Puerto rican boricua: Boricua Definition & Meaning — Merriam-Webster

Boricua Definition & Meaning — Merriam-Webster



: a native of Puerto Rico or a person of Puerto Rican descent

Rita Moreno has been making headlines in the entertainment industry for over 70 years. The Boricua is one of a handful of people who have won an Academy, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy … Mitú


or less commonly boricua

Boricua words/literature

Living in this world capital also enabled him to maintain a close cultural proximity with his Caribbean homeland—he never forgot that he was boricua.

F. Suro

  • sometimes used postpositively

    an artist Boricua

Word History


borrowed from Spanish boricua, from Boricua, name for Puerto Rico, alteration of Boriquén, Borinquén, of indigenous origin

According to the Puerto Rican scholar Cayetano Coll y Toste, the variant Boricua is unknown before the 19th century, perhaps first appearing in a Spanish version of the geographical dictionary of Jean-Antoine Letronne published in 1844 (see «Vocabulario de palabras introducidas en el idioma español, procedentes del lenguaje indo-antillano,» Boletín histórico de Puerto Rico, tomo 8 [1921], p. 294-351). Coll y Toste assumes an earlier Borique, presumably based on a manuscript version with a lost or unnoticed tilde marking the final nasal consonant. The same tilde issue may be responsible for another early variant, Borinquén. The form Boriquen first appears on the world map (mappa mundi) of Juan de la Cosa, drawn about 1500. Letters written by the physician Diego Alvarez Chanca, who accompanied Columbus on his second voyage, attest Burinquén and Burenquén. The word is presumed to have been taken from Taino, the dominant Arawakan language of the Greater Antilles. Despite Taino’s poor state of attestation, attempts to etymologize the word have not been lacking. By assuming that each syllable is an independent lexical morpheme, and attempting to deduce the meaning of the morphemes by their putative occurrence in other geographic names, Coll y Toste came to the conclusion that the name meant «tierras del valiente señor» («lands of the brave lord») (Colón en Puerto-Rico: disquiciones histórico-filológicas, [San Juan], 1894, p. 138). This method of analysis seems arbitrary, and the etymology must be regarded as fanciful. A more recent hypothesis sees Borinquén as «the People’s Homeland» (Julian Granberry and Gary S. Vescelius, Languages of the Pre-Columbian Antilles, University of Alabama Press, 2004, p. 9). However, the authors seem to view Taino place-names in almost the same manner as Coll y Toste, as a sort of syllabic code made up of easily interchangeable tokens; so, for example the name Dabiagua is analyzed as da + bi + ya + wa «Southern Wild Far Country,» and Damajagua as da + ma + ha + wa, «Southern Middle Up-Country» (p. 75). As little reference is made to the toponyms or derivational morphology of better attested Arawakan languages—and given that such a system seems remarkable for any attested language—the Granberry-Vescelius etymology cannot be taken seriously either.

First Known Use

1953, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler

The first known use of Boricua was
in 1953

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near


boric oxide



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Cite this Entry



“Boricua.Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Boricua. Accessed 16 Nov. 2022.

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The filling is simple. You need 1 Tbsp achiote oil, ½ cup recaito (sofrito), ¼ raisins (optional), ½ cup sliced manzanilla olives (sliced salad olives with pimentos), ½ cup tomato sauce, 16 oz cooked and diced lobster meat, 2 tsps salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp cayanne pepper (optional).

Heat oil in a heavy skillet until hot but not smoking. Add the sofrito/recaito, raisins, and olives. Sauté for a couple of minutes or so. Add tomato sauce, lobster, salt and pepper and cayanne pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using.

This makes enough stuffing for 16 pasteles.

You can always add garbanzo beans about 2/3 of a cup, if you like. I like my pasteles with garbanzos, no matter what kind of stuffing I use. It is best to prepare the masa ahead and refrigerate, it is easier to handle that way.



Hundreds of rescued dogs and cats are being flown in from Puerto Rico to mainland shelters for adoption. The island has more than 300,000 street dogs, plus cats, and shelters with a 92 percent kill rate, the highest of any state or territory in the U.S., according to the Humane Society. There are several groups tending to the island’s sato problem. Sato is Puerto Rico’s name for street dogs.

The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abandoned and abused dogs from Puerto Rico. The group has been working to make change on Dead Dog Beach for the past 8 years.  Incorporated and an official 501(c)3 since 2011, they have rescued over 1,600 dogs, rehabilitated them to the highest veterinary standard possible, and found them loving homes.  In 2016 they launched an ambitious Spay, Neuter, Vaccine, and Microchip program and are working to bring systemic change to Puerto Rico through education and partnerships on the Island. Donate now.






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Beary Boricua San Juan Bear Week, Puerto Rico 2023

Home / North America / Beary Boricua Bear Week in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Beary Boricua brings together the bear community of Puerto Rico with international bears, cubs and hunters from around the world.

  • Do you visit San Juan? Stay at the adults-only Colonial, rated «Superb» by guests and just steps away from some of Old San Juan’s best attractions.


  • Enjoy a weekend of tropical fun in the sun and put off hibernation some more as Puerto Rico celebrates Beary Boricua.
  • Beary Boricua events are centered around Coca Del Mar Guest House Pool and bitch bar.
  • Events kick off Thursday with a welcome party at The Bitch Bar. On Friday, enjoy a guided tour of the Charco Azul Falls/River in Patillas, followed by a fantastic piglet lunch at El Rancho on the Pork Highway.
  • On Saturdays, guests can enjoy a poolside BBQ and mixer at Coqui Del Mar, followed by dinner at The Bitch Bar.
  • The party ends on Sunday with the Bear Beach Party at 1.30pm followed by the Bear T Dance.
  • For the curious, Boricua means «Puerto Rican or a person of Puerto Rican origin.»

Gay San Juan

  • San Juan has a lively gay scene and a very active bear community. A weekend trip will give you an unforgettable taste of the island.
  • The city is compact and you can explore most of San Juan in a few days.
  • Take a look at our San Juan Insider’s Guide for more details on where to stay, play and have fun.

Gay areas

  • Plan to stay in one of the most popular areas, each with its own special atmosphere: Condado, Old San Juan or Santurce.
  • Slot Machine The Condado area is centrally located and offers the best hotel options. It is also within walking distance of the «gay beach» (between Calle Wendig and Condado Avenue) and is home to a popular hangout spot. Oasis Bar.
  • Old San Juan takes you back in time with 500 years of history and colorful Spanish colonial architecture.
  • Santurce is San Juan’s arts and nightlife hub, 15 minutes from Old San Juan and 5 minutes from Condado. Santurce is home to daytime pool parties and barbecues during Beary Boricua.

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