Spanish -

How To Say "Alligator" In Spanish

If you are exploring the Spanish language and wondering how to say the term "alligator" in Spanish, you have come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the different ways to express this word across various Spanish-speaking regions, providing some sample sentences to help you understand its usage better. Whether you are a language enthusiast or planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country, this article will equip you with the essential knowledge you need.

Buy the 10.000 Most Common Spanish Words eBook set.
Learn Spanish smart and efficiently with the top 10.000 Spanish words.

What is "Alligator" in Spanish?

Before we dive into the regional variations, let's get the basic translation out of the way. In Spanish, the term "alligator" can be expressed as cocodrilo (IPA: /ko.ko.ˈdɾi.lo/). This word is used in many Spanish-speaking countries, particularly in Latin America, to refer to these formidable reptiles. However, as with many languages, Spanish exhibits regional differences in vocabulary.

Meaning of "Alligator" in Spanish

The term "alligator" in Spanish refers to a large, reptilian creature belonging to the Alligatoridae family. Alligators are primarily found in freshwater habitats and are known for their broad, U-shaped snouts and a more laid-back temperament compared to their cousin, the crocodile. They are often associated with the southeastern United States and are native to regions like Florida and Louisiana.

4 eBooks of the Spanish Frequency Dictionaries series by MostUsedWordsTake a look at our series of frequency dictionaries to learn Spanish words fast. Stop learning hard, and start learning smart!

Regional Variations

In addition to "cocodrilo," there are regional terms for "alligator" in Spanish. Here are a few of them:

  • Caimán (IPA: /kaɪˈmɑn/): This word is used predominantly in parts of Latin America, such as Mexico, to refer to alligators. It is also common in some other Central and South American countries.
  • Yacaré (IPA: /ʝaˈkaɾe/): If you find yourself in Argentina or Uruguay, you may hear the term "yacaré" used to describe alligators. It is a unique regional variation.
  • Babilla (IPA: /baˈbiʝa/): In some parts of Colombia, "babilla" is the term used for alligators. This is an example of how regional differences can result in diverse vocabulary.
  • Lagarto (IPA: /laˈɣaɾto/): In Spain, particularly in Andalusia and parts of southern Spain, "lagarto" is a term that can be used to describe alligators. This word also translates to "lizard" in English, so context is crucial for understanding.
  • Jacaré (IPA: /xaˈkaɾe/): In Brazil, Portuguese is the official language, but it is worth noting that the term "jacaré" is used to refer to alligators, especially in the Brazilian Portuguese dialect.

How to Say "Alligator" in Spanish: Sample Sentences

Here are five sample sentences you can use to say "alligator" in Spanish:

  • En el zoológico pude ver un enorme cocodrilo.

(At the zoo I saw a huge alligator.)

  • Los caimanes son comunes en los pantanos de América Latina.

(Alligators are common in the swamps of Latin America.)

  • El yacaré es una especie autóctona de Argentina.

(Yacaré is a native species of Argentina.)

  • Se puede encontrar babillas en las selvas colombianas.

(Alligators can be found in the Colombian jungles.)

  • Algunos lagartos en España pueden parecerse a un lagarto gigante.

(Some lizards in Spain can resemble a giant alligator.)

All MostUsedWords Spanish Frequency Dictionaries in Paperback
Take a look at what our customers have to say, and get your Spanish Frequency Dictionaries in paperback here! We offer different levels:


The term "alligator" in Spanish can vary based on region, with words like "cocodrilo," "caimán," "yacaré," "babilla," "lagarto," and "jacaré" used in different parts of the Spanish-speaking world. Understanding these regional variations can be valuable if you are communicating with native speakers or traveling to specific areas.

Remember that context plays a significant role in correctly identifying which term to use. Whether you encounter a "cocodrilo" in a Latin American zoo or a "lagarto" in the Spanish countryside, you now have the knowledge to navigate these linguistic nuances. Keep practicing, and soon you will be able to confidently refer to these impressive reptiles in Spanish, no matter where your language journey takes you. ¡Buena suerte!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published