i think languages logo

Top Spanish Slang Words Used in Everyday Life

Discover the most popular Spanish slang words and phrases used in everyday life! Improve your language skills and sound like a native speaker.

most popular spanish slang words and phrases used in everyday life

Learning Spanish slang words

Spanish, one of the most widely spoken languages globally, is the second most spoken language in the United States. Slang expressions are used frequently by native Spanish speakers to have informal conversations with one another.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most widely used Spanish slang expressions.

Slang is a term for unofficial terms or expressions that are used frequently in casual or among peers contexts. They give words more character and flavor, and they can also improve interpersonal communication between speakers.

Slang is another means through which speakers can communicate ideas that may not be possible in more formal language.

A brief history of Spanish Slang

Spanish slang has a long and rich history, dating back to the early 1900s when Spanish speakers in Latin America began to develop their own unique expressions and words.

Many Spanish slang words come from African, Indigenous, and European cultures, reflecting the diverse origins of Spanish speakers.

The goal of this blog is to examine some of the most prevalent Spanish slang expressions. Readers can enhance their Spanish language proficiency and develop a greater knowledge of the culture and people who speak Spanish by learning the meanings of these words.

Top Spanish slang words

The most popular Spanish slang terms will be listed in this part along with explanations of what they mean and examples of how they are used in sentences.

The slang terms “chido” (cool), “fresa” (snob), “cuate” (friend), and others may be on this list.

Qué onda?

“Qué onda?” is a common Spanish slang phrase used to greet someone or ask how they are doing. It’s equivalent to saying “What’s up?” or “How’s it going?” in English.

This phrase is used mostly in Latin America and has a casual tone to it.


“Chévere” is a slang word used in many Spanish-speaking countries to describe something cool, great, or awesome. It can also be used to describe someone easygoing or fun to be around.


“Vaina” is a versatile Spanish slang word that can be used to describe anything. It can be used to describe a situation, an object, or a person. It can mean anything from “thing” to “stuff” to “problem.”

It’s a common slang word used in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries.


“Guagua” is a slang word used in the Caribbean, particularly in the Dominican Republic, to refer to a bus. The word is derived from the Taíno language, the indigenous people of the Caribbean, and was adopted into Spanish.


“Pelado” is a slang word used in many Spanish-speaking countries to describe someone who is broke or has no money. It can also be used to describe someone who is bald or has a shaved head.


“Tío” or “tía” are slang words used in Spain to refer to someone who is a friend or acquaintance. It’s similar to saying “dude” or “bro” in English.


“Chamba” is a slang word used in many Latin American countries to refer to work or a job. It’s commonly used in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.


“Maje” is a slang word used in Central America to describe someone foolish or silly. It’s similar to saying “dumb” or “stupid” in English.


pana as a spanish slang words

“Pana” is a slang word used in Venezuela and some other Latin American countries to refer to a friend or buddy. It’s similar to saying “mate” or “buddy” in English.


“Chido” is a slang word used in Mexico to describe something cool or great. It’s similar to saying “awesome” or “sweet” in English.


“Coger” is a controversial slang word used in many Spanish-speaking countries to mean “to take” or “to grab.” However, in some countries such as Mexico, it’s also used to mean “to have sex.”

It’s important to note that this word can be offensive in some contexts and should be used with caution.


“Sobremesa” is a Spanish word used to describe the time spent at the table after a meal, talking and relaxing with family and friends. In Spain, this is a common tradition, and the term is often used to describe the social ritual of spending time together after eating.


A house or a home is referred to by the slang term “jato” in Peru. It is a flexible slang term that can be used to describe any size of habitation, from a tiny apartment to a sizable house.

In Lima, Peru’s capital, as well as other regions of the nation, the word is frequently used. It’s also important to keep in mind that the word “jato” can occasionally be used negatively or derisively to describe a dilapidated or improperly maintained residence.

But typically, it’s just a colloquial way of referring to someone’s home.

Usage and meaning of each slang word

A. Context in which the slang word is used:

Understanding the context in which slang words are used is crucial to understanding their meaning. For example, “Qué onda” may be appropriate to use with friends, but not in a formal or professional setting.

B. Cultural significance:

Many Spanish slang words have cultural significance and reflect the values and attitudes of the people who use them. For example, “Pana” is commonly used among young people in Venezuela, reflecting the importance of friendship and camaraderie in Venezuelan culture.

C. Examples of usage:

To fully understand the meaning of Spanish slang words, it is helpful to see them used in context. For example, “Chamba” might be used in a sentence like “Voy a la chamba” (I’m going to work).

Examples of slang words used in popular culture

A. Music:

Spanish slang words are commonly used in Latin American and Spanish music. For example, the song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee features many slang words, including “chilling” and “cool.”

B. Movies/TV shows:

Spanish slang words can also be heard in popular TV shows and movies. For example, the Netflix series “Narcos” features many Spanish slang words used in Colombia during the height of the drug trade.

C. Social media:

Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have also popularized Spanish slang words, as users share memes and jokes that rely on these expressions. Learning these words can help readers stay up-to-date on current trends in Spanish-language culture.

Common mistakes to avoid when using slang words

A. Using the wrong context:

Using slang words in the wrong context can be awkward or even offensive. For example, using “Qué onda” with a boss or a stranger may come across as unprofessional or disrespectful.

B. Mispronunciation:

Mispronouncing Spanish slang words can also be a problem, as it can make it difficult for others to understand what you are trying to say. It is important to listen to native speakers and practice pronunciation to avoid these mistakes.

C. Using slang words with people who may not understand:

Finally, it is important to be aware that not all Spanish speakers use the same slang words. Using slang words with someone who is not familiar with them can lead to confusion or misunderstandings.

Study Spanish using slang words

conclusion in learning a spanish slang words

In this article, we looked at some of the most widely used Spanish slang phrases. Qué onda, Chévere, Chamba, Chulo/a, Pana, Guay, To/ta, “Vale!” and “Jato” are a few of these words.

Slang terms give language color and personality and can facilitate more intimate communication between speakers. Readers can have a greater understanding of the Spanish language and culture by learning Spanish slang.

Finally, we recommend that readers continue to learn new Spanish slang terms and practice using them in real-world situations. This will help readers become more fluent in Spanish and give them a better knowledge of Spanish-speaking cultures all over the world.

Related Posts

French: How to teach on Italki

Why a guide to teaching languages online I’m ready to reveal my small secrets as I transition from providing online instruction to managing my website.

German: Babbel vs Duolingo: differences

Numerous individuals use software and apps to learn new languages. These days, two well-known online resources for language learning include Babbel and Duolingo. They both

Languages: Babbel vs Duolingo: differences

In today’s post, we’ll talk about the differences between Babbel and Duolingo. These are unquestionably the two most well-known language learning programs out there. Let’s

Top 20 Spanish words used in sports

Discover the top 20 Spanish words commonly used in the world of sports. Enhance your sports vocabulary and understanding with our informative blog. Introduction The

French Phrases You Need in Workplace

Mastering French phrases in the workplace is essential for effective communication. This blog explores key phrases to navigate the professional world en français. I. Introduction

Sea in French: How to say Sea in Italian

Discover the Italian translation for “sea” with our guide. Learn how to pronounce and use this common word in the beautiful Italian language. The sea

Spanish adverbials: Mientras…

The word Mientras can be an adverb or conjunction depending on the sentence and its structure. You can use mientras to connect two actions in

Spanish imperative negative + pronouns

The Spanish structure imperativo negativo + pronombres enclíticos is a bit controversial topic since many Spanish students get confused when using it. Los pronombres enclíticos

7 Myths About Learning Spanish

Unveiling the truth behind learning Spanish! Discover and debunk the 7 common myths that may be holding you back from mastering this vibrant language. Are

Famous French Food You Must Try

Indulge in the flavors of France with our guide to famous French food. Discover must-try dishes like escargots, coq au vin, and crème brûlée. Bon

Famous French Singers You Must Know

Discover the iconic voices that have made French music famous worldwide. Our list of famous French singers features timeless classics and modern hits. French singers

Famous Spanish Food You Must Try

Embark on a delectable journey through Spain’s culinary wonders! Discover the must-try famous Spanish dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Spanish Food Spain is

Famous German Singers You Must Know

Get ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting world of German music as we showcase the extraordinary talents of renowned singers from Germany. From timeless

Famous Spanish Singers You Must Know

Let the music captivate your senses and ignite your passion for Spanish culture by knowing the famous Spanish singers that ever existed. Importance of Spanish

German Phrases You Need in the Workplace

Discover essential German phrases for the workplace. From greetings to professional conversations, equip yourself with the necessary language skills. German Phrases in the Workplace Learning

Spanish Phrases You Need in Workplace

Master the essential Spanish phrases for the workplace and enhance your communication skills. From greetings to professional requests, we’ve got you covered! Spanish Words in

Top Spanish Speaking Countries

Explore the vibrant cultures and diverse landscapes of the top Spanish-speaking countries in this blog. Discover their history, traditions, and more! Explanation of the importance

Top 20 German Words Used in Sports

Discover the top 20 German words commonly used in sports, from ‘Tor’ to ‘Abseits’. Enhance your sports vocabulary and impress your German-speaking friends! Introduction Explanation

Top 20 French Words Used in Sports

Discover the Top 20 French words used in sports! From “but” to “arbitre,” learn essential vocab to help you better understand the sports world in

How to Say “Food” in Spanish

“Learn the different ways to say ‘food’ in Spanish and expand your vocabulary with our comprehensive guide. Enhance your language skills today!” One of the

How to Say “Food” in French

Learn the various ways to say “food” in French with this comprehensive guide. Expand your vocabulary and impress your francophone friends! “Food” in French: La

How to Say “Food” in German

Learn how to say ‘food’ in German and impress your friends with your language skills! Check out our easy guide and enhance your vocabulary today.

Top 7 Reasons for learning French

Parlez-vous Français? Explore the top 7 reasons for learning French and unlock a world of opportunities. Start your language journey with confidence today! 7 reasons

Top 7 Reasons for Learning German

Discover the power of learning German! Unlock opportunities and expand your horizons with compelling reasons to study German. Start your linguistic journey today! Reasons for

Top 9 Reasons for learning Spanish

Is learning Spanish worth it? What are the top reasons for learning the Spanish language? Start your Spanish journey now! Reasons why learning Spanish is worth

How to learn Spanish through Podcasts

Do you want to learn Spanish through podcasts? Immerse yourself in the richness of the Spanish language with our podcast-based learning guide. Learn Spanish through

How to learn Languages through Podcasts

Unlock the power of language learning with podcasts! Explore the ultimate guide to mastering a new language through engaging podcasts. Start your linguistic journey now!

How to Maximize Your Time in Learning German

Learn German efficiently with expert tips! Discover effective techniques on how to maximize your time in learning German. Tips and strategies for efficiently learning German

How to learn French through Podcasts

Unlock the beauty of the French language with our podcast-based learning approach. Master French effortlessly with engaging lessons and practical tips! The Power of Podcasts

How to Learn German through Podcasts

Master German with ease! Explore the ultimate guide to learning German through podcasts. Gain language skills, cultural insights, and fluency. Start your German journey now!

How hard is it to learn German?

How hard is it to learn German?  Our comprehensive guide provides insights into the challenges and strategies to master the language. How hard is it

How hard is it to learn French?

Discover how difficult it is to learn French in our latest blog post, “Parlez-Vous Français?”. Gain insights and tips to improve your French skills. Parlez-vous

How to say in German

Looking to learn how to say common phrases in German? Check out this blog for tips and tricks on how to speak the language like

How to Pronounce Luxury Brands in French?

Are you a fashion enthusiast struggling to correctly pronounce luxury brand names in French? Look no further! In this French pronunciation guide for luxury brands,

Silent French H: Mute and Aspirated

The silent letter h is often causing trouble to French learners. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the “h” mute and

Faire la Bise: All about French Kiss

If you’re wondering how to greet in French, either through handshakes or kisses, you are at the right place. Today, you’ll learn how to navigate

Speaking practice: talk to yourself

Improve your speaking skills with these simple tips on how to practice speaking by talking to yourself. Start speaking confidently today! Read more here. Speaking

Spaced repetition for the German language

Master German faster with spaced repetition! Our blog explains how this powerful technique works and offers tips to incorporate it into your learning routine. What

What does TE AMO mean in Spanish?

Discover the romantic meaning behind Te Amo, the Spanish phrase for ‘I love you’. Explore its cultural significance and usage in everyday life. Te Amo

What does JE T’AIME mean in French?

Discover the meaning and cultural significance of “Je t’aime,” the famous French expression for “I love you.” Explore its nuances and usage in this blog.