The Eight Ugliest Words in Spanish

Virginia Orozco
October 4, 2022
The Eight Ugliest Words in Spanish

As population multiplies, especially in Spanish-speaking countries, as well as the influence that the hispanic culture is having on the global arena, the number of Spanish speakers will continue to grow in the coming years, consequently, the language has to evolve and incorporate new words. Some of these words can be beautiful and some not at all.

Yes, Spanish is a language that is known for being romantic and beautiful. For having words and sentences that sound like music. When you hear them or read them, they generate pleasure, excitement or simply joy. Those are the words that probably made you fall in love with the language to the point of forcing you to learn it in order to understand it and communicate with it.

However, as every ying, it has its yang; and in Spanish we can find some words that can make the sweetest voice sound like a nightmare creature. In this sense, it’s important to bear in mind that often our likes or dislikes for words stem from the positive or negative associations we make with them. For example, when you think about things that bring you joy or create a positive emotion, you would normally consider its name as a beautiful one, even if it’s not the case.

On the other hand, people often feel disgusted by a word if its meaning refers to something ugly or disgusting. Words like moco (mocus), pus, and vómito (vomit) fall into this category because, while some of them just have a weird sound, they are all associated with things that disgust us or that are not necessarily positive. Or there can also be the case of words that are not negative or ugly but their sound is cacophonous -noise or bad sound-.

Luckily Spanish has more beautiful words than ugly ones, thus here we have narrowed the ugliest words considered native speakers on different polls around the World Wide Web into seven:

-Seborrea (Seborrhea):

Sometimes we don’t even know how to spell it.

-Boñiga (Animal excrement):

Just by having the letter Ñ incite rejection.

-Diarrea (Diarrhea):

I mean, do we need a reason to not like this word?

-Sobaco (Armpit)

It may sound as tobaco but It’s not only one of the least atractive and smelly parts of our body, but in Spanish, this word sounds tacky.

-Prurito (Pruritus):

The words may not sound so bad, but just the fact that it is associated with irritation, makes it part of this list.

-Petulante (Smug):

Smugs are always annoying, and petulante is one of those Spanish words that allow you to verbally express your disconfort with every syllable: pe-tu-lan-te.

-Recoveco (Nook):

This word sounds like a scolding. And whoever says they know what it means is either lying or has only heard it in an old song by Shakira.

-Ganglio (Ganglion):

The only context in which we can use it is whenever we have an infection and the ganglios get swollen, thus to hear this word means bad news. Also, it sounds like sea monster.

Finally, as a bonus, there is one that is not on the list but that is a personal one: chancleta, which is the way we call flip-flops in many countries in Latin America. Although fancy people name them sandalias to avoid chancleta, but let’s face it, sandals are not flip flops. And a fun fact, this word has been the mother of declinations related to this object: chancletúo/a; chancletear; chancletazo, and many more.

What are you wating for? Learn the real Spanish!

Virginia Orozco

Virginia Orozco

BA in Modern Languages and Political Scientist. Spanish-English-French Translator. Copywriter. Linguistics and Arts Enthusiast.

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