A Mexican man playing the guitar

Mexican Slang: 90+ Spanish Slang Words and Expressions to Sound Like a Local (with Audio and a Quiz)

Looking to have a huge head start when you travel to Mexico?

You’ve gotta learn the slang.

In this post, I’m going to give you a brief introduction to the country’s unique version of Spanish—and by the time we’re done, you’ll be better prepared to navigate a slang-filled conversation with Mexicans!

Contents

The Most Common Mexican Slang Words and Expressions

Mexican slang could be a language of its own. 

Just a word of warning: some terms on this list may be considered rude and should be used with caution.

1. ¡Qué padre! Cool!

This phrase’s literal translation, “How father!”, doesn’t make much sense at all, but it can be understood to mean “cool!” or “awesome!” 

¡Conseguí entradas para Daddy Yankee! (I got tickets for Daddy Yankee!)

¡Qué padre, güey! (Awesome, dude!)

2. Me vale madre I don’t care

This phrase is used to say “I don’t care.” It’s not quite a curse, but it can be considered offensive in more formal situations.

If used with the word que (that), remember you need to use the subjunctive

Me vale madre lo que haga con su vida. (I don’t care what he does with his life).

3. Poca madre Really cool

Literally translated as “little mother,” this phrase is used to describe something really cool.

Once again, this phrase can be considered offensive (and is mostly used among groups of young men).

Esta canción está poca madre. (This song is really cool).

4. Fresa Preppy

Literally a “strawberry,” a fresa is not something you want to be.

Somewhat similar to the word “preppy” in the United States, a fresa is a young person from a wealthy family who’s self-centered, superficial and materialistic.

Ella es una fresa. (She’s preppy/rich/stuck up).

5. ¡Aguas! — Watch out!

This phrase is used throughout Mexico to mean “be careful!” or “look out!”

Literally meaning “waters,” it’s possible that this usage evolved from housewives throwing buckets of water to clean the sidewalks in front of their homes.

¡Aguas! El piso está mojado. (Be careful! The floor’s wet).

6. En el bote In jail

The word bote means “can” (as in a can of soda).

However, when a Mexican says someone is “en el bote,” they mean someone is “in the slammer,” “in jail.”

Adrián no puede venir, ¡está en el bote! (Adrian can’t come, he’s in jail!)

7. Estar crudo To be hungover

Estar crudo means “to be raw,” as in food that hasn’t been cooked.

However, if someone in Mexico tells you they’re crudo, it means they’re hungover because they’ve drunk too much alcohol. 

Estoy muy crudo hoy. (I’m really hungover today).

8. ¡A huevo! **** yeah!

Huevos (eggs) are often used to denote a specific part of the male anatomy—you can probably guess which—and they’re also used in a wide variety of slang phrases.

¡A huevo! is a vulgar way to show excitement or approval. Think “eff yeah!” without the self-censorship.

¡Ganamos el partido! (We won the game!)

¡A huevo! Me alegra. (**** yeah! I’m glad)

9. Chilango Someone from Mexico City

This slang term means something, usually a person, who comes from Mexico City.

Calling someone a chilango is saying that they’re representative of the culture of the city.

¿Eres chilango? (Are you from Mexico City?)

10. Te crees muy muy You think you’re something special

This literally means “you think you’re very very” but the slang meaning is more of “you think you’re something special,” or “you think you’re all that.”

Often, this is used to power down someone who’s boastful or thinks they’re better than anyone else.

Te crees muy muy desde que conseguiste ese trabajo. (You think you’re all that since you got that job).

11. Ese Dude

Supposedly, in the 1960s members of a Mexican gang called the Sureños (“Southerners”) used to call each other “ese” (after the first letter of the gang’s name). 

However, in the ’80s, the word ese started to be used to refer to men in general, meaning something like “dude” or “dawg”.

It’s also possible ese originated from expressions like ese vato (“that guy”), and from that, the word ese started to be used to refer to a man.

“¿Qué pedo, ese?” “What up, dawg?”

12. Metiche Busybody

Metiche is a slang word for someone who loves to get the scoop on everyone’s everything. 

Some people would refer to this sort of person as a busybody!

¿De qué hablaste con tu amiga? (What did you talk about with your friend?)

Nada, ¡no seas tan metiche! (Nothing, don’t be such a busybody!)

13. Pocho / Pocha A Mexican who’s left Mexico

This Mexican slang term refers to a Mexican who’s left Mexico or someone who’s perhaps forgotten their Mexican roots or heritage.

It can be used as just an observatory expression, but also as a derogatory slang word used to point out that someone’s at fault for not remembering their heritage.

Mis primos pochos vienen a visitar este fin de semana. (My pocho cousins are coming to visit this weekend).

14. Naco — Tacky

Naco is a word used to describe someone or something poorly educated and bad-mannered.

The closest American equivalent would be “tacky” or “ghetto.”

The word has its origins in insulting indigenous and poor people, so be careful with this word!

Me parece un poco naco. (It seems a bit tacky).

15. Cholo Mexican gangster

Although the word cholo can have several meanings, it often refers to Mexican gangsters, especially Mexican American teens and youngsters who are in a street gang.

Vi unos cholos en la esquina. (I saw some gang members on the corner).

16. Güey Dude

This one is pronounced like the English word “way” and it’s one of the most quintessential Mexican slang words.

Originally used to mean “a stupid person,” the word eventually morphed into a term of endearment similar to the English “dude.”

¡Apúrate, güey! (Hurry up, dude!)

17. Carnal  — Close friend

Carnal comes from Spanish carne (meat).

It’s perhaps for this reason that carnal is used to describe a close friend who’s like a sibling to you, carne de tu carne or flesh of your flesh. 

Allí está mi carnala Laura. (There’s my close friend Laura).

18. ¿Neta? Really?

“Truth?” or “really?” is what someone’s saying when they use this little word.

This popular conversational interjection is used to fill a lull in the chatter or to give someone the opportunity to come clean on an exaggeration.

Oftentimes, though, it’s just said to express agreement with the last comment in a conversation or to clarify something. 

¿Neta? Pero ¿qué pasó? (Really? But what happened?)

19. Eso que ni que — I agree

Don’t try to translate this literally—just know that this convenient phrase means that you’re in agreement with whatever’s being discussed. 

Es muy bueno para bailar. (He’s really good at dancing).

Sí, baila mejor que todos, eso que ni que. (Yes, he dances better than everyone, no doubt about it).

20. Ahorita Right now

This translates as “little now” but the small word means right now, or at this very moment.

¡Tenemos que irnos ahorita! (We have to leave right now!)

21. Ni modo Whatever

Ni modo, which can be literally translated as “not way” or “either way,” is possibly one of the most popular Mexican expressions. 

It’s generally used to say “eh, whatever” or “it is what it is.”

Ni modo can also be used with que (that) and a present subjunctive to say you can’t do something at the moment or there’s no way you’d do it.

It’s like saying “there’s no way” or “are you nuts?” in English.

Ni modo, hay mejores chicas/chicos en el mundo. (Oh well, there are better girls/guys in the world)

Ni modo que conteste, güey. (There’s no way I’m answering, man).

22. No hay tos No problem

No hay tos literally means “there’s no cough,” but it’s used to say “no problem” or “don’t worry about it.”

Lo siento, me olvidé mi billetera. ¿Tienes plata? (Sorry, I forgot my wallet. Do you have cash?)

No, pero no hay tos, comamos en la casa. (No, but no problem, let’s eat at home).

23. Sale Okay, sure

Sale means “okay,” “sure,” “yeah” or “let’s do it,” so it’s normally used in situations when someone suggests doing something and you agree.

It can also be used as a question tag when you want someone’s opinion or to see if they’re on the same page as you.

¿Vamos al concierto? (Shall we go to the concert?)

Sale, pero tendrás que prestarme lana. (Sure, but you’ll have to lend me some money.)

24. Coda / Codo Someone who’s cheap

Codo literally means “elbow” in English but Mexican slang has turned it into a term used to describe someone who’s cheap.

It can be applied to either gender, so pay attention to the -a or -o ending of this descriptive noun.

¡Ese codo ni pagó la cena! (That cheapskate didn’t even pay for dinner!)

25. Tener feria To have money/change

Feria means “fair” so the literal translation of this expression is “to have or be fair.”

However, feria also refers to coins when it’s used in Mexico. So, the phrase basically means “to have money” or “to have pocket change.”

¿Tienes feria? (Do you have money?).

26. Buena onda Good vibes

Buena onda literally translates to “good wave” but it’s used to indicate that there are good vibes or a good energy present.

Tienes buena onda. (You give off good vibes). 

27. ¿Qué onda? What’s up?

This slangy Mexican expression translates to “what wave?” but is a cool way to ask “what’s up?”

It’s another feel-good, casual conversational expression that really adds a lot of good feelings to any chat.

¿Qué onda? ¿Cómo has estado? (What’s up? How have you been?)

28. ¡Viva México! Long live Mexico!

¡Viva México! literally means “long live Mexico!”

It’s the unifying phrase that says the country should grow, prosper and see happy times for its citizens and visitors.

It’s often shortened to “¡viva!” which means the same as the full phrase.

¡Ganamos el mundial! ¡Viva México! (We won the world cup! Long live Mexico!)

29. Pendejo Jerk

Pendejo is one of those magical words that appear in almost every Spanish variety but have a different meaning depending on where you are.

In Mexico, it has a rather rude meaning: “unpleasant or stupid person,” “jerk.”

No me hables, pendejo. (Don’t talk to me, jerk).

30. Cabrón Mean, not very smart, awesome

While technically cabrón means “big [male] goat,” it has plenty of other meanings.

Used as a rude word its meaning is quite similar to pendejo, but cabrón is higher in the rudeness scale: meaning unpleasant, mean or not very bright.

But change the tone a bit and you might, instead, be saying someone is awesome!

The word can even be used in place of the f-bomb, very often following bien—very, to mean you’re really awesome at doing something.

Soy bien cabrón jugando a Minecraft. (I’m friggin’ awesome at playing Minecraft).

31. Pedo Drunk, problem

pedo is a fart, literally. 

This word has lots of different meanings, depending on how you say it and the situation:

Here’s Mexican actress Salma Hayek explaining qué pedo and other Mexican slang:

32. Pinche Ugly, cheap

The word pinche may sound quite unproblematic for many Spanish speakers because it literally means “kitchen helper.”

However, when in Mexico, this word goes rogue and acquires a couple of interesting meanings.

It can mean “ugly,” “substandard,” “poor” or “cheap,” but it can also be used as an all-purpose enhancer, much like the meaner cousin of “hecking” is used in English.

Eres un pinche loco. (You’re effing crazy).

33. Verga Male genitalia

Originally, the verga was the horizontal beam from which a ship’s sails were hung, but this word has come to mean a man’s schlong in Spanish nowadays.

You can also use this word as a standalone exclamation with the meaning of the f-bomb. 

Here are a few more uses of the word:

34. Chingar To f***

Chingar means “to do the deed.” It’s Mexico’s version of the f-word. Simple. 

Chingar is a word that’s prevalent in Mexican culture in its various forms and meanings. 

¡Deja de chingar! (Stop f***ing around!)

35. ¡No manches! / ¡No mames! No way, don’t mess with me

These two phrases are essentially one and the same, hence why they’re grouped together.

Literally meaning “don’t stain!” and “don’t suck,” these are used to say “no way! You’re kidding me!” or “don’t mess with me!”

No manches is totally benign, but no mames is considered vulgar and can potentially be offensive.

¡No manches! ¿Pensé que habían terminado? (No way! I thought they had broken up?)

Here are actors Eva Longoria and Michael Peña explaining no manches and other Mexican slang words:

36. Está cañón Difficult

When you say that something is está cañón (literally, “it’s cannon”), you’re saying “it’s hard/difficult.”

Some believe that the phrase arose as a more polite euphemism for está cabrón.

As a Spaniard, I find this meaning quite funny, because estar cañón means “to be very attractive” in Castilian Spanish.

El examen estuvo bien cañón. (The exam was very difficult).

37. Chido Nice, cool

This word is simply a fun way to say “nice” or “cool” in Mexican Spanish.

Despite its status as slang, it’s not vulgar or offensive in the least—so have fun with it!

It can be used as both a standalone exclamation (¡qué chido! — cool!) or as an adjective.

Tienes un carro bien chido. (You have a really cool car). 

38. Chulo / Chula Good-looking person

When it comes to Mexico, chulo is used as an adjective to refer to people you find hot, good-looking or pretty.

You can also use it to refer to things with the meaning of “cute,” however if you travel to Spain, don’t use this word to refer to people—since a chulo is “a pimp.” 

¿Viste ese chulo en la panadería? (Did you see that hot guy in the bakery?)

39. ¿A poco? Really?

There’s no way to translate this one literally, it just comes back as nonsense. Mexicans, however, use it to say “really?” when they’re feeling incredulous.

Ale dijo que ganó la lotería! (Alex said that he won the lottery!)

¿A poco? ¿Lo crees? (Really? Do you believe him?)

40. ¡Órale! Right on!

This exclamation basically means “right on!” or in some situations is used as a message of approval like “let’s do it!”

Órale is another Mexican slang word that’s considered inoffensive and is appropriate for almost any social situation. 

It can be said quickly and excitedly or offered up with a long, drawn-out “o” sound.

Creo que te puedo ganar. (I think I can beat you). 

¡Órale! A ver. (Bring it on! Let’s see).

41. Chela Beer

Simple enough, chela is a Mexican slang word for beer.

In other parts of Latin America, chela is a woman who’s blond (usually with fair skin and blue eyes).

No one is quite sure if there’s a link between the two, and it seems unclear how the word came to mean “beer” in the first place.

¿Quieres tomar unas chelas? (Do you want to have a few beers?)

42. La tira The cops

A tira is a “strip,” but when you use it as a Mexican slang word, you mean the cops.

¡Aguas! ¡Ahí viene la tira! (Watch out! The fuzz are coming!)

43. ¿Mande? What?

This is used in Mexico in place of ¿qué? or ¿cómo? to respond when someone says your name.

Luis, ¿estás allí? (Luis, are you there?)

¿Mande? ¿Me llamaste? (What? Did you call me?)

44. Suave Cool

Technically, suave translates to “soft,” but suave is a way to say “cool.”

¡Ese mural es suave! (That mural is cool!)

45. Gacho Mean

This literally means “slouch,” but it’s used to say something is mean or ugly

Enrique es gacho. (Enrique is mean.)

46. Ándale Hurry up

Andar means “to walk,” so ándale is a shortened version of the verb combined with the suffix “-le,” a sort of grammatical placeholder that adds no meaning to the word.

Use this to tell someone to hurry up

¡Ándale! Necesitamos estar ahi a las 8. (Hurry up! We need to be there at 8.)

47. Chale Give me a break

Chale doesn’t really have a clear literal translation, but it’s most often used to show your annoyance. 

It’s similar to the English “give me a break.”

Su coche tardará dos semanas en arreglarse. (Your car will take two weeks to fix.)

¡Chale! (Give me a break!)

48. Chamba / Chambear Work

Chamba and chambear mean “work” and “to work,” respectively.

No me gusta mi chamba. (I don’t like my job.)

49. Bronca Problem

The word bronca means “problem,” and it’s used in expressions like no hay bronca (“no problem”) and tengo broncotas (“I’m in big trouble”).

Mi familia tiene broncas con mi hermano. (My family has problems with my brother.)

50. Paro Favor

Though the official word for “favor” in Spanish is the cognate favor, paro is another way of referring to a favor in Mexico.

Hazme el paro means “do me a favor.”

Puedes hacerme el paro? (Can you do me a favor?)

51. Chido / Chida — Cool

Though “cool” in Spanish is commonly expressed as genial, chido is a colloquial way of describing something as cool or awesome in Mexican slang.

Esa película estuvo bien chida. (That movie was really cool!)

52. Padre — Awesome

Similar to chido, padre is another slang term used to convey that something is awesome or great.

¡La fiesta estuvo bien padre! (The party was really awesome!)

53. Chingón — Badass

Chingón is an informal term used to describe something or someone as extraordinary, impressive, or badass.

¡Ese tatuaje está bien chingón! (That tattoo is really badass!)

54. Chamba — Job

Chamba is a slang term used to refer to work or a job.

Tengo mucha chamba esta semana. (I have a lot of work this week.)

55. Vato — Guy

Vato is a slang term for a guy or dude.

Ese vato es muy amable. (That guy is very friendly.)

56. Morro — Kid

Morro is an informal term for a young boy.

Mi hermanito es un buen morro. (My little brother is a good kid.)

57. Jefa / Jefe — Mom/Dad

Jefa and jefo, which both mean “boss” are just informal terms for “mom” and “dad.”

Mi jefa siempre cocina delicioso. (My mom always cooks deliciously.)

58. Vieja / Viejo — Girlfriend, Wife/Boyfriend, Husband

Vieja and viejo, which technically mean “old,” are similar to the English saying of “old man,” referring to a boyfriend, or “old lady,” referring to one’s girlfriend or wife.

Salí con mi vieja al cine. (I went to the movies with my girlfriend.)

59. Carnalito — Little brother

Carnalito is a diminutive form of carnal, referring to a younger brother.

Mi carnalito siempre quiere jugar. (My little brother always wants to play.)

60. Chiquitín — Little one

Chiquitín is an affectionate term for someone small or younger.

¡Hola, chiquitín! ¿Cómo estás? (Hi, little one! How are you?)

61. Chavito / Chavita — Young guy/Young girl

These are affectionate slang terms for a young man or young woman.

Ese chavito es muy talentoso. (That young guy is very talented.)

62. Camión — Bus

Camión which literally means “truck,” is a colloquial term for a bus.

Voy a tomar el camión a la escuela. (I’m going to take the bus to school.)

63. Chulear — To show off

Chulear literally means “to pimp,” but in Mexico, it’s a verb used to describe showing off or flaunting something.

Deja de chulear tu nuevo auto. (Stop showing off your new car.)

Here’s a great explanation of chulear (in Spanish):

64. Chingar — To bother

Chingar is a versatile verb with various meanings, but it can be used to express annoyance or bother.

No me chingues, estoy ocupado. (Don’t bother me; I’m busy.)

65. Estrenar — To wear or use something for the first time

Estrenar is a verb used when someone wears or uses something for the first time.

Voy a estrenar mis zapatos nuevos hoy.

66. Guacala — Yuck

This expression is an informal way to express disgust or dislike, similar to saying “yuck” in English.

¡Guacala! Esta comida no tiene buen sabor. (Yuck! This food doesn’t taste good.)

67. Huevón — Lazy person

Used to describe someone who is lazy, this term is derived from the word huevo, meaning “egg,” which is associated with laziness.

Mi amigo es muy huevón, siempre está descansando. (My friend is very lazy, he’s always resting.)

68. Jato — Car

While the standard term for “car” is coche, jato is a slang word used in Mexico to refer to a car or automobile.

Vamos en mi jato al cine esta noche. (Let’s go to the movies in my car tonight.)

69. Mamacita — Attractive woman

Used as a term of endearment, mamacita refers to an attractive or beautiful woman.

¡Ay, mamacita, estás muy guapa hoy! (Oh, beautiful, you look very pretty today!)

70. Pisto — Money

This slang term is used to refer to money, similar to saying “cash” in English.

Necesito un poco de pisto para el transporte. (I need some cash for transportation.)

71. ¿Que pex? — What’s up?

An informal and colloquial way of asking “what’s up?” or “what’s going on?”

¿Qué pex, cómo estás? (What’s up, how are you?)

72. Rola — Song

Used to refer to a song or piece of music, rola is a common slang term in Mexican Spanish.

Esta rola es mi favorita. (This song is my favorite.)

73. ¿Sapbe? — What’s up? 

An alternative and informal way of asking “what’s up?”

Sapbe, nos vemos en el centro. (What’s up, see you downtown.)

74. Valedor — Friend

Literally meaning “brave,” this slang term simply means “good friend.”

Mi valedor siempre está allí para ayudarme. (My friend is always there to help me.)

75. Vato loco — Crazy guy

Describes someone as a crazy or wild guy, often used in a lighthearted or affectionate manner.

Mi amigo es un vato loco, siempre hace cosas divertidas. (My friend is a crazy guy, always doing funny things.)

76. Wacha — Look / Watch

Wacha, which is taken from the English “watch,” is an informal and colloquial way of saying “look” or “watch.”

Wacha esa película, está buenísima. (Look at that movie, it’s really good.)

77. ¡Ya nos cargó el payaso! — We’re in trouble!

This expression is used to convey that a difficult or troublesome situation has arisen. It literally means “the clown has already killed us.”

Se nos olvidaron las entradas, ya nos cargó el payaso. (We forgot the tickets, we’re in trouble.)

78. Cuate — Buddy

An informal term used to refer to a friend or buddy, indicating camaraderie.

Ese cuate siempre me ayuda cuando lo necesito. (That buddy always helps me when I need it.)

79. Jeta — Face

Used to refer to someone’s face, especially when expressing a negative emotion. It’s just like the English “mug.”

No me gusta su jeta, siempre está enojado. (I don’t like his face, he’s always angry.)

80. Madrazo — A strong hit

This slang term is used to describe a strong hit or punch.

Le di un madrazo al balón y entró en la portería. (I gave the ball a strong hit and it went into the goal.)

81. Nalga — Buttocks

This slang term, literally “cheek,” is used informally to refer to this part of the body.

Le dieron un golpe en la nalga. (They gave him a hit on the buttocks.)

82. Ñero — Dark-skinned person

Although “dark-skinned person” is a direct translation, ñero is a colloquial term used in some regions to describe someone with a dark complexion. Be careful not to offend with this one.

No importa si eres ñero o güero, todos somos iguales. (It doesn’t matter if you’re dark-skinned or fair-skinned, we are all equal.)

83. Pacheco — Drunk

Pacheco is often used in Mexico to describe someone who is intoxicated or inebriated.

No puedo hablar con él cuando está pacheco. (I can’t talk to him when he’s drunk.)

Go deeper into pacheco here:

84. Pirata — Fake

Literally meaning “pirate,” this term is often used in Mexican slang to describe counterfeit or knockoff items.

No compres ese reloj, es pirata. (Don’t buy that watch, it’s fake.)

85. Relajo — Mess

This literally means “relax,” but in Mexican slang, it means a mess, or a chaotic or disorderly situation.

No quiero más relajo en casa. (I don’t want more mess in the house.)

86. Riata — Belt

This slang term for a belt is often used in casual or regional contexts.

Me apreté la riata para que no se me cayera el pantalón. (I tightened the belt so my pants wouldn’t fall.)

87. Sobres — Okay, got it

Literally meaning “envelopes,” this term means “I got it,” a casual way of expressing understanding or acknowledgment.

—¿Vamos al cine mañana? —¡Sobres! (Are we going to the movies tomorrow? – Okay, got it!)

88. Tapado — Conceited

While “covered” is the direct translation, tapado is a slang term used in some regions to describe someone who is arrogant or full of themselves.

No me gusta hablar con él, está muy tapado. (I don’t like talking to him, he’s very conceited.)

89. Troca — Truck

Instead of the standard camión, troca is commonly used in Mexico to refer to a pickup truck or a large vehicle.

Vamos a cargar la troca con las cosas para la mudanza. (Let’s load the truck with the things for the move.)

90. Zarape — Blanket or shawl

Zarape specifically refers to a colorful Mexican blanket or shawl often used for warmth or decoration.

Me envolví en el zarape porque hacía frío. (I wrapped myself in the blanket because it was cold.)

Check out this video to hear some of these Mexican slang words in context:

What You Need to Know About Mexican Spanish

Here’s some good things to know about Mexican Spanish:

  • In Mexican Spanish, the pronoun tú is used for the second-person familiar form. Mexicans don’t use vos
  • The pronoun vosotros isn’t used in Mexican Spanish. Mexicans use ustedes even in informal settings.
  • Mexican Spanish features more loanwords from English than other national dialects. You will hear a lot more English words in Mexican Spanish than other dialects.

Resources for Learning More Mexican Slang

Quick Guide to Mexican Slang

mexican slang

This is a compact volume filled with definitions, example sentences, online links and lots of relevant information about Mexican Spanish.

There are more than 500 words and phrases included in this book. 

Mexislang

Mexislang: The key to understanding what the hell your mexican friends are saying. (All about Mexico.)

“Mexislang” is the end result of a blog that was intended to teach readers about Mexican slang. 

It offers insight into the history of slang expressions and tips for how to use each word or phrase.

Na’atik Language and Culture Institute

mexican slangThis Mexican language school offers immersive programs in both Maya and Spanish.

The option to stay with Mexican families to immerse in the language is a great way to learn about culture—including slang!

But if you’re not up for traveling, courses are also available in online one-on-one or small group format.

Online classes focus on grammar and conversational skills, so you’re sure to pick up plenty of slang along the way.

Also, they have a fantastic blog that’s both informative and entertaining.

Why You Should Learn Mexican Slang

Like with English, Spanish is spoken differently depending on the country—in fact, you could argue that Spanish differs even more than English!

In order to understand and be understood in Mexican Spanish, it’s pretty essential that you learn some common Mexican slang. 

If you’re not convinced, here are some reasons you might want to learn the lingo:

  • To avoid awkward situations. Don’t count on every Spanish word being transferable from place to place—something that is perfectly polite in Spanish from Spain could be considered rude in Mexican Spanish.
  • If you’re learning Spanish in the United States. Considering that the States has such a huge Mexican population, chances are that you’ll encounter lots of Mexican Spanish speakers!
  • For travel in Mexico. For both safety reasons and to ensure smooth travels, it’s a good idea to brush up on your slang.
  • To sound more fluent. Of course, learning slang words is one of the surest ways of making your Spanish sound more natural and fluent!

Slang is perfect for instantly turning “program” Spanish into street Spanish.

More importantly, they offer insight into some cultural nuances that language learners don’t always get to see.

Mexican Slang Quiz: Test Yourself!

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What does "me vale madre" mean?
Correct! Wrong!

"Fresa" means "strawberry" in Spanish, but what does it mean in Mexican slang?
Correct! Wrong!

If you are "estas crudo," what did you do last night?
Correct! Wrong!

You don't want to tell a secret to a "metiche." Why?
Correct! Wrong!

If you've got ugly clothes, someone might call you tacky. What's the Mexican slang word for "tacky"?
Correct! Wrong!

If you don't care what restaurant you and your friends are going to eat at, you might say __________.
Correct! Wrong!

Someone's who cheap is what in Mexican slang?
Correct! Wrong!

If your friend says "¡Órale!" when talking to you, do they like what you're saying?
Correct! Wrong!

What is the opposite of "la tira"?
Correct! Wrong!

How do you say "yuck" in Mexican Spanish?
Correct! Wrong!

Use slangy terms to power up conversations and go from basic to vivid in a heartbeat!

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