[#029] ¿Te jode si nos vamos de joda?

It’s party time!  🙂 Or at least that’s what the title of this entry seems to suggest. Today we will be talking about the word “joda” and some other related ones, too. In Rioplatense Spanish, the word “joda” is slang for “fiesta“, so it is quite common to hear it in informal contexts. But it can also have other meanings, as you’ll find out in this post.




We should start talking about the verb “joder“, though. If we look it up in the Real Academia Española dictionary, we’ll see that the first meaning is “to fuck”. But this is not how this word is commonly used in the River Plate area. If you remember the first entry of this blog… Congratulations on having such a good memory!!! No, wait, I mean, if you remember that very first entry, then you’ll remember that in order to say “to fuck”, rioplatófonos usually use the verb “coger“. In addition, another well-known usage for the word “joder” is as an interjection, to express anger, irritation or suprise. But this is typical of Spain, and extremely rare in Argentina or Uruguay.


So what does “joder” actually mean to rioplatófonos? Well, many things, to be honest. Let’s see some of the most common uses, with examples. But first, a warning: some people might find it rude if you use this slang word, so if you are planning to start using it, make sure it’s with friends or people you know well.

1) Joder: to annoy or bother someone, e.g. “¡no me jodas más!” (stop bothering me!), “perdón que te joda” (sorry to bother you) or “¿te jode si pongo música?” (mind if I turn on some music?). Similarly, if something or someone is “jodido“,  like an exam or a teacher, it means they are annoying or difficult to deal with.

2) Joder: to joke about something, to speak in a non-serious manner, e.g. “no te enojes, te estoy jodiendo” (don’t be mad, i’m just joking with you) or “¿me estás jodiendo?” (are you kidding me?)

3) Joder(se): to ruin or damage something, to screw up, e.g. “no me vas a joder el día” (you won’t ruin my day), “si hacés eso, vas a joder el motor” (if you do that, you’ll damage the engine) or “se jodió la canilla” (the faucet is broken).

4) Joderse: to have to bear or endure something, to put up with something, e.g. “¡jodete!” (suck it up!) or “siempre termino jodiéndome por ayudar a los demás” (I always end up putting up with difficult situations for helping others).


Ok, enough with the verb “joder“. Let’s now look at the noun “joda“, and its two main possible meanings.

First of all, “una joda” can be used as “a joke” or something that’s not really true, following the second definition we just saw above. So we can say “no te enojes, es una joda” (don’t be mad, it’s a joke). What is more, during the ’90s there was a famous TV show here called Videomatch, which helped spread both this word and a special phrase containing it. In this show, pranks were played on people: basically, they did lots of horrible things to upset them and in the end they’d say “es una joda para Videomatch“. This show was so popular, that this phrase started being used by rioplatófonos when trying to calm their friends down, after teasing them or making fun of them.

And then, there’s the other meaning for “joda“, which has to do with having fun, as we said at the beginning of this entry. So for example, rioplatófonos can ask “¿dónde es la joda?” (where is the party?) or they can “salir de joda” (go party). But of course, this word can also be used in a more flexible way, not just to talk about an actual party. “Estar de joda” could also imply to be simply having a good time, instead of being at work, for instance.  😛

Enough theory. Let’s practice a bit now. Do you remember the entry in which we talked about the news channel Crónica TV? Well, look at the following screen capture from this newspaper’s website:




Here you have different examples of news articles where the word “joda” has been used. Can you try and guess which meaning is being used in each case? Are they talking about a joke? Or is it a party? By the way, as we saw previously, Crónica isn’t precisely a very formal or politically correct newspaper. That probably explains why we find so many hits with the word “joda” here. Nevertheless, in my opinion, this word is becoming less taboo or rude sounding for newer generations. We’d have to conduct a study to confirm this, though!

And finally, I’ll share with you a fun song called “Himno a la joda“, by Chicos Católicos. Chicos Católicos is a comedy play about a group of  teenagers who are about to take the First Communion. You can read more about it here. Anyway, this particular song is in fact a typical religious song, with modified lyrics, that has been turned into a cumbia. For those who are not familiar with cumbia, it’s a dance-oriented music genre, that is quite popular throughout Latin America. Anyway, here it goes. Enjoy the song!  😉 And you can turn on the subtitles if you want!