Spanish Slang

Many of us are using some of this extra time at home to brush up on our language skills. Learning a new language is a great way to sharpen the mind and expand your network. 

One of my biggest frustrations when I was learning Spanish was that I tried speaking so properly that I ended up sounding almost robotic. This is because native speakers (of any language) use slang. Slang is not necessarily a bad thing, and depending on context, using it allows you to be better understood. 

That being said, in today’s blog post, I will be giving 10 Spanish slang words and their definitions in English. If you know any other languages (or other slang words), I would love to see them in the comments below!

1. Vale: Okay

If you ever go to Spain, you’ll probably hear the word “vale” more than any other word. It is simply an “mhmm” or “okay.”

2. Guay/Chulo/Mola: Cool, Awesome

When something is “guay” or “chulo” it means that is cool. There is also a verb in Spanish that means to be cool: molar. 

3. Hombre: Duuuude!, showing doubt

There are several ways to use “hombre” in Spain and the meaning changes depending on tone and inflection. There is a characteristic, loud, drawn-out “hoooombre” which means “wow! I haven’t seen you in so long!” An “hombre” with a little bit of attitude is like “come on, think this through.”

4. En plan: Like, ummm

This is something that is said all around Spain, but I have heard it more in Madrid and Barcelona. “En plan” is used like American English speakers use the word “like.” It is also used when someone is trying to describe something and they’re searching for words, like an “ummmm”.

5. Tío/ Tía: Dude

This one is simple. Tío= Dude, Tía=Dudet

6. Guiri: Tourist

If you ever visit Spain and someone calls you a “guiri”, don’t get offended. It just means that you’re a tourist or foreign. Normally you don’t get called “guiri” to your face, but it is used by Spanish people in the context of “maybe we shouldn’t go to the beach until next weekend, this weekend it is going to be full of guiris.”

7. Venga: Come on!, hurry!, fiiiine

This is another word that has a million meanings depending on the tone. One of the most popular usages of “venga” is like an encouraging (or rushing) “come-on!” Another usage is when you’re trying to convince someone to do something and they respond “veeenga”, meaning “fiiiine, i’ll do it.” 

8. Mazo/Montón/Mogollón: A lot

Every region has a way to express that there is  a lot of something. In Madrid, “mazo” is used quite often. “Un montón” and “un mogollón” are regularly used throughout all of Spain. 

9. ¡Qué fuerte!: Daaang, that’s crazy!

This is an expression that is used to express shock or surprise. When someone spills some juicy tea about a celebrity, a typical response would be “qué fuerte.”

10. Mono/ Mona: cute

Mono has two meanings. The most common meaning is monkey (noun form), but it can also mean cute (adjective form). Un mono mono is a cute monkey. 

That’s all I’ve got for today . Share your slang words in English, Spanish, or any other language that you may know.

One thought on “Spanish Slang

  1. ¡Gracias por el artículo! Definitivamente necesito repasar la jerga de diferentes dialectos, estoy tan acostumbrado a usar la jerga mexicana que me olvidé de España. ¡aunque diré que uso mucho ‘vale’!


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