Examples of del putas
Examples of del putas
Where does del putas come from?
With del meaning “from the” and putas meaning “whores” in Spanish, del putas literally means “from the whores.” But in Colombian Spanish slang this is a good thing, with del putas having the slang sense of “awesome.” So, how has this ostensibly offensive phrase taken on such a positive, if sweary, connotation?
In Spanish, puta has come to serve as a generally strong modifier in the same way as damn, fucking, or bloody, recorded as such in English contexts since the 1930s though no doubt much older in Spanish. Just as American English speakers might say someone is the fucking best or British English speakers the bloody best, Colombian Spanish speakers (and other Spanish-language speakers around the word) use del putas.
For more on puta, see our explanation of the colorful Spanish word.
Similar vulgar words make this transition to general emphasis across many languages. Look no further than English’s own shit. If you call a burrito the shit, you’re saying it’s “excellent,” not actual feces. Bad things have a way of being inverted into good things in slang—like bad, which has meant “good” in slang since at least the 19th century.
The Colombian expression is related to another Spanish expression de puta madre, or from a whore mother. De puta madre also means awesome or fantastic.
Language está del putas.
Who uses del putas?
Spanish speakers are, of course, the most likely to use del putas in casual speech. But don’t forget that del putas isn’t for polite company or formal settings, given its vulgar origins.
Though the phrase is especially associated with Colombia, it is not restricted to Colombian Spanish speakers.
Social media posts written in English sometimes incorporate del putas, especially if the speaker has some connection to Colombia.
Proud to say that we just got home and my heels were on again. I didn’t drink any alcohol y la pase del putas. 💃🏻
— paula. (@mah_pawluh) July 15, 2018
It’s most common to see del putas in expressions such as estás del putas, meaning you’re the best, or llevados del putas, meaning best of the best. On social media, #delputas often appears as a hashtag to call some person, song, or thing “the best.”
— Pablo Montes 🏝 (@PavloMontez) October 4, 2016
The phrase has been borrowed by a Colombian rock festival called Del Putas Fest. The local rock scene plays into the vulgar origins of the phrase as well as the regional identity of the phrase.