This post contains explicit language.
If you are easily offended, DON'T READ IT!
When I was at school, if you gave a 12yr-old an English-Spanish (or French, German, whatever) dictionary, the first thing he'd do would be to look up 'rude' words. Of course, the Collins Gem Dictionary didn't have the breadth and depth of some of today's electronic offerings, so most of the words tended to be anatomical terms.
However, it has to be admitted that, if you begin to watch foreign language TV and films, you will come across some of the more unsavoury words in your chosen language, just as you will if you watch 'The Godfather' or the TV series 'Deadwood' in English.
With this in mind, I finally decide to write this post, not for the titillation of any 12yr olds reading, but because the words exist, are in common usage, and crop up on Spanish and South American TV.
Well, I suppose I'd better start with the 'F' word.
It's one of the commonest expletives in the English language, and can be used in various ways:
1)To describe the act of sex.
2)As a deprecative adjective e.g. 'I hate this f*cking car!'
3)As an interjection, or a single expressive word, as with 'Shit!'
It works the same in Spanish, but there are a number of synonyms.
In case 1), you might hear 'Follar', 'Joder' or, in South America 'Chingar' or 'Coger'
A note here:
'Coger', in Spain, simply means 'to take'. That's it. There's no negative connotation at all, as there is in South America, where you would need to use 'recoger', or 'agarrar' to have the same meaning.
Case 2) Normally either 'pinche' or 'chingado/a' in South America, and 'jodido/a' in Spain.
Note: 'pinche' does not agree with the gender of the noun it refers to.
So 'tu pinche hermano ha follado mi pinche hermana'
The Mexican word chingar can be used in all three methods. There's a famous quote from a 1986 movie 'Blue Velvet', which goes 'F*ck you, you f*cking f*ck', which could be translated as 'Chinga te, chingado chingón', were it not for the fact that 'Chingon' is almost a compliment. It translates roughly as 'Bad-ass', with overtones of being a 'Player'
Case 3) 'Joder' is probably the commonest.
Another note: in Spain you will often hear what sounds like 'Jo'e' (pronounced howay). This is a milder form of 'Joder', and not regarded as so vulgar. If you've ever been to Ireland, and heard anyone talking about their "feckin' boss", you'll get the idea.
In a similar situation, you might also hear 'mierda' ='Shit' or even 'coño' ( a word more commonly used to describe the female reproductive organs)
If you've ever seen the film 'Havana Blues', however, you'll know that 'Coñooooo' can be used as a vulgar greeting.
So, speaking of reproductive organs, let's get the words for those out of the way.
As mentioned: 'Coño'
also 'panocha' and 'concha'
You'll probably know that 'concha' is the Spanish word for 'shell', but I recently found out that it's also a shortened form of the female name 'Concepción', so be careful what you call your daughters.
'Polla', 'Verga' although I personally find it rather odd that the male member is known by two feminine nouns.
Then, further down we have 'cojones', also known as 'huevos'
'Tener cojones' is often used to refer to someone having a lot of nerve, whereas 'no me toque los huevos' (literally 'don't touch my balls) means 'Don't piss me off', in the Canary Isles.
The word 'puta' is a contraction of 'prostituta' and is used in two very different, but common phrases.
'Hijo de puta', pretty much the equivalent of 'son of a bitch'
'De puta madre' which, believe it or not, is an extremely positive, or favourable description.
So '¿que tal tu coche nuevo?' - 'how's the new car?'
'Es de puta madre' - the closest expression I can find in English is 'it's the dog's bollocks!'
I'll finish with a few insults, which are pretty common.
'Gillipolas' - about on a par with 'tosser', although in South America 'Pajero' means 'wanker' (always makes me smile, when I'm walking the dogs, and I go past the house on the next street , where the owner parks his Mitsubishi Pajero 4x4)
'Cabron' - Bastard
'Pendejo' or 'Capullo' - Asshole
'Maricón' - Faggot (although I've heard this used to describe Drag Queens)
Again, in the Canaries, it's not uncommon to hear 'hombrito' (little man) to question someone's masculinity.
Well, by no means an exhaustive list, but it should make some of the interjections common in films and TV a little clearer.
I wouldn't advise using them in conversation, as they vary greatly in perceived level of profanity, depending which country you're in, or which side of the Altantic you're on, and it's all too easy to 'Cagar y saltar en la caca' (shit and then tread in it)