What does "desgraciado" really mean? | SpanishDict Answers
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2 Vote

I hear it all the time. Our dictionary says "miserable wretch" or "born loser" but that seems really weird. Someone is about kill someone and says "desgraciado" or "miserable wretch"? Somehow I doubt that. I wonder if anyone has a better translation. Gracias.

  • Posted Mar 14, 2010
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7 Answers

2 Vote

I commonly see it used as in definition 5 here; not 6. Unfortunate, poor wretch (a beggar-someone that God did not bless with health, fortune, etc.) I always associate the gracia with God's grace, desgracia as sin la gracia de Dios. Someone not blessed with good fortune.

desgraciado, da.

(Del part. de desgraciar).

estar ~.

  • loc. verb. Estar desacertado.

  • loc. verb. ant. Padecer menoscabo en la salud.

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1 Vote

Desgraciado is the adjective of "desgracia" which means disgrace, unfortunately, misfortune, bad luck...

Agraciar is to have grace, being "agraciado" is to have luck which is the antonym of "desgraciado"

The dictionary is kinda right about it, for me desgraciado is someone that has a disgrace... If you are about to be killed I think you don't have much luck tongue laugh

  • I forgot to comment that in my post, as the defenition that q gave you says, desgraciado is a form of "menosprecio" (insult) and someone won't like it if you call him that. - Zizoun Mar 14, 2010 flag
1 Vote

I found this site when I was doing a Google search to find out the actual meaning myself. I ask my husband, as I grew up hearing the garden variety of Mexican insults, but his Spanish is worse than the broken Spanish I've learned out of necessity in the jobs I've had and slightly better than the slang language I grew up hearing.

Unfortunately, my grandparents were told to speak only English in their home, so my Spanish today is better than what little is remembered by most of my aunts and uncles. To make matters even more confusing, my grandmother was born and raised Ray Sonora, AZ; a small (copper?) mining town, which is now an abandoned ghost town.

This word piqued my interest once again when I saw it used in the opening scene of the movie "Mi Familia" (a movie classic about Mexican-Americans, IMHO). In the scene, two men were running out of a home - one was pulling his pants up, so I suppose it was more like 0074b507's definition #6 -

I thought it meant "ungrateful", or "ingrate", but it's one of those obscenities (@ least in some of the most common Mexican dialects) that is considered amongst the most offensive. Unfortunately, Spanish is very similar to the Asian languages, in that many words are different in different parts of Mexico.

Of all of the definitions listed above, it is considered a grave insult, but I have yet to discover what insult. It was much easier to find out that "péndejo" had a more offensive definition, which was basically a husband who likes his wife to sleep around and enjoys it. I thought it was found obsessive because it was used like 'bastard' in English. I'll keep trying, though, and post a definition if I can find one. I'm glad I found this site, though, now I can def work on improving my broken Spanish! wink

  • You bet, you're are going to imprve your Spanish. :) - chileno Jul 8, 2013 flag
0 Vote

A lot of times, at least on Tvshows, a person will do something bad...like slap a girl or something....and her boyfriend will yell out "desgraciado!". That sort of thing. It always strikes as "jerk!" or something stronger. I guess disgrace works. We never say "miserable wretch" in English, although we understand it. "Wow that guy is a miserable wretch...." You probably won't hear that. As for someone that is unfortunate, or a beggar that is down on his luck, I can certainly see that. However, I hear it used in almost every show I watch (drama, crime shows etc...) to mean someone that is a really horrible person or did something terrible. I guess I'll go with disgrace in that sense. Gracias amigos.

  • I believe that is another very common context for the word. Shame! Shame on you! - 0074b507 Mar 14, 2010 flag
  • I think there was another word... I don't remember if it was necio or something like that, that refered to an illness and evolved in just a simple "menosprecio", when the real meanning was calling you impotent, sick on the head.. xD Evolutions of language - Zizoun Mar 14, 2010 flag
0 Vote

Bumping this one again. This series use "desgraciado" all the time. About to kill someone, "desgraciado". You slept with my wife? "desgraciado". You are weaker than me? "desgraciado". You are annoying so go away? "desgraciado".

Seems like any bad thing can be replaced with that word.

0 Vote

Sometimes desgraciado is used as an exclamation when you are angry at someone, and can be very close to "damn you!" in English. Just think of that context in English, and that is one context you will hear it used in Spanish. For example from a TV show the woman getting arrested told the cop: "Suélteme! Desgraciado!" In English she would have said: "Let go of me, **** you!"

  • Let me reiterate for the delicate eared: the translation in English is STRONG, but it is not "profanity" just as the word "desgraciado" is not very nice in Spanish either. It is an honest translantion of the word, so there is my disclaimer. - EstebanD Mar 22, 2014 flag
0 Vote

unthankful/ungrateful

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