3 Synonyms to Use Instead of Pendejo

The human vocabulary is full of words that we use on a daily basis. A category of those words is actually considered to be slang words. This means that they are not the formal words that you would find in Webster’s Dictionary. Instead, they are words that have developed amongst communities or cultures that have a shared understood meaning but have not always been written down or recorded.

In fact, new slang words arise every single day. One interesting phenomenon that has occurred lately is the development of slang words that fuse both Spanish and English together. This has been the result of both Mexican and American cultures fusing together.

A funny fact is that when it comes to Mexican Spanish, many of the words have similar sounds so it becomes easy to pick up. The terminology sometimes seems a bit strange, but once you become familiar with the various words you will be using these slang words yourself in no time.

There are many mexican slang words to learn, with one of the most important being pendejo.

What Pendejo means

When it comes to describing the pendejo meaning, it is not as straightforward as a definition.

Literally translated, the word pendejo means “pubic hair”. But the word pendejo is rarely ever used for that meaning.

In fact, the word pendejo is most commonly used to refer to someone as an “idiot”. In fact, if you ever find yourself in Mexico City during rush hour, chances are you are going to hear people screaming from their cars in anger at the car in front of them going “eres tan pendejo!”—which means “you are such an idiot!”

There are many different ways in which the word pendejo would be used—both seriously and jokingly. Here are a few examples.

1. When you hurt yourself

If you do something you are not supposed to and hurt yourself as a kid, chances are your mom may call you a pendejo.

“Oh Marcos, you silly pendejo!”

2. When you are scared to do something

Another way this word is used is as a direct insult to someone else. For example, if you are scared to jump off the diving board into the swimming pool, your friends may call you pendejo as a way to call you a “coward”.

“Don’t be such a pendejo—just jump!”

3. When you are being sarcastic

Sometimes this word is also used to be sarcastic—and is often used on memes. For example, a native Mexican may call an American a pendejo in an endearing way so that they don’t even realize they are being made fun of.

“You are our friend, so we’ve given you this hat that says pendejo.”

Or, another occasion where this word would be used is when you are mocking a friend who is in love. You may say something along the lines of “Go get your boo, you little pendejo”.

Other Words for Pendejo

However, using the word pendejo is not the only word to reference when you are wanting to get your point across. We have rounded up the most common synonyms to use to also replace this Spanish slang word.

1. Airhead

This term is often used to describe someone who has a bad memory and often is forgetful. Calling someone an airhead means you are calling them stupid. For example, if your friend could never remember your name, then you would probably say something along the lines of:

“Dude, you are such an airhead. How do you not know my name yet?

2. Bonehead

Another term to use in leu of pendejo is the term bonehead. This often refers to someone who makes questionable decisions ore is not able to easily soak in the ideas and perceptions around them. For example, this term would be used if a coach traded their MVP to another team. It would likely go something along the lines of:

“Our coach is such a bonehead, he just traded Mark to the Vikings!”

3. Jackass

When you are wanting to replace the word pendejo with a word that equally sums up someone who has questionable judgment, using the term jackass may be the best alternative. This word is used to describe someone who likely puts themselves and others at risks by the actions that they decide to take. For example, if your friend went full speed on a motorcycle and did not wear a helmet, you would call them a jackass. It would go something like this:

“What the hell Mark, why didn’t you wear a helmet? You could have killed yourself, you jackass.”


Using the word pendejo can be used in both a mocking and loving way—and so can these three synonyms. No matter which word you choose to use, you are essentially calling someone an idiot.