300+ Spanish Slang Words from Around the World
Most traditional Spanish courses won’t teach you much slang.
But it’s hard to fit in with native speakers without it!
We’re big believers in going off the beaten path with language learning.
That’s why our team of Spanish students and native speakers have compiled this mega-list of Spanish slang from around the world.
In this post, you’ll learn slang words along with their literal meanings, explanations and cultural notes—so when it’s time for you have a Spanish conversation in real life, with native speakers, you’ll fit right in!
- Common Spanish Slang
- Spanish Slang from Around the World
- Spanish Slang from Spain
- Spanish Slang from Latin America
- Argentine Slang
- Bolivian Slang
- Chilean Slang
- Colombian Slang
- Cuban Slang
- Dominican Slang
- Ecuadorian Slang
- Guatemalan Slang
- Honduran Slang
- Mexican Slang
- Nicaraguan Slang
- Panamanian Slang
- Paraguayan Slang
- Peruvian Slang
- Puerto Rican Slang
- El Salvadorian Slang
- Uruguayan Slang
- Venezuelan Slang
- How to Practice Spanish Slang
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Common Spanish Slang
Spanish Slang for Friend
There are so many different ways to say amigo, or friend in Spanish, and the following slang terms are just the tip of the iceberg.
- Colega — Buddy (Spain)
- Socio — Partner or friend (Latin America)
- Compa — Short for “compadre” meaning friend or pal (Mexico)
- Parcero — Friend (Colombia)
- Cuate — Buddy (Mexico)
- Cuateco — Friend (Mexico)
- Pata — Friend (Peru)
- Goma — Friend (Dominican Republic)
- Jato — Friend (Peru)
- Maje — Friend (Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua)
- Panita — Buddy (Venezuela)
- Broder — Friend (Honduras)
- Primo — Cousin or friend (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic)
- Pana — Friend (Venezuela)
- Compita — Short for “compadre” meaning friend or buddy (Mexico)
- Camarada — Comrade or friend (Mexico)
- Corillo — Group of friends (Puerto Rico)
- Máquina — Buddy or mate (Argentina)
- Mero mero — Main man, close friend (Mexico)
Spanish Slang for Girl
How do you refer to a girl using slangy language? Use one of the following options! But be forewarned that these are generally not the most respectful ways to address a lady.
- Chica — Girl (universal)
- Nena — Babe, girl (Latin America)
- Mami — Mommy, babe, girl (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic)
- Guapa — Beautiful girl (Spain)
- Morra — Young girl (Mexico)
- Peque — Short for “pequeña” meaning small or young girl (Mexico)
- Chava — Young girl (Mexico)
- Chiqui — Short for “chiquita,” meaning small or young girl (Latin America)
- China — Girl (Mexico)
- Flaca — Skinny girl (Latin America)
- Gordibuena — Curvy girl (Mexico)
- Gorda — Chubby girl (Latin America)
- Reina — Queen, beautiful girl (Latin America)
- Rubia — Blonde girl (Latin America, Spain)
- Tetona — Busty girl (Mexico)
- Tía — Girl (Spain)
- Zorra — Promiscuous girl (Spain)
- Chamaca — Young girl (Mexico)
- Pelada — Young girl (Peru)
Spanish Slang for Guy
And now, the guys! Once again, these aren’t always the most polite terms for men, and are generally used among friends.
- Chico — Guy (universal)
- Vato — Guy (Mexico)
- Tío — Uncle or guy (Spain)
- Mano — Hand or guy (Dominican Republic)
- Chavo — Young guy (Mexico)
- Wey — Dude or guy (Mexico)
- Chaval — Young guy (Spain)
- Compa — Short for “compadre,” meaning buddy or guy (Mexico)
- Pibe — Young guy (Argentina)
- Flaco — Skinny guy (Latin America)
- Cuate — Buddy or guy (Mexico)
- Morro — Guy (Mexico)
- Mero mero — Main man, close guy friend (Mexico)
- Macho — Macho or tough guy (Latin America, Spain)
- Pelado — Young guy (Peru)
- Gallo — Guy (Mexico, Central America)
Spanish Slang for Cool
Knowing tons of ways to say “cool” using Spanish slang is pretty cool, if you ask us.
- Chévere — Cool (Caribbean, Latin America)
- Bacán — Cool (Chile, Peru)
- Guay — Cool (Spain)
- Chido — Cool (Mexico)
- Copado — Cool (Argentina, Uruguay)
- Genial — Great or cool (Spain, Latin America)
- Fregón — Cool (Mexico)
- Paja — Cool (Colombia)
- Mola — Cool (Spain)
- Padrísimo — Very cool (Mexico)
- Chulo — Cool (Spain)
- Pata — Cool (Peru)
- Alucinante — Mind-blowing or cool (Spain)
- Piola — Cool or relaxed (Argentina, Chile)
- Chévere verga — Really cool (Venezuela)
- Bacano — Cool (Colombia)
- Onda — Cool or vibe (Argentina, Chile)
- Cachilupi — Cool or great (Honduras)
- Mamey — Cool or easy (Mexico, Guatemala)
Spanish Slang for Money
Got the cash, mula, dinero? Here’s how different Spanish-speaking countries refer to money informally.
- Plata — Money (universal)
- Billete — Bill or money (Latin America)
- Feria — Cash (Mexico, Central America)
- Dinero — Money (universal)
- Chavos — Cash (Mexico)
- Luka — Money (Chile)
- Panoja — Stack of bills or money (Mexico)
- Parné — Money (Spain)
- Guita — Money (Argentina, Chile)
- Morlaco — Money (Colombia)
- Pepe — Money (Dominican Republic)
- Real — Money (Mexico)
- Guita verde — Green money (Argentina)
- Torta — Money (Colombia)
- Papeles — Papers or money (Puerto Rico)
- Lata — Money (Colombia)
- Chamba — Money (Peru)
- Fajo — Stack of bills or money (Mexico)
- Pela — Money (Dominican Republic)
- Billetera — Wallet or money (Argentina)
Spanish Slang for Beautiful
The word for “beautiful” in Spanish is hermoso, but there are many other casual ways to say beautiful, depending on where you are and what—or who—you’re talking about.
- Guapo — Handsome/Beautiful (Spain, Latin America)
- Bonito — Pretty/Beautiful (universal)
- Lindo — Cute/Pretty (Latin America)
- Precioso — Precious/Beautiful (Spain, Latin America)
- Chulo — Cool/Beautiful (Spain, Latin America)
- Bello — Beautiful (universal)
- Mamacita — Attractive woman (Mexico, Central America)
- Papacito — Attractive man (Mexico, Central America)
- Divino — Divine/Beautiful (Spain, Latin America)
- Estupendo — Wonderful/Beautiful (Spain, Latin America)
- Pintoso — Gorgeous/Stylish (Argentina)
- Regia — Gorgeous (Mexico, Central America)
- Rico — Hot/Beautiful (Latin America)
- Buena onda — Good vibes/Attractive (Argentina, Chile)
- Bacano — Cool/Beautiful (Colombia)
- Cuero — Hot person (Colombia, Venezuela)
- Pinturita — Beautiful person (Colombia)
- Bombón — Eye candy/Beautiful person (Argentina)
- Macizo — Hot/Attractive (Spain, Latin America)
Spanish Slang for Love
Love is in the air! El Amor is the dictionary word for “love.” Here are some slang terms for love and a few terms of endearment from around the Spanish-speaking world.
- Cariño — Affection/Love (universal)
- Querido — Dear/Loved one (universal)
- Mi media naranja — My better half (lit: My half orange) (Spain, Latin America)
- Mi vida — My life (universal)
- Enamorado — In love (universal)
- Corazón — Heart (universal)
- Churri — Sweetheart (Spain)
- Mi cielo — My sky (universal)
- Mi sol — My sun (universal)
- Tesoro — Treasure (universal)
- Mi reina — My queen (Spain, Latin America)
- Mi alma gemela — My soulmate (Spain, Latin America)
- Mi amorcito — My little love (Mexico, Central America)
- Mi chiquitín /Chiquitina — My little one (Spain, Latin America)
- Bombón — Sweetie (Argentina)
- Media sandía — Half a watermelon (Mexico, Central America)
- Mi perrito — My little dog (Central America)
- Amorcito — Little love (Latin America)
- Mamacita /Papacito — Baby (Mexico, Central America)
Spanish Slang Insults
These Spanish slang insults are funny ways to poke fun at your friends. But be careful not to use them with the wrong people, because they’re really not nice things to say. These are just for fun!
- Boludo — Literal translation is “big balls,” but it’s commonly used as a friendly insult meaning “idiot” or “jerk.” (Argentina)
- Cabrón — Can be used as both an insult or a term of endearment, depending on the context. As an insult, it means “bastard” or “jerk.” (Mexico)
- Maricón — A derogatory term for a gay man or a man who is perceived to be weak or effeminate. In some Latin American countries, it’s also used to mean “coward.”
- Huevón — Similar to boludo in Argentina, it means “lazy” or “stupid.” (Chile/Peru)
- Pendejo — Used to insult someone who is perceived to be foolish, naïve or gullible. (Mexico)
- Gilipollas — Similar to pendejo, it’s used to insult someone who is perceived to be foolish or annoying. (Spain)
- Pelotudo — Another way of saying boludo or huevón, it means “idiot” or “lazy.” (Argentina/Uruguay)
- Jodido — Depending on the context, it can mean “effed up” or “messed up.” As an insult, it can be used to call someone a “pain in the butt.”
- Chingón — Can be used as an insult, but also as a term of endearment or admiration. As an insult, it means “badass” or “arrogant.” (Mexico)
- Chuchín — Used to refer to someone who is perceived to be small, weak, or insignificant. It can also mean “coward.” (Nicaragua)
Spanish Slang from Around the World
Vamo — Let’s go
Literal meaning: Let’s go
This is the shortened version of vamos (let’s go). It’s just a quicker way to get the crowd moving!
¡Vamo! (Let’s go!)
Me cae gordo — I don’t like him, he bothers me
Literal meaning: I find him fat
Even though it definitely sounds like it, this phrase isn’t for calling someone fat! Me cae gordo means that you don’t like someone or they rub you the wrong way.
You usually use this phrase when it’s a first impression or a gut feeling.
Mi nuevo jefe me cae gordo. (My new boss bothers me.)
Chulo — Cool, attractive
Literal meaning: Neat
In Spain, it’s common to use the word chulo (neat, lovely) in place of bonito (pretty). It can also be used to say that something’s “cool.”
On the other hand, if you use chulo to refer to a person in Spain, it can have a negative connotation that the person’s conceited.
In Latin America chulo takes on a slightly different meaning as it usually refers to an attractive man.
¡Qué chulo! (How cool!)
Papi chulo. (Hot stuff.)
Vale — Okay, yes
Literal meaning: “It’s worth” or “ticket”
If someone tells you something and you want to confirm that you’ve heard, say vale (okay).
You can also use it in place of the word “yes” when someone asks you a question.
Cuatro gatos — Small gathering
Literal meaning: Four cats
This one is easy to remember and can boost conversational skills a ton because it’s so versatile.
Use it when trying to say there was a small number of people present.
¿La fiesta? Eran cuatro gatos. (The party? There were just a few of us.)
Papa frita — Dumb person
Literal meaning: French fry
This term is useful for moments when either you or someone you know makes a silly mistake. It teases, lightens a situation and generally makes people smile.
Papa frita, vas por el camino equivocado. (Dummy, you’re going the wrong way.)
Mosca — An annoying person
Literal meaning: Fly
We’ve all dealt with annoying flies that just won’t leave you alone. This is why people often use the same word to describe a person that’s annoying!
No le hagas caso. ¡Es una mosca! (Don’t listen to him. He’s annoying!)
Pasar el mono a pelo — To go cold turkey
Literal meaning: Pass the monkey bareback
This refers to stopping something suddenly, like a bad habit or even a luxury that may be eating away at a budget.
Él no está bebiendo cerveza hoy. Está tratando de pasar el mono a pelo. (He’s not drinking beer today. He’s trying to go cold turkey.)
Mano — Homie, bro
Literal meaning: Short for hermano (it actually means “hand” in Spanish, though that’s just a coincidence)
Since this is the abbreviated version of the Spanish word for brother, it makes sense that this is like saying “bro.”
Vamos al partido de baloncesto esta noche, mano. (We’ll go to the basketball game tonight, homie.)
Babosa / Baboso — Dimwit, idiot
Literal meaning: Slug
A babosa often used to say “dimwit” or someone who’s gullible. This ends up being used a lot in reference to a dumb blonde.
However you should use this word with caution: While in some places it might be light-hearted, in most of Central America it means “idiot”—or worse.
Ese tipo es un baboso. (That guy is an idiot.)
Un depre — A downer
Literal meaning: A depress
You probably know a person who always has something negative to say no matter what, right? Well, that person is a depre.
No me gusta estar con Miguel, es un depre. (I don’t like being with Miguel, he is a downer.)
Porfa — Please
Literal meaning: Abbreviated “por favor”
This is a way to say please in a quicker manner. Since it’s just the shortened version of “por favor,” the literal and slang meanings are the same.
Me gustaría un café, porfa. (I’d like a coffee, please.)
Spanish Slang from Spain
Tío / Tía — Friend, guy, girl
Literal meaning: Uncle / aunt
One of my young Spanish friends was always talking about this tío (uncle) and that tía (aunt) and I was convinced he had a huge family.
WRONG! In Spain, tío and tía are used to refer to a friend, or often just anyone in general.
¡Eh, tía! ¿Qué tal? (Hey girl! How are you?)
¿Viste ese tío? Se veía súper enojado. (Did you see that guy? He looked really angry.)
Chaval / Chavala — Kid, youngster
Literal meaning: N/A
I like to think of these terms as the younger versions of tío and tía.
While you’re in Spain, you’ll likely come across gaggles of teens loitering in the street… yep, those are chavales (young people).
Interestingly, chaval comes from the Caló language and means “boy.”
Los chavales hoy no tienen buenos modales. (The young people today don’t have good manners.)
Me importa un pimiento — It doesn’t matter
Literal meaning: It matters a pepper to me
While we don’t have a phrase exactly like this in English, you can probably gather its meaning: that you don’t really care, or it isn’t worth your time or effort.
If you want to change it up a little, pimiento is commonly exchanged with pepino (cucumber), comino (cumin) and rábano (radish)!
La boda me importa un pimiento. (I could care less about the wedding.)
Ser la leche — That’s sick
Literal meaning: To be the milk
Ser la leche can mean both being really amazing or being awful.
It may seem bizarre that the exact same phrase can mean exactly two opposite things, but we do the same in English.
Think of the slang word “sick,” which can either mean disgusting (negative) or really cool (positive).
“¡Vamos al concierto de Bad Bunny!” (We’re going to the Bad Bunny concert!)
“¡Es la leche!” (That’s sick!)
Mala pata — Bad luck
Literal meaning: Bad paw
Sometimes people carry around a rabbit’s foot for good luck. If you have a bad paw, you’re carrying around bad luck instead of good luck like a rabbit’s foot.
Son las cinco y acaba de entrar un cliente, qué mala pata. (It’s five o’clock and a customer just walked in, what bad luck.)
Ir a tapear — To go for tapas
Literal meaning: N/A
Tapas are a type of appetizer that’s specific to Spain. When someone wants to ir a tapear it means that they want to go out and get tapas.
Tapear isn’t really even a verb anywhere but in Spain.
¿Vamos a tapear esta noche? (Are we going to eat tapas tonight?)
Ser majo / maja — To be nice
Literal meaning: A Madrid resident from a popular neighborhood known for its colorful dress and arrogant attitudes (18th and 19th centuries)
If a Spaniard says that you’re majo, they mean that you’re simpático (nice).
María siempre ayuda a sus amigas cuando están tristes. Ella es tan maja. (Maria always helps her friends when they’re sad. She’s so nice.)
Los viejos — Parents
Literal meaning: The elderly
Young people in Spain sometimes refer to their parents as los viejos (the elderly) in the presence of friends and, depending on their relationship with their parents, a few might also use it to directly address their parents.
In these cases, it’s more like saying “my old man” in an affectionate and playful way.
Quiero salir pero mis viejos me obligan a quedarme y cuidar a mi sobrino. (I want to go out but my parents told me I have to stay and look after my nephew.)
Estar como una cabra — To be crazy
Literal meaning: To be like a goat
If you have a batty great aunt who hoards tinfoil, you might refer to her (lovingly, of course) with estar como una cabra (to be crazy).
This word will always be feminine, no matter who it’s used for.
Mi abuelo está como una cabra. Piensa que los extraterrestres visitan su casa cada domingo. (My grandpa is crazy. He thinks that aliens visit his house every Sunday.)
Guay — Cool, great
Literal meaning: N/A
If you like something because it’s cool, awesome or you get the picture… you can say that it’s guay (cool).
You can also use it as a more excited “okay” or “great.”
¡Qué guay! (How cool!)
Molar — To like
Literal meaning: Molar (tooth)
This one is also derived from the Caló language, and it’s a verb that means “to be worth it.”
However, in the case of Spanish slang, it’s used to mean “to like,” and is used in the same way as the verb gustar (to like).
Maria me mola. (I like Maria.)
Comerse el coco — Overthink
Literal meaning: Eat one’s coconut
When you have something on your mind and you think constantly about it, this is the term that’ll apply to that situation.
Se está comiendo el coco y se está volviendo loco. (He’s overthinking and driving himself crazy.)
Qué pasada — Cool, amazing
Literal meaning: What a craze
If you travel to Spain, you may hear this snappy expression a lot. This basically means that something is cool or that it’s very good.
¿Compraste zapatos nuevos a la venta? ¡Qué pasada! (You bought new shoes on sale? That’s amazing!)
Cotilla — A busybody or person who gossips
Literal meaning: Gossip
This refers to someone who is gossiping or someone who needs to know everyone’s business and is adept at poking into things that aren’t any of their concern.
Esa mujer es una cotilla. Ella siempre está escuchando secretos. (That woman is a busybody. She’s always listening to secrets.)
Ir a su bola — To do their own thing
Literal meaning: Go to one’s ball
If someone decides to ir a su bola it means that they’re going to do their own thing.
There’s a slight negative connotation associated with this phrase, as if the person is going against logic or not being considerate of others in their decision to do their own thing.
Ella no viene a nuestras fiestas, ella va a su bola. (She doesn’t come to our parties, she does her own thing.)
Spanish Slang from Latin America
Wey — Dude
Literal meaning: N/A
This term actually began as buey, which means “ox.” Over time it evolved into güey (used some decades ago), into the wey we know today!
The term is used to call someone “dude,” and refers to a friend or other individual. It’s used exclusively in Mexico.
¿Wey, quieres ir al cine? (Dude, want to go to the movies?)
Mula — Dumb, stupid
Literal meaning: Mule
This term is used in Guatemala to reference someone’s lack of intelligence.
It isn’t a very nice slang word that would be used to make new friends but you might use it with people you’re familiar with.
¡Qué chilero! — Cool, very good
Literal meaning: N/A
This sweet little Guatemalan phrase pretty much covers anything that’s agreeable.
Use it to show appreciation for food, shopping, events or whatever else comes your way!
Vamos a nadar. (We’re going swimming).
¡Qué chilero! (Cool!)
Chido — Very good
Literal meaning: N/A
Although believed to have originated in Costa Rica, in Mexico, they use this to say something is very good.
¿Le gusta la comida? ¡Qué chido! (He likes the food? Very good!)
Ese — Homie
Literal meaning: That
There’s not much explanation for this one, but you will certainly hear it a lot in Mexico!
Nos vemos en el antro, ese. (I’ll see you at the club, homie.)
¡Órale! — Okay, hurry up, nice
Literal meaning: N/A
This one can be used for quite a few situations. It can be used when you’re in a hurry to say “let’s go.” It can be used to agree with something or it can be used to express your surprise.
According to RAE, this word originated from ahora le (meaning “now”)—where le is simply added to further emphasize the interjection.
Necesito ir a la playa por favor. (I need to go to the beach please)
¡Órale! (Let’s go!)
Galla — Girl
Literal meaning: Rooster
Gallo (rooster) has been turned into a feminine form to refer to a girl in Chile. If you use this word you might just sound like a local in Chile!
Ella es una linda galla. (She’s a cute girl.)
Bacán — Cool
Literal meaning: N/A
This is what you’ll hear for “cool” in several countries in South America, like Columbia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile.
It’s actually a word of Genoese origin, meaning “master.”
¡Mira, qué bacán! (Look, how cool!)
¿Qué hubo? — What’s up?
Literal meaning: What was there?
In Colombia, as in many other parts of the world, it’s common for people to greet each other with the expression “What’s up?”
This Colombian slang is just an offbeat twist on the common phrase.
Hola Mariana, ¿qué hubo? (Hey Mariana, what’s up?)
Chévere — Cool
Literal meaning: N/A
Yet another way to say “cool.” This one is most common in Venezuela and Columbia!
Its actual etymology is uncertain, but the most accepted theory is that it comes from the Kalabari language (Nigeria) where chebere means “wonderful” or “excellent.”
Podemos reunirnos en el restaurante. (We can meet at the restaurant.)
Nena — Girl
Literal meaning: Baby
Puerto Rican slang is vivid and often descriptive, but one of its simplest words is nena (girl). This can reference almost any female, from toddler age up into adulthood.
However, calling someone who is of advanced years, like someone’s mother or grandmother, this would be disrespectful.
¡Te ves hermosa hoy, nena! (You look beautiful today, girl!)
Pura vida — good vibes, simple life
Literal meaning: Pure life
This Costa Rican phrase sums up the way of life in this beautiful country perfectly.
Costa Ricans value kindness and simplicity and use this phrase as a greeting or a way to wish you a happy life.
Bienvenido a la tienda, ¡pura vida! (Welcome to the shop, good vibes!)
Buena onda — Good vibe
Literal meaning: Good wave
This is a way for you to say “good vibes” or “cool” in countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Mexico.
Eres buena onda. (You are cool/nice.)
Vaina — Thing, stuff
Literal meaning: Scabbard
This word is very popular in Colombia and the Dominican Republic. It is used to say “thing” or “stuff.”
It can be used in several contexts but keep in mind that it is usually not a positive term, although it doesn’t always have to be negative either.
¿Qué es esa vaina? (What is that thing?)
¿Qué bolá? — What’s up?
Literal meaning: What’s ball?
This is a very common greeting in Cuba. You would often use this phrase instead of cómo estás when asking how someone is.
¿Buenos días, qué bolá? (Good morning, what’s up?)
Ofi — Okay, sure
Literal meaning: Short for oficial (official)
This is a way just to say “okay” or “sure,” and is most often used in Panama.
¿Quieres ir a tomar un café? (Do you want to go for coffee?)
There are 20 Spanish-speaking countries in the world, and each has its own Spanish slang, accent and dialect.
Read on to see a few of the most common slang terms from each country. Note that some of these can be used as slang in multiple countries!
- Che — A common way to address someone in Argentina, sort of like “hey” or “dude” in English. It can also be used to get someone’s attention.
- Bondi — Bus, the primary mode of public transportation in Argentina.
- Boliche — Nightclub bar.
- Guita — Money.
- Re — Very or really. For example, “Estoy re cansado” would mean “I’m really tired.”
- Buena onda — Someone cool or chill.
- Fideo — Noodle, often used as a playful way to refer to a person with a skinny or lanky build.
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- Huayco — Used to describe a sudden and heavy rainfall, which can cause flooding and landslides.
- Volador — A hit-and-run accident, where a driver hits someone and then immediately flees the scene.
- Cholito — Used to refer to indigenous Bolivians, particularly women, who wear traditional dress.
- Papita — Easy or simple, often used to describe a task that is not difficult.
- Chuqui /chuta — Used to refer to someone who’s ugly or unattractive.
- Macho — Strong or tough, often used to describe someone who is resilient or determined.
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- Pololo — Boyfriend or girlfriend in Chilean slang.
- Cachai — Used to mean “do you understand?” or “get it?”
- Fome — Boring or uninteresting.
- Caleta — A lot or a ton.
- Taco — Traffic or a traffic jam.
- Cuico — Someone upper class or snobby.
- Pichanga — A casual game of soccer or another sport.
- Copete — Alcohol liquor.
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- Chimba — Cool or great, but can also mean terrible or awful, depending on the context.
- Mono — This means “blonde,” but can also be used as a term of endearment for someone with fair skin or light hair.
- Guachar — To watch or to keep an eye on.
- Ñero —Someone from a poor or working-class background.
- Chuspa — Bag or backpack.
- Sapo — Snitch or tattletale, often used to describe someone who gossips or spreads rumors.
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- Chivatón — Snitch or tattletale.
- Jinetero — Used to describe someone who works in the tourism industry, often as a hustler or a guide.
- Yuma — This is a slang word for the United States, used to refer to the country or to someone from the U.S.
- Pingüino — Fool or a jerk.
- Candela — This means fire or flame in Cuban slang, but can also be used to describe a difficult situation.
- Fula — Fake or counterfeit.
- Luchar — To fight or to struggle, often used in political contexts.
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- Guagua — Bus.
- Jeva — Girlfriend or a significant other.
- Chapear — To kiss or to make out.
- Yeyo — Cocaine.
- Tiguere — Used to describe a street smart person, often with a bit of a bad reputation.
- Vaina — Thing, often used to refer to a difficult or frustrating situation.
- Fiao — Owing someone money, often used in the context of informal loans between friends or family.
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- Chuchaqui — Hangover.
- Chiro — Thief or crook.
- Chucha — Used to refer to a lady’s private parts.
- Pelado — Broke or penniless.
- Pichincha — To haggle or to negotiate.
- Ñaño /ñaña — Brother or sister, often used as a term of endearment.
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- Chilero — Cool or awesome.
- Chela — Beer.
- Chafa — Fake or counterfeit.
- Chambear — To work.
- Chiri — Cold.
- Fregar — To bother or to annoy.
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- Catracho — Used to describe a person from Honduras.
- Chito — Quiet or hush.
- Feriado — Day off or holiday.
- Goma — Hangover.
- Lempira — This is a slang term for “money,” named after the Honduran currency.
- Papada — Double chin.
- Pinche — Used to express anger or frustration, similar to the English word “darn.”
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- Neta — Truth or honestly.
- Padre — Cool or awesome, similar to chido.
- Qué onda — Slang expression for “what’s up” or “how’s it going?”
- Chingar — A slang verb that can be used in many ways, but often means “to mess with” or “to screw over.”
- Carnal — Brother or close friend.
- Mota — Used to refer to marijuana.
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- Chavalo — A young person, teenager or child.
- Pisto — Cash or money in general.
- Tuanis — Cool, great, or awesome.
- Dar candela — Used when someone is teasing or joking around with another person.
- Chanfle — An exclamation of surprise, frustration or disappointment.
- Bacanal — A party or social gathering.
- Fresa — Someone snobbish or pretentious.
- Pinolero — Someone from Nicaragua or something related to Nicaragua.
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- Chombo — Used to refer to a person from Panama.
- Chuleta — Someone smart or talented.
- Plena — Used to express agreement with something or someone.
- Camote — Something or someone awkward or uncomfortable.
- Patacones — A popular Panamanian snack made of flattened and fried plantains.
- Ñame — Used to insult someone who is perceived as stupid or foolish.
- Guayabo — Hangover, or the unpleasant feeling after consuming too much alcohol.
- Mopri — A motorcycle or motorbike.
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- Jopara — Refers to the mix of Spanish and Guarani language spoken in Paraguay.
- Ña — A woman or lady.
- Guampa — A traditional Paraguayan drinking vessel made from a cow’s horn.
- Kurépa — A traditional Paraguayan food made from cornmeal.
- Juga — Playing a game or sport.
- Churro — A mess or chaos.
- Poronguero — A person who makes and sells mate gourds, a popular Paraguayan drinking vessel.
- Tereré — A traditional Paraguayan drink made from yerba mate, served cold.
- Pora — Someone lazy or unmotivated.
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- Chibolo — A kid or young person.
- Canchero — Someone stylish or fashionable.
- Huevón — Someone lazy.
- Chapa — A police officer.
- Pituco — Someone rich or wealthy.
- Trome — A newspaper.
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Puerto Rican Slang
- Wepa — A common greeting used to say hello or what’s up.
- Janguear — The act of hanging out with friends.
- Coger — Used to describe the act of catching or grabbing something.
- Yal — A girl.
- Boricua — Used to describe a person from Puerto Rico.
- Jevi — Cool or awesome.
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El Salvadorian Slang
- Chivo — A police officer.
- Güiro — A friend or pal.
- Chero — A buddy or partner.
- Pistear — Used to describe drinking alcohol.
- Marero — A gang member.
- Vacilón — Something fun or entertaining.
- Cuajo — Something that is excellent or fantastic.
- Cipote — A kid or child.
- Fuchila — A bag or purse.
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- Laburar — Working.
- Rejunte — A group of people.
- Bolazo — A lie.
- Facha — Used to describe someone’s appearance or looks.
- Cheto — Someone snobbish or who thinks they’re better than others.
- Cana — A police officer.
- Afanar — Stealing.
- Apretado — Someone broke or who doesn’t have money.
- Mango — Money.
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- Chamo — A boy or girl.
- Arrecho — Someone angry or frustrated.
- Verga — Used as a curse word or to express frustration, similar to the English F-word.
- Chupe — An alcoholic drink, typically beer or liquor.
- Pelo — Money.
- Estar pelando — Used to describe being broke or not having money.
- Guiso — A scam or swindle.
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How to Practice Spanish Slang
The best way to pick up slang is through listening to native speakers and how they use slang themselves.
Slang is pretty easy to find in authentic Spanish media, especially in movies, TV shows and web videos, which are all widely accessible online.
There’s also the authentic video library on the language learning program FluentU. You can search for words and find clips that contain certain words, like slang. Each video has interactive captions that explain words in context, including slang and colloquialisms.
I also recommend downloading a language exchange app. You can make friends with Spanish speakers from the specific country you want, allowing you to easily and quickly learn that country’s slang.
Finally, using a modern dictionary app like SpanishDict will show you the colloquial version of words you look up (if there is one) and where each term is from. This lets you learn slang even when you aren’t trying to!
With these Spanish slang words, you’ll sound like a native in no time.
So get out there and practice in the real world—rather it be with your Spanish-speaking family, in-person friends or online friends.