10 Mexican Spanish Slang Expressions to Sound Like a Local - Justlearn (2023)

What do you know about Spanish spoken in Mexico?

When we think of Spanish speaking countries, Mexico is almost always the first to come up.

Many of us even started learning Spanish because of this country.

Even though Spanish is the common language of allSpanish speaking countries, have you ever realized that they have different words and phrases?

Now you are probably trying to remember all the phrases you’ve heard, right?

You’ve certainly heard of ‘Andale,’ ‘Orale,’ ‘Hijole’ etc.

They might sound familiar mainly because ofMexican soap operasor modern Mexican movies.

But do you know what they mean and when to use them?

There’s nothing to worry about.

Today, we’ll share the most useful Mexican words and phrases that can help you sound like a local.

You can also learn Mexican phrases and words once you go there, but we’re pretty sure that you want to be prepared in advance so that you can casually chat with the locals.

Book Spanish lessons here

10 Mexican Spanish Slang Expressions to Sound Like a Local - Justlearn (1)

How to Learn Mexican Spanish?

Like in every Spanish speaking country, there are different dialects for many historical and social reasons.

The Spanish language was brought to Mexico in the 16th century.

The influence of Spanish was so strong that even today, Spanish is used not only in Mexico but in almost every country in Latin America.

The differences between Spanish spoken in Spain and Mexico are minor. They are mainly reflected in some slang words and phrases.

So, if you want to learn Mexican dialect, you can learn Spanish, Castellano. You will not only have an advantage but also you’ll be able to speak with the locals in every Spanish speaking country you go to.

Useful Resources to Learn Mexican Spanish


This book will teach you Mexican slang and give you tips on how to use them in practice.

Besides phrases, you can learn a little bit about slang history as well.

If you plan to travel to Mexico and spend some time there, this is the perfect book for you.

Na’atik Language and Culture Institute

This one is ideal for Mexican Spanish students since it has explanations and programs in Spanish and Mayan, too.

This Institute made an outstanding blog where you can learn about history, culture, Mexican, and much more.

This institute offers an immersion program too. If you apply, you can live with a Mexican family for some time and learn the language with them.

Quick Guide to Mexican Slang

There are more than 500 words and phrases in this book.

It is ideal because you can take it with you anywhere you go. It covers many sentences, definitions, online links, and other useful information about the language.

10 Mexican Spanish Slang Terms to Impress Every Local

There are dozens of interjections that are used in many different situations. Depending on the situation, you have to know which one to use.

In the streets of Mexico, people use these phrases daily. So, if you plan to go to Mexico, we suggest you learn them because they’ll come in handy.

Let’s dive in.

Come along

This phrase is so widely used that it can express many different feelings.

It can show encouragement, surprise, affirmation, disappointment, frustration.

Andale is a typical Mexican word. Probably anyone who hears this phrase would immediately guess it belongs to Mexico.

'Come along! Come along! Above! Above!'

This word became famous thanks to Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in the world.

If you watched this cartoon, you probably heard the mouse say ‘¡Ándale! Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!’

In this case, it shows encouragement and motivation to run very fast.

Come on, come on

This word can have different meanings. You can use it as ‘Órale, ándale,’ which, depending on the tone of the speaker’s voice, can mean either encouragement, but disappointment and surprise too.

Go on

The ‘Ándale pues’ phrase is usually used to express concern.

You can also use it as a sign of some mutual understanding or to end some informal conversation.

You can also use ‘Orale pues’ since there is not much difference between these two.

It can also be used as ‘I told you so.’

For example, you haven’t listened to your parents when they told you to study for your exams. So if you fail, they could say: ‘Ándale! Te lo dije!’


‘Órale’ has many different meanings, and it can be used in many different situations.

Mexican linguists say that the word comes from ‘ahora,’ which means ‘now,’ but today, they have no similarity.

Here are some of the meanings of the phrase:

  • It is commonly used to urge the situation like ‘let’s go,’ ‘hurry up,’ or ‘come on.’

  • It can be used to express surprise or excitement like ‘wow,’ or ‘ oh my god.’

  • You can use it as a term of agreement ‘ok,’ ‘yes,’ or ‘fine.’

  • It can be used as a form of greeting like ‘What’s up.’ Mexican Americans often use the phrase ‘órale vato,’ which means ‘what’s up, man.’ The word ‘vato’ is northern Mexican slang words for man.

      In the following lines, find some of the examples of using ‘órale’ in different contexts:

      • Orale pues.- Alright then

      • ¡Orale, we don't have all day! - Hurry up, we don't have all day!

      • Orale, see you at eight.- Fine, let's meet at eight.

      • Oh, oh, oh! Leave her alone!- Whoa, whoa! Leave her alone!


      One of the most popular interjections is ‘Híjole.’ It is similar to ‘damn,’ ‘wow,’ or ‘geez’ in English. It is mainly used to express surprise, shock, or, in some cases, desperation.

      It’s not really vulgar, but it certainly isn’t polite, so you have to be careful when to use it.

      Here are some of the examples when Mexicans use this word:

      • When you see some terrible car accidents, then you say, Híjole!

      • These shoes are 700$... Híjole!


      The most suitable equivalent for this interjection in English is ‘wow,’ ‘whoa,’ or ‘damn.’

      It can also be used in situations to forbid someone to do something, similar to English ‘Stop!’

      If you still don’t quite understand when to use this word, we are giving you some examples:

      • Wait… Épale, what are you doing?- Wait… whoa, what are you doing?

      • Come on, kid, what else? - Hey, buddy, what's up?


      This word comes from the well-known phrase ‘ ¿Qué hubo?’ which means ‘What’s up?’

      As you can see, this is one of the forms to greet someone. Many consider it the most popular slang phrase Mexicans use. It’s an informal salutation that people use among close friends or family members. You can use it whether you saw that person yesterday, or you haven’t seen them for a while.

      10 Mexican Spanish Slang Expressions to Sound Like a Local - Justlearn (2)


      This phrase is the equivalent to the English word ‘exactly!’ It shows you strongly agree with someone. Depending on the context, it can be translated as ‘of course!’


      Mexicans are friendly, cheerful people. However, they also have bad bays, and they can express sadness and disappointment. So, naturally, some phrases are used to express disappointment or dismay. One of them is ‘újule.’

      It is usually an introduction to bad news.

      He's gone

      Just like the previous one, this phrase is also used to express disappointment.

      In the following lines, find some of the examples on how to use this slang word:

      • Cheer up! I lost my cell phone again.Ugh! I lost my cell phone again.

      • Give it a go, vato! I don't want to see you around here again.- Get lost, dude! I don't want to see you around here again.


      This phrase can be translated as ‘good wave.’ It is mainly used as an expression to send positive, good vibes, and energy.

      It’s an informal way to say that someone is good and positive by nature, as in the following example:

      He is cool. He's a good guy.

      Often, it can be modified with ‘bien’ to express something even better. For example:

      That guy is very cool.- He's a great boy.

      Little Then

      Just like ‘Buena onda’ means something good and positive, there is the opposite phrase that expresses something bad; ‘Mala onda.’

      For example, you’ve heard some bad news. In this situation, you can say ¡Qué mala onda!- That’s terrible!

      What's up?

      This expression is among the most common ones to greet someone or to start a conversation. It literally means ‘What wave?’ However, in English, the best equivalent would be ‘What’s up?’

      It’s a positive, casual question that you can use in informal conversations. It also sends good vibes and positive energy, just like ‘Buena onda.’

      The ton of our voice can often say more than our words. So, if you say ‘¿Qué onda?’ with a hand gesture and not so polite and cheerful intonation, it can mean ‘Do you have a problem?’ meaning that you want to fight.


      These expressions are just one piece of a puzzle that is the Mexican Spanish language.

      Good news for you is that they are all similar, and they can be used in many different situations.

      Of course, you should know which one is the most appropriate to use. To be sure, you can talk to theSpanish tutors on Justlearn. Among them, you can find native Mexicans that can teach you to speak like a local.

    • FAQs

      10 Mexican Spanish Slang Expressions to Sound Like a Local - Justlearn? ›

      You'll hear common phrases such as “que padre!” (“How cool!”) or 'más padre' ('very cool'). Just like “chido”, it can be used when talking about people, things or situations.

      What is the most Mexican thing to say? ›

      Most Common Mexican Slang Words:
      • ¡Aguas!: Watch out!
      • Sale: Alright.
      • Chido: Awesome.
      • Padre: Cool.
      • Ándale: Come on.
      • Avísame: Let me know!
      • Órale: All right.
      • Porfis: Please.

      What is a common Mexican phrase? ›

      You'll hear common phrases such as “que padre!” (“How cool!”) or 'más padre' ('very cool'). Just like “chido”, it can be used when talking about people, things or situations.

      What is the slang word for Mexican man? ›

      Güey (also spelled “wey”)

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

      How do Mexicans greet each other slang? ›

      The common verbal greeting is “Buenos dias” (Good day), “Buenas tardes” (Good afternoon) or “Buenas noches” (Good evening/night) depending on the time of day. A more casual greeting is “Hola” (Hello), “¿Qué tal?” (What's up?) or “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?).

      What is the Spanish slang for hot girl? ›

      hot girl {noun}

      ricura {f} [LAm.]

      What is a word only Mexican people can say? ›

      ¡A huevo!

      While the word 'huevo' in Spanish means 'egg', the phrase '¡A huevo! ' has nothing to do with food. It actually means 'hell yeah!

      What is the Mexican slang for friend? ›

      Cuate, Compa, Cabrón & Carnal

      Cuate is slang for 'friend', as is compa, carnal and cabrón. They tend to be used to varying degrees depending which part of Mexico you're in, and cabrón can also be used as an insult at times.

      What is a Chulo? ›

      noun, plural chu·los [choo-laws; English choo-lohz]. Spanish. a dandified or effeminate man. pimp.

      What is the Mexican slang for kid? ›

      Niño or niña, muchacho or muchacha, and chico or chica are the most common words used in Spanish to refer to children.

      What is a Chingana? ›

      feminine noun. Andes, Southern Cone) dive (informal) ⧫ tavern.

      What is the Mexican slang for drinking? ›

      Chupar (literally to lick or to suck) and pistear are both slang for “to drink.” El chupe and el pisto are the nouns, so they refer to “the drinks.” Chupar and chupe are used in the center and south of Mexico, while pistear and pisto are more common in the north.

      Is gabacho a bad word? ›

      Its origin is in Peninsular Spain, as a derogatory synonym of "French". In Spain the term keeps the initial meaning, and it is used as a pejorative reference to someone or something specifically French, with no application to any other nationality.

      What is the Spanish slang for girl? ›

      Instead of using muchacho or muchacha or niño or niña, try out the Mexican slang term for “boy” or “girl,” which is chango or changa.

      What is the Mexican slang for brother? ›

      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 is a gangsta slang? ›

      Gang slang terms
      • BG -n.- Baby Gangsta; an adolescent gangster.
      • bluh -n. - a slurred pronunciation of Blood. ...
      • Cuzz/Cuzzo -n. - Crip. ...
      • G -n. - a gangsta. ...
      • OG -n. - Original Gangster. ...
      • overhoe -n. - derogatory term towards a Ova Soldier gang member.
      • suwitchboy -n. - derogatory term towards a D.T.B ganster.
      Mar 22, 2019

      What is a dirty girl slang in Spanish? ›

      Meanings of "dirty woman" in Spanish English Dictionary : 5 result(s)
      1Generalchancha [f] LA
      2Colloquialmarrana [f]
      3Colloquiallechona [f]
      5 more rows

      What is the Spanish slang for white girls? ›

      The word güera is, in Chicano and Mexican-Spanish slang, a term for a white girl.

      What do Spanish guys call their girlfriends? ›

      Mi amor and cariño are still the most common pet names used by Spanish couples. For the lovebirds who are on a high, mi cielo or just cielo is an endearing pet name to use.

      What is the Mexican slang for money? ›

      How to Say Money in Spanish. If you want to say the word for “money” in Spanish, you would generally say “dinero” or “el dinero.” However, a fairly common slang term for money is “plata.” And you can easily find a few dozen other terms across the Spanish-speaking world.

      Is Que Onda rude? ›

      Que onda in Spanish is a way friends and family welcome each other in an informal situation. Remember, if you're using que onda as a greeting, it should be with someone you already know or in a casual scenario. Que onda is not acceptable in formal or elegant situations.

      What is the Spanish slang for OK? ›

      2. Vale. This is the informal version of “de acuerdo” (all right/ok), and it's extremely common Spanish slang. This is probably the first Spanish slang expression you'll hear repeatedly and you can use it in many situations.

      What is Mexican slang for flirt? ›

      The Spanish Verb for “to Flirt”: Coquetear

      There are several verbs to say “to flirt” in Spanish, but the most common one is coquetear.

      What is Mexican slang for sneaky? ›

      taimado {adj.}

      What is Mexican slang for boring? ›

      Aburrido means boring, tedious, half-hearted and a drag.

      Can I call my boyfriend Papi Chulo? ›

      Papi Chulo

      This directly translates to “handsome daddy” but is used by partners to refer to their boyfriends as an attractive man. It is a way to call your boyfriend handsome and to let him know you find him very attractive.

      Is Papi Chulo a bad word? ›

      But generally, calling someone papi chulo is in reference to their appearance and their confidence, either with a negative (Rico Suave) or positive connotation (a hunk). Attitudes toward the term papi chulo are mixed among Latinx Americans, given chulo's history as a derogatory, racialized term in American English.

      Does chulo mean daddy? ›

      Papi chulo ("cute daddy" in Caribbean Spanish) is a Spanish term of endearment for males.

      What is Mexican slang for dad? ›

      Papá means “dad,” while padre means “father.” Papi translates to “daddy,” and can be used to address a father or romantic partner. Jefe, tata, apá, viejo, and papaíto are all common slang words for “dad.”

      What is Mexican slang for cheap? ›

      Reverse translation for cheap
      • barato - cheap, inexpensive, (slang) cheesy.
      • económico - economic, economical.
      • mal hecho.
      • tacaño - stingy, miserly.
      • agarrado - cheap, stingy.
      • codo - cheap, stingy.
      • barato - cheap, cheaply.

      What is half Mexican slang? ›

      Pocho (feminine: pocha) is slang in Spanish used in Mexico to refer to Mexican Americans and Mexican emigrants. It is often used pejoratively to describe a Mexican expatriate or a person of Mexican ancestry who lacks fluency or the ability to speak in Spanish and knowledge of Mexican culture.

      Is Chingon a bad word? ›

      Throughout Latin America and in many Latinx communities in the United States, the word chingona has always had negative connotations attached to it. The word has historically been used to describe women who are “too aggressive,” while the masculine version of the word “chingon” is used as a way to compliment men.

      What does Bendigo mean in Spanish slang? ›

      to bless, to consecrate; to praise, to extol. vocabulary!

      What is slang for diarrhea in Mexico? ›

      Moctezuma's revenge is a colloquial term for travelers' diarrhea contracted in Mexico.

      What is Mexican slang for fighting? ›

      Chingar is probably the most frequently used verb in Mexican slang with many different meanings and a long history of usage. Chingar is derived from cingarár—”to fight” in Caló, the language of Spanish Gypsies that had a deep influence on Mexican-American slang.

      What is a peda Spanish? ›

      n. fart, stink; adj. drunk. peda.

      What are the worst Spanish swear words? ›

      • 9.1 Chocho.
      • 9.2 Pendejo.
      • 9.3 Cabrón.
      • 9.4 Gilipollas.
      • 9.5 Capullo.
      • 9.6 Buey/Huey/Güey/Wey/We/Way.
      • 9.7 Joto.
      • 9.8 Madre.

      What is beautiful girl called in Spanish? ›

      Hermoso has a similar relationship with hermosura, which means “beauty”. You can also say una hermosura to mean “a beautiful woman”.

      What is the Spanish word for badass girl? ›

      Claim your inner "chingona", a Spanish term for "badass woman"

      What do Mexicans call love? ›

      Terms Of Endearment In The Spanish Language

      The following Spanish love words are essential for your better half, a very dear and close friend, or a family member. Cariño (Darling) Bebé (Baby) Mi Amor (My love) Mi vida (My life)

      What is Mexican slang for sister? ›

      Sister = Hermana

      Mjja is a colloquial contraction of the Spanish words mi (“my”) and hija (“daughter”). The male counterpart to this is “mijo”.

      What does Wei mean in Spanish? ›

      Güey, pronounced “whey,” is Mexican slang for “dumbass” or “idiot,” although it is can also be used more as a slang term for “man” or “dude.”

      What do gangsters call their girl? ›

      A woman who's the companion or conspirator to a gangster can be called a moll. One of the most famous molls was Bonnie Parker, of the criminal duo Bonnie and Clyde.

      What is 12 in gangster slang? ›

      12 is a slang term for police or any law enforcement officials of uncertain origin.

      What is a slang word for jail? ›

      clink (slang) glasshouse (military, informal) gaol. penitentiary (US) slammer (slang)

      What is Mexico's most famous speech? ›

      The Grito de Dolores ("Cry of/from Dolores") was the battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence, uttered on September 16, 1810, by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest from the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato, Mexico.

      What is a special saying in Mexico? ›

      1. Agua que no has de beber, déjala correr – Anonymous. Literal translation: Water that you must not drink, let it run. This Mexican proverb warns us not to get involved in something that we won't be able to face later.

      What is 1 Spanish Mexican slang word? ›

      Güey. This is the most ubiquitous word in everyday Mexican conversation. If you're going to learn just one piece of Mexican Spanish slang, let güey be the one. Most closely translated to 'mate', you'll mainly see it written as wey (which is incidentally how it's pronounced) rather than güey.

      What so Mexicans speak? ›

      The official language of Mexico is Spanish, which is spoken by 90 percent of the people. Indian languages of the Aztecs, Mayans, and other tribes are still spoken throughout the country. Originally there may have been more than 200 roots of native languages.

      What is the Mexican cry called? ›

      The grito is sometimes used as part of the official remembrance of the Shout of Dolores, during the celebration of Mexican Independence Day. The grito mexicano has patriotic connotations.

      What was Mexico's first language? ›

      The most widely spoken indigenous language of Mexico is Nahuatl. This language stems from the Uto-Aztecan language family, which researchers believe originated in the southwestern region of the United States. Speakers of the language migrated to Central Mexico around 500 AD.

      What is the Mexican grito in English? ›

      Grito de Dolores, (English: “Cry of Dolores”) battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain, first uttered by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, parish priest of Dolores (now Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato state), on September 16, 1810.

      What is Mexican slang for nice? ›

      Chido (Nice, cool)

      This word is simply a fun way to say “nice” or “cool” in Mexican Spanish.

      What do Mexicans say when they are happy? ›

      Estoy feliz — I'm happy

      Although contento and feliz have similar meanings, feliz implies more enthusiastic or joyful happiness and is less commonly used.

      What do Mexicans say when they are surprised? ›

      ¡Venga ya! (or sometimes simply ¡Venga!) is a way of expressing surprise or disbelief. Just like “no way,” “come on!” or “come off it!” in English, it's used when you are shocked.

      How do you say B * * * * in Mexican? ›

      How do you say "bitch" in Spanish? - It could be "perra", "cabrona", or "zorra."¿Cómo se dice "bitch" en español? - Podría ser "perra", "cabrona" o "zorra".

      What are 5 interesting facts about Mexico? ›

      10 surprising facts about Mexico
      • Mexico is home to the world's largest pyramid. ...
      • 69 different languages are spoken in Mexico. ...
      • Mexico City is the second city of the world with the largest number of museums. ...
      • Mexico is the country with the largest number of taxi cabs in the world. ...
      • Mexico is a big time Coca-Cola consumer.
      Sep 30, 2019

      What is a Mexican that doesn't speak Spanish? ›

      Pocho (feminine: pocha) is slang in Spanish used in Mexico to refer to Mexican Americans and Mexican emigrants. It is often used pejoratively to describe a Mexican expatriate or a person of Mexican ancestry who lacks fluency or the ability to speak in Spanish and knowledge of Mexican culture.

      What do Mexicans speak other than Spanish? ›

      Some of the most widely spoken languages in Mexico, aside from Spanish, are Nahuatl, which has more than 1.7 million speakers, Maya, spoken by around 850,000 people, and Mixtec, with more than half a million speakers.


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