Sh*t My (Latina) Mom Says

Andrea & Sorya:

All mothers are great in their own way, but Latina moms take the cake when it comes to crazy and funny phrases. Whether it was in English or Spanish, your mom ALWAYS had the final word. So grab your vaporu and get ready to read some of our all-time favourites:


  • Te me calmas o te calmo: “Calm down or I will calm you down” -- AKA your mom is about to lose her shit. You’ve come to that point where you’re about to feel her wrath and she’s giving you a fair warning


  • Te voy a dar pao pao: “I will give you a pao pao” -- This is something that’s often said to you when you’re a toddler and you knew that “pao pao” was directly related to a spanking or an encounter with her chancleta.


  • Te voy  a chingar: “I am going to **** you up” -- This is a hybrid of last two phrases to the power of 73. This is only said on special occasions, like that time you told your mom to shut up or when you got caught climbing into your window at 2 am. At this point she is no longer your mother, she is a demon on earth and your punishment will make a pao pao look like a walk in the park.


  • No, no, no. Tu que crees es esto? Un hotel!?: “No, no, no. What do you think this is? A hotel!?” -- The amount of times I heard this growing up… My mom usually said this to me and my sisters if we went out with our friends too many days in a row and you were only in your house to shower and change. This one always made me giggle because it was my mom’s way of telling me she wanted me to spend more time at home.


  • Ah, tu quieres llorar? Yo te voy a dar algo pa que llores de verdad: “Oh, so you want to cry? I’ll give you something to cry about!” -- Pretty self explanatory, but for the most part, my mom used this whenever I started crying when I did something bad and was trying to get out of a whoopass.



  • Vaporu: -- Also known as Vicks VapoRub, was something that was offered as a cure to all your problems at least once a week. Vaporu cures everything! It cures any weird cough, a runny nose and when you’re sick, you put it on feet, neck and chest. You can also put it on pimples and if you twist your ankle or any other joint, you can you use it as an anti-inflammatory. It really cures anything!


  • Te apuras o te dejo!: “Hurry up or I’m leaving you!” -- Till this day, she has only actually left me once and I’m terrified she’ll do it again.



  • Sarna con gusto no pica!: -- This one is a little harder to explain, but my mom always uses it after I go out and get drunk and the next day I complain/I’m hungover. It’s her way of telling that I shouldn’t complain because I knew what I was getting myself into.


  • Esperate a que llegamos a la casa: "You just wait till we get home." -- you f**ked up. Actually, not only did you f**k up, you did it in public.



  • CUIDADO CON EL ROCIO!: “Beware of the dew!” -- The freaking dew, man. According to Latina moms, the reason why you got sick was because of those tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces at night and apparently are powerful enough to give you that flu. The dew might be worse than el diablo…


  • Ve a ducharte: “Go take a shower” -- Oh, is it the middle of July and 103 degrees outside? Sucks to suck, Latina moms hate “wasting money” on “pointless things” such as ACs. So if you got hot, you go take a shower and if you’re still hot, go take another shower.



  • Yo te quiero, pero es que tu me sacas de quicio!: “I love you, but you piss me off!” -- Every mother has said this… and I don’t blame my mom for saying this to me after every fight or silly argument.


  • Dios mio dame paciencia, que si me das fuerza la mato!: “God, give me patience that because if you give me strength I’ll kill her!” -- I love this phrase so much it’s ingrained in my everyday vocabulary now.


  • AJA. ESO TE PASA POR PENDEJA: “Uh huh! That’s what you get for pendeja!” -- Your mom used this either when you did something so stupid that she wanted to make fun of you or she was so mad she wanted to show you just how stupid you were… Either way, you learned your lesson and came out being less of a pendeja.


  • No le busques la quinta pata al gato: “Don’t go looking for the cat’s 5th leg” -- In other words, don’t make things any harder than they need to be.


  • Hablale a tu abuela/prima/tio/el perro de tu abuelo: “Talk to your grandma/whatever relative you definitely don’t want to talk to” -- I love my family but I hate talking to them on the phone -unless it’s my grandpa. I’m sorry but no, I don’t wanna know about your neighbor’s affair, tia.



  • Uno los cria a ustedes y le sacan los ojos… son cuervos!: “One raises you and you take our eyes out… you’re crows!” -- My mom would pull this one out whenever me and my sisters would agree and go against something she would say. We were all a bunch of ungrateful crows smh.


  • Esto me va a doler mas a mi que a ti: “This will hurt me more than it’ll hurt you” -- What your mom said before hitting you with the chancla.



  • No me busques, que me encuentras: “Don’t go looking for me, cause you’ll find me” -- This phrase will always petrify me. This is essentially mom’s last warning before she either started looking for the chancleta or savagely tore my soul apart with one word.


  • Anytime she calls you by your full name: RUN.



  • Que lastima me das: “I feel sorry for you” -- This is not your typical “I feel sorry for you” -oh no. It’s more of a “you’re freaking pathetic” and it’s meant for you to look at what you’re doing with your life because… das lastima.


  • Estas aburrida? PONTE A LIMPIAR: “You’re bored? Clean your room” -- I really hope I never say this to my kids because since when boredom = eagerness to clean?



  • UN DÍA DE ESTOS ME VOY A IR Y DESPÚES NO SÉ QUE VAS A HACER SIN MÍ: “One of these days I’m going to leave and then I don’t know what you’ll do without me!” -- I heard this at least once a week and it was usually when she was doing chores around the house. It was usually followed by a cruel silent treatment.


  • Eh eh eh! Me bajas el volumen o te cambio el tono: “Eh, eh, eh! Lower your volume or I will change your tone” -- Whenever your tone of voice got a little too high, your mom will say this. And by “I will change your tone” she means she has the chancla ready to make you change your tone.




Throughout my life, my mom has said many things to me regarding my life and how I should be living it. Here are a few phrases that she has laid on me from when I was little and she threatened to call the cops to me being twenty-two and being told to clean the kitchen floor with Clorox wipes.

  • Dios castiga sin palo y sin Piedra – God punishes without sticks and stones. Every time I misbehaved or did something I was not supposed to she would say this to me and sure enough, I would somehow trip or drop something.

  • Y tu mama que no te enseno a ponerte zapatos? – Did your mom not teach you to put shoes on? I am notoriously never wearing shoes and it really drives her batty when I go outside without at least flip flops.


  • No te acuestes con el pelo mojado porque te resfrías – You’ll get a cold if you sleep with wet hair. I never believed this until I started waking up with a stuffy nose every morning I went to bed with wet hair.


  • Mami estoy aburrida, bueno limpia la cocina con toallitas de cloro – Mom I’m bored, well go clean the kitchen with Clorox wipes. Needless to say, I try to never look bored.


  • Mami me duele la cabeza, toma manzanilla, mami me duele la barriga, toma manzanilla, mami no puedo dormir toma manzanilla – To my mother, chamomile tea is the cure to everything. So every time something hurts she tells me to drink tea.

  • Cuando yo me muera quien te va a hacer algo? – When I die who is going to do anything for you? This is generally followed by my asking her to get me something that I can do myself.


  • Si te portas mal el policía te va a llevar y nunca mas me vas a ver – If you misbehave the police man is going to take you away and you’ll never see me again. This is something she said to me when I was little and misbehaved in public, however to this day I am scared when she says it, #emotionalscarring


  • Me duele mas a mi que a ti – This hurts me more than it hurts you.


  • Mientras tu vivas en mi casa….. – While you live in my house (insert thing I want to do).


  • Y si todo el mundo se tira del techo tu también te vas a tirar? – If everyone jumps off the roof are you going to do it as well?


  • Ese es tu peo no mi peo – That’s your issue, not mine (the Spanish version is a bit more vulgar).


  • En esta casa nadie me ayuda – No one helps me in this house, she always says this after refusing help.


  • Viene visita, limpia tu cuarto – Company is coming over, clean your room. Not exactly certain as to how those two things correlate.


  • ¿Y tú que no tienes mama?  ¿Se te olvido que tienes madre? –  Did you forget you have a mother/Do you not have a mom? Generally, she says this to me after I don’t speak to her for more than twelve hours.


  • No te vistas, que no vas – Don’t get dressed, you’re not going anywhere. She enjoys dropping this on me quite often, even if it is not referencing anything to do with me leaving the house.


  • Y tu que estas muy vieja para pedir la bendición? – Are you too old to ask for my blessing? In Venezuela it is customary to ask your parents and older people in the family for a blessing, it is a sign of respect within the country.


Although my mother says some insane things she is the most loving and caring woman on earth. Sadly, I can see myself saying these things to my kids someday.


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