Spanish Slang Around the World

While many countries may share the same native language, differences may still remain. For example, when studying abroad in different Spanish-speaking countries, you may realize the word “chido” that you learned in Mexico is not understood by Spaniards who say “guay” in Spain. What you are experiencing is new slang! To help students transition to a Spanish-speaking country when studying abroad, we have created a short list of Spanish slang in different countries. Check it out!

Argentina

  • “Lunfardo” – Buenos Aires slang
  • “¡Che!” – Hey!
  • “Chabón” – dude, guy
  • “Buena onda” – good note, good vibes
  • “Pibe” – boy 
  • “Fiaca” – lazy

Costa Rica

  • “¡Pura vida!” – literally ‘pure life’, but has many meanings such as hello, goodbye, ‘that’s life!’, thank you, you’re welcome, and a general acceptance of any good or bad situation in life 
  • “Gringo” – foreigner
  • “¡Tuanis! – cool!
  • “Mae” – dude, guy
  • “¡Qué chiva!” – How cool/neat!
  • “¡Qué linda!” – How cute/pretty!
  • “Tico/tica” – Costa Rican man or woman

Chile

  • “¡Ojo!” – Be careful! Watch Out!
  • “Al tiro” – right away, immediately 
  • “Sí, po!” – Yes, of course!
  • “Te tinca?” – You think?
  • “Taco” – traffic jam
  • “Fome” – boring

Mexico

  • “Fresa” – preppie person, snob, spoiled brat
  • “¡Aguas!” – Watch out!
  • “Chido” – cool
  • “Qué padre” – That’s cool!
  • “Güey” – dude
  • “Qué onda!” – What’s up!

Spain

  • “Buenas!” – greetings
  • “Mono” – cute, adorable
  • “Guiri” – foreigner
  • “Tio/Tia” – dude, guy, friend
  • “Chaval/Chavala” – kid, young person
  • “Qué guay!” – How cool!
  • “Chulo” – neat, lovely

Perú

  • “Chamba” – work
  • “Pata” – bro, dude
  • “Figureti” – show-off
  • “Tombo” – police, cops
  • “Grifo” – gas station
  • “Al toque” – right now, immediately

“¡Qué chiva!” Right? Hope this helps you adjust to new Spanish slang. Read more about language differences in our Learning the Language category.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑