FoxNews: It can be tossed off almost harmlessly like "damn" or dropped like an F-bomb.
On the streets of New York's diverse Spanish-speaking neighborhoods, it can be heard expressing joy, frustration and outrage.
Perhaps most notoriously in pop culture, it punctuated the film dialogue of 1983's "Scarface."
Now a public high school teacher is suing the city after he was suspended and fined $15,000 for what school officials say was misconduct for using it in his Manhattan classroom.
The word, "cono," (COHN'-yoh) can be offensive. But that sometimes depends on how it's used and which ethnic group is using it.
It's literal translation refers to the female sexual organs, according to the Royal Spanish Academy in Spain. But the institution charged with regulating the Spanish language says the word also can express "diverse states of emotion, especially surprise or anger."
The teacher, Carlos Garcia, declined to be interviewed. But his attorney, Sergio Villaverde, said his client didn't use the word. He also claims the court interpreter mistranslated the term during Garcia's disciplinary hearings.
"The interpreter didn't understand the way that the word is used," Villaverde said.
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