How to Express Annoyance and Indignation in Spanish

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March 31, 2021

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¡Ay, caramba! You may have heard this phrase before, but do you know what it means? In this article, we’ll show you this and lots of other ways of expressing annoyance and indignation in Spanish.

NOTE: this article contains language that may offend, and extremely strong language in the final section. Please do not read that section if you are a minor.

Annoyance and Indignation in Spanish

Adjectives

There are lots of adjectives to describe something annoying or frustrating. Some work better with things, and some work better with people, as you can see in the examples below.

Remember, some will need to agree in number and gender. We’ve identified the ones that change with gender. Add ‘-s’ to any of them to make them plural.

  • Irritante (thing)

Linked to the verb ‘irritar’ (‘to irritate’).

irritanteirritating
Su voz es irritante.His voice is irritating.
  • Fastidioso/a (thing)

Linked to the verb ‘fastidiar’ (‘to annoy,’ ‘to bother’).

fastidioso/aannoying, tedious
Es un proceso fastidioso.It’s a tedious process.
  • Frustrante (thing)

Linked to the verb ‘frustrar’ (‘to frustrate’).

frustrantefrustrating
La situación es frustrante, pero hay que tener paciencia.The situation is frustrating, but one has to be patient.
  • Desalentador(a) (thing)

Linked to the verb ‘desalentar’ (‘to discourage’).

desalentador(a)discouraging, disheartening
Los resultados de la encuesta son muy desalentadores.The results of the survey are very disheartening.
  • Molesto/a (thing or person)

Linked to the verb ‘molestar’ (‘to annoy,’ ‘to bother’).

molesto/aannoying, irritating
Mi novio fuma, pero yo creo que el olor del humo es molesto.My boyfriend smokes, but I think the smell of smoke is bothersome.
Mi hermano es una persona molesta. Por ejemplo, le gusta provocarme con comentarios políticas que sabe que me molestan.My brother is an annoying person. For example, he likes provoking me with political things that he knows bother me.
Anger

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  • Insufrible (person)

Linked to the verb ‘sufrir’ (‘to suffer’).

insufribleinsufferable, intolerable
Mi suegra es insufrible. Estoy seguro de que me odia.My mother-in-law is insufferable. I’m sure she hates me.
  • Inaguantable (person)

Linked to the verb ‘aguantar’ (‘to put up with,’ ‘to tolerate’).

inaguantablea pain in the neck, insufferable
Ser profesor puede ser verdaderamente estresante. Algunos de mis estudiantes son inaguantables.Being a teacher can be truly stressful. Some of my students are insufferable.
  • Insoportable (person)

Linked to the verb ‘soportar’ (‘to bear,’ ‘to put up with’).

insoportable
Cariño, yo creo que tu ex era insoportable. Mereces algo mejor.
  • Pesado/a (person)

Linked to the verb ‘pesar’ (‘to weigh’)

pesado/aboring, tiresome
Tuve una cita pero la mujer era muy pesada.I had a date but the woman was really tiresome.

Set phrases

Next, we’ll look at some set phrases which you can use when you’re annoyed or indignant about something.

Estar harto/a

estar harto/ato be sick of/fed up with
Estoy harta de mi trabajo.I’m fed up with my job.

Estar hasta las narices

Estar hasta las narices.To be fed up. (Literally: to be up to the noses.)

Estar hasta los huevos/los cojones

Estar hasta los huevos/los cojones.To be fed up. (Literally: to be up to the balls.)

Estar indignado/a

estar indignado/ato be indignant/outraged
Me acusaron de cosas que no hice. ¡Estoy indignado!They accused me of things I didn’t do. I’m outraged!

Estar ofendido/a

Estar ofendido/aTo be offended
Mi hermano y yo estamos muy ofendidos, porque nuestra propia madre no quiere cenar con nosotros.My brother and I are very offended, because our own mother doesn't want to have dinner with us.

No te concierne

No te concierne.It doesn't concern you.
—¿De qué habláis?
—¡Vete ya! Esto no te concierne.
“What are you talking about?”
“Get out of here! This doesn't concern you.”

¡No me estás escuchando!

¡No me estás escuchando!You're not listening to me!
—Lo siento pero no quiero jugar con tu perro, porque los perros me dan mucho miedo.
—¡Ven, no estés estúpida, no te hará daño!
—¡No me estás escuchando! Es que tengo una fobia severa.
"I'm sorry but I don't want to play with your dog, because I'm really afraid of dogs."
"Come on, don't be stupid, he won't hurt you!"
"You're not listening to me! I have a severe phobia."

¡Ya vale!

¡Ya vale!That's enough!
Chicos, dejad de luchar, ¡ya vale!Kids, stop fighting, that's enough now!

Me da igual

Although this phrase means that you don't care, it can be said in a sarcastic and indignant way, showing that actually you are upset.

Me da igual.I don't care./It makes no difference to me.
—Hoy me enteré de que Julián tiene una novia nueva. Quieres ver una foto suya?
—No. La vida de Julián me da igual ya.
"Today I found out that Julián has a new girlfriend. Do you want to see a picture of her?"
"No. I don't care about Julián's life anymore."

No me lo puedo creer

No me lo puedo creer.I can’t believe it.
Alejandro y yo acabamos de divorciarnos y ¿me dices que ya tiene una novia nueva? No me lo puedo creer.Alejandro and I have only just got divorced and you’re telling me he has a new girlfriend already? I can’t believe it.

¡Para!

¡Para!Stop!
—Eres idiota, nadie te quiere.
—¡Para ya!
—Estoy de bromas.
—No da gracia. Hiere. Así que para.
—Lo siento.
“You’re an idiot, nobody loves you.”
“Stop already!”
“I’m kidding.”
“It’s not funny. It’s hurtful. So stop it.”
“I’m sorry.”

Deja de …

Deja de …Stop …-ing
Deja de masticar con la boca abierta.Stop chewing with your mouth open.

¡Por fin!

Por finAt last
Ha llegado Fran, ¡por fin!Fran’s arrived, finally!

No es justo

No es justo.It’s not fair.
No es justo que le traten así.It’s not fair that they treat him like that.

No puedo …

No puedo con …I can’t deal with …
No puedo más. I can’t even.
No puedo con su actitud.I can’t deal with her attitude.
—Los médicos se equivocaron otra vez.
—Hombre, son tan incompetentes, no puedo más.
“The doctors got it wrong again.”
“Dude, they’re so incompetent, I can’t even deal.”

Me fastidia

Me fastidiaIt annoys me
Me fastidia que me ignores. Es irrespetuoso.It annoys me that you ignore me. It’s rude.

Me molesta

Me molestaIt annoys me/It bothers me
Me molestan los niños.Children annoy me.

Me da rabia

Me da rabia.It angers me.
Me da rabia verdaderamente que siga poniéndole los cuernos a su pareja.It truly angers me that s/he continues to cheat on his/her partner.

Estoy enfadado/a (Spain), enojado/a (Latin America)

Estoy enfadado/a.I’m angry. (Used in Spain)
Estoy enojado/a.I’m angry. (Used in Latin America)

Interjections: sounds

Let’s look at interjections. Quite often, these are sounds.

¡Ay!

¡Ay!Ah!
¡Ay! ¡Acaba de picarme una avispa!Ah! A wasp just stung me!
¡Ay, caramba!Oh, for crying out loud!

¡Pf!

¡Pf!Pf. (general sound of exasperation/”I dunno”)

¡Uy!

¡Uy! Woah!
¡Uy! ¡El agua quema!Woah! The water’s scorching!

Also, never underestimate the power of a well-placed tut!

Interjections: curse words 

Sometimes instead of a wordless sound, an angry phrase might creep out of your mouth. We’ll have a look at some of them here.

¡¿Qué?!

¡¿Que?!What?!
—No me gusta el chocolate.
—¡¿Qué?!
“I don’t like chocolate.”
“What?!”

¡¿Qué demonios?!

¡¿Qué demonios?!What on Earth?!
¡¿Qué demonios es esto?!What on Earth is this?!

¡Cállate!

Cállate.Shut up.
—No me quiere nada. Soy fea.
—Cállate. Eres una reina.

“Nobody loves me. I’m ugly.”
“Shut up. You’re a queen.”

¡Qué rollo!

¡Qué rollo!What a bore!/What a drag!
Tengo dos horas de matemáticas. ¡Qué rollo!I have two hours of math. What a drag!

¡Madre mía!

¡Madre mía!Oh my!/Bloody hell!
¡Madre mía, se me ha perdido el móvil!Oh my, I’ve lost my phone!

WARNING: This final section contains extremely offensive language. Please do not read on if you are a minor.

Censored

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Right, let’s get to the rude stuff.

Joder

JoderFuck
¡Joder! Se me olvidó la cartera.Fuck! I forgot my wallet.

You might hear children try to get away with cursing by using these versions:

¡Jo!Oh, man!
Jo, mira qué bonitas están las estrellas.Oh, man, look how pretty the stars look.
¡Jolín!Flip!
¡Jolínes!Flip!

Mierda

¡Mierda!Shit!/Crap!
¡Mierda! Está roto.Shit! It’s broken.
Vete a la mierda!Go fuck yourself! (Literally: go to the shit)

Hostia

¡Hostia!Christ!/Damn! (Literally refers to the Host)
¡Hostia, qué susto!Christ, you gave me a fright!

And now the PG version:

¡Ostras!Woah! (Literally: oysters)

Me cago en …

These are expressions of general annoyance and anger. Some of them are direct insults to a person, some of them aren’t. We’ve given you the literal translations, but when these phrases are said in Spanish, they’re more expressive rather than taken literally.

Me cago en la leche.I shit in the milk.
Me cago en tu puta madre.I shit on your fucking mother.
Me cago en tus muertos.I shit on your dead relatives.

Remember, Spanish speakers aren’t literally pooping on these things (luckily).

Coño

CoñoFuck!/Holy crap! (Literally: c*nt)

A really interesting thing about the word ‘coño’ is that when it’s used in Spain, it’s nowhere near as strong as the c-bomb in English. It can be heard used around children, because the connotation is simply not as strong as it is in English.

¡¿Coño, qué dices?!What the fuck are you saying?
¡¿Coño, qué haces?!For Christ’s sake, what are you doing?
¿Qué coño es esto?What on Earth is this?

… and, breathe out!

Right, after all that annoyance and indignation, let’s take some time to breathe. These words can be useful but don’t go chasing confrontation!

About the author 

Annabel is a language-enthusiast from the UK. She studied Spanish and French at the University of Southampton (with an Erasmus study year in Madrid!) and recently graduated. She has interests across the Spanish-speaking world, and is a fan of language in general.

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