Slang is difficult to use correctly in a new language. That said, when you do, you really sound like a local.
“Groovy, man!” is what your dad says. It’s embarrassing.
Likewise in Mexico, you risk sounding like a chavoruco, an old person tragically trying to be hip. Mexican Spanish slang is unique to Mexico and you probably didn’t learn it in Spanish class. This article will give you a Mexican slang dictionary that will have you sounding chido cool and not like a chavoruco.
Mexican Slang Words
Spanish slang words in Mexico are used every day. They vary in strength of emotion. Knowing how and when to use them is part of understanding Mexican culture.
These Mexican slang words below are squeaky clean and simple. You can use them with everybody and now worry about offending anyone.
You will hear this a million times in a day in Mexico. It comes from buey ox and means “dude” or “man.” Strength: low. Get the attention of your friend with oye, wey (hey, man!)
Chido means “cool”. What do you think of my new hat? Está chido (it’s cool).
A confirmation of something good, “ok” , “alright” , “right on”.
“A bunch” of something. Hay un chorro de turistas (there’s a bunch of tourists).
Beers! Vamos a tomar chelas (Let’s go drink beers).
Literally, “strawberry” this slang is used to refer to a high-society, snobby girl.
“Poop” for when you’re talking to little kids or about the dog.
An adjective similar to “goddamn”, it can be added to any word. Your car breaks down again, este pinche coche (this goddamn car).
Mexican Slang Phrases
Inject these full Mexican Spanish slang phrases into a conversation to help you sound more local.
¿Qué onda?¿Qué flow? ¿Qué show? ¿Qué transa? ¿Qué pedo?
All meaning “what’s up?”
“How cool!” Power up the phrase with qué padrisimo (how very cool).
A positive confirmation “alright” “right on”.
“No way” or “no kidding” to express disbelief.
The more vulgar way to say “No way” or “no shit” to express disbelief.
Qué mal pedo
“That sucks”. Broke your toe? Qué mal pedo.
“Watch out!” for when you want to warn someone.
“I’m hungover” for the day after a fiesta.
Ando bien pedo
“I’m drunk” to let your friends know you’re done for the night.
LGBT+ Mexican Slang
The newest slang you’ll find in Mexico is coming from the LGBT+ community. Just like in English, many slang words and phrases can be traced back to LGBT+ origins. Here are a few phrases, but you can brush up on your LGBT+ slang from Mexico and other countries.
“Yass, queen” and should also come with a finger snap to the air.
Me voló la peluca
“I was shook” to express surprise in a good way. Literally “my wig flew off.”
Use Mexican slang, but be cautious
Using slang is a good exercise in language fluency. Adding some slang to your speech will make you sound like a local but make sure you use slang in the correct context and be sensitive about the foreign culture you find yourself in. Lingoda’s expert teachers know all the latest slang and can help you with your Spanish conversation skills. Register for a free 7-day trial today!
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 tech copywriting 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.