Bodega Meaning: What Does Bodega Mean? (with Useful Examples)

The term “bodega” may be a word you have heard before, especially if you live in or are a frequent visitor to New York City. You may also be familiar with the term if you are of Latin American descent. If you aren’t familiar with the term already, however, then reading this article will help you out.

Here you will find the meaning of this slang term and information regarding its origin. You will also see some other meanings if there are any available and see this term used properly in some example conversations to help you better understand the term by seeing it used in context. Lastly, you will find some alternative words or phrases that you can use as a substitution for the term “bodega.”

Bodega Meaning

What Does Bodega Mean?

The term “bodega” means a corner store that sells all kinds of every day essential items that someone may need often including chips, cookies, candy, soda, hot pre-made food, OTC medicine, and other household items. Generally, these stores are open 24/7 and also sell liquor and items from a deli counter.


The term “bodega” is a Spanish word meaning “wine cellar or grocery store.” These small stores began opening up in the New York City area in Hispanic communities during the 1940s and 1950s. Most of them were owned by immigrants of some Latin American descent, which is where the term came from for these types of stores. In the New York City area, there are many “bodegas” still today, although many of them have been closed due to bigger businesses putting them out of business.

Other Meanings

It is said that the term “bodega” carries some other meanings also. Some say the term can be used derogatorily towards women to call them something similar to a slut. Others say the term can be used as an expression of excitement. There are other additional meanings of the word “bodega,” but the meaning above is the most widely accepted.

Conversation Examples

A conversation between two friends:

  • Friend 1: I am hungry! I can’t wait until my mom gets home!
  • Friend 2: What are you having for dinner?
  • Friend 1: I am not sure. I guess she will have to surprise me. Until then, I will be right back. I am running down to the bodega to get a snack.

An online conversation between two people playing a game:

  • Player 1: I will be right back.
  • Player 2: How long are you going to be?
  • Player 1: I don’t know. About 10 mins maybe. My mom wants me to go to the bodega and get her something she needs.

Alternatives to “Bodega”

There are many words or phrases that you can use to replace the word “bodega” and still convey the same meaning. Some of the alternative terms you could use include:

  • convenience store
  • corner store
  • grocery store

Bodega Meaning Infographic


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