Turnips and rabbits: The many Spanish nicknames for genitalia

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Turnips and rabbits: The many Spanish nicknames for genitalia
A "turnip" is one of the comically vulgar ways Spaniards refer to male genitalia. Photo: Marisa Morton/Unsplash

Every language has funny synonyms to refer to the penis and the vagina, and Spanish is no different. From seafood to everyday objects, here are the colloquial and sometimes vulgar synonyms Spaniards use to refer to male and female genitalia.


The Spanish press recently had a field day with the news that British Food and Rural Affairs Minister Thérèse Coffey had invited Brits to “eat turnips” to counteract current food and veg shortages in the country. 

That’s because the Spanish word for turnip - nabo - is also a nickname for “penis”, which has led to plenty of double-entendre headlines and satirical sketches about Brits eating turnips/penises. 


This got us thinking about all the other colourful language Spaniards use to refer to male and female genitalia.

As could be expected, when it comes to nicknames for the penis, there’s an abundance of somewhat phallic-shaped objects that in Spanish have come to also mean what English speakers would call ‘dick’ or ‘cock’. 

When it comes to referring to the female anatomy on the other hand, food and in particular seafood, seems to steal the show.  

As you may know, swearing and vulgar terminology is more socially accepted in Spain than in other countries, but we’ve included a “risqué rate” at the end of each so you’re aware of how vulgar each term is.

You can of course just refer to the penis as pene and vagina as vagina (va-hee-na) as these are the correct terms, but we hope this language list will help you with your Spanish comprehension as these colloquial terms do come up in conversation more than you’d imagine.


Colloquial names for the penis (El pene) in Spanish

(La) Polla: Young female chick. Polla is the most common vulgar way Spaniards have of referring to a penis, and foreigners should also be careful not to confuse pollo (chicken) with polla (dick). Risqué rate: 9/10

(El) Nardo: Nard or tuberose plant. No discernable resemblance to a penis. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Paquete: A package or packet, usually used when referring to the penis whilst covered behind underwear and trousers. Risqué rate: 6/10

(La) Cuca: A nickname for the old Spanish peseta, but nowadays nobody remembers that. Cuca is generally a way that boys refer to their pee-pee and isn’t as offensive as other nicknames on this list such as polla. Bizarrely, it’s also the name of a famous brand of tinned seafood, and the shortened version of female names such as Carmen or Concepción. For example, the Popular Party’s spokesperson is called Cuca Gamarra. Risqué rate: 4/10

(El) Pito: A whistle. As in the kind that you blow, but which makes a loud sharp noise when you do. Also considered a slightly childish way of referring to male genitalia. Risqué rate: 4/10

(La) Tranca: Big stick but can also mean a bender, as in when someone goes on a drinking spree. As there’s the implication that it’s a larger member, it’s slightly more lewd. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Cimbel: Pigeon cord or decoy used to catch birds (the ones with wings). Not a very common way to refer to the penis in modern-day Spain. Risqué rate: 4/10

(El) Rabo: Tail. Rabo de toro (oxtail) is common in Spanish cuisine, but don’t be alarmed, it is indeed the animal’s tail and not his member that will be dished up. However, if you see criadillas on the menu, be aware that this is indeed bull’s testicles. Risqué rate: 6/10

(La) Cola: Another word for tail, but just like cuca, cola or colita might be used by young children or by their parents as it’s a harmless way of referring to the penis. Risqué rate: 3/10

(La) Verga: Yardarm of a ship, the spar on a mast from which sails are set. Unless you’re on a boat with sailors, if you use the word verga in Spain, people will automatically assume you’re talking about penis. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Nabo: As mentioned earlier, the Spanish word for turnip can be used to refer to a penis. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Sable: The sabre, for the man who believes his piece is a large, dangerous weapon. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Miembro: The member. A more anatomical and low-key way to refer to the penis in Spanish. Risqué rate: 3/10

(El) Cipote: An old way to refer to a short and stocky man, or a milestone rock. Risqué rate: 7/10

(La) Picha, (La) Minga and (La) Pinga: No other meaning other than ‘cock’ in modern-day Spanish. Risqué rate: 7/10



Colloquial names for the vagina (La vagina) in Spanish

(La) Almeja: The clam. Presumably because of the shape? We'd rather not go into more detail. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Mejillón: The mussel, and yet another shell mollusc that can also mean ‘vagina’ in colloquial Spanish. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Conejo: The rabbit. English speakers refer to baby cats when referencing vaginas in a comically vulgar way, Spaniards associate them with bunnies. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Higo: The fig. The food associations continue. Risqué rate: 7/10

(La) Breva: Cigar, chewing tobacco or again fig. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Chocho: Lupin legume, a common tapa served with beers in Spain. A viejo chocho is also a way to refer to an old man, and chochear can mean to dodder or be very affectionate. Chocho is a very common colloquial way to refer to the vagina in Spanish. You wouldn’t exactly use it at the doctor, but children can get away with using it at school or in front of their parents. Risqué rate: 5/10

(El) Chichi: It sounds a lot like chocho so it may be another take on it as Spain’s Royal Academy has no other meanings for it other than a colloquial way of referring to the vagina. Risqué rate: 5/10

(El) Chumino: A slightly coarse way of referring to women’s genitalia, a bit like saying ‘twat’ in English. Risqué rate: 7/10

(La) Raja: The slit. It sounds crass and it is, it’s a bit like saying ‘gash’ in English. Parents may use la rajita, the diminutive form, with their young daughters to make it a bit more acceptable. Risqué rate: 7/10

(El) Coño: Technically, it’s Spain’s C-word as it refers to female genitalia. Coño is in fact used differently in Spanish to the way it is in English, it’s not an insult directed at someone but rather can be uttered to express surprise or anger. However, if it is used to refer to female anatomy, it is the worst and most vulgar way to do it. Risqué rate: 10/10

READ ALSO: What's the worst possible insult you can say to someone in Spanish?


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rplinke 2023/03/06 19:00
Just want to point out that the root in your photo is a beet, not a turnip.

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