When learning a new language, I imagine you search for new vocab in your favorite dictionary.
Although there’s obviously nothing wrong with that (I do it too!), the reality is that this technique alone sometimes makes it tricky to navigate conversations with native speakers as the use of certain words can be very nuanced (and let´s not even get started on colloquialisms).
Such is the case with the many synonyms of ‘fat’. I mean, is it okay to say someone is ‘gordo’ in Spanish? And why (on earth!) do some people use ‘gordito’ instead?
Well, stick around to find out everything you need to know about ‘fat’ in Spanish!
Let’s dive right in!
1 Gordo – Fat
If you look for the word ‘fat’ in a Spanish dictionary, the first entry will almost certainly be ‘gordo’ (or ‘gorda’ if you´re describing a feminine noun).
Back in the day, people pretty much avoided using ‘gordo’ and tended to choose from a whole plethora of euphemisms (we’ll get to those later!) instead.
Nowadays, however, those who speak up against fatphobia have vindicated the term and are now encouraging people to use it!
Mariana – ¡Órale, te ves muy diferente en esta foto!
Laureano – Sí, fui un niño gordo.
Mariana – No…No quise decir eso, yo…
Laureano – ¡Tranquila! No tengo ningún complejo al respecto.
Mariana – Wow, you look very different in this photo!
Laureano – Yes, I was a fat child.
Mariana – No … I didn’t mean that, I …
Laureano – Calm down! It doesn´t make me feel insecure.
2 Gordito – Chubby
‘Gordito’ is the diminutive form of ‘gordo’, and most people use it when they wanna sound polite (although, as I mentioned earlier, there’s nothing wrong with the word ‘gordo’ either).
Gosh … I think I got a bit chubby over the holidays!
3 Robusto – Robust / Burly
Even though the word ‘robusto’ can mean ‘robust’ and ‘strong’, it´s also used as a euphemism for ‘fat’, especially when describing someone who’s also tall.
Mi primo es muy robusto. De hecho, es jugador de fútbol americano en su universidad.
My cousin is very burly. In fact, he’s a football player at his university.
4 Corpulento – Bulky
We also have the word ‘corpulento’ which derives from the Latin ‘corpulentus’ (or ‘full bodied’).
There’s actually a similar word in English, ‘corpulent’, but it sounds a bit archaic!
Noelia – Dios, cómo me encanta el abdomen planito de Fabiano.
Olga – ¿En serio? La verdad es que a mí me gustan más los hombres corpulentos.
Noelia – God, how I love Fabiano’s flat abdomen.
Olga – Really? I honestly like corpulent men more.
5 Llenito – Chubby
‘Llenito’ (or ‘llenita’) used to be the go-to adjective for describing someone a bit on the heavy side, but nowadays it’s considered a rather passive-aggressive term.
You’ll still hear people use it though.
Anuar – ¡No manches, Laura se puso bien llenita!
Diana – Ay, cállate, wey; Lau está guapísima, ya quisieras que te volteara a ver.
Anuar – Damn! Laura looks chubby.
Diana – Oh, shut up, dude; Lau is gorgeous, you wish she’d take notice of you.
6 Regordete – Plump
‘Regordete’ is a synonym of ‘plump’ or chubby’, and it’s commonly used to describe babies.
Un recién nacido es cargado por su tía
¡Mira nada más, qué cosita tan regordeta! ¡Qué bonitos cachetes, me los voy a comer*!
A newborn is being carried by his aunt
Just look at this chubby little thing! What beautiful cheeks, I’m going to eat them!
Erika’s top tip – we normally use ‘comerse’ to emphasize that we’re going to eat something up in its entirety. Be sure to check out our article on ‘comer’ vs ‘comerse’ if you wanna find out more!
7 Rechoncho – Chubby
‘Rechoncho’ is another synonym of ‘chubby’ (and a fun one to pronounce!); it’s a favorite when speaking about animals or pets (as well as babies!).
You can also use the more colloquial ‘choncho‘.
Una persona hablándole a su perrito
¿Quíen es mi peludito rechoncho? ¿Quién? ¿Quién?
A person talking to their dog
Who’s my chubby pooch? Who? Who?
8 Ponchado – Heavyset / Buff
A ‘flat tire’ is a ‘llanta ponchada’ in Spanish, so if you hear a person being described as ‘ponchada’ you might wonder what on earth they mean …
Well, ‘ponchado’ is actually an expression used to describe someone who´s ‘heavyset’, especially if they’re on the muscular side (i.e., ‘buff’).
Polo – ¿Para qué estás tomando tantas malteadas?
Damián – Son de proteína. Me quiero poner bien ponchado.
Polo – Why are you drinking so many milkshakes?
Damián – They’re protein shakes. I wanna get super buff.
9 Rebosando de alegría – Overflowing with joy (overweight)
This is old Mexican slang for ‘fat’.
Back in the day it wasn’t uncommon for moms to point out that someone was ‘rebosando de alegría’ (or ‘brimming with joy’ in English), as a way of discreetly saying that they’d gained some weight.
Madre – Ay, mijito, ¡estás rebosando de alegría desde que vives solo, eh! ¿Estás comiendo pura comida chatarra?
Hijo – ¡Mamá! Déjame en paz, ¿sí?
Mother – Darling, you’re looking a bit podgy now that you live alone! Do you just eat junk food?
Son – Mom! Leave me alone, okay?
10 Pasado de peso – Overweight
In Spanish the literal translation of ‘overweight’ isn’t actually a word, but an expression: ‘pasado de peso’.
Hoy fui al doctor y me dijo que estoy un poco pasado de peso.
Today I went to the doctor, and he told me that I’m a little overweight.
11 Voluptuoso – Voluptuous
As you might have guessed, the Spanish equivalent of ‘voluptuous’ is mostly used to describe curvy women.
Tread lightly though … what might be a compliment to some could come across as rude to others.
En una tienda de ropa
Lidia – Soy demasiado voluptuosa como para usar ese tipo de vestidos.
Cynthia – ¿De qué hablas? ¡Tú puedes ponerte lo que te venga en gana!
In a clothing store
Lidia – I’m too voluptuous to wear that kind of dress.
Cynthia – What are you talking about? You can wear whatever you want!
12 Obeso – Obese
The Spanish word for ‘obese’ is simply ‘obeso’ (masculine) and ‘obesa’ (feminine).
El gobierno constantemente está impulsando campañas para prevenir la obesidad.
The government is constantly promoting campaigns to prevent obesity.
13 Barrigón – Potbellied
‘Barriga’ is ‘belly’ in Spanish, and ‘barrigón’ is someone ‘potbellied’ or ‘paunchy’.
Also, in some parts of Latin America, it´s a euphemism for being ‘pregnant’.
La gatita nos llegó barrigona de repente. Debimos haberla esterilizado cuando aún podíamos.
The kitten suddenly came home pregnant. We should have spayed her when we had the chance.
14 Gordibueno – Curvaceous
‘Gordibueno’ is a made-up word that combines the words ‘gordo’ (‘fat’) and ‘bueno’ (‘good’), and it’s Mexican slang for curvaceous.
Leticia – Ese Santa Claus está muy gordibueno, ¿no?
Viviana – ¡Lety! ¡Qué cosas dices! ¿Tienes un fetiche con Santa?
Leticia – That Santa Claus has a killer dadbod, don’t you think?
Viviana – Lety! What are you saying! Do you have a fetish for Santa?
15 Repuestito – Recovered
When someone is ‘repuesto’ it means they’ve ‘recovered’ from something, but in Mexico its diminutive, ‘repuestito’, is often used as a euphemism for ‘fat’.
Cecilia – Ay, no quiero ir a la cena de Navidad.
Jaime – ¿Por?
Cecilia – Porque seguro voy a tener que escuchar a mi tía decirme lo repuestita que estoy, seguida de su lista de dietas favoritas.
Jaime – ¡Chale, qué mala onda!
Cecilia – Oh, I don’t want to go to Christmas dinner.
Jamie – Why?
Cecilia – Because I’m sure I’m going to have to listen to my aunt tell me how chubby I am, followed by her list of favorite diets.
And that’s all folks!
Some of the above-mentioned words might sound pretty funny but remember to always be mindful of context or you might end up hurting someone’s feelings.
Ready for more mind-blowing Spanish vocabulary? Well, I recommend you head over to our article on ‘flaquito‘ (it has a VERY different meaning from the words on this list)!