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Definition of Chula

The word Chula coming from the masculine Chulo, which is used as a colloquial adjective to say that a woman or a thing is cute, pretty, graceful, beautiful. It is a term widely used in Mexico.


• Beautiful

• Cute

• Pretty

• Beautiful

• Cute

• Graceful


It is said that the word chulo comes from the Mozarabic “šúlo”, and this from the Latin sciolus, which means “informed”, but this word is not accepted by the Spanish Royal Academy itself.

In its origins, the word has Italian roots, however, with the passage of time and its diffusion around the world its meaning has dramatically changed.

According to the Critical Etymological Dictionary of Castilian and Spanish, “chulo” comes from the Italian “ciullo”, which means “boy”. This term, in turn, is a mutilation of “fanciullo”, a diminutive of “fante”.

It is curious that the first recorded use of chulo documented by Corominas in the Castilian language has a date from the 16th century; which corresponds to a jargon, typical of criminals, meaning “boy”.

In Spanish, it has acquired the meaning of something “cute, pretty, or graceful”, although depending on the context in which it was used in its beginnings it could mean “ruffian”.

To try to expose a more complete picture of the complex history of this term, it cannot be omitted that it also has an Arab origin, through the word “chulapo”.

It means “boy” and was applied to both the rogue, and to the one who went to the slaughterhouse as an assistant to lock up the cattle, or one who helped the bullfighters in bullfights.


There are texts that attest to how in previous times the word chulo even came to mean a pimp. Don Francisco de Lugo y Dávila, a Madrid writer of the 17th century mentions it in one of his novels, an imitation of the Cervantine “Rinconete y Cortadillo”.

In some countries like Venezuela, a chula, like a chulo, is a person who takes advantage of the opportunities of others to live; an interested and false individual who takes advantage of the achievements of others.