We all know about the expression "WTF" - what the fuck in English. It can be reflected with this face:

enter image description here

And it can be described as:

  • What are you talking about?
  • Are you serious?

Or many more similar sentences.

Is there any equivalent in Spanish? I thought about the following, but it might sound a bit harsh or rude:

- ¿Qué coño...?

  • 4
    "Fuck" is a pretty rude word anyway. Isn't a non-rude "what the fuck" a contradiction? By the way in South America we say "¿Qué carajo?". In TV and comic books I sometimes see "¿Qué cuernos?", so that can be a less rude alternative. Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 14:19
  • I am not an English native speaker, so I would like if one could clear the point of @SantiagoTórtora, as I have the same doubt: Is not "what the fuck" a rude expression in English?
    – Jalo
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 14:48
  • @Jalo I'm also non native English speaker but I'm sure that polite well educated people don't use the "F" word very often. Even movies that use the word extensively get the NC-17 rating for "explicit language, profanity and obscenity" and those movies are forbidden for people under 17 even in company of a parent. If the word is use only eventually the movie might be rated R where an under-age person can attend accompanied by a mature guardian.
    – DGaleano
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 16:44
  • I like to translate WTF as PQC: ¿Pero qué coño...? Although as seen in the answers it would also be valid for carajo, cuernos...
    – Charlie
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 6:52
  • 1
    A silly aside: a few years ago there was some commotion when some World of Warcraft players discovered that there were a lot of game files with the extension .wtf. Turns out it means Warcraft Text File and the file extension had been used for a long time, years before WTF became popular with the meaning we all know.
    – Gorpik
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 8:33

6 Answers 6


A cursory look at this WordReference forum gives me the following:

Colombia: qué verracos (mild; verraco = boar) and qué putas (very rude; puta = whore)

Panama: qué mierdas (mierda = shit)

Mexico: qué chingados (chingado = the fuck)

Spain: qué narices (considerably milder; narices = the heck) and qué demonios (considerably milder; demonios = the hell, the devil).

I have also personally heard no mames from my Mexican friends when they're implying something like you're shitting me, aren't you?

  • 3
    Añado: Que cojones! (Spain)
    – AlexBcn
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 15:22
  • Wouldn't cojones be a bit rude for milder settings?
    – TheLearner
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 15:24
  • 1
    For Colombia que verracos could be used in any case (except perhaps in church haha) but the others are not recommended in any normal conversation.
    – DGaleano
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 17:50
  • +1 por "no mames", menos grosero: "no manches"
    – Vrac
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 14:26

¿Qué coño? doesn't sound too pretty but is not that bad around here. It is used mainly on the Caribbean coast but not on the andean part of the country.

If you don't want to sound too vulgar you would say ¿Qué demonios?, ¿Qué diablos? or simply ¿Qué?, however WTF (not the acronym but the full sentence) is always rude and vulgar, so these are not real translations.

I don't know if the real vulgar and rude equivalents would be appropriated for the site.

BTW English speakers that do not want to sound too harsh instead of dropping the full F*ck bomb not only write WTF but also pronounce it as "Double U" "Tee" "Ef" as in this example


You can use

¿¡Pero qué me estás contando!?

The meaning would be closer to your "What are you talking about?". To better express the puzzlement associated with "WTF", in some contexts it's deliberately degenerated to this (not correct) form:

*¿¡Pero qué me estás CONTAINER!?

  • That's more like "WTF are you talking about?"
    – Sergio Tx
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 14:20

Talking only about Spain:

¡Qué coño...! and ¡Qué cojones...! are used a lot in Spain, but only in really informal situations. It's rude, but it's becoming more and more common.

In slightly more formal situations, as it is informal, you can use: qué demonios, qué carajo, qué narices... These are considered sometimes too soft expressions, as the other two gain importance.


Aunque hay más posibilidades ya mencionadas en otras respuestas, me parece que una traducción bastante "literal" sería

¿Qué X?

donde X puede ser reemplazado por la grosería favorita de tu comunidad lingüística, de preferencia una muletilla reemplazable por "cosa", y que evoque alguna actividad, sustancia o condición escatológica o genital.

Si fuera chilena, la señorita de la foto estaría diciendo

¿Qué güevá?

  • 1
    Aunque nótese que -en España al menos- qué coño sí tiene esta connotación, mientras que qué cojones puede ser usado tanto para indicar el morro de alguien (Qué cojones tienes, siempre te sales con la tuya) o como para indicar bravuconería (Pues qué cojones, yo me voy y a quien no le guste, que se aguante).
    – fedorqui
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 20:46

I think the Uruguayan/Argentinian version would be "qué carajo?"

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