A while ago, some of my best students had the hardest time understanding what some Mexicans were saying. Does this sound familiar to you? When struggling to understand locals, it’s highly-likely you need to improve your slang vocabulary. So, if want to take your Mexican Spanish to the next level, you must learn some Mexican slang words
Slang terms can make a huge difference when learning Spanish. For that reason, in this article, you’ll learn 51 common Mexican slang words and phrases we Mexicans use on a daily basis. I’ll include definitions and examples of how to use these terms. By the end of it, you’ll be able to understand and apply these words like a true Mexican speaker.
Güey or wey is a Mexican slang word for friend. However, it can also be used to say that someone is dumb, to express surprise or annoyance. So, depending on the context, it means ‘dude’, ‘mate’, ‘pal’, ‘buddy’, ‘guy’, ‘silly’, ‘dumb’ or ‘damn’.
Güey, ¿ya vienes?
Dude, are you on your way?
¡Qué wey estás!
You’re so silly!
Pedo is one of the most robust Mexican slang words. Its meaning depends on the phrase you use:
- Echarse un pedo – To fart
- Estar pedo – To be drunk
- Ponerse pedo – To get drunk
- No hay pedo – No biggie / No problem
- Ni pedo – It is what it is / Oh well
- ¡Qué pedo! – Jeez! / What’s up
- Buen pedo – Nice
- Mal pedo – That’s too bad / Mean
- Traer un pedo – Have an issue
- Hacerla de pedo – Make a fuss / Look for trouble
- Ser otro pedo – Be something else
- Bajarle a tu pedo – Chill out
- Agarrar el pedo – To understand
Take Note: Pedo is a very common slang word among Mexicans. However, for some people, it’s close to a curse word. Pex is the less coarse version of ‘pedo’. So, if you want to be more cautious, you can replace ‘pedo’ with this word.
Chido is the Mexican slang word for ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’. Mexican speakers use this word to describe things and people or as an informal way to agree with something or say ‘thank you’.
¡Qué chido! Me da gusto por ti.
Awesome! I’m happy for you.
Tu mamá es super chida.
Your mom is super cool.
Tip: When men use chido to describe a girl, they can refer to her personality or her physical appearance. ‘Estar chida’ is a very informal way to say that a girl is hot.
Neta or la neta is an informal synonym of ‘truth’ or ‘to be honest’. However, we can also use it as an expression to show surprise when someone is saying something to us. In this context, it’s close to ‘really?’.
La neta no sé.
The truth is that I don’t know.
Did you guys really break up?
If you need to tell someone to wait, you can use the Mexican slang word aguanta. You can also use this word to show disbelief. Aguanta means ‘wait a minute’, ‘hold on’ or ‘no way’.
¡Aguanta, ya casi acabo!
Wait, I’m almost done!
¿Es neta? ¡Aguanta!
Really? Hold on!
6. No Manches
One of the most popular Mexican slang phrases is no manches, which you’ll use to express surprise, anger, or astonishment. No manches is close in meaning to ‘no way’, ‘damn’, ‘come on’, ‘holy cow’ or ‘you are kidding’.
¡No manches! Te dije que tenía que llegar temprano.
Come on! I told you that I had to arrive early.
No manches, Axel me invitó a salir.
Holy cow, Axel asked me out.
7. Buena Onda / Mala Onda
Buena onda and mala onda describe people or situations. ‘Buena onda’ means something or someone is ‘nice’ or ‘cool’. On the other hand, mala onda means ‘uncool’, ‘disagreeable’ ‘mean’ or ‘bad’. You can use these expressions with the verb ser or the interjection ‘qué’.
¡Qué buena onda que ganaras!
It’s so nice that you won!
Tu novio es super mala onda.
Your boyfriend is so disagreeable.
Take Note: Buena onda and mala onda are popular informal expressions to describe someone’s personality in Mexican Spanish.
8. ¡Qué onda!
When greeting their friends, Mexican speakers will likely say ¡qué onda! instead of ‘hola’. On top of being an informal greeting, you can also use ‘¡qué onda!’ to show surprise or disbelief. This Mexican slang phrase can be translated as “what’s up”, ‘how are things?’, ‘how is it going?’ or ‘what is up with…?’.
¿Qué onda con tu amiga?
What’s up with your friend?
¿Ana? ¡Qué onda! ¿Cómo estás?
Ana? What’s up! How are you?
9. Morro / Morra
Morro and morra are informal words for ‘kid’, ‘lad’, ‘boy’ or ‘girl’. In informal settings, parents can use these words to refer to their kids. Additionally, morro and morra are also Mexican slang words for ‘girlfriend’ and ‘boyfriend’.
Ya duérmanse, morros.
Go to sleep, kids.
Mi morra trabaja aquí.
My girlfriend works here.
Tip: You can use the diminutive form morrito or morrita to show affection or express that the other person is slightly younger than you.
In Mexican slang, people use the term güero to refer to white people. Güero, and its feminine form güera, are not derogatory terms but rather an informal adjective or name. These words can be translated as ‘blonde’ or ‘blondie’.
Oye, güero, ¿ya terminaste?
Hey, blondie, did you finish?
Mi prima es güerita y de ojos azules.
My cousin is blonde and has blue eyes.
To describe bad quality, you can use the informal term chafa. This word can also be used to express disappointment when a situation doesn’t turn out as expected. So, ‘chafa’ is close in meaning to ‘crappy’, ‘lame’, or ‘shoddy’.
¿No vas a venir? ¡Qué chafa!
You’re not coming? That’s lame!
La película estuvo muy chafa.
The movie was very crappy.
12. Chavo / Chava
In Mexican slang, chavo and chava are terms used to refer to young people. So, they can be translated as ‘boy’, ‘guy’, ‘girl’ or ‘gal’. Since these words refer to youth, Mexican speakers also use them to express that a person is naive or immature.
Esa chava es mi novia.
That girl is my girlfriend.
La neta estás chavo.
You’re a kid, to be honest.
Tip: ‘Chavo’ and ‘chava’ are also Mexican slang words for boyfriend and girlfriend.
Chela is the Mexican slang term for ‘beer’. It may also be used as a nickname for certain given names.
Se me antojan unas chelas.
I feel like having some beers.
In standard Spanish fresa means ‘strawberry’. However, in Mexican slang, fresa is close in meaning to ‘posh’ or ‘preppy’, and it describes people, behaviors or places.
¡Qué fresa eres!
You’re so preppy!
Hablas muy fresa.
You speak very posh.
Padre is a variation of ‘chido’. As a result, it’s another Mexican slang word for ‘cool’, ‘awesome’, and ‘great’. Padre is only used to describe situations or things.
Tu casa está muy padre.
Your house is very cool.
Tip: Padrísimo and padrísima are the superlative forms of ‘padre’. You can use them to emphasize the thing you’re describing. For example, tu casa está padrísima – ‘your house is super cool’ or ‘your house is the coolest’.
In Mexican Spanish, peda means ‘to get drunk’, but it also refers to partying or going on a binge.
Vámonos de peda.
Let’s go on a binge.
Luis y yo nos pusimos una buena peda.
Luis and I got very drunk.
Achis is an informal Mexican word that you can use to express surprise or admiration. It’s close in meaning to ‘oh gosh’, ‘blimey’, and ‘holy moly’.
¡Achis! ¿Dónde dejé mis llaves?
Oh, gosh! Where did I leave my keys?
Tip: ‘Achis, achis’, ‘achis piachis’, and ‘achis, achis los mariachis’ are popular variations you can use.
In Mexican slang, ándale is used to tell people to hurry up. Native speakers also use this word to show surprise or agreement. Ándale is close in meaning to ‘hurry up’, ‘come on’, ‘okay’, or ‘jeez’.
¡Ándale! Se nos va a hacer tarde.
Come on! We’re going to be late.
Ah, ándale, a esa hora está bien.
Okay, that time sounds good.
In Mexico, the slang word hueva refers to laziness. You can use this term to express that:
- You feel lazy – Tener hueva.
- Something is so boring that it makes you lazy – Dar hueva / Estar de hueva.
- You were being lazy – Tirar la hueva
Take Note: Huevón is an adjective that you can use to describe lazy people.
Gacho is a negative adjective in Mexican Spanish. It expresses that a situation or person is ‘awful’, ‘nasty’, or ‘crappy’.
¡Qué gacha eres!
Cámara is a Mexican slang word that you can use to show agreement. It means ‘okay’, ‘good’ or ‘right’.
Cámara, nos vemos el lunes.
Okay, I’ll see you on Monday.
Like ‘cámara’, arre is a common informal term that Mexican speakers use to express agreement. It’s closer in meaning to ‘okay’.
Arre, entonces, yo te marco.
Okay, I’ll call you then.
Mande is a polite and informal way to say ‘what?’, ‘yes?’ or ‘come again?’ in Mexican Spanish.
|Tu mamá: Oye, Daniela…||Your mom: Hey, Daniela…|
|Tú: ¡Mande!||You: Yes?|
Chamba is the Mexican slang word for ‘work’ or ‘job’.
Tengo mucha chamba.
I have a lot of work.
Tip: Chambear is the equivalent of the verb ‘to work’, and chambeador is the slang adjective you can use to describe a hard-working person.
In Mexican slang, gandalla is a negative word that describes an abusive (not necessarily aggressive) person that takes advantage of a situation or others. It’s close to ‘abusive’, ‘underhanded’, ‘sketchy’, or ‘shifty’.
Ese güey es muy gandalla.
That guy is very shifty.
26. Bato / Vato
Bato or vato is a Mexican slang word for ‘guy’. People also use this term to say ‘boyfriend’.
¿Quién es ese bato?
Who is that guy?
In Mexico, poner paros means ‘to give excuses’. However, you can also use the slang phrase hacer el paro if you want to ask someone for help or to give you a hand.
Oye, ¿me haces un paro?
Hey, can you give me a hand?
No pongas paros, ya sé que no vas a venir.
Don’t give me excuses. I know you’re not coming.
Take Note: Do not confuse the slang phrase ‘poner paros’ with the standard idiom ‘poner peros’, which we use to express that someone is making objections to something.
28. Bañársela / Volársela
Bañársela or volársela are informal Mexican words that express that someone crossed the line or went too far. Although these translations may refer to bad behaviors, bañársela and volársela are frequently used when someone says or does something too funny.
No manches, morra, te la bañaste.
Holy cow, girl, you went too far.
‘Pasarse de lanza’ is a popular variation that you can also use.
Híjole is a Mexican term for ‘jeez’, ‘goodness’, or ‘gosh’. This slang word is used to express surprise.
Híjole, el súper estaba llenísimo.
Jeez, the supermarket was very crowded.
Tip: You may also hear its variation jíjole or jíjos.
Sacarle is an informal verb that Mexicans use to say ‘to back out’ or ‘to bail’.
¡No le saques! Dijiste que íbamos a ir.
Don’t back out! You said we were going.
Notice that sacar is a stem-changing verb in Spanish.
Tip: Sacatón and sacatona are slang adjectives that you can use to express that someone is a coward.
In Mexico, pichar is when you offer to pay for your friends’ drinks or food. This informal term is close in meaning to ‘to be on me’, ‘to treat to’ or ‘to be [my/your/their] treat’.
¿Se te antojan unos tacos? Yo te los picho.
Do you feel like having tacos? It’s my treat.
Mijo and mija are informal terms of endearment in Mexico. People use these words to call kids or as affectionate terms to call their partners or friends. ‘Mijo’ and ‘mija’ mean ‘boy’, ‘lad’, ‘girl’, ‘son’, ‘daughter’, ‘kid’, ‘honey’, ‘dude’, or ‘pal’.
Mijo, dale esto a tu abuela.
Son, give this to your grandma.
Qué onda, mijo, ¿se va a armar la peda?
What’s up, dude, are we going to party?
33. Cargar el payaso
If a Mexican uses cargar el payaso, they mean that something went wrong for them. ‘Cargar el payaso’ is closely related to ‘to be screwed’.
No manches, ¡las llaves! Ya me cargó el payaso.
Damn! The keys! I am screwed.
34. A darle que es mole de olla
This Mexican phrase expresses that a task must be done quickly and keenly. It can also be used to say that you must take advantage of a rising opportunity. Although it doesn’t do it justice, ‘get cracking’ or “let’s hustle”.
El proyecto es para mañana, a darle que es mole de olla.
The project is due tomorrow, get cracking people.
The Mexican slang word carilla is related to ‘make fun of someone’. You can use ser carilla to describe people who like to make fun of someone. On the other hand, echar carrilla means to say something to make fun of others.
Mi morra es bien carrilla.
My girlfriend likes to make fun of other people.
Tip: Mexican speakers can use the word carreta as a synonym of ‘carrilla’.
When something is disappointing or makes us sad, we Mexicans use the verb agüitarse to express these feelings. This slang verb means ‘to be down in the dumps’, ‘to be saddened’ or ‘to be upset’.
Linda se aguïto conmigo.
Linda is upset with me.
Tip: Andar agüitado is a variation you can use to express that you’re currently feeling sad.
37. Estar cañón
When Mexicans use the slang phrase estar cañón they either mean that something is challenging, or that something or someone is really good at something.
El examen estuvo cañón.
The test was very hard.
Matt está cañón en matemáticas.
Matt is very good at math.
In Mexican Spanish, pistear is a slang word that means ‘to drink’.
Caéle, estamos pisteando.
Come over, we’re drinking.
Tip: El pisto is another Mexican slang word to say ‘drinks’.
Órale is an informal term that you can use to show agreement or surprise and to ask someone to hurry up. So, depending on the context, ‘órale’ can be translated as ‘wow’, ‘oh my God’, ‘okay’, or ‘come on’.
¡Órale, ya me quiere dormir!
Come on, I want to sleep!
Órale, entonces, ahí te veo.
Okay, I’ll see you there, then.
In Mexican slang, armarse is a word we use to ask or affirm that an activity is going to be done.
¿Se va a armar la peda?
Are we going to party?
Chale is a popular expression that people use to show surprise, disappointment, or annoyance. It’s close to ‘Jesus’, ‘oh my God’ or ‘holy moly’.
Chale, se me olvidó la cartera.
Oh my God, I forgot my wallet.
Compa is a Mexican slang word for ‘friend’, ‘homie’, ‘pal’, ‘mate’, or ‘buddy’. As a result, it’s more popular among men.
Deja le pregunto a mi compa.
Let me ask my buddy.
Take Note: ‘Compa’ is the shortened form of ‘compadre’, a term Mexicans use to call their children’s godfather.
Chin is another slang word you can use in Mexico to express surprise or annoyance. It’s close in meaning to ‘damn’, ‘jeez’, or ‘oh my Good’.
¡Chin! Se me olvidó pagar el internet.
Damn! I forgot to pay for the internet.
Aguas is a slang term that people use to warn others about a potential danger, mistake, or consequence. It means ‘watch out’ or ‘be careful’.
¡Aguas! Te vas a lastimar.
Be careful! You’re going to hurt yourself.
45. A huevo
The Mexican slang phrase a huevo is used to celebrate good news, to express that something is mandatory, and as an informal way to say ‘yes’. So, ‘a huevo’ means ‘heck, yes’, ‘for sure’, ‘of course’, ‘by force’ or ‘mandatorily’.
¡A huevo, ahí te veo!
For sure, I’ll see you there!
Mi mamá a huevo quiere que vaya.
My mom wants me to go mandatorily.
When someone does something cool or funny, or they do great, Mexicans use the verb rifársela to describe those actions. So, this verb can be translated as ‘to be cool’, ‘to be amazing’, or ‘to do great’.
Se la rifaron, morros, chido.
You were amazing, boys. Thanks.
As a slang word, sobres means “let’s do this” or ‘okay’.
Sobres, ahí te marco.
Okay, I’ll call you.
Carnal is a common Mexican slang word for ‘brother’, ‘buddy’, or ‘pal’.
Ese morrito de allá es mi carnal.
That kid over there is my brother.
Simón is a common way to say ‘yes’ in Mexican slang. You can also use this word to show disbelief. In this case, it would be close in meaning to ‘yeah, right’.
Simón, yo le digo.
Yes, I’ll let her know.
Ay, simón, no creo.
Yeah, right, I don’t believe that.
In Mexico, feria is one of the most common ways to say ‘money’. With this meaning you can also use the variation ‘lana’.
La neta no tengo feria, güey.
The truth is that I don’t have money, dude.
51. Caer el chahuistle
Caer el chahuistle is used in Mexican slang to express displeasure because an unexpected or unwelcome person shows up unexpectedly. This phrase can also imply that something will be ruined because this person shows up.
For example, if you’re having a nice family gathering and a disagreeable relative arrives, you can say “ya nos cayó el chahuistle”. In other words, things are ruined because this person showed up.
This expression doesn’t have a translation.
Mexican slang language is its own thing. So, if you want to be able to understand and communicate with Mexican speakers, you need to learn some of their most popular terms. In this article, we covered some of the most common Mexican slang words, and you’ve learned their different meanings and variations.
You probably noticed that many of the examples included for each slang word or expression used other terms from this list. So, the more slang you learn, the more you can combine the terms in your sentences.
Cheat sheet: If you need help memorizing these terms, you can download it below.