Panza is an informal term for stomach or abdomen. Me duele la panza. I have a stomachache. ¿Te duele la pancita? Does your tummy/belly hurt? Tiene panza or es panzón means he has a belly, that is, he does not have a flat abdomen. Panza chelera = beer belly, since chela = beer, cerveza, informally. In the right context, está panzona can mean ‘she’s pregnant/showing’.

A popular saying: Panza llena, corazón contento. Happiness is a full stomach.

Tacos de guisado, Cuauhtémoc neighborhood, Mexico City

Tacos de guisado, Cuauhtémoc neighborhood, Mexico City


Lonja refers to extra padding carried in the midsection, especially along the sides. Love handles would be a good translation. ¿Tiene lonja? Does he have love handles? Is he a little thick around the middle? The plural form, lonjas, is also heard with the same meaning. The diminuitive lonjitas can communicate an attitude of endearment.


A lavadero is a ribbed, cement sink for washing clothes by hand. By extension, tener (abdomen de) lavadero = have six-pack abs, washboard abs. You can also use the word marcado, prominent, defined. Tiene el abdomen marcadito. You can see his abs. Also heard is tiene cuadritos, he has a six pack. Literally, little squares.


The word chaparreras, literally: leather chaps, refers to the area of the upper leg where fat accumulates. Sus chaparreras, her thunder thighs.


The word for calf is pantorrilla, but chamorro is also heard, informally. Me dio un calambre en el chamorro. I got a cramp in my calf.


Patas, paws, works informally for human feet. On a bus ride, I once saw a teenage boy resting his feet on a friend’s lap, provoking the friend to say baja las patas, put your feet down. Someone with big feet is patón.


Conejo is an informal term for biceps. Enséñame tu conejo. Flex your biceps for me. This usage might come from a children’s game where two fingers positioned behind the biceps imitate rabbit ears.


A cowlick, or hair out of place, is a gallo, rooster. While we’re on the subject, me quedó el almohadazo (from almohada) means I have bed head. I slept on my hair and now it is sticking up.


Coco, coconut, works for head. ¿Te golpeaste el coco? Did you bang your head on something?


Hocico, snout, is an offensive or playful term for mouth. Te apesta el hocico, amigo. Your breath stinks.


Padrastro is stepfather, of course, but it is also the word for hangnail, a torn piece of skin near the base of a fingernail.


The dark circles or lines that appear under your eyes when you are tired are called ojeras. Amanecí con unas ojeras horribles. I woke up with bags under my eyes. Don’t confuse these with the nearby orejas, ears, or orejeras, ear muffs.


Papada means double chin. Tiene papada y todo. He’s so fat he’s even got a double chin.

One Reply to “Panza”

  1. I am reading Don Quixote and am about the time Cervantes is describing Sancho Panza (kind of short and round). In fact, he has a “panza”. Then, I got to thinking about the origin of Panza…did it come from Sancho Panza, do you think?

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