What are the differences in between "jefe", "patrón", "capo", when used to typical "boss"? If I wanted to jokingly call my girlfriend "The Boss" must I go with "La Jefa" ?

I"m interested mostly in Mexican and historicsweetsballroom.com dialects, if that makes a difference, return I"m also interested come know more generally about geographical differences, e.g. In "Narcos" I notification that Escobar"s guys refer to him together "Patrón" - is that greatly a Colombian intake ?


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The deccionario de americanismos is a great tool for these kind of questions.

You are watching: What does el patron mean in spanish

There you deserve to for example see:

patrón, -na I. 1. M. Y f. Ec. Señor, amo. II. 1. Adj. Ni. Referido a persona, de pies grandes. ● a. ǁ ~. Fórm. Mx, Ho, CR, Ve, Ch, Py; Ur, obsol. Se usa como tratamiento de respeto a alguien. □ a. ǁ ~ de fundo. Loc. Sust. Ch. Persona que ejerce un poder despótico y arbitrario. Pop + cult → espon. B. ǁ ~ de prueba. Loc. Sust. Cu. Gráfico fijo con líneas y colores que permiten ajustar la imagen de un televisor. C. ǁ ~ grande. Loc. Sust. Ec. Latifundista o hacendado. Rur.

That is, a good set of definitions for patrón depending upon the country. Usually (I don"t understand if you understand historicsweetsballroom.com) an interpretation boss, but likewise other things.

From what I view in the definition, patrón does no have any special an interpretation in Colombia, therefore you have the right to go straight to the dictionary of the RAE and also check the word:

patrón, na Del lat. Patrōnus; la forma f., del lat. Patrōna. 1. M. Y f. Defensor, protector. 2. M. Y f. Santo titular de una iglesia. 3. M. Y f. Santo elegido como protector de un pueblo o congregación religiosa, profesional o civil. 4. M. Y f. Dueño de la casa donde alguien se aloja u hospeda. 5. M. Y f. Señor (‖ persona a la que sirve un criado). 6. M. Y f. Patrono (‖ persona que emplea trabajadores).

All of them can use here, because Pablo Escobar was viewed as something in between a boss, a saint and a protector among his workers.

This gift said,

jefe: this is, come me, the most straight-forward way to interpret boss. In Spain is the one we usage all the time.

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patrón: as indicated above, this word refers to a ceo in a occupational place. In Spain, i hardly ever before hear the in colloquial conversations, however (as detailed by Nox in comments) that is provided to point out the captain the a ship.

So if you want to jokingly speak to Boss to your girlfriend, I would go because that Jefa. Unless you space in some smelly business together and you want to speak to her capo :)

Bear in mind, though, what DGaleano comment below:

I understand that Mexicans speak to their mom "la jefa" or "la jefecita"... For this reason please examine this out before you obtain into trouble v your girlfriend. Here a attach for that http://www.tubabel.com/definicion/1106 "La patrona" can work far better for Mexico