Multiple Meanings of Coger

dialects Nov 02, 2020
As we know, Spanish is spoken in many different countries and thus, has different dialects and accents. What can also happen though, is that the same word can take on a different meaning in a particular context: 
In Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, the connotation of coger is innocent, and refers to the act of picking something up, catching a form of transportation, or carrying an object.

Some uses:
Voy a coger el autobús.
Translation: I'm going to catch the bus
Coge un abrigo, por la noche refresca.
Translation: Carry a jacket, it gets colder at night.
Coja esa basura que se le cayó al suelo.
Translation: Pick up that garbage that fell to the floor.

In Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela however, it means... to sleep with someone 😂
In case you need to know how to use it, here's an example:
Cogimos sin parar toda la noche, hasta que se hizo de día.
Translation: We had sex all night until it became light out.

As you can imagine, it probably doesn’t sound very nice if you say that you f*cked a bus when you were really trying to say that you caught a bus. While people will definitely understand what you mean, be ready to get laughed at if you end up using coger in the wrong context!

Since Spanish is spoken in 18 different countries across the world, it's important to know exactly which type of Spanish you’re speaking. Next time you’re in traveling, use this lesson as a refresher in order to avoid a potentially awkward situation.
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