View Full Version : Anyone familiar with Spanish slang?

05-28-2007, 05:33 AM
Hi. I'm working on a YA novel. One of the characters is Cuban-American and I want her to refer to a tall lanky high school guy who can't play basketball as the Spanish equivalent of a "goofus." You know, not in a really mean way but just emphasizing the fact that he's clumsy and awkward. If anyone could help, I'd really appreciate it.

05-28-2007, 06:25 AM
Sorry I can't help but look for DamaNegra...she should be able to help you. If I see her around, I'll send her this way.

Good luck!

05-28-2007, 05:32 PM
I'll check with our spanish translator as well as see what I can find.

05-28-2007, 07:53 PM
Well, if you could tell me exactly what you mean by goofus I could give you a translation. And also, all the slang I know is Mexican slang rather than Cuban slang, which changes a lot.

But the words I can think of right now that would apply internationally are:
torpe - clumsy
teto - (mexican slang) means someone who is clumsy and kinda dumb

Hope this helps.

05-29-2007, 05:17 PM
Ah. Thank you. That's perfect. The novel is set in northern New Jersey, parts of which are a real melting pot. You have families from Mexico, central America, South America, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation, so mixing up wouldn't be odd. The dialogue would be like...

"Martin? Oh, you mean that teto? That skinny drink-of-water who keeps tripping over his own feet?"

05-30-2007, 10:21 PM
Sorry for the delay. This information may no longer be needed. :)

Our spanish 'terp is cuban so she's given me the cuban/spanish version:

Idiot - idioto/a
Stupid -stupidio
Clumsy - torpe (like the Mexican versiona)
Awkward -dificil
Dumb - bruto/a

Better late than never........so the IRS tells me. :)

05-31-2007, 06:26 PM
"Bobo" means "dumb" and it is used in Cuba

06-06-2007, 10:25 PM
Hello there,

You've probably decided on this one already, but your best translation is going to be 'torpe'. The other suggestions here really refer to stupidity rather than the tall and lanky 'image' that I think you want.

Good luck


Tsu Dho Nimh
06-08-2007, 05:01 AM
How about giraffe: jirafa (there's an accent I think)

Tall, lanky, and understandable even in English