I know spoon is cuchara in Spanish. But I have also read that cuchara is a vulgar slang term for vagina in countries like Venezuela, Guatemala, and El Salvador. My question is what's the word one should use for spoon in those countries so as not to sound vulgar or uneducated? Certainly cuchara doesn't sound like a safe bet in a society where it can stand for a sex organ, right?

  • Same thing with huevos. Especially in Mexico, if every word or phrase that could be taken "that way" had to be avoided, you would barely be able to talk.
    – elucify
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 18:03

3 Answers 3


Feel free to say cuchara, the situation and the context will be enough for your interlocutor to understand if your're talking about a spoon... or not.

Although is told that in Guatemala people replace this word with the diminutive "cucharilla" when speaking about spoons to avoid confusion, it's not true: in Guatemala people do say cuchara for a spoon, and cucharilla for a little spoon.

(check http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuchara and http://paginadelosporque.blogspot.com.es/2012/10/por-que-en-venezuela-le-dicen.html)

Hope that helps :)

  • 1
    Wikipedia in that quote is flat-out wrong. It takes a lot of context for someone to decide you are using the word in the vulgar sense. It's like saying "balls" while talking baseball, nobody will misunderstand you. If you say "cucharilla" to discuss a regular spoon, you'll just sound weird. Note however that in Venezuela's sense of humor it is common to be on the hunt for a double entendre in an informal conversation (not so in most writing), and it doesn't take any key word to trigger it. You learn to live with it. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 14:21
  • I'm Spanish, and we also have a lot of words with two meanings (one vulgar/obscene an another one "normal"). I edited the answer, it make no sense to spread something that is not true. Thanks for the explanation :) Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 15:02

I'll add an answer since the current accepted answer doesn't reflect the situation in Guatemala.

The answer is very simple, too. In Guatemalan Spanish cuchara is the word you use. Context will make it very clear, and, unless you're among close friends, no one is going to assume you're using the slang term.

Necesito una cuchara... Si no, no puedo comer.

That's perfectly valid, no one will overthink it.

cucharilla would mean a small spoon here, just like the other post pointed out.

Sadly I don't have any sources, but I've been living here for 20+ years.


While it is true that in Venezuela "cuchara" can be slang for vagina, it's a perfectly safe word to use. Everyone uses it and no one will think it's vulgar.

"Cucharilla" is for small spoons like a teaspoon. "Cuchara" is for the bigger, soup spoon.

Source: Born, raised and living in Venezuela.

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