Guest Post from My Spanish Notes: Tortillera

This is a guest post from my friend Rodney who writes about learning real Spanish, especially Mexican Spanish. You can find links to his blogs at the bottom of this post.

As a language teacher, in general I think there are two ways to teach a language – the authentic way and any other way (for lack of a better term). The “other” way is used in the books I have to teach English with – lots of photos, sidebars, disorder and nonsense.

Another way was how I learned Spanish in school. We did endless drills of conjugating verbs. Sure, that’s important, but it won’t get you speaking.

On his blogs Rodney teaches it the authentic way. He just gives it to you straight.

I’ve learned a lot from his lessons, and here’s an interesting one he sent me for a guest post.

You never know where your Spanish will take you when you’re shooting the breeze with your compas (buddies), especially if you’re out chupando unas frias (drinking some cold ones).   Like talking about lesbians.

The word for lesbian in Spanish is lesbiana.  Pretty simple and easy to remember right?  But there are quite few words that are much more colorful and fun that you need to know about, so let’s get to it.

The first word we’re going to talk about is tortillera.  A tortillera is actually a woman who makes tortillas, but it’s also a way of referring to a lesbiana.

¿Eres tortillera?

Are you a lesbian?

Desde que soy tortillera veo la vida de otro modo

Since I’m a lesbian I see life another way

Lo sabemos que era tortilla

We knew she was a lesbian

Soy tortillera

I’m a lesbian

The word arepera also means lesbian, and for the record an arepera is woman who makes arepas.  While I’m positive everyone knows what a tortilla is, you may not know what an arepa is.  Click here to see one.  I can tell you from first-hand experience that they’re delicious.  You can equate them to gorditas in Mexico.

You most likely won’t hear the word arepera in Mexico.  You’ll need to keep this one in your back pocket for your Venezuelan and Colombian friends.  Arepa is also a way to refer the female anatomy in Colombia and Venezuela.

Esas viejas son areperas

Those broads are lesbians

Confieso que soy arepera

I confess that I’m a lesbian

Bollera is another term for lesbiana.  You’ll definitely hear it Spain, but I think it’s pretty well known everywhere.  By the way, bolla is a term that refers to the vagina.

¿Soy bollera y qué?

I’m a lesbian and what about it?

Machorra is the word you want when you talk about women who look and act like more like men than women.   We call them studs, dykes or bull dykes.  Think of it as the woman who is clearly the male of the relationship.

There are a couple of more terms that I’ll mention like torta and maricona, but here’s a great link if you want to learn even more words for lesbianas.

¿Como le dicen a las lesbianas en tu pais?  (What do you call lesbians in your country?)

That’s it for today!  Now you have more than enough words to spice up your conversations about lesbians.  And if you’re wondering whether or not these words are offensive.  Well, the answer is yes.  Or at the very least you should assume they are.  You know the drill, some words are not offensive to some and highly offensive to others, so you’ve been warned.  I suggest you talk to your Spanish speaking friends and get their advice.

Be sure to read about my upcoming post on relaciones lésbicas, how to talk about lesbian sex on my blog Swearing in (Mexican) Spanish.

I’m a Spanish language addict and author of the following blogs:

My Spanish Notes

No book Spanish, Just real Spanish I learn from real conversations

Swearing in (Mexican) Spanish

Explore all of the bad words (Mexican) Spanish has to offer

Helping You Learn Spanish

Making Spanish simple to help you transition from a Spanish student to a Spanish speaker




About Ted Campbell

U.S.-Canadian writer, translator and university teacher in Mexico. Travel stories and practical tips on my blog No Hay Bronca: Twitter: @NoHayBroncaBlog // Contact: nohaybroncablog (at)

Posted on November 20, 2013, in education, Learning Spanish and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. haha never thought I would learn this! I can see the relation to English with Machorra though because of macho.

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