When learning a language, there is one thing you won’t likely find in the books, nor in the classroom. That is the language of the streets, or ‘el slang’.

Slang words will vary across Spanish-speaking regions.  So, for example if you visit Mexico, you will likely hear words that are not often used in Spain, and vice versa.

The good news is the word differences between regions  don’t prevent people from understanding one another.  However, it can be useful to know some of the local words that you will likely come across if you intend on making friends.

Last week we went to Spain.  This week we travel to Mexico

 

mexican flag waving

Spanish Slang from Mexico

 

 

FRESA = TO BE POSH (adjective)
Spanish synonym: PIJO
Este bar está lleno de gente fresa. Ellos van solo a bares caros
This bar is full of posh people. They only go to expensive bars

 

NACO = REDNECK / LOWER CLASE (noun)
Spanish synonym: BARRIOBAJERO / PERSONA DE CLASE BAJA

A veces los nacos me hacen reír cuando hablan así
Sometimes redneck people make me laugh when they talk like that

 

CHELA = BEER (noun)
Spanish synonym: CERVEZA

¿Esta tarde nos tomamos unas chelas juntos?
This afternoon we’ll grab some beers together?

 

¿QUÉ ONDA? = WHAT’S UP?  (expression)
Spanish synonym: ¿QUÉ TAL?
¡Marina! ¿Qué onda? ¿Te veré el sábado en la fiesta?
Marina! What’s up? Will I see you Saturday at the party?

 

PEDO/A = DRUNK (adjective)
Spanish synonym: BORRACHO
Mi hermano estaba pedo y se fue a casa pronto
My brother was drunk and he left to go home early

 

CHIDO/A = COOL (adjective)
Spanish synonym: GUAY
Esta película está chida porque reúne a los mejores actores
This movie is cool because it reunites the best actors

 

¡NO MANCHES! = NO WAY! (expression)
Spanish synonym: ¡VENGA YA!
¡No manches! ¡No hay más entradas para el concierto!
No way! There are no more tickets for the concert!

 

GUEY/WEY = MAN/DUDE (noun)
Spanish synonym: TIO, AMIGO
No me lo creo wey, conseguiste el trabajo!
I don’t believe it man, you got the job!

 

CHAVO/A = BOY/GIRL/KID (noun)
Spanish synonym: NIÑO / A
Es un parque muy bonito para los chavos y las chavas
It is a very beautiful park for the boys and girls

 

NETA= REALLY (expression)
Spanish synonym: ¿EN SERIO?

¿Neta que tienes 35 años?
You are really 35 years old?

 

¡Ahora tú! (Now you!) Try using your new slang in a sentence in the comments and we’ll correct it for you or let you know you’re on the right track.

Don’t forget to check out our post on Spanish slang from Spain.  And If your looking for more Spanish practice, check out these 10 Spanish idioms or these 10 Spanish false friends to watch out for!

For regular updates about slang and other topics to help you learn Spanish. Subscribe here.

Un saludo,

happy hour spanish logo

 

 

 

 

 

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Showing 3 comments
  • Patrick

    I understand “fresa” is also slang for “homosexual” in some Spanish-speaking countries? (yo creo que Cuba, si recuerdo correctamente).

  • Joe

    How are you gonna make an article about Mexican slang without mentioning chingar?

    • Happy Hour Spanish

      ¡Gracias Joe! Yes, you’re right – very very common slang word in Mexico 🙂 We will include this in our future post when we talk more about ‘rougher’ language and getting angry in Spanish.