Spanish language: Do you know your eggs?

By Ángela Forero-Aponte February 19, 2020

Do you know eggs-actly how to order huevos for breakfast? We give you some eggs-amples of what to say. It’s no yolk.

Know your eggs. Photo: Unsplash

How do you like your eggs?

Voted one of the most versatile ingredients, los huevos are a basic ingredient in many meals, breakfast the most notorious among them. Eggs bind other ingredients, they are the main component of incredible desserts, they add texture to dishes and fill us up at a reasonable price. It is easy to simply order huevos y chocolate o jugo de naranja for breakfast, but if you want to be more specific in Spanish, it is understandable that you may be at a loss for words sometimes. Fret no more; we have prepared a quick and easy guide on ordering huevos.

¿Cómo quiere los huevos?


Cocidos, no tan duros: boiled
Bien cocidos/bien duros: hard-boiled
Tibios: soft-boiled (white is cooked, yolk is smooth)


Huevos fritos con la yema líquida / bien blandita: sunny side up
Frito por ambos lados, pero con la yema blanda: over easy
Frito por ambos lados, pero con la yema bien cocida: over hard
If you are aiming at fancy, huevos escalfados, pochados or poché: poached


Revueltos / batidos
Pericos: the Colombian recipe par excellence (eggs, chopped onions and tomatoes)
Revueltos con (add your ingredient of choice – maizitos, jamón, tocineta, champiñones): scrambled with corn, ham, bacon, mushrooms.
Also, if you visit Antioquia, expect to be asked whether you want your eggs with aliños; that means revueltos with extra ingredients or chopped onions and tomatoes.


En tortilla

Dirty talk

There are plenty of expressions using the word huevo, or a transformation thereof. I am sure you’ve heard them a number of times on the street or from your Colombian friends; other Spanish speaking countries use them too. When researching this article I found that expressions such as ‘manda huevo’ – which people say when they are really outraged by someone’s attitude/behaviour – actually have nothing to do with our versatile gastronomic pal. The word uebos is an archaism meaning ‘necessity’ or ‘necessary thing’. It was used in expressions such as ser uebos (be necessary) – no longer in use of course.

Learning Spanish

There is, however, a widespread use of huevo, and its derivatives, in relation to male genitalia, which, by the way, has given me a good translation for the rude use of the word ‘nuts’: huevos or huevas. Our column does not want to encourage the use of foul language, but it is out there, and it never hurts to know a thing or two about other uses, so find below a list of common phrases with our article’s main character, and their translation into English:

Remember, these are very colloquial expressions. #Nottobeused at your parents in law’s or in a meeting with your boss.

¡Me vale huevo! = I don’t care!
¡Es una hueva! = He/she is a pushover!
¡Vale un huevonal de plata! = It costs a lot!
¡No tiene los huevos! = He/she has no courage / doesn’t have the guts/balls.
¡Huevón! = ¡Douchebag! Interestingly enough, it is also used among male friends to address each other: ¿Qué más, huevón? (What’s up, pal? How’s it going, pal?)
¡Tiene (manda) huevo! = Said when you’re outraged by someone else’s behaviour/attitude. Also, if something or someone really takes the biscuit, people in the Caribbean coast of Colombia use ¡manda cáscara (eggshell) [¿de huevo?]!