You probably already know puta means whore, or in some cases bitch, and madre means mother. Put them together and literally they translate to something like your whore of a mother. Close, but no cigar. At least not in this context.
In this case puta madre translates to "Fuck!" And you use in exactly the same way you do in English. You can also shorten it to just ¡puta!
Puta madre also works as an insult.
Good old Pikachu, who knew he even spoke Spanish?
Impactrueno tu puta madre
Thunderbolt your fucking mother
Vete a la chingada hijo de tu puta madre
Go fuck yourself you son of a bitch
¡Tu puta madre!
You may have noticed some of those are not exact translations. That's because translation is far from an exact science, especially since everything doesn't have an exact translation. It's the spirit of the expression we need to capture.
Surprisingly, if you make a slight change puta madre can actually take on a positive meaning.
La chica está de puta madre
The girl is fucking hot
Notice the addition of the "de". That de changes everything. While it's still rude, puta madre is now a way of saying something is great. Here's a few more examples.
La chica es de puta madre
She's really fucking great (personality)
Esta casa es de puta madre
This house is fucking great
Como estuvo la pelicula? ¡De puta madre!
How was the movie? Fucking great!
Como te fue en la fiesta? Me fue de la puta madre
How was the party? I had a great fucking time
Te gusta la comida? La comida está de puta madre
Do you like the food? The food is fucking great.
You get the idea.
That's all for today. Consider this your introduction the expression "puta madre". There are probably other uses of puta madre that I don't know about or neglected to mention, so please don't consider this post to be the final word on the subject, but rather just some tips to help you get started.
And do I need to say that none of this is for polite company? Nah, you guys know that already!
¡Hasta la proxima!