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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My New Favorite Term: 'Pinche Cabron'

Via Atrios via Roxanne we get La Queen Sucia's open letter to our idiot media:

1. The vast majority of Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. (75 percent of us) were born and raised here, including many of us who have roots here that predate the arrival of the pilgrims.

2. "Immigrant" is not synonymous with "Latino" and the media should stop pretending they mean the same thing.

3. The CNN analyst who said today "Keep in mind, Latino voters are LEGAL immigrants, not illegal immigrants" should be FIRED for sloppy thinking. MOST LATINOS ARE NOT IMMIGRANTS AT ALL, PINCHE CABRON.

4. Immigrants to contemporary USA come from EVERYWHERE. There are, for instance, 100,000 Nigerians in Houston, and tens of thousands of ILLEGAL Irish in Boston. If this debate is truly about immigration, as opposed to racist portrayals of Latinos, please curb your coverage to be more responsible.

5. Just because someone waves a Mexican or Colombian flag at a peaceful demonstration does not mean the demonstration is a "riot" or the people unAmerican. Lou Dobbs should get his panties out of a knot and realize it is no different than someone waving an Irish flag in Southie or an Italian flag in Queens. These flags are not waved as proof of national allegiance; they are waved in solidarity with a person's cultural heritage.

I think #5 can also be specifically addressed to certain idiot bloggers.  Anywayz, read the whole thing.


PS--Speaking of certain idiot bloggers, I had to laugh when I saw this yesterday:

Tammy Bruce noted on FOX News this morning that American flags were burned at the LA rally and marchers also held signs of the North American continent with America x'ed out.

What's odd is that neither Michelle nor Tammy provided any photos of flags being burned or the horrific signs.  Ah well, it's not like free speech being exercised by a few people amongst half a million in a way the harpies don't like is even an issue...

March 28, 2006 | Permalink


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Can you please translate 'pinche cabron'? I get that it's an insult but I'd love to know exactly what it means.

Posted by: fiat lux | Mar 28, 2006 1:48:01 PM

fiat lux, my read-only Spanish is weak, but I think it's something like "damned little billy goat" ... maybe someone who really speaks Spanish can edify us further. Calling someone an animal is a serious insult in many Spanish-speaking cultures.

Posted by: Steve Bates | Mar 28, 2006 2:10:01 PM

that's a great insult!

Thank God for immigrants.

Along with labor and African Americans they saved the US from nativism and the second rising of the KKK in the 1920s. Hopefully they can save us from the republican cabrons currently in power.

Posted by: geoduck2 | Mar 28, 2006 2:26:46 PM

There's a similar insult in Italian, but I've never been sure what it means. I'm really, really bad at languages.

I always kind of got the feeling it meant brownshirt - as in one of Mussolini's brownshirts. Or an aristo that was corrupt and screwing the people? I'll ask my grandmother what it means.

Posted by: geoduck2 | Mar 28, 2006 2:29:53 PM

well, its basically f*cking motherf*cker, or f*cking asshole, f*cking jackass, prick - take your pick, cabron has multiple meanings -the insult depends on the context. its a pretty serious insult in Spanish.

Posted by: JenM | Mar 28, 2006 3:04:12 PM

I googled and got the urban dictionary which has wide variations from the goat angle to the mofo stuff. Basically, you don't say it if you aren't ready for a punch in the snoot.

Posted by: ellroon | Mar 28, 2006 4:04:22 PM

Well, my husband isn't sure what it means in Spanish (his mother born in Mexico City) but he kind of thinks "cabron" is sort of:

"fake macho posturing" or

"unflattering version of boss" or

"you think you're so high and mighty but your not."

(Can you tell that our generation is really bad at languges?)

Posted by: geoduck2 | Mar 28, 2006 7:05:55 PM

Sez you. Spanish isn't one of the ones I know, though. (Well, beyond basic touristy-type stuff, anyway. Though given that I know French and Latin and at least some Italian, I could probably wing Spanish, slowly and not terribly colloquially.)

Posted by: Michael | Mar 28, 2006 7:31:14 PM

Sez you.

Hee - I was thinking specifically of my family, in particular. My grandparents spoke Italian & my father could understand Italian, although he answered in English. (Me, I'm just hopeless, although I've taken Spanish and Italian classes.)

My mother-in-law grew up in Mexico City and my father-in-law is a Spanish teacher.

So, anyways, we called my father-in-law. He says his street Spanish isn't very good. He says if sense of it is rather vague - but mother-fucker wouldn't be a bad interpretation.

Posted by: geoduck2 | Mar 28, 2006 8:28:17 PM

Oh - hey, my mother-in-law came home in the middle of the phone call. Her sense of the word is:
A dumb ass, but there's no specific definition. It's a serious insult, and she may have been toning it down a bit.

She says there's no class connotations - where I thought in Italian that a cabron was a dumb local boss or a cunning but stupid local mayor or even a dumb-ass brownshirt foot soldier. I always thought there was a class dimension to it. But I gotta ask my grandmother.

Posted by: geoduck2 | Mar 28, 2006 8:36:50 PM

Heh - I'm having way too much fun looking up swear words. Wikipedia has cabron and cornuto.

Both cabron (Spanish) and cornuto (Italian) means a cuckhold. (Thus the goat - A cabron or cornuto is a man who wears the horns.

There's a connotation of stupidity or power exchange: "he's so stupid that he either doesn't know or doesn't care that his woman is cuckholding him." Even if he's successful or macho in other areas - he's still wears the horns.

(You can also make a horned sign as an insult in Italy.)

Cabron is such an offensive nuance, that it's often not used in it's original sense. For example, one could say "You lucky Cabron" in place of "You lucky Bastard" and not mean the actual meaning of "cabron."

In some countries it's more offensive then others for this reason.

My Calabrian grandmother is very fluent with colorful profanities. I'll have to call her tomorrow and see what she has to say.

Posted by: geoduck2 | Mar 28, 2006 9:16:23 PM

I totally like geoduck2's family, especially the grandmother!

Posted by: ellroon | Mar 28, 2006 10:40:59 PM

Those terms are pretty common in New Mexico, and I heard several different interpretations of pinche, depending on the speaker's intent. Some people use it as an ironic term of endearment, i.e. a woman will refer to her boyfriend as her "pinche," especially if he had just done something stupid, or if she's talking about him to her girl friends. I've also heard it used as an insult in traffic jams, or as a muttered curse in the checkout line as the bagger put the eggs on the bottom.

It's useful here in Florida because it's not a term used in Caribbean Spanish, so I can toss it out at will and no one knows I have just called them a prick.

My other favorite is perezozo pendejo. It loosely translates as "lazy prick," but rolls off the tongue so much more nicely than the translation.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby | Mar 29, 2006 4:51:18 AM

i agree with geoduck2 - there are a lot of nuances to cabron. you could say "cabron!" to mean "you asshole!" or "cabron" in an admiring but scandalized tone that's equivalent to "son of a bitch!" also as a warning -someone is a badass - "stay away from that cabron"

whenever i've heard pinche cabron used there's been anger, exasperation and high contempt in the speakers tone.

Posted by: JenM | Mar 29, 2006 8:42:12 AM


Posted by: fiat lux | Mar 29, 2006 11:29:16 AM

Isn't reconquista the same as Zionism?

Posted by: Isrealcool | Apr 1, 2006 7:53:27 PM

I just looked it up, pinche= equals 'scullion' or 'kitchen boy', cabron, in the figurative context, meants acquiescing cuckold. So maybe think of 'pinche' like the old way bosses treated or talked to the lowest rank, youngest, most menial worker, and cabron is of course in latin culture especially contemptible, considering how macho latino men tend to be. Probably one of the worst insults you could give. Pretty cool!

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 12, 2006 4:08:08 PM

pinche is the equivalent of damn... but a little stronger, it's usually edited from radio versions, cabron is the equivalent of bastard.

Posted by: alicia | Apr 14, 2006 6:54:35 AM

"Pinche" is Mexican slang which is a word equivalent to "fuck" or "fucking," and is less common or nonexistent in this context among Spanish-speakers from other countries/regions. As slang, it is used loosely and is not governed by normal grammatical rules, being employed as a noun, verb, and present participle, depending on the situation. It is almost always a pejorative except when used jokingly among friends, but is governed by the same rules as other taboo words in all languages that possess them. "Cabron" is more widely used and, when used in the context of "pinche cabron," is most definitely derogatory and is equivalent with "bastard," as alicia pointed out. All other possible dictionary definitions aside, an accurate translation of "pinche cabron" would be "fucking bastard."

Posted by: TA | Apr 18, 2006 7:07:10 PM

yo, im gonna be honest with you guys, pinche means fucking, but not fuck... you cant say pinche in place of fuck... the word chinga or chingao is for that.... perezozo is spelled, perezoso, and pendejo is an ass hole or a way of calling somebody a stupid ass... im mexican, so i think its funny when you white ppl google this stuff, but hey wutever you have to do.... if any of you guys need any more slang help just email me, dont try to figure it out because unless you kno someone mexican, white ppl sound funny when they try to analyze it... ha ha

Posted by: Jaryd | Jun 26, 2006 8:30:32 PM

Thanks, Jaryd, that was...uh, helpful. Peace out, yo.

Posted by: NTodd | Jun 27, 2006 5:06:47 AM

you guys are crazy, asking everybody you know what the term "pinche cabron" means, without knowing anything about it

like little kids asking what fucking is...

Posted by: roxors | Jul 12, 2006 2:34:34 AM

Yeah, it's so stupid wondering what words mean! How fucked up is that?

Posted by: NTodd | Jul 12, 2006 5:07:31 AM

When I lived in Aspen Colorado my Latino/Latina employee's nickname for me was Pinche Viejo. I understood it to mean Old Fucker in english.
Please don't misunderstand though,we all got along great,and friendly but obscene banter was the norm.......

Posted by: Estaban | Apr 1, 2007 9:26:31 PM

so what if we wanna know what you are saying and we don't understand? since we have to hear it so much, at least we can know. so don't make fun of us wanting to know what you are saying. are have the balls to say it in ENGLISH.

Posted by: alamo | May 4, 2007 9:35:13 AM

Pinche cabron? Where I grew up pinche was "fucking" (adjective) and cabron was loosely translated as "you are not man enough to keep your woman happy so she has to screw other men." Knowing what I know about the Mexican machismo culture in SoCal, questioning a man's ability to please his woman is unlike anything in American Culture. Pinche is added to really make the insult stronger.

Posted by: Kent | May 4, 2007 1:14:45 PM

My friend from Belize, and my InLaws from Panama, both told me the story about the Pinche Cabron.

The Pinche Cabron is the little bull with his chest puffed out, who gets let down because he was neutered, and has to stand by and watch the other bulls take turns having their way with "his" cow.

That's the full derogative story about the Pinceh Pinche Cabron.


Posted by: Roberto | Jul 18, 2007 11:20:56 AM

thank you :P

Posted by: bReal | Jan 15, 2008 5:14:28 AM


Posted by: Pobre Cabron | Nov 4, 2010 2:52:23 PM

lol yeah it's not that complex. 'pinche cabron' basically means 'fucking asshole'. in no way literal. don't ever say it to a latino unless you're GOOD friends with that person and it's clear you're joking.

Posted by: santos | Dec 11, 2010 7:47:15 PM

for context, don't ever call a native arabic speaker "shermouta" or tell a native jamaican "suck ya mudda". these will inevitably result in you getting your clock cleaned or worse. ah, memories of drunken east london nights.

Posted by: santos | Dec 11, 2010 7:49:41 PM

Pinche cabron said to u by a friend in the united states can be like stupid ass or f'in idiot but not necessarily serious but I wouldnt use it in Mexico that way to someone I didnt know. My friends from down south said it constantly

Posted by: Chillaxintx | Feb 16, 2011 1:02:35 AM

In Puerto Rico it is one of the worst insults. It means a man who knows his wife is cheating but does't do any thing about it

Posted by: Roberto | Mar 21, 2011 4:21:00 PM

I mean a cabron only, not a pinche cabron, that'a a Mexican thing. No offense intended Hermanos Latinos!

Posted by: Roberto | Mar 21, 2011 4:23:21 PM

Sometimes the word Cabron is said as a question. Like "Why are you such a G.D. asshole!?" Well, that's according to my mother's friend- he's lived in Mexico most of his life and all of his roots are there. He's 60 something years old, so I assume what he's saying is pretty accurate.

Posted by: Rabbit<3 | Oct 14, 2011 7:47:49 PM

pinche cabron is like saying fu#$ing a$$hole but not as strong....

Posted by: Anne | May 30, 2012 5:57:55 PM

Peenche Cabron! You are noting, but, a SPICK1

Posted by: J. Dow | Sep 9, 2017 5:14:53 PM

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