What are some Spanish slang terms

All Spanish Colloquial Terms You Should Know

You travel to Spain, familiar phrasebooks in German, but then you start to notice that even though you know a lot of formal Spanish, you have difficulty understanding the slang. Certain colloquial languages ​​are so common that they are worth learning alongside other standard expressions. Read on to find out which are the most common in Spain.

¡Hostia!

'Hostia' literally means 'host' | © lininha_bs / Pixabay

Spain loves its religious slang, and this word literally means "the host". It is used as an exclamation of surprise or dismay and means something like "damn" in English.

Vale

It's used so much it's hardly a slang word, but it's rarely used in South or Central America, so it's worthwhile if you're used to Latin American Spanish. Spaniards use this interjection all the time to mean "OK", "good" or "good".

Guay

Cool | © bawbag / Pixabay

This word is slang for 'cool', 'amazing' or 'awesome'. You can say, "Quay guay!" "How cool!".

¡Qué chulo!

Another common word that means cool, you'll hear it all over Spain. Its formal meaning, again only in Spain, is cocky or bold, but you're more likely to hear it refer to something as super cool.

Ser la leche

Milk | © Couleur / Pixabay

This can be really amazing or really awful depending on how you use it - like thinking "sick" in English. Spanish is full of phrases that use the word leche or milk. "Ich Cago en la Leche" literally means "I mix in the milk" and is used to express anger or anger. Nice.

Ser mono

Do you call someone cute or a monkey? | © Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

'Qué mono!' is a common phrase in Spanish that means "how cute". It's used for everything from babies to dogs, and it's such a common phrase that it's easy to forget where it came from. But if you tried it in South America, you'd be faced with a few weird looks - the real meaning of mono in Spanish is monkey.

Ir a tapear

Tapas bar | © Life-of-Pix / Pixabay

One of the most important phrases when it comes to food is "make tapas" and is used when friends recommend a tapa bar crawl. "Vamos a tapear" means "we're going to make tapas" - surely one of the best invitations in Spanish?

Tío

As you probably know, if you've learned some Spanish it means uncle and the feminine version, Tía, means aunt. The word is also commonly used in Spanish to mean "buddy", "man", or "buddy".

Majo

El Paseo por Andalusía by Francisco de Goya shows Majos and Majas | © MuseodelPrado / Wikimedia

You may have learned that "nice" is "simpático" in Spanish, but a lot of people in Spain use the word "majo". The word comes from people from the lower strata of Spanish society in the late 18th and early 19th centuries who were famous for their elaborate outfits and were known as majos and majas.

pasta

Money | © WerbeFabrik / Pixabay

Not the famous Italian dish, but Spanish slang about money; something like "dough" or "cash" in English. If you are lucky enough to get into 'una pasta', you've got 'a fortune'.

Guiri

Guiri means 'foreigner' | © rawpixel / Pixabay

The Spanish version of Mexican "gringo" usually refers to Northern European or American, but can be used to describe a foreigner.


Author: Byron White

Byron White is a 28 year old journalist. Not apologetic music person. Social media fanatic. Researcher. Food junkie. Hardcore internet buff.