%20century.
  5. https://www.wordsense.eu/bastard/