Grammar Guide
Miscellaneous
How to Speak "Pig Latin" in Spanish

How to Speak "Pig Latin" in Spanish

Quick Answer

Ever wondered if there’s a Spanish equivalent to Pig Latin? Well, there is! In fact, there are several gibberish languages (jerigonzas ) in Spanish, including idioma efe  (commonly just called efe ), pe , and vesre .

Efe

To hablar en efe  or hablar con la efe  (to speak “F”), you just need to keep in mind a few things:

  • Every syllable of the original word will be repeated.
  • If the original syllable begins with a consonant, when you repeat it, you replace this consonant with f. For example, dar  (to give) becomes darfar .
  • If the original consonant begins with a vowel sound, you say an f in front of the vowel. For example, al  (to the) becomes alfal .

Here are examples of a few common words in Spanish and in efe.

EnglishSpanish"F"
today
hoy
 
hoyfoy
 
hi
hola
 
hofolafa
 
tomorrow
mañana
 
mafañafanafa
 
house
casa
 
cafasafa
 
homework
tarea
 
tafarefeafa
 

Now let’s see how to greet someone in efe!

Marco:
¿Cófomofo esfastásfas hoyfoy? 
How are you today?
Miguel:
Bifienfen. ¿Yfi fu? 
Fine. And you?
Marco:
Muyfuy bifienfen, grafacifiasfas. 
Very well, thanks.

Pe

Instead of efe , some types of Spanish "Pig Latin" use letters such as pe  or te . In some versions, only vowels are repeated, and diphthongs (such as that found in soy) are split into different syllables. In others, the repetition of the syllable comes before the original syllable. Let's take a look at some words in these two variations of pe.

EnglishSpanishVowel-Only Variation of "P"Before-the-Syllable Variation of "P"
today
hoy
 
hopoypy
 
poyhoy  or pohopyy 
hi
hola
 
hopolapa
 
pohopasa
 
tomorrow
mañana
 
mapañapanapa
 
pamapañapana
 
house
casa
 
capasapa
 
pacapasa
 
homework
tarea
 
taparepeapa
 
pataperepaa
 

Let’s see how to greet someone in Vowel-Only "P"!

Marco:
¿Cópomopo epespas hopoypy? 
How are you today?
Miguel:
Bipiepen. ¿Ypy pu? 
Fine. And you?
Marco:
Mupuypy bipienpen, grapacipiaspas. 
Very well, thanks.

Crazy, huh?

Chi, cha and ti

  • In chi , another common type of jerigonza, the syllable chi  is inserted before each original syllable. For example, casa becomes chicachisa  and mañana becomes chimachiñachina .
  • In ti , the syllable ti  is inserted before each original syllable. For example, casa becomes ticatisa  and mañana becomes timatiñatina .
  • In cha , the syllable cha  is inserted after each original syllable. For example, casa becomes cachasacha  and mañana becomes machañachanacha .

As you can see, there are lots of different versions of Spanish "Pig Latin." Some are used more in certain countries than in others; efe, for example, is the jerigonza most commonly used in Mexico. Vesre  is a type of back slang that originated in the River Plate region spanning Argentina and Uruguay. Let's learn a bit about it!

Vesre

Vesre is a play on the word revés , from the phrase al revés  (backwards). The word vesre itself shows how this language works: if you take the syllables in revés (re and ves) and switch them, you get vesre. This River Plate jerigonza has linguistic brothers such as rosarigasino  (Argentina), Verlan (France), caroleno  (Mexico), and London back slang, and can be heard in tango songs.

Let's take a look at a few examples of words in Vesre.

EnglishSpanishVesre
coffee
café
 
feca
 
street
calle
 
lleca
 
pizza
pizza
 
zapi
 
dog
perro
 
rope
 
head
cabeza
 
zabeca
 

Feeling a little backwards? Don't worry! You don't need to know these gibberish languages to speak good Spanish, but they are fun to play around with!

Did this page answer your question?