Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just find utterly curious that chulada has almost opposite meanings depending on the country.

chulada. (De chulo).

  1. f. Acción indecorosa, propia de gente de mala educación o ruin condición.


  2. f. Guat. y Méx. Belleza de las personas.

I've tried to find out an evolution process for this word, but I haven't been succesful. Has somebody an idea?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I have to say that I'm really surprised about the first definition of chulada you included, I had never heard it with that meaning... I may use chulería with that sense...

Obviously it should be correct because it's in the dicionary, but I'd only use the word chulada with the meaning of the second definition in the dictionary -which you omitted-:

Dicho o hecho gracioso con cierta soltura y desenfado.

And in this case, the meanings in Spain and in Guatemala and México seem to be much more similar, don't they?

share|improve this answer
En el significado #1. Yo creo como dice en diccionario chulada cuando el contexto es sobre chulo aunque no es muy comun usarlo, pero puede darse el caso – Emilio Gort Nov 17 '13 at 23:39

We have to search the answer in the original word: chulo. In Spain we have to basic meanings:

1) (adj.) cool, nice (thing),

2) (adj. normally used as a noun) arrogant, conceited (person)

Thus, the apparently opposite meanings of the word chulada seem to have a reasonable origin, and it's another matter to find the origin of the meanings of chulo.

Nevertheless, I would rather use chulería than chulada (for the "bad" meaning).

Tenemos que buscar la respuesta en la palabra original: chulo. En España tenemos dos significados básicos:

1)(adj.) guay, lindo (objeto),

2)(adj. normalmente sustantivado) arrogante, prepotente (persona).

Así, la aparente contradicción entre los significados de la palabra chulada parece tener un origen razonable, y es otra cuestión encontrar el origen de los significados de chulo.

Sin embargo, yo usaría chulería antes que chulada (para el significado "malo").

share|improve this answer

I've heard the word "Chulo" refering someone as a "Pimp", so it could be used as a bad word.

But the word "Chulada" is always used to say something is really amazing or beautiful.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.