I have heard many different translations for bowl (the dish) in different Spanish-speaking countries. What words are normally used to translate "bowl"? Which is most universally understood? What regional variants are there?

  • 1
    What kind of bowl?
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 23, 2021 at 16:37
  • A bowl of soup or a mixing bowl? The two most obvious examples.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 15:01

6 Answers 6


From the top of my head, I use here in Spain, quite interchangeably:

  • bol: a generic hemispheric vessel (any size).
  • ponchera: a large bowl (e.g. a punch-bowl)
  • cuenco: also generic, but smaller ones
  • tazón: the below kind of bowl (with a "foot"):

enter image description here

  • +1 bol and cuenco are news to me :)
    – Icarus
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 19:52
  • 1
    Ponchera is another possible translation. Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 0:48
  • 3
    bol is the most familiar to me
    – leonbloy
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 16:32
  • @leonbloy where are you from / what dialect of Spanish do you speak/know? Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 16:14
  • 1
    @theforestecologist Argentina (Buenos Aires)
    – leonbloy
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 16:41

I think that "at least when I grew up" we called bowls by their function.

  • "Plato de sopa" (soup plate)
  • "Plato de cereal" (cereal plate)
  • "Plato hondo" (deep plate)
  • 2
    please try to spell words correctly both in English and Spanish
    – Javi
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 10:27
  • 6
    Believe me I tray
    – Fortunato
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 20:46
  • 2
    @Fortunato: I tray? sigh
    – Flimzy
    Commented May 18, 2014 at 2:24
  • plato de sopa is a bowl full of soup. plato sopera is soup bowl.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 23, 2021 at 16:46

I learn confusing vocabulary best visually, so I want to try to clarify this a bit using pictures.

Cuenco o Bol:

enter image description here enter image description here

[Bol more often used for larger bowls]


enter image description here [has a "foot"]

Plato hondo:

enter image description here [literally "deep plate"]

The above seem to be the most distinct uses of these various words that I have picked up on. However, it seems many people/dialects use each of these words more broadly (or synonymously) or even not at all.

  • As pointed out in another answer, some dialects seem to just use Plato with certain context words to refer to bowls.

(Note: I am a native English speaker trying to relearn Spanish, so if you disagree, have further input, better pictures, etc., please update or comment. Thanks!)

  • Native speakers, please feel free to agree or disagree with my generalizations as you see fit. But please mention your dialect and what you use instead (if not already stated in another answer). Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 21:27
  • plato hondo is not a bowl. It's a soup or pasta dish. But your answer is the best so far.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 23, 2021 at 16:48

I am Cuban for me the correct answer is Plato Hondo (deep plate).

  • 2
    That's a good option, actually, the best. But somebody has already answer that. So, if you agree, you should upvote that answer, but not add a new answer repeating information.
    – c.p.
    Commented May 18, 2014 at 10:48
  • 1
    @c.p. The OP asked about regional differences. The other answer doesn't say anything about that.
    – user2117
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 10:23
  • plato hondo is a soup dish or plate.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 23, 2021 at 16:36

Bowl is translated as pana in my country. I'm from Nicaragua 😁

Quoting from the Diccionary of Americanisms

V. 1. f. Gu, Ho, Ni. Vasija circular de metal o plástico para usos domésticos.

  • 1
    Hola, Betsy, bienvenida a Spanish Exchange. Si te fijas, he editado bastante tu post. Procura incluir alguna referencia a diccionarios u otros textos donde se respalden o puedan corroborarse tus afirmaciones.
    – RubioRic
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 7:21

Soy de Mexico y mi familia y yo le decimos al "bowl" plato hondo.

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