Un Poco Loco – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to say that someone is acting a little crazy? Maybe you're looking for a way to express feeling mischievous or ready to party? You can use "un poco loco" to let everyone know you feel frisky. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


In English, the Spanish expression "un poco loco" translates to "a little crazy." To be "loco" in Spanish and Latino-American culture refers to someone crazy and willing to do outrageous acts if necessary. They are either mentally unstable or dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

As the word "loco" integrated into American culture on the west coast, the term also took on the meaning of someone willing to do anything without hesitation. They are eager to put their life on the life for any task to prove that they are someone to be respected.

So, the phrase "un poco loco" means someone that is not fully crazy but just a little crazy. As a result, that can mean someone who wants to party or has a wild streak. It can also mean someone always ready to go on an adventure or someone with an unpredictable nature that's hard to control. If you're a "little crazy," people see you as somewhat of a "wildcard."

Example Usage

“I’m feeling un poco loco tonight, fellas! Let’s get this party started, and someone, bring me another tequila!”

“That guy looks un poco loco like he’s about to snap. Let’s get out of here before something bad happens, and we’re stuck in the middle of it.”

“I don’t trust her. Whenever she’s around, she acts un poco loco, and I never know what will happen next.”

“Kim is a real wildcard. That girl is un poco loco, but she’s plenty of fun to be around. Just keep her away from the booze.”

“This whole situation is un poco loco, and I don’t know how to react. What do I do to make sure no one gets hurt?”

“There’s a part in all of us that’s un poco loco. Some people just choose to embrace it more than others.”


The expression “un poco loco” has unknown origins. It’s a street slang brought into the Spanish language by Mexican people. It entered English after the integration of Spanish communities on the west coast of the United States. Some experts believe it has been a common language in Spanish communities in California since at least the 1980s.

However, the expression gained recent widespread adoption in American culture after releasing the song “Un Poco Loco,” written by Adrian Molina and Germaine Franco. They wrote the track for the Pixar film “Coco,” released in 2017.

Phrases Similar to Un Poco Loco

  • Going crazy.
  • Off their head.
  • Feeling frisky.

Phrases Opposite to Un Poco Loco

  • I feel sober and sane.
  • I have a clear head.
  • Cool as a cucumber.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Un poco loco.

Ways People May Say Un Poco Loco Incorrectly

Using the phrase to describe anything but someone that looks like they might be crazy is incorrect. The term has nothing to do with coconuts. It’s a way of saying that someone displays behavior that tilts towards mental illness and violence. It’s also a way of saying you want to party or feel adventurous.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Un Poco Loco

You can use “un poco loco” when you want to tell someone that you think they are a little crazy in their behavior. They could be acting erratically or threatening other people with violence. You could also use it to describe yourself in lighthearted situations.

Maybe you’re at a club, and you feel energized and ready to dance after a few drinks, and you use the expression to let your friends know you want to party. Or you could use it when you’re describing someone that’s “going wild” with their behavior in public.

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