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What are some common ways of saying a shot of liquor? This can be referring to a small, usually 1 to 2 ounce drink taken all at once or can be a measure of liquor.

For example: I ordered a round of shots for the table. We took a shot of whiskey. There are 2 shots of vodka in the drink.

Also, how would you translate "shot glass"? translates this as "copita", but I'd like to get some opinions from the real world.

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11 Answers 11

up vote 11 down vote accepted

In Mexico, we always said... (drum roll)...


The same for shots of espresso, or flavor shots in a Starbucks latte.

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This is what I've heard, but I'm always very wary of trusting the English word is actually used when I hear people around here (in Texas) use the English. – Rachel Mar 7 '12 at 19:49
@Rachel: I had the same concern, but was told numerous times the word was 'shot', and I can attest to personal experience that "Quiero una mocha grande con cuatro shots" works at Starbucks, without any funny looks. :) – Flimzy Mar 9 '12 at 6:02
@Flimzy: This is what is actually known as an anglicism. It means that we are "borrowing" a word from English but it is actually not correct. That is why nobody looks at you funny. That being said, as far as I can tell, there is no word in Spanish that would be an exact translation of "Shot" in this context, at least in Mexico. – Sergio Romero May 2 '12 at 19:46
@SergioRomero: Just because a word is borrowed doesn't make it incorrect. If there was some native English word for "tortilla" or "taco" I don't think anyone would say it was incorrect to use the Spanish loan words. – Flimzy May 2 '12 at 20:05
False! (-1). This question has +14 kviews. The disinformation your answer is generating is terribly high. (Which is your source? Are you a native speaker?...) I do agree some people say shot, but lot of people are eager to show off some "English" by using anglicisms. And this people might be less than 10% of the rich, brainless, young people. Kindly consider to amend this answer. – c.p. Jun 18 '14 at 15:21

In Spain, or at least in parts of it, those small doses of liquor are called chupito.
And the glass, either chupito too, or vaso de chupito.

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For the sentence "There are 2 shots of vodka in the drink." I suggest 'trago' as a translation of 'shot'. – Sergio Cinos Mar 7 '12 at 8:16
It can also be referred (and usually is) as "golpes", "There are 2 shots of vodka on the table" could be translated as "Hay dos golpes de vodka sobre la mesa" – Bardo May 6 '14 at 12:59
@Bardo No, it can't. Nobody says that. – david May 7 '14 at 22:30
@david I live on the north of Spain and I've been using it for years, also every single barman we ever asked for "golpes" understood us perfectly, so it's not something that just we use. – Bardo May 8 '14 at 10:17
@Bardo Well, perhaps the barmen are just guessing at what you mean. I doubt you heard that expression from a native speaker, although it might conceivably be a regional difference. I'm Spanish and never heard it used in Madrid or Barcelona (or from anyone else I know for that matter). – david May 8 '14 at 12:32

In Chile it's said Corto or Cortito, when talking about tequila:

Un corto de tequila

But if you say "shot" it is also understood (more used when talking about vodka):

Nos tomamos unos shots de vodka

A "shot glass" is also called corto, or more verbosely: vaso de cortos.

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Shot glass

In Mexico, at least the tall narrow kind of shot glasses we use for drinking tequila are called caballitos ("little horses", "horsies", or "ponies").

(I'll try to add a photo or illustration when I find one that's CC by CA...)

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In Lima, Perú it is common to hear trago corto.

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In Costa Rica shot of liquor = un trago de guaro. I think other countries also use this phrase.

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Panama does. (Some Panamanian friends say so). – c.p. May 3 '14 at 7:16

Chupito in Spain and in Mexico are two VERY different meanings. I learned that word living in Spain and when I said it in Mexico on a resort they all started laughing. Turns out it's a sexual act there. In Cancun, Mexico they use the word "caballito" for a shot of alcohol. That was what I was told, but I'm sure the word shot would work just fine too.

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I've always heard of it being referred to as un trago

Additionally, the verb tragar means to swallow so it makes the most sense anyway. Where I'm from, in the Appalachian Mountains, I constantly hear my elders refer to a shot as a swallow... or rather, a swall'r if you want to get dialectical about it.

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I live in Mexico, and we always say caballito to refer both to the glass itself and the amount of drink. I've never heard shot used in Spanish, but then I'd only know about Mexico...

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There are too many different regional words for that. Not any answer about a signle word will be correct.

Spain: Chupito (for the shot itself), Vaso de chupito (for the shot glass), Trago (for a measure of liquour in another beverage)
Mexico: Caballito/Shot
Peru: Trago corto
Chile: Corto/Shot

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Relevant to México:

I'm surprised no one has considered:
Un tequila derecho.
(Which is served in a "caballito")

Additionally, as others pointed out caballito is the name of the glass but is casually used to refer to a shot(trago):

Use cases:
"Vamos por unos tragos"("Let's go for some drinks".)
"Traigame una ronda de shots"("Bring me a round of shots".)
Al cantinero: "Sirvame un trago"(To the barman: "Hit me".)

a mexican order of caballito shots, called bandera for the colors Image source: wikipedia / GDFL license

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