How to Say Puerto Rican in Spanish: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to expressing the term “Puerto Rican” in Spanish, there are various ways to do so depending on the context, formality, and regional variations. In this guide, we will explore the formal and informal ways of referring to someone from Puerto Rico in Spanish, providing you with several tips, examples, and regional insights. Whether you’re planning a trip, engaging in discussions, or simply expanding your language skills, this guide will help you confidently use the term “Puerto Rican” in Spanish.

Formal Ways to Say Puerto Rican in Spanish

In formal contexts, such as when addressing individuals with respect or in official settings, you can use the following terms:

1. Puertorriqueño/a

The most common and widely accepted term for a Puerto Rican person in formal Spanish is “puertorriqueño” for males and “puertorriqueña” for females. It is a straightforward and respectful term used universally in Spanish-speaking countries.


El embajador es puertorriqueño. (The ambassador is Puerto Rican.)

2. Persona de Puerto Rico

In more formal settings, you can also refer to someone from Puerto Rico as a “persona de Puerto Rico,” meaning “person from Puerto Rico.” This term is neutral and widely understood across different Spanish-speaking regions.


La conferencista es una persona de Puerto Rico. (The speaker is a person from Puerto Rico.)

Informal Ways to Say Puerto Rican in Spanish

Informal language allows for more relaxed and colloquial terms. Here are some informal ways to say “Puerto Rican” in Spanish:

1. Boricua

The term “boricua” is a popular and affectionate way of referring to Puerto Ricans. It has become an emblematic term used within the Puerto Rican community and is widely recognized across the Spanish-speaking world.


¡Ese artista es bien boricua! (That artist is very Puerto Rican!)

2. Boricucho/a

In some regions, particularly in the Caribbean, you might come across the variation “boricucho” for males and “boricucha” for females. This informal term carries a similar meaning to “boricua” but may have a slightly jovial or playful undertone.


¡Mira a ese boricucho cantando salsa en la calle! (Look at that Puerto Rican guy singing salsa in the street!)

Regional Variations

Spanish is a diverse language, and there can be variations in how “Puerto Rican” is expressed across different regions. Here are a couple of examples:

1. Antillano/a

In the Dominican Republic, Puerto Ricans are sometimes referred to as “antillanos” due to their shared geographical location on the Antilles islands. Although this term is not as common as “puertorriqueño,” it is worth mentioning as a regional variation.


Hay muchos antillanos trabajando en el turismo en Punta Cana. (There are many Puerto Ricans working in tourism in Punta Cana.)

2. Jíbaro/a

In some rural areas of Puerto Rico, locals may refer to themselves or others from the countryside as “jíbaro” or “jíbara.” This term has cultural connotations and is predominantly used to describe individuals from inland rural regions.


Los jíbaros tienen una forma de vida tranquila en las montañas. (The jíbaros have a peaceful way of life in the mountains.)

Wrapping Up

Now that you have a comprehensive guide on how to say “Puerto Rican” in Spanish, you can confidently navigate formal and informal conversations, accommodating different Spanish-speaking regions. Remember that “puertorriqueño/a” and “persona de Puerto Rico” are the most common formal terms, while “boricua” and “boricucho/a” are widely used in informal contexts. Should you come across regional variations like “antillano/a” or “jíbaro/a,” you now have a better understanding of their meanings. Language is a powerful tool for connection, so continue exploring and embracing the rich diversity of the Spanish language!

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