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Spanish Slang

Do you think you are finished with Spanish after achieving an intermediate or even advanced level of fluency? No! Part of being fluent in Spanish is being able to understand the Spanish slang. 

Spanish Words: Slang

Slang is “a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people.”
Generally, Spanish slang is just a term many people use to cover other aspects of the Spanish language such as: regional terms, colloquialisms, idioms, sayings, Spanish cuss words and country specific slang. Learning Spanish slang, or often times call informal language, will help you to communicate better, understand native speakers, their culture and definitely have a more enjoyable experience. In other words, learning the local Spanish slang will help you fit and bond in another culture.
The Spanish language is unique in each country. There are 22 Spanish-speaking countries and each of them gives the language their own unique vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation variations. Regional differences also exist in many countries.

Spanish Slang Dictionary

One of the most common and basic tools you can use to learn this aspect of the language is a Spanish slang dictionary. In fact, we have created a dozen of them that cover 8 Spanish speaking countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Since Spanish is unique to each country, our best recommendation is to get a dictionary for your target country.
To find a Spanish slang dictionary, check out our Directory. If you are fluent or a native Spanish speaker you can use a Spanish only dictionary. But there are many times that you will be in the need to find a Spanish slang translation to English. In our Directory you will find both: bilingual dictionaries and Spanish only dictionaries. You can check all of our recommendations by country here:

Spanish Slang Dictionary  

Spanish Slang Resources

Another way to learn Spanish slang is by using the resources available online. The internet has numerous options that we have organized in different Resource Pages by Country. This extensive collection of resources to learn the local Spanish by country save hours and hours of your time on your way to achieving Spanish fluency. From books and flash cards to videos, mobile apps and Pinterest boards it’s all here!
Spanish Slang

Spanish Slang Articles

Our articles about Spanish slang includes a variety of topics. Here we cover the following aspects: colloquial Spanish; Spanish varieties or differences among countries and regions; Spanish slang phrases; idioms and proverbs; insults and dirty words, Spanglish, gestures, Spanish language mix-ups and cultural items unique to a country or region.
Here are all of our Spanish slang articles:


    Illustration, meaning and example of the Spanish saying “gallina vieja da buen caldo.” This drawing is featured in Speaking Phrase Boricua, a book that collects and translates popular sayings and phrases used in Puerto Rico (and other Spanish speaking countries).

  • ESTAR EN PELOTAS: Meaning and Illustration of This Colloquial Spanish Phrase

    The Spanish phrases or sayings estar en pelotas or estar en bolas are two ways to colloquially express being naked. Although this illustration is included in the book Speaking Argento: A Guide to Spanish from Argentina, this expression is also used in other countries. Colloquial Spanish Phrase: ESTAR EN BOLAS or ESTAR EN PELOTAS •…

  • LOS PÁJAROS LE TIRAN A LAS ESCOPETAS: Spanish Saying Illustration, Meaning and Example

    Spanish Saying: LOS PÁJAROS LE TIRAN A LAS ESCOPETAS • Literal Translation: Now the birds shoot at the shotguns • Meaning: 1. Now the roles are reversed. When a person rebels against his/her superior. 2. Used in situations to call attention to social changes over the generations, that things are the reverse that they used…

  • Diccionario de Americanismos Online: List of Common Abbreviations and Symbols

    If you have used the online search tool of the Diccionario de Americanismos you might have noticed that the results include many abbreviations and symbols. The Diccionario de Americanismos online is an exact copy of what you will see in the actual printed dictionary and they use abbreviations to maximize space. Understating them will lead…

  • VIDEO Diccionario de Americanismos Online Step by Step: Finding Spanish Slang Words and Phrases

    Did you know that the Diccionario de Americanismos is available to search online? The Diccionario de Americanismos is the dictionary of words from Latin America and definitely an excellent reference source. I am so happy that the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (ASALE) made this incredible search tool available. Last year I bought…

  • 9 Words in Spanish for Doobie Hair Wrap

    Famous singer Rihanna surprised the public by appearing with a Doobie wrap at the 2013 American Music Awards. The Doobie wrap is a natural hair straightening technique that is also popular among Latin American women. It consists of wrapping the hair around the head securing it with metal hair clips. Generally women do it at…

  • The Most Authentic Spanish Words from 11 Latin American Countries

      Every country has a flag, food and symbols that identify them. But what about a single word? During the 6th International Congress of the Spanish Language (VI Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española) celebrated in Panama, the blog Papeles Perdidos, created by the newspaper El País, published an atlas of the representative words of…

  • Online Spanish Slang Dictionary Directory: 70+ Spanish Slang Titles

    Welcome to our online Spanish Slang Dictionary Directory featuring more than 50 Spanish slang dictionaries available, organized by country, language and format. Search for Spanish or bilingual options.

  • The Spanish Slang to English Dictionary List by Country

    There are many Spanish slang dictionaries in Spanish, but when you are looking for a specific Spanish slang to English dictionary the options are more limited. This is a work-in-progress list of bilingual Spanish Slang to English dictionaries by country. My goal is to feature all the dictionaries available in print or eBook format as…

  • CON OJOS DE VACA CAGONA: Idiomatic Spanish Slang Expression

    Spanish Slang Expression: CON OJOS DE VACA CAGONA Literal English Translation: With eyes of a shitting cow Definition: Really, really scared. If you’ve never seen it, you can imagine how big the eyes of a cow get when it is straining to shit Equivalent in English: Scared shitless You can find this illustration and many others…

  • A CALZÓN QUITADO: Idiomatic Spanish Slang Expression

    The idiomatic expression a calzón quitado (sometimes pronounced a calzón quita’o) means no holds barred, holding nothing back, straight to the point. For example: Hablemos entonces a calzón quitado. Despite this illustration being included in my book Speaking Chileno, this is a common Spanish slang expression in Latin America. Do you know any other Spanish…

  • How to Say AMERICAN With 9 Spanish and Spanish Slang Words: Infographic

    If we want to make a list of demonyms in Spanish and cover all the Spanish-speaking countries we could list some examples such as: Puerto Ricans are called Puertorriqueños or Boricuas, Costa Ricans are know by Costa Ricans or Ticos and the Nicaraguans are Nicaraguences or Nicas. But when Latinos refer to Americans, the list…

  • 4 Multi-Country Spanish Slang Dictionaries to Improve Your Vocabulary

    If you work or live in a multi-cultural environment you probably experience difficulty understanding what other people say. Do not worry, this happens even with native Spanish-speakers! There are dictionaries that collect colloquial vocabulary from several countries in one book. These are ideal to compare meanings of a word and know which countries share it….

  • How to Translate CHORETO: 2 Meanings for One Spanish Slang Word

    If you are wondering how to translate choreto to English, the definition will depend on which country you are in. The Spanish slang word choreto is used in Venezuela and Puerto Rico as an adjective with two different meanings according to the books Quick Guide to Venezuelan Spanish and Speaking Boricua respectively. What is choreto…

  • 41 Examples of Spanish Slang Words for GIRL

    How many words for girl in Spanish? Check the Spanish slang for girl list used in Latin America & Spain that will give you the examples you are looking for. Spanish slang for girl is the fifth suggestion that Google gives you when you type in the phrase “Spanish slang for” in the search box. In English and in Spanish making reference to “a girl” can range from a newborn baby up to a women in her twenties.

  • Spanish Slang Words for COOL: 85 Words and Phrases

    Learn the Spanish slang for cool with a list of words and expressions divided by different Spanish-speaking countries. Spanish has equivalents for “cool” and they vary among countries. Here I have grouped a couple of examples from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain and Venezuela.

  • 18 Shades of White: Spanish Slang Words for WHITE PERSON

    Spanish slang for white person is the third suggestion that Google gives you when you type in the phrase “Spanish slang for” in the search box. That makes it one of the most popular Spanish slang requests and here are some examples and the countries that use them.

  • Spanish Slang Words for WEED: 26 Names for MARIJUANA

    A list of 26 examples of Spanish slang for weed or marijuana, plus 16 additional terms in Spanish for joint. In this particular case weed can have an innocent Spanish translation or be the slang for marijuana. In this article I am going to give you the list of words for both meanings.

  • 53 Spanish Slang Words for FRIEND

    If you want to blend with locals, you should check this list of examples of Spanish slang for friend and the countries that use them. Here is a list of a good amount of Spanish words used in Latin America to refer to a close friend or dude. All in one place!

  • Spanish Slang Online: Top 5 Spanish Slang Words Searched on Google

    When you start typing a search using Google it gives you suggestions based on what you are actually writing. This is called autocomplete and, acoording to Google, they “are a reflection of the search activity of all web users and the content of web pages indexed by Google.”  I did the exercise to learn which…

  • Quick Guide to Mexican Spanish: A Book for Learning Spanish from Mexico

    A book for learning Spanish from Mexico with approximately 500 words translated to English. Learn Mexican Spanish with synonyms, examples & 51 illustrations. Spanish vocabulary changes significantly from one country to the next. Yet, few people learn about this until they are in a country, stumbling through the local Spanish slang.

  • 18 Examples of the Spanish Slang Word JETA

    The Spanish slang word jeta is commonly known throughout Latin America. But you need to pay attention where you use it because the meaning changes among countries. Most of the times it is a derogatory word or a negative adjective. Be careful! The Spanish word jeta comes from the Arabic jaṭm, that means snout, beak…

  • 7 Terms to Define Spanish Slang And Their Meanings

    I started collecting and translating Spanish slang in 2003. I had already lived in Mexico, Chile and Argentina as well as traveled to other Spanish-speaking countries. When I arrived to Puerto Rico it amazed me how different the language was from the other countries I knew, even with the country-changes I had already experienced. It…

  • 6 Latina Barbie Dolls Speaking Spanish Slang

    Recently Mattel launched a Mexican Barbie that caused a negative reaction in the Hispanic community. This new Latina Barbie is part of their new collection “Barbie Dolls of the World” that also includes dolls from Chile, Argentina and Spain. This is not the first time that Mattel is selling a Mexican Barbie, but according to…

  • Quick Guide to More Venezuelan Spanish: A Book for Learning Spanish from Venezuela

    A book for learning Spanish vocabulary from Venezuela with approximately 500 words translated to English. Learn Venezuelan Spanish with synonyms, antonyms & examples. Spanish vocabulary changes significantly from one country to the next. Yet, few people learn about this until they are in a country, stumbling through the local Spanish slang.

  • Quick Guide to Venezuelan Spanish: A Book for Learning Spanish from Venezuela

    A book for learning Spanish vocabulary from Venezuela with over 500 words translated to English. Learn Venezuelan Spanish with synonyms, antonyms & examples. Spanish vocabulary changes significantly from one country to the next. Yet, few people learn about this until they are in a country, stumbling through the local Spanish slang.

  • Quick Guide to Peruvian Spanish: A Book for Learning Spanish Vocabulary from Peru

      Spanish vocabulary changes significantly from one country to the next. Yet, few people learn about this until they are in a country, stumbling through the local Spanish. Are you learning Spanish? Preparing to visit Peru? Or even just wanting to be more familiar with its specific slang and local words? This book for learning…

  • The 8 Most Clever Spanish Slang Dictionary and Book Titles

    Jared and I recently conducted a ton of research about Spanish slang books in order to put together our Resource Pages by Country and other projects that are coming soon. In the process of evaluating the content included there, I stumbled upon a couple of clever Spanish slang book titles that I think are worth…

  • Resources to Learn Dominican Spanish Slang

    WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? • ARTICLES About Dominican Spanish • BOOKS: Dominican Spanish Slang • VIDEOS: Listen to the Dominican Spanish Accent • WEBSITES: Dominican Spanish Words • MORE RESOURCES: Pinterest, Flashcards & More • Submit a Resource ARTICLES ABOUT DOMINICAN SPANISH: DIALECT 1. Dominican Spanish Characteristics. 2. Learn about the Dominican Spanish with…

  • 21 Great Spanish Slang Articles from 2012

    In a couple of hours the year 2012 will be gone. Before it ends, take a look at the best 21 Spanish slang articles from Speaking Latino during 2012. 1. These 10 examples of a right word used in the wrong place will help you understand how aware you need to be with Spanish slang….


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