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Definition of Cuerno

To ride the horns is a common expression and considered as derogatory nowadays.

It refers to being unfaithful to one’s partner, that is, when one of the partners decides to cheat on the other with another person and break the exclusivity agreement, especially in the sexual aspect.

When a person has been unfaithful, it is said that he/she has been “cuckolded”, he/she can also be called “cuckold”; however, the one who has been unfaithful does not like at all that he/she has been “cuckolded”, this expression has a pejorative character, to tell the truth.


  1. Horned, antlers
  2. To cheat with another
  3. To ride the horns
  4. To commit adultery
  5. To be unfaithful


There are some valid theories:

It is believed that in Viking times village chiefs used it to demonstrate their power, as they were free to have intercourse with any woman (single or married) and placed their hooves adorned with animal horns on the doors of their homes while they were “busy”, i.e. accompanied by a female, hence could not be disturbed at that time.

There are also those who attribute the expression “putting horns” to the Middle Ages: horns were hung on the door of the infidel’s house.


The “cuckold” is the person who has been unfaithful, which means that he/she is the last to know about the infidelity. For this reason another hypothesis arises: the origin of the word is attributed to the animal that has horns, but because they are on his head he cannot see them.

In the Spanish language the expression “poner los cuernos” has become so popular that it already has its own verb, it is called “encornudar” and is officially found in the dictionary as “to make someone cuckolded”.

The opposite of “cuerno” or “pegar los cuernos” would be the fidelity of the couple.