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 sharing. The title, along with the cover design, are the elements that will tell you the mood of the book you are about to read. Apart from the titles of the books from the Speaking Latino series (Speaking Argento, Speaking Chileno and Speaking Boricua) you have to check these others out too!
The 8 Most Clever Spanish Slang Dictionary and Book Titles
1. Hide this Spanish Book (English and Spanish)
According to the publisher’s description, you must have this book to “learn the lingo on: Love, Sex, Extreme Sports, Video Games, Fashion, Body and Gross Bodily Functions, Internet, Text Messaging, Gossip, Entertainment, and Partying.” You might think that this book is full of profanities, but one of the reviews indicates that it is “not nearly as offensive and raunchy as it led me to believe.”
2. Smart Spanish for Tontos Americanos (English and Spanish)
I love the Spanglish combination in the title of this book. If you would use a full English title (like Smart Spanish for Dumb Americans) it wouldn’t sound so funny. Actually the full title of this book is pretty long: Smart Spanish for Tontos Americanos: Over 3,000 Slang Expressions, Proverbs, Idioms, and Other Tricky Spanish Words and Phrases They Didn’t Teach You in School.
Even though the book and description do not tell you, this book is more focused on Mexican Spanish. It is divided in to six sections including expressions, slang in Mexico, false cognates and grammar hints. This book was written by an English as a Second Language native Spanish-speaking teacher and a journalist.
3. ¡Mierda!: The Real Spanish You Were Never Taught in School (English and Spanish)
I will share a segment of the description written on the back cover since all the online descriptions available correspond to a different book in this series. “Mierda goes beyond those prim and proper lesson plans to offer invaluable instruction on the real Spanish they never taught in school: from colorful colloquialism to hard-core curses; the ever-popular bodily functions; body parts; pithy epithets for every occasion and more.”
This book is divided by topic from the basics, to body parts, sex and religion among others. If you are thirsty for more after reading this book, you can check out the second part ¡Más Mierda!: More of the REAL Spanish You Were Never Taught in School.
4. El Chingonario (Mexico | Spanish only)
As I state in a previous post, Chingar is the most important word in Mexico and it deserves its own dictionary. The title of this book comes from the combination of the verb chingar plus the word diccionario. El Chingonario: Diccionario de uso, reuso y abuso del chingar y sus derivados is a Spanish only book that includes about 150 sayings with definitions and examples. I really love the design of this book: one or two entries per page in a light, colorful and fun layout.
5. ¡Ah, qué chida es la CH! (Mexico | Spanish only)
From the creators of El Chingonario, ¡Ah, qué chida es la CH!: Diccionario de uso, reuso de la letra CH en México includes the definition and examples of 700 Spanish slang words that start or have the letter CH. The Mexican Spanish slang word chida is the feminine form of chido that is an adjective used to describe something good or nice. You can’t miss the appendix Chespirito se escribe con CH with 21 words from the famous TV programs El Chavo del 8 and El Chapulin Colorado. For more on the vocabulary from the TV show El Chavo del 8 take a look at this list of 101 words.
6. En arroz y habichuelas (Puerto Rico | Spanish only)
“In rice and beans” is the literal translation of this book about Puerto Rican Spanish. Rice and beans is the most basic and common dish on the island and this phrase says “speak to me clearly,” cut out all the complexity or give it to me straight. Háblame en arroz y habichuelas (talk to me in rice and beans), dilo en arroz y habichuelas (tell it in rice and beans), te lo voy a explicar en arroz y habichuelas (I’m going to explain it in rice and beans) and hablando en arroz y habichuelas (talking in rice and beans) are some examples of how to use this phrase. This title is more than perfect for a Spanish slang book that includes more than 1,000 words and phrases from Puerto Rico.
7. How to Survive in the Chilean Jungle (Chile | English and Spanish)
Apparently you need to know more than basic Spanish in order to “survive” in Chile. This book is a classic that has been around since 1996. It’s a dictionary plus a guide with illustrations and themed tables. A more up-to-date version of this book exists under the name How to Survive in the Chilean Jungle 2.
8. ¡Ni en pedo! (Argentina | English and Spanish)
According to this book, the word pedo is one of the “5 most common Argentinian slang words.“ Despite it meaning fart, it is used in a bunch of Argentine phrases that don’t have anything to do with farting. This title comes in eBook format only and in addition to the dictionary it also includes a section on phrases and special words.
Do you know any other Spanish slang books with funny titles?
Check out these other Spanish Slang Dictionary articles.