by newyorkers | Jul 31, 2014 | Advanced Spanish, Conversational Spanish, Spanish Vocabulary | 2 comments


1. How to say hitman in Spanish2. How to say snitch in Spanish3. How to say gangster in Spanish4. How to say gangbanger in Spanish5. How to say drug-trafficker in Spanish

After I made a recent blog post, where I mentioned that in Colombia there is a word for a hired “asesino” (assassin, killer or hitman) who usually — but not always — kills from a “moto” (motorcycle) a customer sent an email and wrote:

“Patrick, I am a fan of action movies, especially gangster movies. Can you send an email to your subscribers with some vocabulary words from gangster movies.”

How To Say Hitman In Spanish

In case you missed the email that he was referring to, the word used in Colombia for a hired “asesino” (assassin, killer or hitman) who usually — but not always — kills from a “moto” (motorcycle) is “sicario.”


By the way, the word “sicario” is also commonly used in Mexico. But in Mexico, it refers to a hired “asesino” in general. Not just one who kills from a “moto.”

And even if you are not interested in Spanish vocabulary for gangster movies, words such as “sicario” are helpful to know when watching “las noticias” (the news) in countries such as Colombia and Mexico.

You are watching: How do you say snitch in spanish

Now for a couple of Spanish words for my gangster movie buffs.

How To Say Snitch In Spanish

1. Sapo – snitch, stool pigeon, rat, informant

“Sapo” is ONLY used in Colombia. It literally means “frog.” In many other countries in Latin America, the word for snitch, stool pigeon or informant is ” soplón.”

When I was still practicing law as an attorney in New York, I used to hear Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in the Court system use the word “rata” for snitch or informant.

In fact, not too long ago, following the death of one of my all-time favorite boxers, Hector Camacho — who was killed in an apparent drug-related shooting — someone posted the word “RATA” next to a picture of Camacho on Facebook. Hector Camacho was born in Puerto Rico but grew up in New York’s SpanishHarlem — also known as “El Barrio” (literally, “the hood”).

A couple of nights ago, I was watching one of my favorite gangster movies with an “amiga.” The movie is The Departed with Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg. I watched The Departed “doblado en español” (dubbed over in Spanish).

There’s a scene in the dubbed over version of the movie where Jack Nicholson, suggesting that there is an informant in his organization, says to Leonardo Dicaprio “huele a rata” (it smells like rat) while smelling his drink.

By the way, in Colombia, besides the rodent, “rata” means “ladrón” (thief). But in the movies from Colombia (filmed in Colombia and with Colombian actors) “rata” does NOT mean snitch, stool pigeon or informant. Instead, “sapo” means snitch or stool pigeon.

2. Soplón – informant, snitch, or anyone who betrays secrets or tells on others.

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This word is probably the most commonly used word throughout Latin America for snitch or even tattletale. For example, in Latin America a child may say:

“No seas soplón, no le digas a la maestra que mi mamá me ayudó con la tarea.”(Don’t be a tattletale, don’t tell the teacher my mom helped me with the homework.)

3. Informante – informant, snitch

How To Say Gangster In Spanish

4. Mafioso – gangster

“Mafioso” means gangster in Latin America.


“Mafioso” does not suggest that someone is in the Mafia, the criminal organization in Sicily and the U.S. So not only would John Gotti and Al Capone be considered “Mafiosos” in Latin America but Pablo Escobar was also considered a “Mafioso.” Pablo Escobar, seen in the picture below, was known as “El Patrón” which means “The Chief.”


You may hear the word “pandillero” in Latin America. But “pandillero” means gang member or gang-banger and not gangster. A “pandillero” is a member of a “banda callejera” (street gang) or “pandilla callejera” (street gang). By the way the Spanish word for godfather is “padrino.” So in order to say “The Godfather” – as in the movie – you just say “El Padrino.”5. Narcotraficante (or “traficante” for short) – Drug trafficker

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