Life sure can be a crazy ride sometimes!
When speaking a new language, you’re sure to have an odd, or downright befuddling experience at some point or another.
As you can probably imagine, there are quite a few different ways of describing someone or something that’s just a bit off in Spanish.
From the influence of a full moon to wacky goats, this list will guide you through all the different ways to say ‘crazy’ in Spanish, so stick around!
Loco – Crazy
The most common way to say ‘crazy’ in Spanish is ‘loco’.
This adjective can be used to describe people, animals, objects, or situations, so it’s your definite go-to word for ‘crazy’.
For feminine nouns, just replace the ‘o’ with an ‘a’ (which obviously makes ‘loca’).
¡Ese gato está muy loco!
That cat is crazy!
Niño – ¡Mamá, mi tía me dijo que me va a comer el Coco!
Madre – No le hagas caso, mijo, tu tía está loca.
Kid – Mom, my aunt told me the Bogeyman is going to eat me!
Mother – Don’t listen to her, sweetheart, your aunt is crazy!
Loquísimo – Nuts / Mad
‘Loquísimo’ is the superlative of ‘loco’ and it refers to someone or something that’s beyond crazy!
In Mexico and other Latin American countries it’s also used when you’re in awe of something rare or extraordinary. In this sense it´s a bit like the English ‘mad’ or ‘nuts’.
¡Ramiro tiene un talento loquísimo para tocar la guitarra!
Ramiro has some mad guitar-playing skills!
La obra de anoche estuvo loquísima; ¡el escenario parecía un sueño!
Last night’s play was nuts; the stage looked like a dream!
Fabiola – ¿Ya viste el último capítulo de la serie?
Luisa – Estuvo loquísimo, no le entendí nada.*
Fabiola – Have you seen the last episode of the series?
Luisa – It was mad! I didn’t understand anything.
*Rupert´s note – notice that ‘le’ is used in the Spanish sentence but that there’s no trace of an indirect object pronoun in the English translation?
Well, that’s because indirect object pronouns in Spanish NEED to be used even when the thing they’re referring to isn’t actually mentioned!
Be sure to check out our article on ‘lo’, ‘le’ and ‘la’ to find out more!
Loquito – Loony / Bonkers
A ‘loquito’ is a small bird with blue feathers …
… but if you happen to be around anyone who isn’t a bird enthusiast and hear the word ‘loquito’, it´s safe to assume that they’re referring to the diminutive of ‘loco’.
‘Loquito’ can be a somewhat endearing term, or it can be used when someone´s being silly, in love, or is just a little overexcited about something.
¡Estoy loquito por ti!
I’m bonkers about you!
Definitivamente, Andrea es la loquita de su familia.
Andrea is definitely the loony in her family.
Locochón – Wild / Crazy
Here´s one last derivation of ‘loco’ … I present ‘locochón’!
This one’s just fun Mexican slang for something ‘wild’, ‘unexpected’ or ‘out of this world’!
I think you get the gist.
Amelia se pintó el cabello de colores locochones: rosa, morado, verde … ¡Trae todo el arcoíris!
Amelia dyed her hair wild colors: pink, purple, green … she’s got all the colors of the rainbow!
¡El concierto de anoche estuvo locochón!
Last night’s concert was wild!
Demente – Crazy / Demented
You may hear ‘demente’ being used as a synonym of ‘loco’ in informal conversation, but since this word is also associated with ‘dementia’, it could be perceived as offensive, especially in situations in which actual mental health issues are being discussed!
I´d err on the side of caution when using this one …
Armando – ¿Por qué estás tan enojada?
Fernanda – ¡Porque estás manejando como un demente, por eso!
Armando – Why are you so annoyed?
Fernanda – Because you’re driving like a madman, that’s why!
Lunático – Lunatic
The word for ‘lunatic’ in Spanish is ‘lunático’.
Fun fact: both words come from the Latin term ‘lunaticus’ which was used to describe a person who would go temporarily insane during a full moon, a common belief in ancient times.
Mi hermano se está comportando como un lunático. No entiendo qué le pasa.
My brother is behaving like a lunatic. I don’t understand what’s wrong with him.
Chiflado – Nutcase
This fun word was first used in Spain during the 19th century to describe a person behaving in a crazy manner, either on account of a genuine mental disorder or a mere eccentricity.
It’s still used today in most Spanish-speaking countries.
Diego es el chiflado más famoso de Santo Domingo.
Diego is the most famous nutcase in all Santo Domingo.
Maniático – Maniac
‘Maniac’ can be translated to ‘maniático’ in Spanish, and – just as in English – it often refers to a person who´s VERY passionate about a particular subject / hobby.
Mi mamá es una maniática de Star Wars; tiene todos los sables láser de las películas.
My mom is a Star Wars maniac; she’s got lightsabers from all the movies.
Trastornado – Deranged
If someone seems mentally unsound or looks seriously disturbed by something, you could describe them as ‘trastornado’.
It means something along the lines of ‘deranged’.
El hombre parecía completamente trastornado. Tuve miedo, así que corrí en la dirección opuesta.
The man seemed completely deranged. I was afraid, so I ran in the opposite direction.
Orate – Nutcase / Crackpot
Wanna describe your crackpot neighbor – the one who uses tinfoil to deceive aliens – in Spanish?
Well, you can use ‘orate’!
No matter which Spanish-speaking country you’re in, they’ll get the idea.
Iker – ¿Y si nos tiramos un clavado a la alberca desde el techo de la casa?
Héctor – ¡Estás orate! ¿De dónde sacas esas ideas?
Iker – What if we dive into the pool from the roof of the house?
Hector – You’re a nutcase! Where do you get these ideas from?
(tener un tornillo) Zafado – To have a screw loose
‘Tener un tornillo zafado’ is a popular Spanish phrase very similar to the English, ‘to have a screw loose’ –
tornillo = screw
zafado = loose
Sound like a bit of a mouthful?
Well, in countries like Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua you can shorten it to a simple ‘zafado’.
Be careful though, as if you use ‘zafado’ in some South American countries (like Argentina), you’d be describing someone as ‘cheeky’.
Te voy a presentar a un amigo que está bien zafado … pero es buena onda.
I’m going to introduce you to a friend who’s a bit of a nutcase … but he’s cool.
Perder la chaveta / Deschavetado – To lose your mind
‘Chaveta’ means a ‘key’ or a ‘plug’ in English, but it’s also Spanish slang for ‘head’ …
So, when someone says ‘estoy perdiendo la chaveta’, it’s like saying ‘I’m losing my mind’.
Likewise, the word ‘deschavetado’ (‘des’ = ‘without’ + ‘chaveta’ = ‘head’) is used to describe someone without a head, or in this case, a mind!
This one’s mostly used in Spain, so don’t be surprised if you hear the expression ‘perder la cabeza’ (the actual Spanish word for ‘head’) in Latin American countries.
¿Quieres faltar al examen final? Se me hace que perdiste la chaveta.
You want to miss the final exam? I think you´ve lost your mind.
¡Esa tía está deschavetada! ¿Cómo se le ocurre viajar a Rusia en pleno invierno?
That girl is crazy! Why was she considering traveling to Russia in the middle of winter?
Loco de remate – Mad as a hatter / Batshit crazy
‘Remate’ means ‘the end point, limit, or conclusion of something’, so the popular Spanish expression ‘loco de remate’ is used to describe someone who’s madness or silliness is to an extreme!
It’s mostly used in a harmless, inoffensive way, so you’ve got the green light to use it amongst friends.
Although there’s no exact translation to English, we can liken this phrase to expressions such as ‘mad as a hatter’, ‘batsh** crazy’, ‘cuckoo for cocoa puffs’, etc.
David – ¿A qué sabrá el helado con catsup?
Alicia – ¡Asqueroso!* ¡Estás loco de remate!
David – What would ice cream taste like with ketchup?
Alicia – Gross! You’re out of your mind!
*Erika´s note – ‘asqueroso‘ is one of many ways to say ‘gross‘ in Spanish, be sure to check out our article on ‘gross‘ for the full scoop!
Más loco que una cabra – Crazier than a goat
Goats tend to behave in perplexing ways, and Spanish-speakers everywhere know this (a quick search for videos of crazy goats is sure to convince you as well!).
So, it’s no wonder the phrase ‘más loco que una cabra’ (or ‘crazier than a goat’ in English) is such a popular expression in Spanish.
Un niño se carcajea sin parar mientras rueda sobre el pasto
Abuela – ¡Bueno, es que tú estás más loco que una cabra!
A child laughs hysterically as he rolls on the grass
Grandma – Well, you’re crazier than a goat!
Estás loco / Eres un loco – You are crazy
If you wanna say ‘you are crazy’ you can use either one of the verbs ‘estar’ or ‘ser’ (‘to be’ in English).
The former is way more common than the latter, because to say someone ‘es un loco’ could mean that they’re ‘a crazy person’, whereas ‘estás loco’ translates to (a more temporary), ‘you’re crazy´.
Estás loco, Joaquín. Eso no es un ovni; ¡es solo un dirigible en forma de hot dog!
You’re crazy, Joaquín. That’s not a UFO, it’s just an inflatable in the shape of a hot dog!
¡Eres un loco! ¿Cómo te sabes todos esos trucos en la patineta?
You’re a madman! How do you know all those skateboard tricks?
And there you have it: 15 different ways of saying ‘crazy’ in Spanish!
Keep in mind that context is everything, so if you want to give some of the above listed expressions a whirl, don’t forget to read the room and be sure that you’re not being insensitive.
Having said that, please do go ‘loco’ with your Spanish-speaking friends, they’ll surely appreciate it if you whip out a few of the above phrases too!
Oh, and if you wanna sink your teeth into more Spanish vocab, definitely head over to our opus magnum on all the different ways to say ‘steak‘ in Spanish!