Mierda!: The Real Spanish You Were Never Taught in School

Paperback (Bilingual Edition)
BN.com price
(Save 6%)$13.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (51) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $1.99   
  • Used (43) from $1.99   
Mierda!: The Real Spanish You Were Never Taught in School

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452264243
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1990
  • Edition description: Bilingual Edition
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 624,302
  • Product dimensions: 5.45 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Read an Excerpt

It’s true. The real Spanish no teacher dared to bring into the classroom is now at your fingertips:

(Oh, shit, I took the wrong train.)


(I’m amazed I’m still alive. Oh, God, what a bitchin’ night!)

(Don’t jerk me around!)


(I think they both have all their brains in their genitals.)


(Go have sexual intercourse with yourself!)

And dozens more words, phrases, and mini-conversations for everything you always needed to say in Spanish—but nobody ever told you how!


Frances de Talavera Berger has lived in Mexico, Spain, and Los Angeles, California—where she has never been at a loss for words.


The Real Spanish You Were Never Taught in School

Frances de Talevera Berger

Illustrated by Michael Heath


Castilian! The very sight of the word still gives you fits, doesn’t it? Remember the mind-boggling struggles with that too inflexible, autocratic dialect which, for obvious reasons, will always be the basis for teaching Spanish? Sure, you’ve studied very hard and the pitfalls of those lispy cetas and mystifying tildes have been hurdled. You feel you have a reasonable, functional command of Spanish. But do you? Think back a little. Remember that Argentinian art film you could barely understand? Or how about the latest East L.A. salsa flick, supposedly in English but very heavy on Latino slang? Might as well be listening to Martian, right? Worse still, relive that mortifying moment on your first trip to Mexico when, awestruck by the grandeur of the world’s largest pyramid, you gave vent to ecstasy in your best scholarly Spanish—while two natives nearby stared first at you, then at each other, and then politely but so disdainfully rolled their eyes toward heaven!

Well, stop fretting. Basically, the problem is that your Spanish is probably too prim, too proper, too formal for just plain necessary communication. You weren’t taught the colorful dirty words and fanciful phrases that are the heart and soul of this multiregional, dynamic language. Why, normal Hispanic usage practically demands heavy doses of superb vulgarismo (slang) and a heady repertoire of hard-core curses! Here, then, is an introductory guide to basic profanities without, however, any pretense toward the dogmatic or definitive. So hang in there—and you’ll learn how everyday Spanish is really spoken, all the way from Pamplona to Tierra del Fuego.

Helpful Hints

Asterisks after words indicate a degree of dirtiness beyond the ordinary colloquial. A one-asterisk word may be used casually, but with moderation. As for the two-asterisk word, don’t let it fill you with stark horror. Try it out, here and there. Play with it, cleverly. Go on, be brave. You’ll soon find that the trick is to use it at just the right time and for just the right circumstance.

When not directly translatable, English definitions are given as close an equivalent as possible. But don’t worry, the intent and flavor remain unspoiled.

An abbreviation will appear if a word or phrase is used mainly in the vernacular of a particular region or country: Spain = SPN; Mexico = MX; Puerto Rico = PR; East Los Angeles = ELA; Panama = PAN; Colombia = COL; Argentina = ARG; West Indies = W IND; Central America = C AMR; Cuba = CU. Also, since a majority of Hispanics concentrated in the American Northeast and Southwest are inventing a robust, ribald dialect of their own, Spanglish will be indicated as SPNGL when apropos.


The Basics

Both Proper and Profane

Even the most common words have much juicier colloquial counterparts. Hispanics take great pride in applying as many words as possible to any and all objects—vegetable, mineral, and human. And if the language should fail to describe or impart one’s exact meaning, there is no hesitation whatsoever to invent words, borrowing freely snips and pieces from other dialects and even from other languages. This isn’t considered a bad habit. (Let the purists be damned!) On the contrary, it’s applauded as imaginative and artistic. To a Latino, born with the compulsion of a poet, the most important thing in the world is to get his or her meaning across.

We begin with the proper—the lofty Castilian of the hidalgos—but then adjust quickly, of course, to the necessary and inventive profanities of the modern Hispanic tongue.

una mujer

una guapa (handsome—nice)

una mamita* (in this case, not nice)

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Helpful Hints
I. The Basics
Both Proper and Profane
Likely Subjects to Be Roundly Cursed
Everyday Necessities
Super Snippets
Pronouncing, Pros and Cons

II. The Many Ways of Dirty Self-Expression
First, That Mierda Word
Other Vulgarisms

III. The Body
Functional and Graphic
More Politely...

IV. Sex, Everybody?
¡Cómo No!
From Carnal Knowledge to Mother Love

V. Filthy Flights of Fancy
Or, How to Get Even with Your Car, Spanish Style
How to Completely Fuck Up Your Pet

VI. No, I Am Not a Turista!
Or, Where the Holy Hell Am I?
From the Night Before to the Morning After

VII. The Graces
Or, How to Turn Good Clean Fun into Devilish Dirt
Just Hanging Out and Shooting the Mierda!

VIII. Sorry, It's Really Big Test Time!

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2005

    Fun in traffic

    I have to say that before this book the worst thing I could say in traffic to a spanish speaker was 'your mother is a green shoe!' Truly a fun book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)