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’.
However, when you start to have conversations with native speakers, you will most likely come across slang words.
These are not necessarily curse words, or vulgar words, or only used by the younger generation. They are simply words used in a more informal context and you may want to be aware of them if you plan on speaking Spanish with friends.
There is also a lot of variation in slang words between Spanish-speaking countries. Stay tuned for more slang from other Spanish-speaking countries by joining our subscribers list here.
But for now, let’s take you to Spain for these 10 common words:
Spanish Slang from Spain
CURRAR = TO WORK (verb)
Esta tarde no puedo ir al cine, tengo que currar hasta las 20:00
This afternoon I can’t go to the movies, I have to work until 8 p.m.
Curro = Work (noun)
Spanish synonym: trabajo
Marcos ha cambiado de curro, ahora está en una oficina y le encanta
Marcos changed his job, now he is in an office and he likes it
MOLAR = TO LIKE (verb)
Spanish synonym: GUSTAR
Me molan mucho tus zapatillas ¿Dónde las has comprado?
I really like your shoes. Where did you buy them?
TIO / PAVO = GUY/MAN (noun)
Spanish synonym: CHICO
¿Qué te pasa, tio? ¿Estás enfadado?
What’s going on, man? Are you mad?
Ayer en el teatro, había un pavo a mi lado que no paraba de hablar
Yesterday in the theatre, there was a guy next to me that wouldn’t stop talking
PASTA = MONEY (noun)
Spanish synonym: DINERO
El sábado no iré a la cena, no tengo mucha pasta y necesito ahorrar
Saturday I will not go to the dinner, I don’t have much money and I need to save
PALMAR = TO DIE (verb)
Spanish synonym: MORIR
He escuchado que si comes setas venenosas, puedes incluso palmar
I heard that if you eat poisonous mushrooms, you can even die
FLIPAR = FLIP OUT (verb)
Spanish synonym: ALUCINAR
Ayer flipé con los comentarios de tu amigo. Fueron totalmente inapropiados
Yesterday I flipped out about the comments about your friend. They were totally inappropriate
PETADO = FULL (adjective)
Spanish synonym: LLENO
Este bar está petado, mejor vamos a otro
This bar is full, better we go to another
COÑA = JOKE (noun)
Spanish synonym: BROMA
No te enfades por lo que dijo Juan, era una coña
Don’t get mad at what Juan said, it was a joke
CHAPA = A BORE (noun)
Spanish synonym: ABURRIDA
La reunión del departamento de ventas es siempre una chapa
The department sales meeting is always a bore
RALLAR = TO BOTHER (verb)
Spanish synonym: MOLESTAR
Mi madre me ralla muchísimo, me dice continuamente lo que tengo que hacer
My mom bugs me / bothers me a lot, she continually tells me what I have to do
¡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.
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