7 Spanish Slang Words To Use, Because Being Basic Is Never An Option
The beautiful thing about the Spanish language in Latin America is that it’s constantly evolving and changing. Spanish slang is incredibly diverse, so depending on where you are in Latin America, a word or a phrase can have different meanings.
Maybe you are a fluent Spanish speaker who just wants to expand your Spanglish vocab, or maybe you’re just dipping your toes in learning Español; well, in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, mitú partnered with Toyota to bring you a list of some of the most used slang words and phrases from across Latin America. Get ready for a quick Spanish slang crash course, 100% wow factor guaranteed!
1. Try “Tato” as another way of saying, “Okay, sure.”
Tato is popular in the Dominican Republic, and is a great way to say, “Okay, sure.” It comes from “esta todo bien.” If you’re feeling it, you can also use the term with a little sass and attitude. Say you want to mess with your friends and throw a little good-natured shade their way, just throw a “tato” into the conversation. For instance, when your friend is talking about how they’re going to give up online dating, but you know that they’re addicted… tato.
2. Use “Janguear” when asking your homies to hang out.
Janguear is also spelled “hanguear” and is used in Puerto Rican slang when asking someone to hang out. It’s the perfect example of how Latinos make their own Spanglish words that eventually catch on. Asking people to hang out is something we all do all the time, and now you have a fun new way to ask. Try it the next time you make plans con tús amigos.
3.”¿Quiubo, Parce?” equals “What’s up, bro?”
If you find yourself in Colombia, you’ll likely hear “¿Quiubo?” as a popular greeting. It means “How ya been?” or “What’s up, bro?” It’s always good to know the common slang greetings when it comes to different Latino cultures. You bust this out at a party, and you’ll feel cultured AF. Your Colombian friends will also be hella impressed and you’ll feel like a star. Plus, if you ever find yourself visiting Colombia, you can use it in your conversations with the locals.
4. Speaking of bros… “Chamo” for “Bro” or “Dude.”
If you really want to fit in with your amigos Venezolanos, refer to the guys as “chamo” when you’re talking. Chamo/a is slang for “dude” or “bro,” and it’s used primarily by younger people. So…throw it in the next time you hit the arepa stand and you’ll definitely sound hip and like any other Millennial in Caracas.
5. “Sale” for “I’m down”
We can’t do a Latino slang list without heading to Mexico! You’ve heard of “dale” and vale, well “sale” is the Mexican equivalent. It’s often used as agreement to something – for example, if one of your cuates (also Mexican slang for friends) is inviting you to go out, you will simply reply “¡Sale, vamos en tu Toyota!”
6. Switch “Chévere” for “Cool.”
There are never enough ways to call something “cool.” Why say that something is so awesome or so great when you can say “¡Esta bien chévere!” As the first major influencer of Afro-Caribbean culture to the world, Cuba popularized the word through their mambo songs. Chévere is also a popular slang word used in other Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries.
7. “Re Copado” for “Awesome.”
Isn’t it insane how many different ways there are to say that something is cool or awesome? That’s the beauty of Latino culture. For instance, Argentinians will use “re copado” for saying something is… well, cool or awesome. Like when your mom says you can come over and do laundry at her house…that’s totally “re copado.”
There you have it! Those are 7 easy-to-learn Spanish slang words and phrases to put into your vocab. Bust these out with your paisanos, carnales, parces, panas, and friends! It’s pretty amazing how many options you have when speaking Spanish across Latin America.