spanish slang

Common Spanish Slang from Around the World (Audio Included)

Most traditional Spanish courses won’t teach you much slang (a.k.a.  argot or jerga ).

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. That way, when it’s time for you have a Spanish conversation with native speakers, you’ll fit right in!

Contents

Common Spanish Slang

women-dancing-in-colorful-costumes-with-long-flowing-skirts-in-mexico Spanish Slang for Friend

There are so many different ways to say amigo (friend). The following slang terms are just the tip of the iceberg.

Spanish Slang for FriendMeaningCountry/Region
Colega BuddySpain
Socio Partner or friendLatin America
Compa Short for compadre , meaning friend or palMexico
Parcero FriendColombia
Cuate BuddyMexico
Cuateco FriendMexico
Pata FriendPeru
Goma FriendDominican Republic
Jato FriendPeru
Maje FriendHonduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua
Panita BuddyVenezuela
Broder FriendHonduras
Primo Cousin or friendPuerto Rico, Dominican Republic
Pana FriendVenezuela
Compita Short for compadre , meaning friend or buddyMexico
Camarada Comrade or friendMexico
Corillo Group of friendsPuerto Rico
Máquina Buddy or mateArgentina

Spanish Slang for Girl

How do you refer to a girl using slangy language? Use one of the following options! Be forewarned, though: These are generally not the most respectful ways to address a lady.

Spanish Slang for GirlMeaningCountry
Chica GirlUniversal
Mami Mommy, babe, girlPuerto Rico, Dominican Republic
Guapa Beautiful girlSpain
Morra Young girlMexico
Peque Short for pequeña , meaning small or young girlMexico
Chava Young girlMexico
Chiqui Short for chiquita , meaning small or young girlLatin America
China GirlMexico
Flaca Skinny girlLatin America
Gordibuena Curvy girlMexico
Gorda Chubby girlLatin America
Reina Queen, beautiful girlLatin America
Rubia Blonde girlLatin America, Spain
Tetona Busty girlMexico
Zorra Promiscuous girlSpain
Chamaca Young girlMexico
Pelada Young girlPeru

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.

Spanish Slang for GuyMeaningCountry
Chico GuyUniversal
Vato GuyMexico
Chavo Young guyMexico
Pibe Young guyArgentina
Flaco Skinny guyLatin America
Morro GuyMexico
Mero mero Main man, close guy friendMexico
Macho Macho or tough guyLatin America, Spain
Pelado Young guyPeru
Gallo GuyMexico, Central America

Spanish Slang for Cool

Knowing all the ways to say “cool” in Spanish is pretty cool, if you ask us.

Spanish Slang for CoolMeaningCountry
Copado CoolArgentina, Uruguay
Genial Great or coolSpain, Latin America
Fregón CoolMexico
Paja CoolColombia
Mola CoolSpain
Padrísimo Very coolMexico
Pata CoolPeru
Alucinante Mind-blowing or coolSpain
Piola Cool or relaxedArgentina, Chile
Chévere verga Really coolVenezuela
Bacano CoolColombia
Onda Cool or good vibesArgentina, Chile
Cachilupi Cool or greatHonduras
Mamey Cool or easyMexico, Guatemala

Spanish Slang for Money

Got the cash? Here’s how different Spanish-speaking countries refer to money informally.

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Spanish Slang for MoneyMeaningCountry
Plata MoneyUniversal
Billete Bill or moneyLatin America
Feria CashMexico, Central America
Dinero MoneyUniversal
Chavos CashMexico
Luka MoneyChile
Panoja Stack of bills or moneyMexico
Parné MoneySpain
Guita MoneyArgentina, Chile
Morlaco MoneyColombia
Pepe MoneyDominican Republic
Real MoneyMexico
Guita verde Green moneyArgentina
Torta MoneyColombia
Papeles Papers or moneyPuerto Rico
Lata MoneyColombia
Chamba MoneyPeru
Fajo Stack of bills or moneyMexico
Pela MoneyDominican Republic
Billetera Wallet or moneyArgentina

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.

Spanish Slang for BeautifulMeaningCountry
Guapo Handsome/BeautifulSpain, Latin America
Bonito Pretty/BeautifulUniversal
Lindo Cute/PrettyLatin America
Precioso Precious/BeautifulSpain, Latin America
Bello BeautifulUniversal
Mamacita Attractive womanMexico, Central America
Papacito Attractive manMexico, Central America
Divino Divine/BeautifulSpain, Latin America
Estupendo Wonderful/BeautifulSpain, Latin America
Pintoso Gorgeous/StylishArgentina
Regia GorgeousMexico, Central America
Rico Hot/BeautifulLatin America
Bacano Cool/BeautifulColombia
Cuero Hot personColombia, Venezuela
Pinturita Beautiful personColombia
Bombón Eye candy/Beautiful personArgentina
Macizo Hot/AttractiveSpain, 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.

Spanish Slang for LoveMeaningCountry
Cariño Affection/LoveUniversal
Querido Dear/Loved oneUniversal
Mi media naranja My better half (lit: My half orange)Spain, Latin America
Mi vida My lifeUniversal
Enamorado In loveUniversal
Corazón HeartUniversal
Churri SweetheartSpain
Mi cielo My skyUniversal
Mi sol My sunUniversal
Tesoro TreasureUniversal
Mi reina My queenSpain, Latin America
Mi alma gemela My soulmateSpain, Latin America
Mi chiquitín My little oneSpain, Latin America
Bombón SweetieArgentina
Media sandía Half a watermelonMexico, Central America
Mi perrito My little dogCentral America
Amorcito Little loveLatin America
Mamacita / Papacito BabyMexico, 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!

Spanish Slang InsultsMeaningCountry
Boludo Commonly used as a friendly insult meaning "idiot" or "jerk" (lit. "big balls")Argentina
Cabrón Can mean "bastard" or "jerk," used as both an insult and a term of endearmentMexico
Maricón Derogatory term for a gay man or a man perceived as weak or effeminateVarious Latin American countries
Huevón Similar to boludo, means "lazy" or "stupid"Chile/Peru
Pendejo Insult for someone perceived as foolish, naïve or gullibleMexico
Gilipollas Similar to pendejo, used to insult someone perceived as foolish or annoyingSpain
Pelotudo Another way of saying boludo or huevón, means "idiot" or "lazy"Argentina/Uruguay
Jodido Can mean "effed up" or "messed up," used as an insult for someone problematicVarious
Chingón Can mean "badass" or "arrogant," used as an insult or term of endearmentMexico
Chuchín Used to refer to someone small, weak or insignificant, can also mean "coward"Nicaragua

Spanish Slang from Around the World

couple talking at night with lights in background

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!

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¡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. You’re basically saying that the person’s conceited.

In Latin America, chulo takes on a slightly different meaning as it usually refers to an attractive man.

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¡Qué chulo! (How cool!)

Papi chulo. (Hot stuff.)

Vale — Okay, Yes

Literal meaning: “It’s worth it” or “That’s the 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.

¡Vale! (Okay!)

Cuatro gatos — Small gathering

Literal meaning: Four cats

This one is easy to remember and can boost your conversational skills a ton because it’s so versatile.

Use it when trying to say that there’s a small number of people present.

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¿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 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

Babosa is often used to mean “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 lighthearted, 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

people in a plaza in barcelona

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.

In fact, 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 guess its meaning. It’s the equivalent of IDGAF: 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.)

On that note, check out our hefty Spanish food vocabulary list.

Ser la leche — That’s sick

Literal meaning: To be the milk

Ser la leche can mean both “really amazing” or “really awful.”

It may seem bizarre that the 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

You know how 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. Some might even use it to directly address their parents, though this is dependent on their familial dynamics.

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.

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 or awesome, 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 Spanish slang, it means “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. This person 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 when they’re trying to ir a su bola.

Ella no viene a nuestras fiestas, ella va a su bola.  (She doesn’t come to our parties, she does her own thing.)

Common Slang in Spanish Latin America

group-of-two-men-and-two-women-arm-in-arm-and-happy

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, and won’t exactly win you new friends. But you might be able to use it with people you’re familiar with.

¡Mula! (Stupid!).

¡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 also be used to agree with something or 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

This is the feminine form of gallo (rooster), and is used to refer to a girl 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

This is yet another way to say “cool,” and is most common in Venezuela and Colombia.

Its actual etymology is uncertain, but the most accepted theory is that it comes from the Kalabari language in Nigeria, where chebere means “wonderful” or “excellent.”

“Podemos reunirnos en el restaurante.” (We can meet at the restaurant.)

“¡Chévere!” (Cool!)

Nena — Girl

Literal meaning: Baby

Puerto Rican slang is vivid and often descriptive, but one of its simplest words is nena (girl). This can refer to any female, from toddler age up to adulthood.

However, using this for a woman of advanced age, like someone’s mother or grandmother, would be disrespectful.

¡Te ves hermosa hoy, nena!  (You look beautiful today, girl!)

Pura vida — Good vibes

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 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’s used to say “thing” or “stuff.”

It can be used in several contexts, but keep in mind that it’s usually not a positive term.

¿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?)

“Ofi.” (Sure.)

Argentinian Slang

There are over 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!

Argentinian SlangMeaning
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
Re Very or really. For example, Estoy re cansado would mean "I'm really tired."
Fideo Noodle, often used as a playful way to refer to a person with a skinny or lanky build

Bolivian Slang

Bolivian SlangMeaning
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

Chilean Slang

Chilean SlangMeaning
Pololo Boyfriend or girlfriend
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

Colombian Slang

Colombian SlangMeaning
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 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

Cuban Slang

Cuban SlangMeaning
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

Dominican Slang

Dominican SlangMeaning
Guagua Bus
Jeva Girlfriend or a significant other
Chapear To kiss or 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

Ecuadorian Slang

Ecuadorian SlangMeaning
Chuchaqui Hangover
Chiro Thief or crook
Chucha Used to refer to a lady's private parts
Pelado Broke or penniless
Pichincha To haggle or negotiate
Ñaño / ñaña Brother or sister, often used as a term of endearment

El Salvadorian Slang

El Salvadorian SlangMeaning
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 excellent or fantastic
Cipote A kid or child
Fuchila A bag or purse

Guatemalan Slang

Guatemalan SlangMeaning
Chilero Cool or awesome
Chela Beer
Chafa Fake or counterfeit
Chambear To work
Chiri Cold
Fregar To bother or annoy

Honduran Slang

Honduran SlangMeaning
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"

Mexican Slang

Mexican SlangMeaning
Neta Truth or honesty
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

Nicaraguan Slang

Nicaraguan SlangMeaning
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

Panamanian Slang

Panamanian SlangMeaning
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

Paraguayan Slang

Paraguayan SlangMeaning
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

Peruvian Slang

Peruvian SlangMeaning
Chibolo A kid or young person
Canchero Someone stylish or fashionable
Chapa A police officer
Pituco Someone rich or wealthy
Trome A newspaper

Puerto Rican Slang

Puerto Rican SlangMeaning
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

Uruguayan Slang

Uruguayan SlangMeaning
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

Venezuelan Slang

Venezuelan SlangMeaning
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

How to Practice Spanish Slang

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The best way to pick up slang is by 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 accessible online.

There’s also the authentic video library on the language learning program FluentU.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month)

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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—whether it be with your Spanish-speaking family, in-person friends or online friends.

And One More Thing…

If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:

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FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.

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Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.

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Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

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The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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