You’re definitely not the only one who gets uneasy about saying the word butt in Spanish. I wrote this post so you can avoid making a culo out of yourself unintentionally :).
First of all, in this post we’re talking anatomy. We’re not discussing the conjunction “but,” nor some other use of the word “butt” like “head butt”, “butt” of a cigarette, “butt” of a joke, “butt” of a rifle, “butt” of bread, nor a “butt” weld. If you’re interested in these terms as well, check out the tail end of this post.
Even when you narrow down your use of “butt” in Spanish to only anatomy, you still have a handful of options…take a peep:
Common words for “butt” in Spanish, only 2 are recommended:
El culo: Ass – please don’t use this with patients – no discussion needed.
Los glúteos: Great choice for all of your adult patients. Yes, it is tecnically a specific term for the muscles in your bottom, but it works perfectly in a professional context. Los glúteos is a firm choice.
Las nalgas: This is an okay word for butt, and it’s totally benign for most people, but not all. So, it’s not recommended. At best, this is a flabby choice.
El pompis: Great way to say “bottom” when talking to a child. It sounds a little silly when talking to an adult to use pompis, but you can’t go wrong when speaking with kids. This is another firm choice.
El trasero, las pompas, las nachas: The behind or backside of a person. These are not necessarily offensive terms by nature (that I’m aware of), they’re just a too colloquial and don’t sound professional enough for you to use with patients. If you ever have occasion to talk about butts in a social setting, these could be firm choices; but be careful about your tone – you can basically make most words offensive if you say them in a suggestive way. In professional settings, you won’t use any of these three, therefore I give them a flabby rating.
That’s it for butt in Spanish as we refer to anatomy. ¡Cuidado!
Other meanings of “butt” in Spanish:
- but as a conjunction: pero
- head butt: cabezazo
- cigarette butt: la colilla, la chinga, la bacha
- butt of a joke: el puerquito, el blanco, el objeto
- butt of a rifle: la culata
- butt in where you don’t belong: meterse
- butt of bread: la tapa, la suegra, la punta, el cuscurro, el currusco
- butt weld: soldadura a tope
Two more posts that may interest you:
Btw: If you’re working on learning Spanish for your healthcare career, we have the medical Spanish you need!
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