To mention all the ways of saying “bitch” in Spanish is almost impossible. From ancient times to the present, women have been given different nicknames and references, both to refer to them with respect and to refer them in a derogatory way. As crude and vulgar as it may be, we present below the different ways to call a woman a “bitch” in Spanish.
Meretriz – Prostitute
We will start with the most elegant, historical and uncommon. This word comes from the verb “merecer”, which means “to deserve”, that is, someone “who has worked hard and deserves it”. A “meretriz” was considered a working woman who deserved a dignified and luxurious life because she worked for it, hence it was pronounced with respect referring to a woman who practiced prostitution in ancient times.
Cortesana – Courtesan
“Cortesana” was the title of a lady who practiced prostitution with the permission of the King in the Middle Ages, which made them especially distinguished and elegant. Such was the renown of these women that they were invited to royal banquets to entertain the gentlemen with their sexual talents. While in ancient Greece the word “hetaira” was used to refer to them.
Puta – Whore / Bitch
In Latin and other languages that come from the same root as Italian, French, Romanian, they also said “puta” to women who practiced prostitution. This term has survived to the present day, forming part of the swearing vernacular in Spanish.
Zorra – Vixen
A woman is called “zorra” to refer to her as a promiscuous person, ill-intentioned and cunning as well as someone who acts immorally. The behavior of this female mammal is not only insightful but at the same time, it can be seen as shameless, if we ascribe it to human behavior.
Perra – bitch (female dog)
Speaking of animals, female dogs have a promiscuous and even defensive behavior towards other females when fighting for a male, especially when they are in heat. Therefore, calling a woman a “perra” is also a way of saying she steals men and is promiscuous, mentioning also the term “loba” (wolf) which has a similar meaning and its use is common in Latin American countries to refer to dishonest women with multiple partners.
Fórnix – Fucker
The arches of the first floor of the Roman Colosseum, called “fornices”, are the etymological origin of the verb fornicate since under those arches the “fornix” or prostitutes who worked in that busy place charged for their services. That is why “fórnix” is another way of referring to both the vagina and the women who commercialized their vaginal services in Ancient Rome and another way of calling a woman a prostitute in Spanish.
Fulana – an Anybody’s (Bitch)
This Arabic term really means “any person” and it is precisely what made it an offensive word used to call prostitutes of that era a “bitch” in Spanish. It is very common to refer to a prostitute as a “cualquiera”, for this reason, “fulana” was also used, mainly in Spain and colonized Latin American countries, in a derogatory way to refer to a prostitute or a promiscuous woman who lived an immoral life.
Ramera – Harlot
This word, widely used throughout the Spanish-speaking world, has a very particular history. Prostitutes in the Middle Ages marked their rooms with bouquets, to distinguish their establishment from the rest, thanks to this tradition, the word “ramera” arises to name a prostitute or a promiscuous woman in an offensive way.
Mesalina – Messalina
She was the wife of the Roman emperor Claudius, famous for being a depraved woman with daring and immoral habits. That is why women who practiced prostitution at that time were also called by this name.
Pelandusca – Slut
Among the different ways of saying “bitch” in Spanish, “pelandusca” is one of the terms with the saddest origin. It arises from an exemplary punishment that was practiced in the past to women who wandered the streets offering their sexual favors in exchange for a few coins.
This punishment was to shave their heads and leave them bald so that the whole town would know what they did for a living. So it is not only a derogatory term but also one of the most humiliating insults in Spanish that has spread throughout Spanish-speaking countries.
Golfa – Hooker
The word “golfo” comes from “golfin”, which was a term associated with scoundrels and rogues. Therefore, a “golfa” is, in addition to being a prostitute, a woman of bad character, according to traditional morals. Although it is more commonly used in Mexico and Spain, this term is understood in any other Latin American country.
Although these words to say “bitch” in Spanish have a noble and classic origin, the most used are up-and-coming terms such as colloquialisms and slang of each area of Spain and Latin America. I will talk about them below as they are typical of the bad language in the Spanish-speaking world.
Suripanta – Choir Singer
Initially, this term was used to mean “bitch” in Spanish and referred to women who played certain roles in the theater or who worked as a chorus girl, linking these activities to less than decent matters in ancient times. Thus, “suripanta” refers to a woman who lacks morals or decency and who engages in unseemly activities.
Prepago – Pre-paid
“Prepago” is another derogatory word for a woman who offers her sexual services only with an advance payment. It is common throughout Latin America and is an insult widely used to refer to a woman who is easy, exploitative and uses sex for financial gain.
Mujerzuela – Prostitute
It refers to a prostitute with a hard life, who is not respected or considered by society. It is usually used to insult the mistresses of married men in countries such as Spain, Colombia and Mexico, where the vocabulary is a little more neutral in terms of idioms.
Fufurufa – Bitch
In Venezuela, it refers to a well-dressed and well-groomed person, while in Colombia it refers to a prostitute or woman of a bad life. This term originated in the time of Gran Colombia, when Colombia and Venezuela were one country and that, in colonial times, prostitutes were distinguished and well-dressed women, despite being immoral.
Pamplemusa – Prostitute
It is a term used in Colombia that was popularized by a television series called “Las Muñecas de la Mafia”, where the gangsters referred to the girls who offered their bodies in exchange for money, even though they were constantly abused and outraged.
Turra – Jezebel
Originally, it refers to a woman with bad intentions, meanness and questionable morals. That is why it is natural to hear this insult throughout South America to refer to the mistresses of married men.
Maricón – Bitch (to emasculate men)
“Maricón” and “marica” are used like the term “puto” throughout the Spanish-speaking world, referring in a derogatory manner to an immoral and sexually passive male. It is intimately linked to “bitch” in Spanish, as it is part of the spectrum of Hispanic foul language directed towards the men.
As we have already seen, the words and names for “bitch” in Spanish that have been imposed on women who have practiced the oldest profession in the world, come from both distinguished social classes and the most vulgar to denigrate them in their occupation.
However, several of these terms can also be said humorously, using the right tone of voice, to tell jokes or to refer to someone we trust in a friendly way with this vulgar language too. I do not expect you to put any of these ways of saying bitch into practice, but I do hope that they have sparked your interest in knowing other Spanish slang terms widely used in our vocabulary.