¡Qué Padre! – What Does ‘Padre’ Mean in Mexican Slang


Padre is one of the most popular words in colloquial Mexican Spanish. Since ‘padre’ is the direct translation of ‘father’, many new and experienced Spanish learners may get confused by the slang meanings of this word. 

What does ‘padre’ mean in Mexico? ‘Padre’ is a casual synonym of ‘cool’, ‘nice’, ‘well’, ‘good’, ‘great’ or ‘wonderful’. It can be used to describe or to give opinions about situations, objects, events, and someone’s actions. In standard Spanish, ‘padre’ is the direct translation of ‘father’. 

Learning how to use and apply the colloquial meanings of ‘padre’ will help you improve your fluency in Mexican slang. To help you with this, the following sections will provide you with some common examples of how to use ‘padre’ in a sentence. 

Additionally, we’ll show you some phrase structures that you need to follow every time you want to use ‘padre’ in informal conversations. By the end of it, you’ll have a new Mexican slang word in your vocabulary. 

Meanings & Translations for Padre In Mexican Spanish?

In casual conversations, ‘padre’ is a word commonly used by all Mexican speakers. Padre is an adjective that can be used to describe or express opinions about: situations, events, movies, books, tv shows, objects or someone’s actions. ‘Padre’ has a plural form that you need to use with plural objects. 

Depending on the context, padre can be translated as:

  • Cool
  • Nice
  • Great
  • Good
  • Wonderful 
  • Well
  • How cool 

¡Qué padre está México! ¡Me gustó mucho!
Mexico is wonderful! I enjoyed it very much! 

Alguien me dijo que estas películas no están padres 
Somebody told me that these movies are not good

El restaurante al que fuimos el otro día está muy padre
The restaurant that we went to the other day is very cool 

Additionally, in standard and formal conversations, ‘padre’ is the direct translation of ‘father’ or ‘dad’.

El padre de Sebastian es muy chido
Sebastian’s dad is very cool+

Este es el coche de mi padre 
This is my father’s car

¿Cómo se llama tu padre?
What’s your father’s name?

Take Note: Padre and chido are two Mexican slang words that mean ‘cool’. However, ‘chido’ has other meanings and it’s slightly more informal than ‘padre’. 

Related Resource: What Does Chido Mean?

Now that you have a quick overview of ‘padre’, let’s see the phrase structures and elements you can use to express its slang meanings.

How & When to Use ‘Padre’

Unlike other Mexican words for ‘cool’, padre cannot be used to talk about people. We instead use it with actions, places, objects, events, circumstances, movies, books, and tv shows. 

Using ‘padre’ in sentences

Here are some phrase structures that you can use when building sentences with ‘padre’. Notice that you can replace the first element with any other of the things that ‘padre’ can describe (movies, actions, books, etc). 

[Object/Action] + [verb conjugated] + (muy/bien) + padre

El nuevo coche de Nick está muy padre
Nick’s new car is very cool

Esta película se ve padre, ¿quieres verla?
This movie looks nice, do you want to see it?

Mis clases de español están muy padres
My Spanish classes are very good

Linda dibuja super padre, dile que te ayude
Linda draws very well, ask her to help you

Sentí muy padre cuando me enteré de que iba a ser papá
I felt wonderful when I knew that I would be a dad 

Take Note: In slang situations, ‘padre’ rarely works in conjunction with the verb ‘ser’ because it could be easily confused with its standard meaning (father). Instead, it works a lot with estar and other verbs. Notice that you can also create negative sentences by adding ‘no’ to the beginning of your sentence:

No está padre que vayas contando todo lo que te digo
It’s not cool that you tell everyone, everything that I tell you 

¡Qué onda con Lorena! Esos zapatos no se le ven padres
What’s up with Lorena! Those shoes don’t look good on her

Related Resource: How to Use ‘Estar’ in Spanish

¡Qué Padre! – Building Expressions with ‘padre’

In Mexican Spanish, the most common way to use ‘padre’ is in the expression ‘¡qué padre’ which means ‘how cool’, ‘great’ or ‘how nice’. This Mexican phrase is commonly used to express your opinion about a situation. It can be used as a response on its own, or as part of a larger thought or sentence. Here are some examples

¡Qué padre que te vas de vacaciones! Ya necesitas descansar
How nice that you’re going on vacation! You really need to rest

¿Judy y tú se van a casar? ¡Qué padre! ¿Cuándo es la boda?
You and Judy are getting married? How cool! When is the wedding?

Oigan, qué padre estuvo la película ¡Me gustaría verla otra vez! 
Hey guys, the movie was great! I would like to see it again!

Padrísimo – Super… / So…

‘Padrísimo’ is the superlative form of ‘padre’. In other words, ‘padrísimo’ is more intense or stronger than ‘padre’. ‘Padrísimo’ still keeps the same meanings as ‘padre’, but it would be intensified by words such as ‘so’ and ‘super.

Tu vestido está padrísimo Your dress is so nice

Este libro está padrísimo, tienes que leerlo This book is so cool, you have to read it

Wrapping Up

‘Padre’ is a basic slang word that you need to know if you’re learning Mexican informal vocabulary. For that reason, in this article, we discussed the meanings and the situations where you can apply this word. 

We learned that, in casual conversations, ‘padre’ means ‘cool’, ‘nice’, ‘good’, ‘well’ or ‘wonderful’ and we can use it in sentences or expressions to describe or give our opinion about a situation, action, book or event. 

We also established that with slang meanings, ‘padre’ works with the verb estar and other verbs, but almost never with ‘ser’. Finally, we learned that padrísimo is a stronger or more intense word than ‘padre’. 

Now, you’re ready to start applying this word with your Mexican friends: ¡qué padre! 😉 

Related Resource: Mexican Slang Expressions for your Daily Conversations

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

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