I can almost guarantee that at some point on your Spanish journey you’re going to need to say that something is ‘gross‘ or ‘yucky‘.
I’d even go as far to venture that these humble interjections are essential vocab if you really want to interact with the locals!
After all, you´re going to need to express your distaste for that “taco de sesos” (literally a taco filled with cow or sheep brains) that your Mexican pal just served you up!
So, without further ado, let’s get into the best ways to say ‘gross‘, ‘yuck’ and ‘eww‘ in Spanish!
Erika’s note – tacos de sesos are actually quite delicious, but I do admit that they´re probably best enjoyed when you don´t know what´s in them!
This absolute beauty of a word is thought to have originated from Quechua, an indigenous language spoken throughout the central Andes Mountains.
´Guácala´ is onomatopoeic, so I’ll leave the origin story to your imagination …
It was popularized by the hugely successful Mexican TV show “El Chavo del Ocho” and is now the go-to way to say ‘gross‘ in Mexico and much of Central and South America!
In terms of formality, ‘guácala’ is pretty similar to ‘gross‘ in English. It’s definitely not a formal word but it’s used by pretty much everyone!
¡Guácala! ¡Sabe mucho a ajo!
Gross! It tastes like garlic!
¡Guácala! ¡No me gusta ver tanta sangre!
Yuk! I don’t like seeing so much blood!
2 ¡Qué horrible!
As in English, a simple ‘qué horrible‘ can be used to show disgust in Spanish.
You can’t really go wrong with this one, although it’s more “formal” than some of the other words / phrases on this list (I’m looking at you ‘guácala‘ and ´‘fuchi‘)!
¡Qué horrible! ¡Hay un buen de chicle abajo de la mesa!
Yuk! There’s loads of chewing gum under the table!
¡Qué horrible! ¡Está todo podrido!
Gross! It’s completely rotten!
3 Fuchi / Fuchila
‘Fuchi‘ and ‘fuchila‘ are two delightfully onomatopoeic words that you’re sure to hear when in both Mexico and Honduras!
The origin of both these words is unknown, but the easier-on-the-tongue ‘fuchi‘ is perhaps more commonly heard (at least in Mexico)!
This is actually one of my personal favorites, so much so that we’ve even dedicated an article to all things ‘fuchi‘.
¡Fuchi! ¡Huele a basura!
Gross! It smells like trash!
¡No manches, hay un nido de cucarachas! ¡Fuchila!
There’s a nest of cockroaches! Yuck!
You may also hear the expression ‘cara de fuchi‘, which basically refers to the face one makes when something tastes / smells unpleasant!
¡Se ve horrible! ¡Mira su cara de fuchi!
It looks horrible! Look at the face he’s making!
This is the crown in the jewel of European Spanish as far as ‘gross‘ or ‘yuk‘ is concerned, so be sure to make use of it on your next jaunt to the Iberian Peninsula!
Just think of it as Spain´s answer to ‘guácala‘ and you’ll be golden!
¡Puaj! ¡Qué feo sabe este taco!
Yuk! This taco tastes horrible!
¡Hay basura por todas partes! ¡Puaj!
There’s rubbish everywhere! Yuk!
5 Guácatela / Guácatelas
‘Guácatela‘ and ‘guácatelas‘ are fun alternatives to the ubiquitous ‘guácala‘. They actually denote even more disgust than ‘guácala‘ itself (if that’s even possible!).
You’ll hear these words in Mexico and most Central American countries. They aren’t particularly formal so are probably best avoided in job interviews and the like!
Let’s look at some examples –
¡Es una cucaracha! ¡Guácatela!
It´s a cockroach! Gross!
¡Guácatelas! ¿Te echaste un pedo, verdad?
Eww! You farted, didn’t you?
In Mexico you may even hear the phrase ‘Guácatela de + something that smells bad‘, for example ‘Guácatela de pollo‘ or ‘Guácatela de perro‘.
In this instance, “chicken” (presumably way past its due by date!) and “dog” (posssibly of the wet variety?).
They both mean ‘gross‘ and can be used as synonyms of ‘guácatela‘.
¡Encontré un pelo en mi sopa! ¡Guácatela de pollo!
I found a hair in my soup! Gross!
¡Te chilla la ardilla! ¡Guácatela de perro!
Your pits stink! Yuk!
6 ¡Qué desagradable!
This is one of the most formal expressions on this list, but I do hear Erika using it from time to time, even when it’s just the two of us!
It can literally be translated as ‘how disagreeable‘, and I promise that it sounds more formal in English than it does in Spanish!
¡Huele a caño aquí! ¡Qué desagradable!
It smells like a sewer in here! Gross!
Honestamente, qué desagradable persona.
Honestly, he’s such a gross person.
7 ¡Qué repugnante!
‘¡Qué repugnante!‘ is another slightly more formal way of saying ‘gross‘ or ‘yuk‘. As in English, if you’re describing something as ´repugnant´, it’s probably pretty darn disgusting!
¡Ya no puedo ver! ¡Qué repugnante!
I can’t look anymore! How disgusting!
¡Qué repugnante! ¡Huele mucho a pez podrido!
Gross! It smells like rotten fish!
8 ¡Qué asco!
This is probably the most common expression on this list! It’s a one-size-fits-all way to say ‘gross‘ or ‘yuk’, as this phrase is heard (and will definitely be understood) in pretty much every Spanish-speaking country!
It’s so popular that we´ve actually dedicated a whole article to the various meanings of ‘¡Qué asco!‘, be sure to check it out!
It literally translates to ‘how disgusting‘ and can be used in most situations!
Let’s have a look at it in action –
¡Qué asco! ¿Cuándo fue la última vez que lavaste los trastes?
Gross! When was the last time you washed the dishes?
¡Se ve horrible! ¡Qué asco!
It looks horrible! Gross!
‘Very gross‘ / ‘so gross‘ in Spanish
‘So gross‘ literally translates to ‘muy asqueroso’, ‘muy horrible’ or ‘muy repugnante’. That being said, ‘muy asqueroso‘ and ‘muy repugnante‘ do sound a tad more formal than ‘so gross‘ does in English!
In certain contexts, ‘guácatela‘ is also a decent translation (remember that it expresses a smdge more disgust than ‘guácala‘ itself!).
Bear in mind that ‘guácatela‘ can only be used as an interjection (so it’s normally independent from the main sentence), NOT as an adjective!
Let’s look at some examples –
Te voy a ser sincero, la comida aquí es muy asquerosa.
If I’m honest, the food here is so gross.
¡Eso es muy repugnante!
That’s so gross!
Miguel – ¿Ya oliste la leche en el refrigerador?
Armando – ¡Fuchi, guácatela!
Miguel – Have you smelt the milk in the fridge?
Armando – Yuk, so gross!
Erika’s top tip – if we dissect the phrase ‘so gross‘, ‘gross‘ is an adjective and ‘so‘ an adverb. It’s not therefore possible to say ‘muy guácala‘ or ‘muy fuchi‘, as the adverb ‘muy‘ only modifies adjectives (and other adverbs), NOT interjections.
‘Yucky‘ / ‘disgusting‘ in Spanish
Both ‘yucky‘ and ‘disgusting‘ can be translated to ‘asqueroso‘ in Spanish.
¡Esta casa es asquerosa! ¿Nunca haces la limpieza o qué?
This house is disgusting! Do you never clean?
¡Guácala! ¡Esta bebida es asquerosa!
Gross! This drink is yucky!
‘Grossed out‘, ‘you are gross‘ (and other similar phrases) in Spanish
Tener asco – Grossed out
Both ‘tener asco‘ and ‘estar asqueado‘ (take your pick!) can be used to mean ‘grossed out‘.
¡Guácala! ¡Tengo mucho asco!
Yuk! I’m so grossed out!
No me lo puedo creer, ¡estoy bien asqueado!
I can´t believe it, I’m really grossed out!
Erika’s top tip – ‘tener asco‘ is one of those phrases in Spanish that is used with ‘tener‘ (or ‘to have‘) instead of ‘to be‘ (which we’d obviously use in English … good luck remembering that the next time you’re professing your disgust to the world!
Eres un asco – You are gross
This literally translates to either ‘eres un asco‘ or ‘eres asqueroso‘. Just watch who you say these to as it’s a bit of an insult!
¡Si comes ese moco, eres un asco!
If you eat that bogey, you’re gross!
¡Qué asco! – That’s gross
The best translation of ‘that’s gross‘ in Spanish is ‘¡Qué asco!‘.
¡No hagas eso! ¡Qué asco!
Don’t do that! That’s gross!
Hopefully you’ll now understand your Mexican friend when he / she utters ‘fuchi‘ and holds his / her nose in disgust!
You’ll also know exactly what to say the next time you inadvertently take a bite into one of those “tacos de sesos” …
Just remember that ‘puaj‘ is mainly used in Spain, whereas ‘guácala‘ is the go-to interjection in Latin America, and you’ll be good to go!