Mexican Slang

5 More Mexican Slang Words that You Need to Know

Mexican Slang Words with Club de Cuervos (Club of Crows)

Recently I wrote a post about Mexican Spanish Slang on iTalki. You can take a look at it and learn 7 very common Mexican slang phrases through “Club de Cuervos” (Club of Crows), a very popular Mexican TV Show in Spanish that you can watch on Netflix.

It includes the extremely common word “güey” that you hear in almost every sentence in Mexico. Also, the verb “chingar” and its different variations. As well as other slang words like “cabrón“, “pendejo“, “de hueva“, “valer madres” (or vale madre“), neta” and more. Check the article out to see the examples in action!

Spanish Slang is different in every country, so bear in mind that these words make sense only in Mexico. In Spain, Argentina, and other Spanish-speaking countries, people won´t have a clue about what you’re saying. That is because the actual, literal translation of the words doesn’t really mean anything, most of the times – but when you use it all together, slang can be a powerful communication tool!

Also, in my experience, these words are most popular in Mexico City, and other regions have their own Spanish slang words. Chilangos use them all the time, especially with their close friends (chilango = person from CDMX). They are just part of the Mexican culture. And people from the United States and other parts of Latin America or Europe just don´t know how to even reply to them!

5 More Mexican Spanish Slang Words that You Need to Know

But there are some other words that are also extremely common, and I didn’t want to let them out. Because, when you go to Mexico and you leave the tourist track, you’ll hear them all the time!

1. Chido + Padre

Literal meaning = None, Father

Slang meaning = Cool, great

Explanation

Chido is a ubiquitous word that Mexicans use for things like agreeing to a plan, showing approval, showing excitement, and in general expressing positive feelings about something. You can use it even as an answer to “¿Cómo estás? – Estoy chido“. A more common, lighter version of it would be padremeaning also “cool”, but less slang-y and more accepted in general conversation. It´s very common to hear the expression “Qué padre, that we could translate as “That´s cool”.

Examples

  • La fiesta estuvo chida = The party was cool
  • Tus amigos gringos son muy chidos = Your American friends are really cool
  • Esa banda toca bien chido = That band plays really well
  • ¿Cómo te fue en el examen? – Chido = How did you do in the exam? I did well

2. Pinche

Literal meaning = chef assistant

Slang meaning = damn + word, lousy, worthless

Explanation

Pinche is a negative word. It’s usually followed by an insult, like “pinche culero“, “pinche pendejo” (see Club de Cuervos’ slang terms), or just a regular descriptive noun, like “pinche güey“. It´s not used with the original meaning of this Spanish word in Mexico, anymore.

Examples

  • No manches, tu casa está bien pinche lejos = Damn, your house is damn far away.
  • Tu ex novio es un pinche inmaduro. No vuelvas con él = Your ex is a f- immature guy. Don’t go back with him.
  • ¡Qué pinche cruda tengo! = What a damn hangover I have!

3. No manches / No mames

Literal meaning = Don’t stain / Don’t suck

Slang meaning = Damn, F–

Explanation

No manches” is a lighter version of “No mames“. Both of them can be used in the same way, but the second one is definitely a curse word and something not to use in the office or with your partner’s family.

They are negative expressions, and their meaning is a combination of surprise and some degree of annoyance or angriness. They are commonly used at the beginning of the sentence.

Examples

  • ¡No mames! Olvidé hacer la tarea para hoy – Damn! I forgot to do the homework for today
  • No manches, Juan, te ves bien cansado. ¿No dormiste ayer? – Damn, Juan, you look really tired, you didn’t sleep yesterday?
  • ¡No manches, Frida! (that’s the title of an actual movie!)

4. Qué onda

Literal meaning = Which wave

Slang meaning = What’s up?

There is “Hola“, there is “Cómo estás“, but in Mexico, for the real “cuates” (close friends), there is “Qué onda“. If somebody uses this phrase to greet you, you know you’re part of their circle and they treat you as one of them. It’s just a warmer, more personal and less formal version of “cómo estás” and one of the lightest Slang terms here.

Examples

  • ¿Qué onda, güey, qué tal tu día? – What’s up dud, how’s your day going?
  • ¿Qué onda, cómo está la fiesta? – What’s up, how’s the party?

5. Chela

Literal meaning = None

Slang meaning = Beer

We could say “cerveza“, but why would we, if we can say “chela“? The word is much more appealing and stronger, and that’s probably why almost everybody uses it in Mexico. There’s no negative connotation here, it’s just a more popular word that you maybe wouldn’t use in a business or official setting.

Examples

  • Vamos por unas chelas después de la chamba – Let’s go get some beers after work
  • ¿Quieres una chela con tus tacos? – Do you want a beer with your tacos?
  • Oye, tú te la pasas tomando chelas – Hey, you spend all your time driking beer.

 

Posted in Cultural Info, Expressions, Learning Resources.