This is a word that I used to think was much more offensive than it actually is. Since it obviously comes from concha, a vulgar word in many South American countries, I assumed that conchudo was equally strong and contemptuous. I knew there had to be more to it, though, when I heard it flung around so often and so casually, even said with laughter, and I was right. Hereabouts, concha means nerve, gall. Chutzpah, even. If we feel like being very informal, we might say balls, as in, “I can’t believe he had the balls to ask the boss for a raise when he knows full well that his job performance is terrible.” Tuvo la concha de pedirle al jefe un aumento, sabiendo que su desempeño era muy malo. Female genitalia? Nada que ver.
In Colombia and in a good deal of other countries as well, a person who’s conchudo/a is someone with a hell of a lot of nerve. Someone who’s shameless, brazen, unblushing, etc., although we don’t really use those words much, do we? At least in the US, we certainly don’t ever call someone cheeky, but nevertheless you’ll see the word in the dictionary as a translation for conchudo. Adjectives aren’t helping us much here, so let’s look at some nouns.
Like many adjectives in Spanish, conchudo can also be used as a noun. This is used in a general way but is especially used to describe lazy people who don’t lift a finger to help and expect others to go out of their way for them. Someone who takes advantage of others’ generosity. Best English synonyms: a freeloader and someone who mooches off others. Other words that get the idea across are a sponge, a leech, and a parasite. Really fed up with him? A jerk or an asshole. Whatever you decide to call him, a conchudo leads us all to the same questions: Just who does this guy think he is? And where does he get off acting like that?
No one wants to have to work on a group project with a conchudo because they will, without fail, lie back and refuse to do any work. When presenting to the class, however, they will take all the credit without batting an eye.
When your conchuda friend loses her job and needs a place to stay for a few days, you let her sleep on your sofa. Three months later, she’s still there, never offering to pay rent or help around the house. Instead of looking for a new job, she reads magazines all day. To make her even more conchuda, she has the gall to complain about your cooking and even asks to borrow money.
Wedding crashers? One who’s always taking in a relationship and never giving back? A coworker who likes to invite you to lunch but never reaches for the bill? Conchudos, the whole lot of ’em. Don’t forget, a conchudo is never the slightest bit apologetic. Blinded by his self-absorption, he doesn’t even realize the inconvenience he causes for others and certainly can’t be bothered to care. He does like to call others out, though, when they’re being conchudos.
No soporto a mi ex, es una conchuda, solamente me llama para pedirme plata prestada.
I can’t stand my ex-girlfriend. She has some nerve, only calling me when she needs money.
¡Qué conchudo! No me vas a dejar jugar en el PS3, sabiendo que fui yo que te lo regaló.
You’re not gonna let me play with your PS3 when I was the one who bought it for you? Man, you really are something else.
__________________________________________________ Non-natives, what’s your experience with this word? Had you heard it before? How have you heard it used? Where? If you’re a native Spanish speaker, anything to correct, clarify, comment on or concur with?