Be Cool: 17 Standard & Slang Words to Say Cool in Spanish


When learning Spanish, most people are eager to speak as naturally and fluidly as possible. 

Using common slang terms is a big part of this. With that in mind, in this article, you’ll learn 17 words that mean cool in Spanish. 

As I’ve included both standard and more casual terms, make sure you look over the examples and descriptions because some of these words are not suitable for all situations. I’ve also included some recordings so you can check and practice the pronunciation.

1. Chido

Chido is the most common word to say cool in Mexican Spanish. This word can refer to people, things, or situations. As an adjective, chido must agree with the number and gender of the noun

La película está muy chida
The movie was pretty cool

¡Qué chido que te dieron el trabajo!
It’s so cool that you got the job!

Tip: You should check my guide on popular Mexican slang words if you’re interested in learning other awesome words like chido.

2. Chévere 

Chévere is a popular way to say cool in Latin American Spanish. This term can be used to describe both people and things. 

¡Qué chévere! Me alegro por ti. 
That’s so cool! I’m happy for you. 

El hotel está chévere, ¿no?
The hotel is cool, isn’t it? 

Take Note: Chévere is especially common in Central and South America. However, this word is so popular that most Spanish speakers understand it even if they don’t use it. 

3. Tranquilo 

To ask someone to act or stay cool in Spanish, you should use the word tranquilo. Other variations you could use are: 

  • Sereno, moreno (Mexican slang)
  • Calma
  • Tranqui

Tranquilos, yo me encargo. 
Stay cool, guys. I’ll handle it. 

Take Note: Tranquilo is a common adjective to describe people in Spanish. As a result, it must agree with the gender and number of the noun.

4. Genial 

Genial is a standard word you can use to say cool in different Spanish-speaking countries. This term is applied when referring to places, objects, situations or when describing people’s personality

¡Genial! Te veo mañana, entonces. 
Cool! I’ll see you tomorrow, then. 

Sería genial si pudieras ayudarme. 
It would be cool if you could help me. 

5. Bien

Bien is the most appropriate way to say cool in Spanish when expressing agreement or approving a situation. For example:

Sí, suena bien
Yes, it sounds cool

Está bien, no te preocupes. 
Everything is cool, don’t worry. 

Take Note: Frío or fresco are the proper Spanish adjectives if you’re using ‘cool’ to describe the weather or something’s temperature. 

6. Bacano 

In Colombian slang, bacano is the most common way to say ‘cool’.

¿Te subieron el sueldo? ¡Qué bacano, hermano!
Did you get a raise? That’s so cool, dude!

Bacán is a popular variation that you could find in other South American countries: 

Este coche está bacán
This car is cool

7. Guay 

Guay is the word you want to use to say cool if you’re learning Castilian Spanish. Guay is an informal term to describe places, activities, and situations. 

SpanishEnglish
Tú: Ayer vi a Sandra.You: I saw Sandra yesterday. 
Tu amigo: ¡Qué guay! ¿Qué tal ha estado?Your friend: How cool! How has she been?

8. Buena Onda

Buena onda is an informal expression to describe nice people or positive situations in Latin American Spanish. 

Sus papás son muy buena onda
Her parents are so cool

¿En serio? ¡Qué buena onda! ¡Felicidades!
Really? That’s cool! Congratulations! 

Take Note: In Argentina, buena onda can also be used to talk about places and things. 

9. Fresco Como una Lechuga

While its literal translation is “fresh as a lettuce”, fresco como una lechuga is the Spanish version of ‘cool as a cucumber’. So, you can use this idiom to describe a person not affected by pressure.

El examen fue difícil, pero Sally estaba fresca como una lechuga. 
The test was hard, but Sally was cool as a cucumber. 

Take Note: In other contexts, fresco como una lechuga can be used to express that a person is well-rested. 

10. Ser una Pasada

In Spain, ser una pasada or qué pasada can mean ‘cool’, ‘awesome’, or ‘amazing’. However, to keep this meaning, this expression is only used to describe places or objects. 

Tus gafas son una pasada
Your glasses are so cool

¡La comida está deliciosa y barata! ¡Qué pasada!
The food is delicious and cheap! That’s amazing!

Take Note: Pay attention to the context in which this is used since ser una pasada may also be applied in negative situations. 

11. Padre

Padre is another word that means cool in Mexican slang Spanish. When combined with the verb ‘estar’, padre is used to talk about places, activities, or objects. 

La fiesta estuvo muy padre
The party was pretty cool

The exclamation ¡qué padre! can be used to express joy for a favorable situation: 

¿Sí te vas a ir de vacaciones? ¡Qué padre!
Are you going on vacation? Cool beans!

Tip: Mexican Spanish speakers also use the superlative form of padre (padrísimo or padrísima) in these situations. Remember that Spanish superlatives can be used to emphasize sentences. 

12. Suave 

A couple of years ago, suave used to be a common way to say cool in Latin American Spanish. Even though there may be more popular words to say cool in Spanish, you may still hear suave in some contexts. 

¡Qué suave que vas a ir!
It’s so cool that you’re going!

El concierto estuvo suave
The concert was cool

13. Molón

Molón is an informal adjective that people use to describe nice things or situations. So, molón or molona is close in meaning to ‘neat’ or ‘cool’. This word is only applied in Castilian Spanish. 

Andrés tiene una casa molona
Andres has a cool house. 

¿En serio ganaste la lotería? ¡Qué molón!
Did you win the lottery? That’s so cool!

Take Note: In Spanish, molar and flipar are informal verbs that mean ‘to like’. So, these verbs follow the same conjugation rules as verbs like ‘gustar’

14. El Descueve

To say something is cool in Chilean slang, you can use the expression el descueve.  

Tu hermano es el descueve
Your brother is so cool

Like many slang words, el descueve may be less common with younger generations.  

15. ¡Qué Chivo!

¡Qué chivo! is used in El Salvador to show joy or express that something is pretty or cool. 

¿Ese es tu coche nuevo? ¡Qué chivo!
Is that your new car? It’s cool! 

Take Note: Chivo has many informal meanings that vary depending on the country and the situation. 

16. Nítido

Nítido is a slang word for ‘cool’ or ‘neat’ in Guatemala, Panamá, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. 

El coche está nítido, hermano. 
The car is neat, dude. 

SpanishEnglish
Tú: Te llamo en un rato. You: I’ll call you in a bit. 
Tu amigo: NítidoYour friend: Cool. 

Take Note: In standard Spanish, nítido means ‘clear’ or ‘sharp’.

17. De Poca Madre 

When it comes to Mexican swear words, de poca madre is a common way to say that something is cool or amazing. Since this is a coarse expression, you should only use it among your friends. 

La fiesta estuvo de poca madre
The party was so cool

Julián y sus hermanos son poca madre
Julián and his brothers are very cool. 

Take Note: In Mexican slang, madre has multiple applications. So, the meaning of this word varies depending on the context.

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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