carajo

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Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The etymology is unknown, but the most plausible source on the basis of both semantics and historical phonology appears to be unattested Latin *c(h)araculum, which would have been a Latinized diminutive of Greek charax 'stick'. This also provides a single, phonologically coherent source for the cognates Portuguese caralho and Catalan carall. Attempts to attribute carajo and Italian cazzo to the same etymon fail on phonological grounds, as the /r/ of carajo (or its absence in cazzo) remains unexplained, and no Latin phonological sequence develops as both /x/ in Spanish and /tts/ in Italian.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

carajo m (plural carajos)

  1. (Spain) penis
  2. (un carajo) shit (US), jackshit (US), sod all (UK), bugger all (UK)
    Me importa un carajo. — I don't give a fuck.
  3. (al carajo) hell
    ¡Vete al carajo!go to hell! bugger off!
    ¡Aquí hay un pueblo digno, Yanquis de mierda! ¡Váyanse al carajo cien veces! — We are a dignified people, you piece of shit Yankees! Go to hell 100 times! (Used by Hugo Chávez about George W. Bush.)

Synonyms[edit]

Interjection[edit]

carajo

  1. (South America, Northwestern Spain, vulgar) shit!
  2. (slang, vulgar) used as an intensifier, similar to the fuck
    ¿Qué carajo quieres? — What the fuck do you want?

Usage notes[edit]

This is considered to be a taboo word by many in South America and is replaced by the euphemistic forms caramba or carrizo depending on the context and in which country the term is used.