How to Say Hippo in Spanish: A Comprehensive Guide

When learning a new language, it’s essential to expand your vocabulary with words like “hippo.” In this guide, we will explore how to say “hippo” in Spanish, including both formal and informal ways. Let’s dive right in!

Formal Ways to Say Hippo in Spanish

If you find yourself in a formal setting or interacting with someone you’re not familiar with, these are the appropriate terms to use:

1. Hipopótamo

“Hipopótamo” is the formal Spanish word for “hippo.” This term is widely understood across Spanish-speaking regions, making it a safe choice in most situations. For example:

En el zoológico, vi un enorme hipopótamo.

(At the zoo, I saw a huge hippo.)

2. Hipopótamo Común

Another formal variation is “hipopótamo común,” which translates to “common hippo.” This term is used to differentiate the common hippo species from other types. For instance:

El hipopótamo común es nativo de África.

(The common hippo is native to Africa.)

Informal Ways to Say Hippo in Spanish

In more relaxed or informal conversations, you can replace the formal terms with these friendlier alternatives:

1. Hipopótamo

“Hipopótamo” can be used in informal settings as well, particularly among friends and family. Here’s an example:

¡Mira ese hipopótamo tan gordo y gracioso!

(Look at that chubby and funny hippo!)

2. Hipona

Although it is less common, “hipona” is the informal term for a female hippo. You can use this word to add some variety to your vocabulary:

La hipona parece estar disfrutando del chapoteo en el agua.

(The female hippo seems to be enjoying the splash in the water.)

Regional Variations

Spanish is spoken in diverse regions, and some countries may have their own regional terms to describe a hippo. However, it’s important to note that these variations might not be universally understood:

1. Cocodrilo del Nilo

In certain areas of Latin America, particularly Colombia and Venezuela, some people refer to the hippo as “cocodrilo del Nilo,” which translates to “Nile crocodile.” While this term is not widely used, you might encounter it in specific regions:

El cocodrilo del Nilo es un animal impresionante de la fauna africana.

(The Nile crocodile is an impressive animal from African fauna.)

2. Mamífero Semiacuático

In Spain, you may find the term “mamífero semiacuático” being used to describe a hippo. This term highlights the semi-aquatic nature of these fascinating animals:

El mamífero semiacuático posee una estructura corporal adaptada para vivir tanto en el agua como en la tierra.

(The semi-aquatic mammal has a body structure adapted to live in both water and land.)


Now you’re equipped with various ways to say “hippo” in Spanish. Remember, “hipopótamo” is the formal term, suitable for most situations. In informal conversations, you can use “hipopótamo” and “hipona” to add some casual flair. Keep in mind that regional variations like “cocodrilo del Nilo” or “mamífero semiacuático” exist but are less commonly used.

Practice using these words in context to master their usage. Have fun expanding your Spanish vocabulary and exploring the wonderful world of hippos!

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