Whats Up in Spanish Slang (2022)

Whats Up in Spanish Slang (1)

Mexico. The most populous Spanish speaking country in the world and one of the most influential in terms of Spanish language film and literature.

If you’re going to learn the common Spanish expressions of any country, Mexico is a great one to start with.

Secondly, Mexico has some unique expressions that were probably not included in your Spanish textbook or course.

You’ll encounter them frequently in movies, tv and pop culture, as well in your conversations with Mexicans you meet!

In this post, I’m going to help by sharing 29 of the most common Mexican Spanish slang words and expressions you’re likely to hear.

But first… let’s talk about why slang words, phrases and idioms are important to learn if you want to
become a confident Spanish speaker.

By the way, if you want to learn Spanish through stories, no matter which variety you’re learning, my top recommendation is Spanish Uncovered, which teaches you through StoryLearning®.Click hereto find out more and try out the method for free.

Why Learn Spanish Idioms & Slang?

Spanish idioms
and slang are two of the things that complicate the process of transitioning from staged speaking and listening exercises to speaking Spanish comfortably with native speakers.

If you stop to think about it, you can probably come up with a whole list of words in your native language that mean something other than the literal translation or have different meanings around the world.

For example:

  • An “apartment” in the United States is a “flat” in the UK or Australia.
  • A “car park” in Britain would be a “parking lot” in the US and Canada.
  • A “barbie” in Australia means a barbeque, whereas, in other English speaking countries, you’d probably think of a Barbie doll!

So it’s always a good idea to brush up on slang and common expressions when you are planning to travel to a new place.

Learning Mexican Spanish slang will help you understand what is being said and help you sound more like a native speaker yourself.

It will help you fit in so you sound less like a foreigner.

Imagine the surprise on your new friends’ faces when you use their common expressions with ease!

So as you can see – learning some Spanish slang is pretty useful!

Now because a lot of dictionaries, movie translations, and study guides come out of Spain, many Spanish learners pick up on Peninsular Spanish expressions before they learn Latin American slang.

That can lead to confusion when you
travel to Latin America
and keep you from learning the colloquial expressions and terms.

So instead of focusing on slang from Spain, in this post, we’ll look at essential slang from one of Latin America’s biggest and most influential countries:
Mexico.

(Video) How To Say WHAT'S UP In Spanish 🤝🏽 Different Ways To Say Hello In Spanish | Blacklingual

Key Features Of Mexican Spanish: Vocabulary&Grammar

Before I get to the list of slang phases, there are two key things you should know about
Spanish in Mexico
as opposed to Spain or
other Spanish-speaking countries:

  1. Mexicans do not use the
    vosotros
    or
    vos
    conjugations for informal speech
    . The
    ustedes
    form is the only conjugation you’ll need for groups (whether you’re friends or not) and

    is used for all informal second person situations.
  2. Mexico has more words based on English than other Spanish-speaking countries, probably because of its proximity to the United States. For example, here are some Mexican words you may not hear anywhere else:
  • hobby
    (hobby)
  • marqueta
    (market)

Ok, we’re ready to get started!

Without further ado… here are 29 Mexican slang words and phrases that will have you sounding like a native in no time!

Popular: English to Hungarian Translation Audio

If you prefer a video description of the 10 most common of these phrases, check out my video lesson on YouTube below. That way you can hear how these words are pronounced.

Or for the full list of 29 Mexican slang words and phrases, scroll down and keep reading!

29 Mexican Slang Words And Phrases Every Spanish Learner Needs To Know

1. ¿Mande?

Used to ask someone to repeat something if you didn’t hear or understand what was said the first time.

This is extremely helpful to know if you are travelling to Mexico as a Spanish learner, as you may often need people to repeat themselves.

It is considered more polite than
¿Qué?
or
¿Cómo?
in Mexico, but rarely used elsewhere.

2. Pedo

Technically,
pedo
translates to “fart,” but it is used in quite a few phrases in Mexico, some of the most common of which are:

  • ¿Qué pedo?– What’s up?
  • No hay pedo– It’s no problem
  • Andar bien pedo/a– to be very drunk
  • ¿Dónde es la peda?– Where is the party?

Pedo
is considered quite crude in some parts of the Spanish-speaking world, so I suggest you pay attention to what the people you are speaking with are saying before trying these phrases yourself, especially if not all of your speaking companions are from Mexico.

3. ¿Qué onda?

This one is nice and simple! It’s another casual way to ask a close friend, “What’s up?” and you’ll hear Mexicans use it all the time.

4. Güey (also spelled “wey”)

Güey translates roughly to “dude” or “man” in Mexico.

Where in Spain you might ask a friend,
¿Qué pasa, tío?, you’d be much more likely to say,
¿Qué onda, güey?
in Mexico.

5. Codo/a

Codo/a
translates to “elbow,” but it’s is also used in Mexico to describe someone overly frugal or tightfisted with his or her money.

  • Juan nunca gasta en cosas innecesarias. Es muy codo.– Juan never spends money on unncessary things. He’s very frugal.

6. Estar crudo/a

Whats Up in Spanish Slang (2)

Put simply,
estar crudo/a
means to have a hangover.

Literally, it would be translated as “to be raw”, which is probably not a bad metaphor for feeling hungover!

  • Estoy bien crudo hoy.– I’m very hungover today.

7. ¿Qué tal?

I bet you’re surprised to see this phrase make the list.

After all,
¿Qué tal?
is not specific to Mexico.

However, it does have a different meaning in Mexico than in Spain and some other
Spanish-speaking countries.

(Video) Commonly Used SLANG Words - Basic Mexican Spanish Phrases

In Mexico,
¿Qué tal?
means “What’s happening?” or “What’s up?” as opposed to “How are you?” or “How are things going?” as you may have learned in your Spanish textbook or class.

So, it’s much more casual than the same phrase would be in other dialects of Spanish.

8. Tener feria

This one means “to have money”, as in:

  • ¿Tienes feria para salir este fin de semana?
    – Do you have money to go out this weekend?

In some parts of Mexico,
feria
can also refer to pocket change.

9. ¡No manches!

You will use this expression most often when listening to a story or anecdote as it’s used to express shock or surprise.

In English, it would translate roughly to “No way!” or “You’re kidding me!”

10. La neta

La neta
in Mexican Spanish means the truth.

It can be used either as a way to agree with someone;

  • Sí, es la neta
    – Yes it’s the truth

… or to express doubt in what they’re saying:

  • ¿Es la neta? – Is it the truth?

If you refer to a person as
neto/a, you are describing someone who can be trusted or that you can always count on.

Popular: How Do You Spell Cupola

11. Ni modo

There is no literal translation of
ni modo
in English but it falls somewhere between “no big deal” and “it is what it is.”

You can use
ni modo
to say you have no preference or also to express disappointment at something you have no control over.

Whats Up in Spanish Slang (3)

12. ¡Aguas!

¡Aguas!
means… Watch out!

The story goes that this expression dates back to the days when the contents of chamber pots and other wastewater were tossed out the window and into the street each morning.

These days,
¡Aguas!
isn’t related to water or waste at all. Instead, it’s an expression similar to “Heads up!” still used in Mexico and some parts of the United States.

13. Estar cañón

To be difficult or hard, as in:

  • El examen estuvo cañón
    – The exam was really hard.

You can also use
cañón
to add intensity to an expression, such as:

  • Te extraño cañón
    – I miss you so much.
Whats Up in Spanish Slang (4)

14. Eso que ni qué

This handy Mexican phrase means “definitely” or “without a doubt”.

Use
eso que ni qué to express total agreement with what someone else is saying.

  • – Chichen Itza es uno de los lugares más conocidos de México– Chichen Itza is one of the most well-known places in Mexico.
  • – Eso que ni qué– Without a doubt!

15. Fresa

You probably already know that the nounfresa
literally means “strawberry”.

(Video) How to Say "What's Up?" | Spanish Lessons

In Mexico, though, it’s also an adjective to describe someone as stuck up or snooty.

16. Vato

Vato
means “guy” or “man”, and has a measure of respect or being impressed about it.

However, in some situations, it also has a gang connotation and is more closely translated to “gangster.”

There’s some debate about whether
vato
is a variant of
bato
(fool),
chivato
(informant or snitch), or other indigenous words from the region.

Wherever it comes from, it is used today in Northern Mexico between friends.

It’s also been included in a number of Spanglish expressions and songs, such as in the Texas Tornados song, “Hey Baby, ¿Qué Paso?”:

17. Chido/a

Chido/a
is a Mexican adjective meaning “awesome” or “cool”.

It’s used the same the way you would use
guay
in Spain. For example:

  • Es un vato chido
    – He’s a cool guy!

18. Padre

Of course,
padre
generally means ‘father’ in Spanish, but in Mexico, it’s also another way to say, “Awesome!” or “Great!”, for example:

  • ¡Qué padre!
    – How awesome/great!

19. Chicano/a

This term is an interesting one and you may well hear it used among
latinos
in the US as well as in Mexico.

It’s an adjective referring to people of Mexican origin living in the United States.

20. ¡Órale!

There’s no literal translation for
órale
in English.

Instead, it can mean one of a few different expressions, such as:

  • “Okay”
  • “Well done”
  • “Come on”
  • “No way!”

I know it sounds tricky but don’t worry! The context will always make it pretty clear what is being expressed.

21. Ser bien gacho/a

To be
gacho
means to be “lame” or “uncool”, when directed at a person.

When directed at a situation, it is another way to say
mala onda
or “bad vibes.”

  • No me gusta esta fiesta. Está bien gacha.
    – I don’t like this party. It has bad vibes.

22. Carnal

Carnal
means “brother”, either literally or as an expression or term of endearment between close friends.

  • Oye, carnal, ¿cómo te va?
    – Hey brother, what’s up?

Whats Up in Spanish Slang (5)

23. Te crees muy muy

This one means “You think you are such a big deal” and is used in the same way it’s translation would be in English.

Popular: How Do You Spell Deodorant

It may seem simple but it can go a long way to helping you sound more natural in your conversations!

(Video) What's up in Spanish 🔴 6 ways to say Whats up in Spanish 🔴

24. Chavo/a

A word used to informally refer to children, like “kids” in English.

Other words in Mexico with similar meanings include
chamaco/a
and
morro/a.

  • Los chavos están jugandoal fútbol
    – The kids are playing football.

25. Sin broncas

Bronca
roughly translates to “fight” or “row.”

So, to say something or someone is
sin broncas, you are saying there’s no problem (e.g. they’re “without fight/disagreement”).

26. ¡Qué huevos!

This phrase is used to express admiration or amazement at something daring or brave.

It’s also sometimes used to express dismay or disgust. And when it is you’ll be able to tell easily from the context.

¡A huevo!
is a similar expression that means “Absolutely!” or “Let’s do it!”

However, it’s a good idea to use the word
huevos
with care, as it’s also a common Spanish slang term for “testicles”!

As you might imagine, this means there are many vulgar innuendos and insults that include the word
huevos; so much so that some foreigners fear even using the word when ordering eggs at a restaurant!

You don’t need to worry about saying a curse word when ordering
huevos
directly. But do be careful to avoid any unfortunate hand signs or overly specific descriptions that could lead to a round of laughter at your expense!

27. Huevón/a

Huevón
literally means a “large egg” but is used colloquially as an insult to talk about an extremely lazy person. For example:

  • Mario nunca hace nada. ¡Qué huevón!
    – Mario never does anything. What a lazy guy!

Whats Up in Spanish Slang (6)

28. Sale

Just as Spaniards say
vale
to mean “Let’s go!” or “Okay, cool” and
Argentineans
use
dale, Mexicans express the same thing with the word
sale.

  • ¿Vamos al cine a la tarde? – Sale
    – Shall we go to the cinema in the afternoon? Ok, cool.

29. No hay de queso, nomás de papas

This classic Mexican slang phrase is used in place of “you’re welcome” and it’s actually a play on words made famous by a popular Mexican television show!

It is a variant on the common expression
no hay de qué
which means “no problem.”

It’s Time To Start Using Your Mexican Slang!

There you have it!

29 Mexican slang words and expression to impress your friends while travelling in Central America and sound fluent in Spanish in no time!

By learning these essential Mexican phrases, you’ll not only learn to keep up in conversation with your Mexican friends but also be able to watch a range of fantastic
Mexican movies
and
TV shows
that use colloquial slang.

You’ll be able to speak Mexican Spanish with greater confidence without the fear of being laughed at for using “textbook phrases” or formal Spanish.

So what are you waiting for? Learn the phrases that are most relevant to you, then get out there and practice using them!¡Suerte!

By the way, if you want to immerse yourself in the different Spanish dialects of Spain and Latin America, while pushing past the dreaded intermediate plateau, then check out theFluent Spanish Academy.

It’s an entire library of Spanish learning material with audio and transcripts and much more to get you fluent in the language fast.

(Video) Gringo EXPOSES how natives say "whats up" in Spanish

Click here
to find out more about Fluent Spanish Academy and how it can help you.

FAQs

What's up Mexican slang? ›

In Mexico, ¿Qué tal? means “What's happening?” or “What's up?” as opposed to “How are you?” or “How are things going?” as you may have learned in your Spanish textbook or class. So, it's much more casual than the same phrase would be in other dialects of Spanish.

How do you respond to muy bien? ›

The standard answer is probably "Bien" ("Fine") or "Muy bien" ("Very good"). Of course, both of those responses are often expanded: "Muy bien, gracias.

What does Culasso mean? ›

Spanish. Learn this word. Culasso. CULASSO: "That is called absolute pitch."

How do you respond to Como te va? ›

would be bien (fine) or even ¡muy bien!

Is no bueno offensive? ›

No bueno in its simplest terms means bad. Below are a few synonyms for bad from Thesaurus, alongside their definitions from Oxford Languages. Crummy – Informal, meaning dirty, poor quality, or unpleasant. Lousy – Meaning gross, poor, or bad.

What's a vato in Spanish mean? ›

Noun. vato (plural vatos) (Chicano, slang) Hispanic youth; guy; dude.

What is Cómo estás? ›

¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)

What does Hola estás mean? ›

Hello, how are you?

How do you reply to Buenos dias? ›

In short – the best (and easiest) response to 'buenos días' is a simple 'buenos días' in return! 'Hola, buenos días', 'buen día', 'igualmente' and 'como está' are also excellent responses!

What does Mondada mean? ›

mondada [adj/f] chaffless.

What does Chon mean in Spanish slang? ›

General. chon [m] MX. underwear. Colloquial.

What does pues mean in texting? ›

Pues is used by almost all speakers as a verbal filler word. It's a favorite word for people to say when they are trying to buy time in between sentences. As a filler word, pues in Spanish most commonly translates to “well” but it can have other meanings too. In English we might say “ummmm…” “so…” or “then…”

What do muy bien mean? ›

Muy bien meaning “Very well

The most common meaning of muy bien in Spanish is “very well”.

Is Que tal formal? ›

¿Qué tal? is used in both, informal and formal situations, so you can greet an elderly person with ¿qué tal?

What does this mean Bueno? ›

interjection Spanish. good; all right.

Is there a Spanish word for no? ›

Nop – Nope. To say “no” in Spanish in a super informal way, use this expression.

Why is everyone saying no bueno? ›

The expression “no Bueno” is a rendition of the Spanish phrase “no está bien.” Typically, it's said by other racial groups when they want to express their displeasure with something or avoid a situation. The saying has Latin roots, stemming from the word “Duenos” and appeared sometime in the 11th century.

How do you pronounce Bueno? ›

How to pronounce 'Bueno' (good (male)) in Spanish? - YouTube

How do you say bro in Spanish slang? ›

Carnal. Literally means “brother,” but as with “bro” in English, it's used to refer to good friends, too. María, te presento a mi carnal. María, this is my bro.

What does wey mean Spanish? ›

Güey (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈwei]; also spelled guey, wey or we) is a word in colloquial Mexican Spanish which is commonly used to refer to any person without using their name.

What does ese mean in Spanish slang? ›

Ese is a Spanish slang term which means comrade, pal or friend. Young teens often use this term to refer to their circle of friends.

How do you say como esta? ›

How to pronounce '¿Cómo estás?' (How are you?) in Spanish?

How are you today in Spain? ›

If you want to say “how are you today” in Spanish, you would simply say, “¿Cómo está hoy?” It's the formal version of the greeting. The informal/familiar version is “¿Cómo estás hoy?”.

What can I say instead of Como estas? ›

You can respond to this in the same way you would respond to ¿Cómo estás? An answer like Bien (good), Bastante bien (pretty good) or Muy bien (very good) is appropriate.

What is no comprendo mean? ›

Phrase. no comprendo. I don't understand.

Is Como estas informal? ›

If you'd like to say “Hello, how are you?” in Spanish, you can use “*Hola, ¿cómo estás?” (informal/singular). If you are greeting someone in a more formal setting, you'll want to use “Hola, ¿cómo está?” (formal/singular).

How are you in Spanish to a woman? ›

Spanish Lesson: 4 ways to ask "How are you?" in Spanish - YouTube

What are the 2 meanings of Mucho Gusto? ›

Using gusto means whatever is being described is pleasing me. The literal translation of “mucho” is “a lot of.” Therefore, according to Spanish Dict, “mucho gusto” directly translates to “much pleasure.” As a greeting, it is used to mean that it is a pleasure to make one's acquaintance.

What is meant by Hola amigo? ›

English Translation. hello friend.

What is Hola buenos días? ›

: good morning : hello.

What is No Manches? ›

Phrase. no manches. (Mexico, informal) don't screw around, stop joking, stop being silly synonyms ▲ ¡No manches! ― Shut up!

What does a huevo mean in Spanish slang? ›

¡A huevo! You could be forgiven for thinking that this colloquialism has something to do with eggs, given that it includes the word huevo (egg). However, a huevo (more commonly written a webo) actually means 'hell yeah! ' On a similar note, hueva means laziness, as does floja, and a huevón is a lazy person.

What is Andale pues mean? ›

English translation:Go ahead/ Hurry up./Have a good one. Explanation: "Andales pues" is a Mexican typical expression. It has different meanings, depending on the context in which it's used. Andale comes from "andar", which would be like to walk or move.

Should I use Bien or Bueno? ›

You use bien to answer when someone asks you how you are doing. Instead, you use the word bueno when someone asks you what you are like as far as personality goes. You are a good person and, thus, you use the word bueno, but only if you are a male. These are the two most basic uses of the two words.

What is tres bien? ›

"Très bien" means very good.

Does Bueno mean OK? ›

Bueno can be used as an interjection meaning, "OK," "sure" or "fine," as in agreeing with someone or something.

Is Como se llama formal? ›

In this episode of Coffee Break Spanish To Go, Marina asks the question, ¿Cómo te llamas? (informal) or ¿Cómo se llama usted? (formal). You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you learn to introduce yourself in Spanish.

Is Hasta luego formal? ›

Hasta luego

This is formal. You use it when you want to say goodbye to somebody you may see soon (or not), but you're not sure when.

Is Mucho Gusto formal or informal? ›

Neutral

What is Malo? ›

Definition of malo

(Entry 1 of 2) : a loincloth that is now worn by Hawaiian men only on ceremonial occasions — compare maro.

Is it muy bueno or muy bien? ›

Use "muy bien" to answer something or just like an expression (similar to "well", "nice" or "good"). Use "muy bueno" to describe something good in particular. "Este alumno es muy bueno." = "This student is very good". BUT If you describe something that is (temporary) you should use "muy bien".

What's the difference between Poco and poquito? ›

When you say un poco you're saying “a bit” / “a little”. When you say un poquito you're saying a little less than that; “a little bit”. The main difference is usually the confidence of the person speaking. If they're not confident, the person will probably say un poquito.

How do you say what's up in slang? ›

English Slang / Idioms: What's Up? - YouTube

How do u say hey what's up in Spanish? ›

How to say "WHAT'S UP" in Spanish - YouTube

How Puerto Ricans say whats up? ›

Acho/Chacho

Just like most Spanish speaking countries, Puerto Ricans have a way of shortening words. So, if you are trying to say, “What's up, dude?” you can say “¿Que tal, acho?” They are also used as fillers between thoughts and sentences when speaking. It's similar to “well” in English.

What's up other term? ›

(nonstandard/slang:) wassup, what up, waz up, wazzup, whassup, wuzzup, wussup, sup, wa'up, swa'up, 'sup.

What does WSP stand for? ›

"WSP" is shorthand for "what's up?" What's up is a common, laid-back way of checking in on someone to see how they're doing. It's a versatile greeting that can be used to ask what someone is up to right now, or simply strike up a conversation. It means the same thing on Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, and over text.

What's going on slang? ›

1. What's happening? What's new with you? (Used as a greeting.) A: "Hey, Jake, what's going on?" B: "Not much, Mike.

What are the best slang words? ›

Fire - Hot, trendy, amazing, or on point (formerly "straight fire") GOAT - "Greatest of All Time" Go Off - A phrase said to encourage someone to continue, usually when they're ranting about something (can also be sarcastic, as in, "but go off, I guess") Gucci - Good, cool, or going well.

What is Cómo estás? ›

¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)

Where do they say que onda? ›

¿Qué onda? is a question that Spanish speakers and learners can't escape! This frequently used Mexican expression is a big part of the Spanish-speaking world and essential slang in countries like Guatemala, Argentina, Uruguay, and the United States.

How do you greet in Spanish? ›

Here are the most common greetings in Spanish:
  1. Hola – Hello.
  2. Buenas – Hi (informal)
  3. Buenos días – Good morning.
  4. Buen día – Good morning (less common, used in Argentina)
  5. Buenas tardes – Good afternoon.
  6. Buenas noches – Good evening.
  7. Bienvenido – Welcome.

What does WAWA mean in Spanish? ›

"wawa" (Chilean Slang for "Baby") is a very informal word, so they has not a specific way to pronounce it, from what I've heard, most of the times, they pronounce it as "wawa"

What does Mamabicho mean? ›

mamabicho m (plural mamabichos) (slang, Puerto Rico) dicksucker.

Why do Puerto Ricans say Papi? ›

Papi is a colloquial term for “daddy” in Spanish, but in many Spanish-speaking cultures, particularly in the Caribbean, it is often used as a general term of affection for any man, whether it's a relative, friend, or lover. The English “baby,” used as a term of endearment for spouses and children alike, is similar.

What's new in slang? ›

Phrase. what's new? (informal) An informal greeting asking the other person what has recently happened in their life. A typical response might be "Not much; you?". The greeting is not always literal and may just be used to say hello.

What are buenos dias? ›

Definition of buenos días

: good morning : hello.

Videos

1. How to say "WHAT'S UP" in Spanish
(MaestroKaplan)
2. Who Has the Coolest Way of Saying What's Up in Spanish
(LanguageLink)
3. How To Say What's Up In Spanish
(Spanish Made Easy)
4. How to reply to WHAT'S UP? What's up meaning. Other ways to say 'What's up?'
(English Speaking 360)
5. Latinos Are Not All The Same | Gabriel Iglesias
(Gabriel Iglesias)
6. 10 informal ways to ask "How are you?" in Spanish
(Butterfly Spanish)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Melvina Ondricka

Last Updated: 10/26/2022

Views: 5976

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Melvina Ondricka

Birthday: 2000-12-23

Address: Suite 382 139 Shaniqua Locks, Paulaborough, UT 90498

Phone: +636383657021

Job: Dynamic Government Specialist

Hobby: Kite flying, Watching movies, Knitting, Model building, Reading, Wood carving, Paintball

Introduction: My name is Melvina Ondricka, I am a helpful, fancy, friendly, innocent, outstanding, courageous, thoughtful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.