In English, you’d never say: “That party was very good.” I mean, you technically could, but you’d sound so lame you might never get invited to another party ever again. Well, in Spanish you wouldn’t say that either. It’s correct, but it sounds a little out of touch with modern culture and slang. Today we will cover how to say cool in Spanish in a variety of ways. Also, we’ll review grammar points on how to use this vocabulary in Spanish correctly.
Why learn how to say cool in Spanish?
Learning how to say cool in Spanish is important. Some of the first vocabulary that we learn in Spanish, or any other language, are adjectives for “very good”. In Spanish maybe you already know:
- genial, bueno, fantástico, excelente, estupendo, maravilloso
Learning how to say cool in Spanish can bring your language ability to a new level, and it could help you sound more local. It will increase your confidence and help you blend in with people from Spain to Mexico to Chile.
What is very cool in Spanish?
So what is cool in Spanish? Just about anything. What can be very cool in Spanish is similar to English: people, places, and things. We use different grammar to say the word cool in Spanish:
- Adjective in a sentence: That is cool. Está padre.
- Interjection: Cool! ¡Padre!
- Phrase: How cool! ¡Qué padre!
Note: In English we don’t say it often, but “how cool” in Spanish is a common phrase.
Ser vs. Estar
When using cool in Spanish in a sentence, remember the differences between the verb to be: ser and estar.
To refer to the permanent or inherent characteristics of a person or place, use ser with cool in Spanish:
- She is cool. Ella es padre.
It means she is, and always will be, a cool person.
If you see something in the moment, especially with objects, you can use estar:
- Your bicycle is cool. Tú bicicleta está padre.
Adjectives for cool in Spanish are gendered. The generic words for cool in Spanish all end with “o”, such as chido. Remember to change adjectives to match the object’s gender. For example, bicycle is feminine in Spanish:
- The bicycle is cool. La bicicleta está chida.
Words for cool that end in “e” chévere or “y” guay are neutral and will not change.
There are lots of ways to say cool in Spanish slang, so let’s dive in.
1. Padre (Mexico)
Padre literally means “father” but in Mexico it means cool. This word is common across a lot of age groups. If you want to level-up and say something is very cool in Spanish, you can say “padrisimo.”
2. Chido (Mexico)
Chido has only one meaning in Mexico and that is “cool”. People use it every day. How are you doing? (I’m) cool. ¿Como estás? Chido.
3. Bacán (Chile)
Chileans are cool. Los chilenos son bacanas and they like things that are bacán. It can describe something interesting, distinct, or fun. Chileans may talk fast, but you will hear this word a lot.
4. Bacano (Colombia)
In another South American country, Colombia, you will hear a similar word bacano with the same meaning.
5. Copado (Argentina)
In Argentina they’ll say copado. You bought a new car? ¡Qué copado! They’ll also use it as a verb meaning to really like something/someone: He really likes me. Él me copa.
6. Guay (Spain)
In Spain they say guay. For English-speakers, the pronunciation sounds like “why.” My friends, you are all cool. Mis amigas, sois guay.
7. Pichudo (Costa Rica)
In Costa Rica everything is pichudo. How cool are your shoes! ¡Qué pichudo los tenis!
8. Chivo (El Salvador)
In most countries in Latin America, this word means goat or game meat. In El Salvador, it means cool. It is muy chivo how adaptive language can be.
9. Chévere (Puerto Rico)
In Puerto Rico you’ll hear chévere. You’ll hear this word from the Caribbean all the way through Central America, and in Venezuela. If you remember one word for cool in Spanish, maybe it should be chévere.
Sound cool, be cool
Using vocabulary such as cool in Spanish slang brings local color to your language. It can also help to boost your confidence and fit in socially in Spanish-speaking countries. Remember your Spanish basics like ser, estar, qué, and gender changes. After that, you can use cool in Spanish like a local.
Alison Maciejewski Cortez is Chilean-American, born and raised in California. She studied abroad in Spain, has lived in multiple countries, and now calls Mexico home. She believes that learning how to order a beer in a new language reveals a lot about local culture. Alison speaks English, Spanish, and Thai fluently and studies Czech and Turkish. Her consulting business takes her around the world and she is excited to share language tips as part of the Lingoda team. Follow her culinary and cultural experiences on Twitter.