Let’s talk about How To Call Someone Cheap in Spanish or How To Call Someone Stingy in Spanish.

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An American friend here in Medellin asked me a question today and I thought it might be an interesting topic to cover in a blog post. My friend asked me,”Patrick, how do you call someone cheap in Spanish?” (“cheap” as in overly concerned with saving money).

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Well, in the same way that we have numerous ways to call someone cheap in English —such as cheap, miserly, penny-pinching, stingy, thrifty, tight, tight-wad, etc. — Spanish speakers also have several words in order to call someone cheap.

How To Call Someone Cheap in Spanish or How To Call Someone Stingy in Spanish

The most common one is “tacaño.”


El dueño de mi apartamento es muy tacaño, no quiere arreglar nada.(The owner of my apartment is very cheap, he doesn’t want torepair anything.)

Another word for cheap that I commonly hear in Colombia is “amarrado.” I checked my Spanish/English dictionary in order to find out if “amarrado” is used in other Spanish speaking countries — besides Colombia — and according to my Spanish/English dictionary, “amarrado” is also used in Cuba and Mexico.

And another word for cheap that I always hear used in Colombia is “codo.”“Codo” also means the English word “elbow.”

Again, I checked my Spanish/English dictionary in order to find out if”codo” is used in other Spanish speaking countries — besides Colombia — and according to my Spanish/English dictionary,”codo” is also used in Mexico.


Esa señora tiene mucho dinero pero es muy coda y siempre te ofrece muy poca comida cuando te invita a su casa.(That woman has a lot of money but is very stingy and always offers you very little food when she invites you to her house.)
***Notice that we do not use the subjunctive form of the verb”invitar” and say “cuando te invite” (when she invites you).Here we use the present tense and say “cuando te invita” (when she invites you). That’s because we are speakingabout her inviting you to her house in general, irrespective of whether she actually invites you or not.***
El dueño de este edificio es un avaro. Es rico, pero nuncaayuda a las personas pobres.The owner of this building is a cheapskate/miser/penny-pincher/tightwad. He is rich but he never helps poor people.

Notice that you can use “avaro” as a noun or an adjective. This concludes today’s Spanish lesson on How To Call Someone Cheap in Spanish or How To Call Someone Stingy in Spanish.

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