dominican republic slang terms

This guide to slang terms from the Dominican Republic is part of our Spanish slang guides, a collection of basic slang for different Spanish-speaking countries.

Before traveling to either country, take a few Spanish courses to give you a basic understanding of common phrases, quick hits, and old stand-by sayings to make communication much easier on the ground. English words like hangover, t-shirt, and more have everyday Dominican slang words to replace them.

Even though it is more common to see slang in spoken language it does appear in the written language in both countries on occasion, among younger generations. Show your street smarts!

English speakers learning Dominican Spanish will benefit immensely from learning slang words because they will have an easier time communicating in pubs and elsewhere in the country. The slang words in the Dominican Republic are different from those in Puerto Rico, elsewhere in the Caribbean or in Spanish language countries like Cuban Spanish, for example.

If you plan to visit, Dominican slang terms can add a dose of humor to your conversations on the ground — and help you have a better understanding of communication in Latin America and in the country.

Ondelay nítido, bro.


Jelly rolls, literally, though the term is used to refer to fat people. It’s certainly not endearing — and not something you want to be filed under.

For example:

Este workout es para los chichos. — This workout is for the jelly rolls.  


This is how Dominicans express annoyance. It’s also used to call bullshit on something, or to tell someone that there’s no way something is true.

For example:

¡Qué vaina! -> What a bunch of crap!

Harta or harto

To be over something or fed up. This is another way to express frustration, through a slightly different path.

For example:

Estoy harta de este trabajo. — I am fed up with this job.


Car or motorcycle taxi to go around the island. You’ll need this one — especially if you hope to do some touring on the island.

For example:

Agarra un concho para turistear. — Grab a concho.


Okay, alright. This term is used casually to signify agreeance.

For example:

Person 1:

Vamos a casa. — Let’s go home.

Person 2:

Yala. — Okay.

En olla (estar en olla)

To be broke.

For example:

No puedo salir hoy, estoy en olla. — I can’t go out, I am broke.


Crazy, used casually and not always without a dose of insult or disbelief.

For example:

Tú sí eres chuvirica. — You are crazy.

Qué chulo

That’s nice. This term is used casually to express satisfaction, as well as to give a complement to someone.

For example:

¡Qué chulo vestido tú traes! — What a nice dress you have on.


Freeloader or someone who fawns or someone who crashes a party.

For example:

No seas lambón. — Do not be a party-crasher.

Dar bola

To give or get a car ride.

For example:

Primo, dame una bola. — Cousin, give me a ride.

The full deal

Expand your Spanish vocabulary beyond slang terms before your trip to the Dominican Republic and have a better trip for the effort. Learn more about how to talk like a true local by starting with our Spanish Survival Crash Course.

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