Senior Member
United States, English
Here's a question that I'm hoping the native Spanish speakers can shed some light on. I know of at least five words that all translate as "pig" or "hog" -- the animal, as well as the person :)


Are all of these words used interchangeably?

Also, in English we don't generally refer to what we eat as pig but rather pork. For example, if I were to ask my wife what we were having for dinner tonight, she would not say "roasted pig" or "roasted hog" but rather "roasted pork" or a "pork roast".

Do you make this distinction in Spanish?

Gracias de antemano.
  • aledu

    Senior Member
    From what I´ve heard, ¨puerco¨and ¨cerdo¨might be the most common ones and easily understood by any spanish speaking people.



    Senior Member
    Argentina, spanish
    As you said it, all those words are synonyms. Depending on the country, some of them will be use more often. Here, in Argentina we usually use cerdo to refer to the food (some times we use chanco as well, for example when be cook it on the grill). We usually use puerco, cochino or marrano to refer to a dirty person.

    Isabel Thornton

    Estoy de acuerdo, pienso que depende de donde se utiliza más una palabra que otra, por ejemplo, yo no había oído nunca lo de chancho hasta que conocí a un argentino...
    En España utilizamos cerdo sobretodo, y es intercambiable, lo utilizamos para hablar del animal, como insulto y cuando hablamos de comida (chuletas de cerdo por ejemplo)


    Senior Member
    Argentina - Español
    En Argentina también le decimos "lechón" o "lechones" cuando pesan entre 8 - 10 Kg. Y como dato adicional, cuando alguien está un poco gordito, coloquialmente se le dice: "Estás hecho un lechón".


    Senior Member
    I guess, is like the same, it depends of the context, you say it, for example we use cerdo for food, also puerco sometimes is use it. We say for example : Salchichas de Cerdo, or Salchicas de Puerco, Jamón de Cerdo, we call Manitas de Puerco, to a pickled dish that we do with the legs of pig.

    Chancho, chochino,puerco or marrano, to say a person is fat or is not a clean person.

    I don't know how ta say : Espero haber sido de ayuda, I guess : I hope really help to you my answer.



    Senior Member
    I forget to say, chancho in my country (México), is not frequently use it.
    Then not applies to fat person or not a clean person.

    But chancho, we use it like piggy bank, but that not is common, we call : Alcancìa to a piggy bank.


    Lechón es el equivalente del inglés suckling pig, todavía tomando la leche materna. And don´t forget verraco, a mature boar. Chancho, chanchito are also used as baby talk words, like piggy or piggy wiggly. In some countries "verraco" is slang for somebody who is really a master of something, really kicks butt...

    Not veddy refined, I fear, but language is occasionally used outside the salon!


    Senior Member
    Interesting thread! The amazing world of pig terminology!

    In Spain we use:

    For the animal: mainly cerdo. Also marrano, cochino, puerco, gorrino and guarro (these last two were not in the first list). Never chancho.

    For a person (derogatory for dirty or untidy): cerdo, marrano, cochino, puerco, gorrino and guarro, all of them interchangeably. Again never chancho.

    For food: cerdo. For piglets: cochinillo and lechón.

    The place to breed pigs is the porqueriza, pocilga o chiquero (never heard alcancía with this meaning) and the herd of pigs is the piara.



    New Member
    English, Italy
    ?fascinante pero nadia me ha explicado por que hay tantos sinonimos?

    In English there are a lot of synonymoms for 'stomach' and there is always a reason for why so many words came to refer to the same thing. But 7 words that mean 'pig'! How could that happen? Why wasn't just 'cerdo' good enough?


    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    In English there are a lot of synonymoms for 'stomach' and there is always a reason for why so many words came to refer to the same thing. But 7 words that mean 'pig'! How could that happen? Why wasn't just 'cerdo' good enough?

    El inglés no es totalmente privado de palabras para "pig".

    Several different words in English identify different types of pigs:

    * Boar - An adult male pig
    * Sow - An adult female pig
    * Piglet/farrow - A juvenile pig
    * Shoat - A young pig between 100 to 180 lb (50 to 90 kg)
    * Gilt - An immature female pig
    * Barrow - A castrated male pig
    * Hog - a domestic or wild adult swine, especially one raised for slaughter because they fatten quickly; in its original sense it means a castrated boar.
    * Swine - Synonym for "pigs" (plural)

    As food: Meat from pigs is called pork (coming from the Latin words "porcinus" and "porcus"). Their trotters are often sold as the jelly-like dish of pig's feet. Hog jowls are a popular soul food


    New Member
    Hi, I realise that this is a bit of an old thread but I just thought that I would mention this. I think that most languages don't have separate words for the animal and the meat, such as pig and pork. In english this is mostly a hangover of the Normal Conquest.

    Saxons who called animals by short saxon words like cow, sheep, and deer tended to look after the animals and then slaughter and serve them up to the Normal lords who called them beef (boeuf), mutton, venison etc.

    Also why 'dove' is associated with peace and love and pigeon, the french equivalent, is used in english for less pleasant things as the barons were not popular.

    Ironically I don't think that pork necesarily comes from norman french, but anyway......


    New Member
    They are all interchangeable.
    I believe chancho is only used in Latin America. It is the most common from in Argentina & Uruguay & may be so in other countries.
    English has differnet names for the animal & the food since the Normand invasion of England. Generally the word of French Origin is reserved for the food(i.e mutton) & the animal is the original English word (lamb)
    In Spanish there is no such distinction.