Lesbian Dictionary: Spanish

How to say lesbian in Spanish

Spanish or Castilian an Indo-European language spoken in 31 countries, with a total of 528 million speakers, mainly in Spain and Latin America, being the second language in the world after Chinese. Below you have our Spanish lesbian dictionary followed by words and expressions used mainly in Latin America.


Term Definition

one of the characteristics of Spanish Lesbian Dictionary is the transformation of some insults against gays for use against lesbians, which does not happen on the contrary. The reasons for this may be the greatest invisibility of lesbians in the past and the social status of women. The smaller number of expressions for lesbians is also a consequence of the above, so it is easy to understand that in a new and unknown fact, as sexuality and homosexual behavior of women, used the same words that are used against Gays, changing gender or using exactly the same. The word Amaricada would be an example of this, since it is a variation of the word Marica, which is used against gay or effeminate men. No matter the effeminacy of the original term, just the use against gays.

Related Chonga, Chongo (Argentina), Changa (Panama), Cudanga (Dominican Rep.), Fleta (Chile), Hueca (Guatemala), Maricona (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Miami, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela), Mofletera (Mexico), Pájara (Dominican Rep.), Pata (Miami, Dominican Rep., Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela), Pato (Puerto Rico), Piroba (Colombia), Trola (Argentina).


expression used in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America to point to the homosexual woman. Arepas and cachapas are some pancakes made with corn very present in the Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine, so initially the areperas and cachaperas were the women who elaborated or sold them, or establishments where they are sold.

We found in the "Dictionary of indigenous words often used in Venezuela", published in 1881 by Aristides Rojas, in addition to the reference to the job of Arepera, the meaning of derogatory word concerning women with no manners, scandalous, etc. Later, in 1946, we found in the "Journal of Legal Medicine of Colombia", a reference to lesbian sex or "the arepas vice", in which the behavior of a woman was analyzed, who "simulates intercourse with another woman caused by lack of men or even if there were".

So between 1881 and 1946 it is when the relationship between Arepera and lesbian sex appears, probably after the arrival of the slang Tortillera from Spain to Latin America in the early 20th century, as we comment in the entry Bollera on this dictionary.

See Bollera.

Variations Arepa.

Related Cachapera (Venezuela, Puerto Rico), Pastelera and Panadera (Peru), Tortillera.


expression used against lesbians that would has its origin in the slang word Tortillera, because being similar jobs and having phonetic similarity, the popular etymology extend the meaning of homosexual woman to the word Bollera. The word Bollera shares its origin with other words like Arepera (Colombia) and Cachapera (Venezuela) who are women who make or sell some corn pancakes, just as the Bollera is the woman who makes or sells buns. In our opinion and based on the information obtained and the chronology, all these slang words derived from Tortillera, that curiously not derived from "tortilla" (omelette), but twisted. The idea is that in Spain, from Tortillera, recently the slang Bollera was created, and when Tortillera reached Latin America in the early 20th century, Arepera and Cachapera slangs were created with the meaning of homosexual woman. Learn more about Bollera on the link below.

See Lesbian Dictionary: Bollo (Spain)

Variations Bollo, Bolli, Bollitos, Bollodrama, Bollicao, Bolliliendre, Bollicaracol, Zampabollos.


bollo negro 1 196 550 550 80 c

derived from bollera. "Mary is Bollo" or "We did a Bollo" are expressions that are used as slang for lesbian or lesbian sex respectively. Bollo is also food, usually sweet, made with dough. Learn more about the slang Bollo in the following link.

Ver Lesbian Dictionary: Bollo (Spain)

Variations Bollera, Bolli, Bollitos, Bollodrama, Bollicao, Bolliliendre, Bollicaracol, Waffle (Argentina), Zampabollos.


term used in Mexico to point to the homosexual woman. It derives from the English word Butch that means male and is used to name both very masculine lesbians and for exaggeratedly masculine men. Curiously the term Butch originates in alias of famous US train robber and banks, in late 19th century, Butch Cassidy.

Variations Bucha (Miami, Dominican Rep., El Salvador, Mexico, Puerto Rico), Buchera (Mexico), Butch y Buch (Argentina), Carnicero (Guatemala).


expression used in Venezuela and Puerto Rico to refer to homosexual woman. The cachapas are some sweet pancakes made with corn very present in Venezuelan cuisine, so initially the cachaperas were the women who elaborated or sold them, or establishments where are sold.

There are hardly any information on the origin of this expression. The first references to Cachapera as lesbian slang are in the early 90s, but also at the same time we find Cachapera as slang for prostitute and "Cachapera tortera" as slang for prostitute performing lesbian sex. However we thought the slang does not come from issue of prostitution, but because of the similarity with expressions like Arepera and Tortillera, in relation to the preparation of pancakes.

Curiously, in Valencia (Spain) a sweet cakes of Arab origin called Cachaps are made.

Variations Cacha (Puerto Rico), Cachapa (Venezuela).

Related Arepera (Colombia), Pastelera y Panadera (Peru), Tortillera.

See Lesbian Dictionary: Bollo (Spain)

See Bollera, Arepera.


term used in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America to refer to homosexual woman. The meaning offered by the DRAE refers to a racist issue, specifically Cambuja is a woman that one whose parents are, one of Indian race and the other crossbred Indian and Black. Probably, with the word Cambuja we are facing another case in which try to highlight that homosexual behavior comes from outside or belongs, as in this case, to discriminated groups. It is a fairly recent lesbian slang, it starts to look online in 2009.


one of the common ways to point out lesbian women or women who for some physical or personal characteristic are considered masculines, and therefore might be lesbians, is to use professions or activities that are considered socially very masculine. This is the case of the word Camionera, that although the DRAE defined as a truck woman driver, it is a fairly common expression used against lesbians or against any woman you want to insult, using gender expression or possible sexual orientation. An equivalent expression in other languages is "Traktorlesbe" (Lesbian Tractor) used in Norway.

Variations Camiona (Chile), Camión (Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela), Camionero (Guatemala), Camión aparcado en la esquina (Truck parked on the corner) (Spain).

Synonyms Bombero (Argentina), Camión (Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela), Camión aparcado en la esquina (Spain), Camionero (Guatemala), Black and Decker (España. It is a well-known brand tools), General de cinco estrellas (Five-star General. Dominican Rep., Puerto Rico), Martillera, Tiene martillo (martillo means hammer. Dominican Rep., El Salvador, Spain), Tractor (Costa Rica), Trailera (Mexico. From trailer, which is bigger than a truck), Jefona, Jefota (From Boss. Dominican Rep.), Vulcanizadora (Mexico), Guerrillera (Bushwhacker. Honduras), Soldadora, Leñadora, Troquera.


term used in Peru to name lesbians with masculine gender expression and is a shortened form of the word machito (ma)chito, which means "small male" Although used derogatorily, is also used among lesbians. Another type used in Peru is "Lady", who is a lesbian with feminine gender expression.

See Marimacho.

Come coños

cunt eater. It is quite common to use the explicit sex to point out derogatorily homosexual women or against women who could be lesbian, or women you want to insult, just as happens with gays.

Variations come chocha, lame coños, come almejas, come concha, come chochos, chupa coños.


deviant. It is an expression that shows the consideration of homosexuality by society as something spoiled, wrong, etc. respect of heterosexuality. Probably has its origin in the late 19th and early 20th century, the era of pathology, in which homosexuality was considered a mental illness.

Related Invertida (invested).


an Entendida woman is a woman who understands, that is, that he is lesbian. Belonging to the LGBT jargon expressions.


currently it used as a synonym for lesbian, but originally was a synonym for the word Tribada. Comes from the Latin "Fricare" meaning rubbing, scrubbing, etc., in relation to lesbian sex.

See Tribada.


manly woman. Expression derived from the word Hombre (man), used to point to women who, by their behavior or appearance are considered unfeminine and therefore might be lesbians.

See Marimacho.

Synonyms Ahombrada.


as in other languages such as German or Italian, the use of this term comes from the English word "Invert", used in psychiatric field from the publication, in 1897, of the work of Havelock Ellis, "Sexual Inversion". paradigmatic term of pathologizing era in which, from a biased and heteronormative view, try to explain homosexuality as abnormal or diverted respect to heterosexuality, correct, natural and majority. Invertida and other related terms, are the immediate antecedents of the word homosexual.

Related Voltiá (Colombia), Volteada (Mexico), Rara (Chile, Colombia, Dominican Rep., Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela).

Juana Gallo

Juana Gallo

Juana Gallo (Joan Rooster) (1876-1958) is the alias of a famous woman who lived in Zacatecas (Mexico) whose life moves between a few details known and the myth. A myth she build encouraging it drinking and talking in bars, which was then amplified by an eponymous film of 1961, falsely focused on its revolutionary character. Her figure has been the subject of popular songs, biographies and exhibitions about his life.

Angela Ramos Aguilar, the real name of Juana Gallo, from an early age showed a spunky personality that did not follow the strict female code. Her alias comes from a professor who exclaimed "purge away Juana Gallo!" when she opened the head by a stone thrown to another boy. They say she was mannish and that from afar could look like a man, but probably due more to his quarrelsome and bellicose nature, facing the power to defend freedom of worship in the Cristera War (1926-1929), than a matter of sexual orientation. At 13 she runs away from home with a captain of the Acordada of Zacatecas, with she had a son who died shortly after birth. She never married or had more children.

Thus, the alias of a woman who did not behave like the rest, which looked masculine characteristics, eventually became an expression to refer to homosexual women, or a reference to avoid.

See Marimacho.

Juana tres cocos

Joan three coconuts. Expression used in Chile, as a reference for masculine woman, to tell girls should behave like young ladies of delicate manners and not as Juana Tres Cocos. We have not found the origin of this Chilean idiom, however since in Chile the word "cocos" is slang for testicles, it is possible that this expression, 3 testicles or 3 balls, is emphasized masculinity, suggesting that she is more male than many men.

Variations María tres cocos.

Related Juana Gallo.

Juega tenis

play tennis. Expression used in Colombia to express that a woman is homosexual. We could not find information on the origin of this expression, but is probably related to some famous lesbian tennis players like Martina Navratilova, who in 1981 came out of the closet when no one did, and that in addition to have a spectacular track record, has worked as an LGBT activist on many occasions.


imported English term, used since the 40s to the 60s, for lesbians who did not identify with the category Butch or Femme, but they would be in a middle point, almost androgynous.


lettuce. Is a term used in Mexico as a synonym for lesbian and also resulted from lesbian. As we have found in an article by Elisabeth Beniers for the journal Acta Poética, this would be a phonetic euphemism for share the beginning of the word (Le), so that instead of saying Lesbian would say Lechuga.


Chile youthful expression used to refer to lesbians. We do not know if it is for being a transformation of the word lesbian, or for its meaning of silly.


it is an expression widely used in Mexico as a synonym for lesbian. There are many blogs, websites, twitter and facebook accounts with slang Lencha as a title or name. In this sense, although it is likely in the beginning, would not a derogatory intention now.

Lencha la justicieraThe exact origin of this lesbian slang is, for the moment, unknown, but some things can be commented.

Lencha is the familiar form of the name of Lorenza (Laurence), and all we could find has to do with a known character in a series of films called Lencha, as were Lencha La justiciera (1990) o Lencha La taxista (1990), character who does not follow the strict code of female behavior as she imparts her own righteousness or drive a taxi, although, as we read, Lencha seem to respond to the stereotype of the Mexican Indian who includes features like naive, silly, etc.

From 2005 it began an explosion on Internet activity for the word Lencha as lesbian slang, without konwing the motive or the process. The only thing that comes to mind is the gender expression of the character in the first film in the series, which curiously changed in the second but still quite strong despite ties and skirts she wear. You can not rule out that the reason is the own gender expression of the actress, Lucila Mariscal.


its the most universal way to name homosexual women, that is, women who show inclination towards erotic and emotional relationship with individuals of the same sex.

Variations Lesbi, Levis (Mexico, by phonetic similarity to lesbi), Livais o Libais (Mexico, by the way of pronouncing the Levi's brand), Lesbiano, Lesbo, Lesbia, Lesbicha.


today is a derogatory term used in Spain and Mexico against "masculine" women, and that is synonymous with Marimacho. The reason for inclusion in the dictionary is that its first reference is older than Marimacho, as appearing in the Spanish-Latin Dictionary by Nebrija, published in 1495. At that time, and today has the first meaning of "sterile" and the second "mannish". Corominas relates it to the alleged inability to have offspring of mannish women to whom equate with lesbians, but we think it is a feminine and derogatory variant of the word macho, applied to those women who, for whatever reason, did not comply with the strict code of female behavior, as we explained in this dictionary entry, Marimacho, having nothing to do with the orientation or sexual life of women, at that time, quite limited.

See Marimacho.


very derogatory term that originated in gender vigilance, and has been used to attack women with a gender expression that did not correspond with the strict female canon. Used in Spain, Paraguay and Chile.

The first dating is from 1611, contained in the manuscript supplement of the dictionary by S. Covarrubias as follows:

“este nombre ha puesto el vulgo a las mujeres briosas y desenvueltas que parece haber querido la naturaleza hacerlas hombres, sino en el sexo, al menos en la desenvoltura”.

“this name has been set by the common people to the determined and brazen women that nature seems to have wanted them men, but in sex, at least in resourcefulness”.

From this fragment we can deduce two things. First, it was an expression used by the common people that is collected in a dictionary later, so we can not rule a much earlier origin. And secondly, speaking of spirited and brazen women, meaning that women are strong, spirit, courage, resolution, panache, desembarazo, gallantry, gentility, with thrust to drive or perform an action. All this according to the RAE and according to the meanings of the dictionaries of the time. No talk of women who look like men by their appearance, but by their abilities and activities, which at that time were exclusive to men. Nor does any reference to sexual orientation, and this may be because, as we have seen on other occasions, it was not conceived that women had no reproductive life sexuality.

It will be much later when the term Marimacho, in addition to name masculine women or who behave like men, starts to be use as a predictor of sexual orientation, with the simplistic argument of "if she makes man things, perhaps she is lesbian”.

Synonyms Ahombrada, Amachada, Compadre, Fuerte, Hombre, Hombruna, Macha, Machenca, Machetona, Machín, Machín-rin-rin, Machina, Macho, Machona (Peru), Machorra, Machúa, Machungo, Machina, Marimar (by a series of Mexican tv), Manflora, Marimacha (Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru y Venezuela), Mariamacho, Mariomacho, Masculina, Santo varón, Varón.


term used in Mexico to name lesbians who looks like lesbians.


safic. It is a term used to refer to homosexual woman in the same way as sapphism and Sapphic are used to refer to lesbianism. The term Sáfica was originated from the celebrated poet Sappho from Mitilene, also known as Sappho of Lesbos, since she lived on that Greek island between the 650/610 and 580 B.C. Fragments of his work and some poems are preserved, especially by the echo of her works made by later authors. Unlike other poets, Sappho focused his work on sensitivity, beauty and her inner world. The fact that she belonged to an institution that preparing girls for marriage and thereafter, she founded House of the servants of the Muses, where her disciples learn to recite poetry, sing, make wreaths and flower pendant, makes to deduct from his poems that Sappho fell in love with her disciples and maintained relations with many of them. However, despite the few data we have about his life and the controversy over the object of his poems, she has become a symbol of love between women, which moves between myth and reality.


term used in Chile with a variety of meanings and very different from each other. One is to appoint homosexual women and this may have several explanations, one that would have relation to the whole, Tortillera Arepera, Cachapera because Sopaipilla is a pancake made from cornmeal, and another that would be related to wich is also slang for vagina.


scissors. Expression used in Argentina to name homosexual women, in relation to the sexual act consisting of rubbing the vulva and clitoris with the genitals of the couple or with the thigh. The leg position reminds scissors. In other places like Spain, is used the idiom "hacer la tijera" (do scissors) to refer to lesbian sex, which may be accompanied or not with an illustrative gesture crossing 2 fingers of both hands as if they were legs.

hands doing scissors lesbian

Variations tijereta, tijerina.

Related Tribada.


tortillera negro 1 130 550 550 60

derogatory term to name lesbians. Its literal meaning is a kitchen utensil used to make tortillas (omelets) or wear it to picnic, and is also the woman who makes omelets or pancakes, depending on the country.

The first reference written of the word Tortillera as slang for lesbian dating from 1830, in the Spanish-French dictionary by M. Nuñez de Taboada, published in Madrid, in which the French word "Tribade" is translated as Tortillera and defined as "a woman who abuses another". With this it is demonstrated that the origin attributed to Maitreya, a novel by Cuban writer Severo Sarduy published in 1978, is wrong. Although the word tortillera as lesbian slang is more or less known wherever Spanish is spoken, the origin must be placed in Spain.

Another fact that could reinforce this idea is a text of Adolfo Sanchez Vazquez, which narrates the arrival to Mexico of Spanish exiled people by the Civil War, who were surprised to see a sign saying "El sindicato de Tortilleras les da la bienvenida" (The Tortilleras Union, gives you the welcome). Everything can be, but at the beginning nobody would make a poster or a union with a word that was also derogatory slang of lesbian.

Some explain the origin of this slang with etymology, which brings us to the bun and even the placenta (look at that!!), but the thing is, forgive us Corominas, often slang words are not originate by etymology, but are created from jumps of phonetic resemblances, in order to avoid pronouncing what really meant, or also for mispronouncing one word or say one word for another.

Thus, the most likely origin could be in the term Torticera (something like tortious), word derived from Latin tortus, with the meaning of crooked, twisted, etc. Torticera would be a cultured word, and by a process of popular etymology would be expressed wrongly as Tortillera, by their phonetic similarity. In this way people said "she is Tortillera" insted of "she is Torticera", by an error in pronunciation. The consideration of homosexual behavior as something twisted, deviant, will do the rest.

For all the above, Tortillera as slang for lesbian, would not have its origin in tortilla (omelete) or bollo (pancake), thus refuting all sexual and onomatopoeic explanations of this famous lesbian slang, but it belongs to the set of insults that have to do with the idea of ill-fated, deviant, inverted, twisted, etc. so common in the gay and lesbian slang of almost the entire planet such as, the famous English word Queer.

See Tortillera. Lesbian Dictionary (Spain)

Variations Tortera (El Salvador, Peru, Puerto Rico), Torta (Argentina, Uruguay), Torti (Argentina, Miami, Honduras, Spain, Peru), Tortilla.

Related Arepera (Colombia), Cachapera (Venezuela, Puerto Rico), Pastelera y Panadera (Peru).


according to the DRAE, tribada (or tríbada) is the poetic form of lesbian, probably because everything that smacks of classic it sound to glory to them, as opposed to Tortillera, defined as vulgar by the same members of the Spanish Royal Academy. Tribada comes from the Greek verb "tríbein" meaning rubbing, a verb, as everyone knows, squander poetry all around.

So far, everything that is known with certainty about what rubbed Greek women in the cradle of our civilization, a sexist, misogynist and homophobic societies, that considered women mostly inferior beings, properties, and virtually slaves without non-reproductive sexuality . So if someone imagines Greek women doing the scissors, most likely it was a sexual practice by prostitutes for the enjoyment of men at parties. In the same manner in ancient Greece there were no gay men, lesbians did not exist, because are concepts and constructs that appear recently in the 19th century, which have little, or nothing to do, with what could be that in reality. By this, we mean that probably in ancient Greece not existed tribadas, but a sexual practice among women consisting of mutually rubbing the vulva and clitoris. Homosexual behavior is not the same as homosexuality.

Apparently, the first time it appears the idea of rubbing with sexual meaning we now know, is in the 2nd century BC, which corresponds to the end of Classical Greece and the beginning of the Roman Empire, in which the woman could have more protagonism. So from the Greek "tríbein" pass to Latin "Tribas" that, once the Roman Empire falls, momentarily disappears from history. With the advent of the Renaissance and the translation of the classics in medieval eyes, many words among which is "tribein" were incorporated into our modern languages.

In the present case, although we can track the use of the word since 1538 in Italy (Anibale Caro Commento di be agretso | Niccolò Franco. Le pistole vulgari) and 1565 in France (Jacques Tahureau. Les dialogues), merit is usually attributed to Mr. Pierre de Bourdeille, lord of Brantôme, who, in 1587, recovered and spread the word in his "Memoirs", translated into French as tribade.

In Spanish the first time is found is in 1611 in the "Suplemento al Tesoro de la Lengua Española" by Covarrubias, as a kind of synonymous for the Latin word "marimacho", that had nothing to do with the actual meaning.

Later the word came on merit in our dictionaries with the actual meaning of lesbian, although from the nineteenth century, the terms tribadismo and tríbada were giving way to the now more common lesbian and lesbianism. In recent decades, tribadismo, plus lesbianism, is used to describe sex between women, returning to the poetic form, from the probably vulgar for the RAE, "hacer la tijera" (do the scissors).

Variations Tribadismo, Tribadista.


term used in Argentina with the meaning of lesbian and prostitute. Trola belong to the set of insults for lesbians, which are variations of insults for gays (or even the same expressions), as Trolo is an insult to gay men in Argentina.

Related Amaricada (Uruguay), Chonga, Chongo (Argentina), Cundanga (Dominican Rep.), Maricona (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Miami, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela), Mofletera (Mexico), Pájara (Dominican Rep.), Pata (Miami, Dominican Rep., Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela), Pato (Puerto Rico).

See Trolo. Spanish Gay Dictionary.


to talk about this slang of homosexual woman, used in Honduras, Puerto Rico and El Salvador, have to start talking about her male version, Troquero, which is the way the Hispanic communities in the United States and some parts of Latin America, as Chile, call to truckers. Troquero is a Spanglish derived from the English word Trucker. So Troquera would be "camionera" which is, in turn, slang for homosexual woman.

See Camionera.


currently the DRAE defines Virago as masculine woman, and this is why it is related to lesbians and is used synonymously, as well as derived words Viragismo, Viragista, etc. However, originally the meaning was entirely different, since Virago comes directly from Latin to mean heroin woman, and so appears in the CORDE in his first dating in 1160. Later, in 1607 it appears collected for the first time in a Spanish-French dictionary, with the meaning of "virtuous woman doing man things". As time and successive translations and definitions are done, since for those societys could not be feminine characteristics, it is going from characterize the woman as brave and courageous, to masculine woman. It is the concept they had of women, which robs people of some notable features in favor of men's own characteristics. Over time these definitions suggest that if a woman shows male characteristics, it may be lesbian.

See Marimacho.


it is an expression used in Chile to name women who define themselves as heterosexual but have sex with women. Probably derived from a similar expression, Webiado/a, which is used in general for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender. In general, there are some words in Chile with the same root, having the meaning of person who makes silly things, nonsense. It gives the impression that might have the sense of deviant.


expression used in Colombia and Mexico to point to homosexual women in relation to the size of the shoe. Zapatón would be a big shoe, and Zapatona would be a woman who likes to wear big shoes associated with men, that is, with this expression is wanted to highlight the "maleness" of the woman, and therefore, that she might be a lesbian. This same idea is found in Brazil with Sapatão and possibly in English language with Tootsie.

Synonyms Bigotona (Argentina. From moustache.), Sombreruda (Argentina. From hat), Pelua (Argentina, from furry).

See Sapatão. Lesbian Dictionary (Brazil)

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