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

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).

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