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Definition of Puto

Puto is a term that refers to promiscuous men and its initial usage referred to homosexuals.

Depending on the context and other qualities, such as tone, it can be used disparagingly or affectionately, but even if it can be used in a loving way, its origin is definitely disparaging.


  1. Insult
  2. Promiscuous
  3. Homosexual
  4. Disparaging way of referring to something


The terms “puto” or “puta” are commonly used as insults that generally relate to people’s sexuality. The meaning we currently attribute to the word “puto” is far from its etymological origin.

According to the Royal Spanish Academy, the term comes from the vulgar Latin puttus, which means “boy”.

And yet, today, that word is used as a disparaging way to refer to homosexuality, sexual work, or simply the free exercise of sexuality, especially in Mexico.

It is curious how this term came to be associated with such a pejorative meaning, so to understand the disparaging sense that the term “puto” has acquired, it is necessary to go back to ancient Greece.

In accordance with what feminist essayist and activist Tania Tagle has written, for the ancient Greeks, homosexual love “was not only unnatural and desirable, but also the most important in men’s lives.”

In one of her articles, the essayist mentions the reference to the figure of the erastés, that is, “the older man who sought the company of young boys just out of the gineceo (erómenos)” and thus transformed them into his protectors.

When the erómenos reached maturity, they abandoned them and substituted them with another younger one. The reason for this was that if they did not, they would be confused with the so-called pornóis, “prostitutes who, despite having been born male, commit feminine sins”.


In 1997, the Mexican group Molotov released to the world their song “Puto”, which is very popular today and perfectly describes what that person could be: “What? Very macho, isn’t it? Ah, very macho, isn’t it? (Puto, puto)

Fag, girl, rather putin, isn’t it? (Puto, puto)”.