Well, it is that time of the year again: we are into tax season! On April 17th all United States residents are supposed to turn in their tax forms. The same drill will happen in Puerto Rico for our local income tax or what we call planillas and often la dolorosa (that translates to “the painful”).
How much money did I earn?
How much money did Hacienda (Treasury Department in Puerto Rico) retain?
How much money I can deduct?
How much money do I have to pay? Ouch! Or, if I’m lucky, how much money will they return me? Yes!
Everything is about money… and money is what this post is about. So get ready, this is one of the most complete list of Spanish slang words for MONEY ever published. I found 46 Spanish slang words that refer to money in Latin America and Spain and I decided to arrange them in a table to make them easy to find by country.
I know that you may find that the amount of vocabulary is overwhelming, but here is a tip: the most common Spanish slang word for money is plata, which is commonly used in at least 13 countries. With this in mind, I can conclude that you can be confident to use it in almost any place because, even though the word is not used everywhere, everybody will understand it. Another common word is biyuyo (with all its variations including biyuya, billullo, or billuzo) is used in nine countries.
The Most Complete List of Spanish Slang Words for MONEY:
46 Words in Spanish For Money in 20 Countries Infographic
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|Country||Some Spanish slang words for money|
|Argentina||chirola (coins or something cheap), cobre, gamba, guita, guitarra, luca, mango, morlaco, mosca, plata|
|Bolivia||guita, guitarra, luca, quivo|
|Chile||biyuyo, luca, morlaco, mosca, plata|
|Colombia||barras, billete, biyuyo, lucas, marmaja, plata|
|Costa Rica||billullo, guita, harina, menudo (coins), mosca, plata|
|Cuba||astilla, baro, cañas, pasta|
|Dominican Republic||baro, cuartos, tabla|
|Ecuador||billuzo, cushqui, guita, luca, plata|
|El Salvador||morlaco, papa, pisto|
|Guatemala||bolas, feria, pisto|
|Honduras||biyuyo, feria, luz, marmaja, mosca, pisto, plata|
|México||morralla (coins), varo, billete, biyuyo, feria, lana, marmaja, morlaco, mosca, pasta|
|Nicaragua||luz, papa, plata|
|Panamá||chen chen, chinbilín, lana, palo, plata|
|Paraguay||guita, mosca, pira pire, plata|
|Perú||guita, lana, mango, marmaja, plata|
|Puerto Rico||cash, chavos, menudo, tolete|
|Spain||guita, jurdel (also for bills), parné, pasta, pela, perra|
|Uruguay||biyuya, gamba, guita, mango, morlaco, mosca, plata, teca|
|Venezuela||biyuyo, cobre, luca, muna, plata|
Spanish slang words for amounts of money
There are some Spanish slang words that are used to make reference to a certain amount of money. The word that is most repeated in many countries is luca and this particular one makes reference to one thousand of any denomination. A variation for luca is luca verde (green) that is used in Argentina to refer to to a thousand US dollars. A $10 peso bill in Argentina is a Diego and they also use the shortened term pe for a peso. This is pronounced umpe, coming from un pe or un peso (one peso). Marmaja is another common word along Latin America and it means a big amount of money.
The people of Costa Rica call the 100 colón bill a teja, while the 500 colón bill is called cinco teja. Rojo and tucán are the slang terms for 1,000 and 5,000 colón bills. In Spain, the word duro represented five pesetas before the euro took its place in 1999. Puerto Rico uses the US dollar as currency, but it is known as peso or pesos for plural like in other Latin American countries. For the US 25 cent coin (a quarter), Puerto Rican uses the same word peseta as used by Spain with its previous currency.
Since I would like to make the most complete and accurate compilation of slang terms for money in Latin America, feel free to leave a comment to correct or add more words.
Check out these other Spanish Slang Word articles.