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

Do you know the definition of pinche? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word pinche, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the Spanish word pinche mean?

According to Dictionary and Urban Dictionary, the word pinche is a Spanish slang term that can mean different things in different Spanish-speaking countries. In Spain, this word is used to mean kitchen boy. This refers to someone who might work in a kitchen who is a dishwasher or a busser, or otherwise is a low-level kitchen staff employee. This person might wash frying pans or clean the chef’s mess.

In other countries like Mexico, this word is used as an all-purpose insult enhancer, the equivalent to “goddamn” or “fucking” in the English translation. It is strongly associated with cursing by natives in Mexican Spanish. Overall, this slang term is used to describe something as insignificant, miserable, lousy, or worthless. This Mexican slang can also be used as a noun, to describe someone as an ass or an asshole. 

How can the word pinche be used in a sentence?

Word pinche can be used in a variety of different Spanish sentences. However, be careful. This vulgar word should only be used in casual or informal settings with people that you know well who will find great amusement in it, or on social media like Facebook or Twitter. If you use this in a formal or professional setting, you are likely to insult someone. In this example, the word pinche will be used to describe a kitchen employee. 

Jay: ¿Dónde está el pinche? Se suponía que estaría aquí hace una hora, y estamos abrumados.

Roy: No tengo ni idea. Lo he llamado y le he enviado un mensaje de texto tres veces. No creo que venga.

Jay: Bueno, la próxima vez que aparezca, ¡será despedido!

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Jay: Where is the kitchen boy? He was supposed to be here an hour ago, and we are swamped.

Roy: I have no idea. I have called and text him three times. I don’t think he’s coming.

Jay: Well, the next time he does show up, he’s fired!

Next, the word pinche will be used as an insult intensifier. In this example, Jay is trying to work on his car and things keep going wrong. 

Jay: Estoy harto de este pinche coche viejo. Nada funciona, las piezas siguen saliendo y mis ventanas ni siquiera se bajan.

Roy: ¿Por qué no te compras uno nuevo?

Jay: Roy, si pudiera comprarme un pinche coche nuevo, no estaría bajo este pinche capó.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Jay: I am so sick of this old fucking car. Nothing works, the pieces keep coming out, and my windows don’t even roll down.

Roy: Why don’t you just buy a new one?

Jay: Roy, if I could buy a new fucking car, I wouldn’t be under this fucking hood.

Below is another example of pinche being used as a curse word. The young kitchen employee finally shows up to work.

Jay: ¿Dónde diablos estabas?

Empleado: Mi coche no arranca. Lo siento, llegué aquí lo más rápido que pude.

Jay: ¿No pensaste en llamar a alguien en la pinche noche más concurrida de la semana? Hay algo mal contigo, chico. Esta es tu última advertencia.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Jay: Where the hell were you?

Employee: My car wouldn’t start. I’m sorry, I got here as fast as I could.

Jay: You didn’t think to call someone on the fucking busiest night of the week? There’s something wrong with you, boy. This is your last warning.

What are other Spanish curse words? 

There are many different Spanish curse words that might be useful to know before traveling abroad. This list of curse words from All The Rooms is a great place to start. note that different countries will all have different slang words and curse words, so it is important to study up on the specific country’s vernacular before traveling.

  •  Pendejo – This slang term means that you are calling someone a pubic hair, but is the equivalent of calling somebody stupid. This can be used in either an endearing way or offensive way depending on the tone of voice. 
  •  Guey/Wey – This slang word means mate, and is used frequently in Mexican Spanish.
  •  Chido/Padre – Chido and chida mean cool. You can also use the word padre to mean the same thing, although this word has a literal translation of father. 
  •  Cabron – This term directly translates to male goat, but is used as an offensive word in a similar way as pendejo. 
  •  Buena Onda – This slang term means good vibes or good going. 
  •  La Neta – This slang term is the equivalent of saying “really?” or “for real?” It can also be used to emphasize a statement. 
  •  Crudo – This slang term means raw, and is used to refer to a hangover or someone who is hungover in Mexican slang after a long night of beer or tequila. 
  •  Fresa – While this word’s literal translation means strawberry, in Mexican national slang, this is used to describe a snobby or stuck-up person who thinks they are the shit. 
  •  A huevo – While you may be familiar with the word huevo meaning egg, the phrase “a huevo” means hell yeah. 
  •  Chinga tu madre – This extremely offensive phrase means go fuck yourself. It uses the verb chingar. 
  •  Puto/Puta – This word means man-whore or whore, but can be considered homophobic. 
  •  La Verga – Penis/Dick
  •  Pinche güey – Loser
  •  Chingadera – Rubbish
  •  Chela/Cheve – Beer

Overall, the Mexican slang word pinche is a Spanish-language expression meaning an insult enhancer, similar to goddamn or fucking in the United States of America. This word is heavily associated with Mexicano, and is used less often in other regions in Latin America, Central America, and South America, such as an Argentine or someone from Chile, though you might hear chicano tourists use it.

Sources:

  1. Pinche | Dictionary 
  2. Pinche | Urban Dictionary 
  3. 11 Mexican Slang Words Only the Locals Know | All The Rooms