What Does Pendejo Mean? | The Word Counter (2024)

What does the word pendejo mean?

According to Dictionary and Urban Dictionary, the word pendejo is a Spanish slang term for “asshole” or “idiot.” Literally, this word translates to public hair. The word pendejo is a masculine noun and would be used to refer to a man. If you wanted to refer to a female this way, the feminine form of the word is pendeja.

This word is considered very offensive and should not be used in professional or formal settings. People may use the word pendejo with their friends when they are joking around, but this word should be reserved for casual usage with people you know very well. If you are trying to use this word in a playful way, make sure that the recipient of the insult understands this. Do not use this word in professional or formal settings like business emails, meetings, or other less casual contexts.

What Does Pendejo Mean? | The Word Counter (1)

How can the word pendejo be used in a sentence?

There are many different ways that the word pendejo can be used in a Spanish sentence. Make sure that you only use this word with people you know well because it can be considered offensive. Below are a couple of different examples of pendejo.


Cocinero: Este pendejo empezó a trabajar en mi cocina. Ni siquiera puedo hacer que enrolle los cubiertos correctamente. No se que voy a hacer.

Amigo: Tendrá que aprender algo de tiempo. Kay por la ley. ¿Qué tan difícil es esto?

Cocinero: No lo sé. Es ridículo. Todo lo que digo lo malinterpreta. Nunca he tenido un lavaplatos que hiciera esto mal.

Amigo: A veces, un pendejo es un pendejo y no hay nada que puedas hacer.


Cook: This dumbass started working in my kitchen. I can’t even get him to roll silverware correctly. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Friend: He is going to have to learn some time. Kay down the law. How hard is this?

Cook: I don’t know. It’s ridiculous. Everything I say he misinterprets. I’ve never had a dishwasher do this poorly.

Friend: Sometimes, an idiot is an idiot, and there is nothing you can do.

What is the origin of the word pendejo?

Word pendejo has a Latin root that means pubic hair. It is thought that in sixteenth-century Spain, the word pendejo was used to describe pubescent teens who tried to act like adults. Then, in the 17th century, people began to use the word pendejo to mean coward. By the early 1900s after much conquest and colonization, the word pendejo shifted its meaning to dumb or stupid in the Americas.

What are synonyms for the word pendejo?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word pendejo. It is useful to know English language synonyms for the Spanish slang term because if you are in an English-speaking country, someone may not know this term or its meaning. Below is a list of many synonyms for the word pendejo provided by Merriam-Webster Thesaurus.

  • gander
  • dumbbell
  • noodle
  • dork
  • stock
  • deadhead
  • saphead
  • chucklehead
  • mug
  • natural
  • chowderhead
  • donkey
  • ratbag
  • yahoo
  • knucklehead
  • dip
  • airhead
  • cuddy
  • lump
  • cuddie
  • dunderhead
  • loon
  • birdbrain
  • dullard
  • bubblehead
  • ninnyhammer
  • dunce
  • lunkhead
  • pinhead
  • mutt
  • dummy
  • goof
  • blockhead
  • hardhead
  • loggerhead
  • fathead
  • dimwit
  • clodpoll
  • moron
  • meathead
  • clunk
  • schlub
  • goon
  • ninny
  • yo-yo
  • nincompoop
  • doofus
  • half-wit
  • cretin
  • dodo
  • noddy
  • mome
  • dum-dum
  • prat
  • dummkopf
  • dope
  • know-nothing
  • stupid
  • ignoramus
  • stupe
  • golem
  • simpleton
  • numskull
  • nimrod
  • clot
  • thickhead
  • woodenhead
  • dolt
  • lamebrain
  • oaf
  • hammerhead
  • bulb
  • clodpole
  • nit
  • jackass
  • turkey
  • nitwit
  • bonehead
  • cluck
  • dim
  • numbskull
  • schnook
  • imbecile
  • dumbhead

What are other Spanish slang terms?

Many different languages have their own slang terms – Arabic German English Spanish French Hebrew Italian Japanese Dutch Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Turkish Chinese – all of these languages have their own sets of idioms and rude words. These can definitely be considered inappropriate terms or inappropriate content. However, it is important to know colloquial translations of slang words in the common language wherever you are traveling to Latin America, South America, Central America or other Spanish-speaking countries. You may not be able to have an English-language conversation and will therefore need to know the meaning of words in various contexts. Different countries like Colombia, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama, and other Latin American countries with large numbers of Spanish-speakers will all have different slang terms. The below list of Spanish slang terms is provided by The Culture Trip and Spanish Dict.

  • Chingadera – Rubbish
  • La chingada – Go f*ck yourself
  • Hijo de puta – Son of a bitch
  • Muchacho
  • Estúpido – Stupid
  • Crudo – Literally raw, figuratively hangover
  • Chudo/Chido – Dick
  • Padre – Literally father, figuratively cool
  • Buena onda – Nice
  • Güey/Wey – Mate
  • Fresa – Literally strawberry, figuratively stuck-up or snobby
  • Cabrón – Literally male goat, figuratively friend. Sometimes offensive in parts of Mexico, i.e. dumbass.
  • Chinga tu madre – Go f*ck yourself
  • Pinche – f*cking
  • Vete al carajo – f*ck off
  • Mierda – sh*t
  • Chingar – To f*ck
  • Tonto – Dumb, stupid

Overall, the Spanish word pendejo means idiot or dumbass. This word has a storied history in the Spanish language, but nowadays is a common insult that you may hear in Mexico and other Latin American or Spanish speaking countries. This word is considered very insulting, so if you are trying to use it as a joke, make sure that you do so with a friend you know well.


  1. See & Do All The Mexican Slang Terms You Need To Know | The Culture Trip
  2. Chula | Spanish to English Translation | Spanish Dict.
  3. Pendejo – What Does pendejo Mean? | Dictionary.com
  4. Pendejo | Urban Dictionary
  5. Idiot Synonyms, Idiot Antonyms | Merriam-Webster

What Does Pendejo Mean? | The Word Counter (2)

Kevin Miller is a growth marketer with an extensive background in Search Engine Optimization, paid acquisition and email marketing. He is also an online editor and writer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He studied at Georgetown University, worked at Google and became infatuated with English Grammar and for years has been diving into the language, demystifying the do's and don'ts for all who share the same passion! He can be found online here.

What Does Pendejo Mean? | The Word Counter (2024)


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