mexican slang terms

Mexican Spanish: A true amalgamation

Spanish is spoken over 20 nations around the world; nonetheless Mexican Spanish is quite different to the Spanish spoken in the Iberian Peninsula.

The spelling doesn’t change amongst territories like it does in British and American English; what varies most is actually the vocabulary, in particular the slang, and the customs, which are tied to local cultural references.

A perfect example is the ‘vs. Usted’ dilemma.

Mexicans have a peculiar fashion when it comes to the pronoun ‘you’ (second-person singular) as there are two practices utilized in Mexican society: an informal and a formal approach.

The informal manner –tú is used for family, friends, and other close relations; whereas the formal –usted is used as a show of respect, status or seniority to address older people, providers of public services, individuals higher in rank or strangers at the grocery line.

If you are travelling to Mexico is important to know when to apply each one.

What is Mexican Slang?

mexican words

Mexican slang is formed by a group of phrases and specific words restricted to a particular context, place, or group of people.

These words, catchy phrases, old sayings, flirty expressions, and other figures of speech are usually regarded as an informal way of communication but they show through their letters the shades and characters of the people that make use of them.

Thus in Mexico each social sphere has its own slang.

Additionally, even though it is more common to spot slang in spoken language it make its way to the written word, especially in entertainment magazines, online publications such as blogs, and printed advertisements.

In this way, it is likely that each magazine category will draw on a unique jargon, namely a technical terminology precise to that industry or niche market.

For instance, a Teens Magazine may exploit the word –fresa (which literally translates to strawberry) to refer to posh girls and fancy outfits.

What are some Mexican Slang Words and Phrases?

Below you will find examples of Mexican slang words and phrases.

Mexican Slang Phrases:

  • De pelos: Brilliant, amazing.
  • ¿De verdad?: Are you serious?
  • Está poca madre: It is incredible.
  • A todo dar: Really good or fantastic!
  • ¡Qué poca madre!: What is going on?
  • ¿Qué onda?: What’s up?
  • ¡No manches!: No way, you’re kidding, holy crap.
  • ¡Está canon!: It is very difficult, it is very impressive.
  • Se la voló: He/she crossed the line or he/she took the piss.
  • Se dio un madrazo: He/she took a hit.
  • Tipazo/tipaza: Great guy, great girl.
  • Chíngale: Hurry up, give it all or work hard.
  • Ya valió: It is over, it is busted or the opportunity is gone.
  • ¿A poco?: Really?
  • Ni madres: No way!
  • Ni muerto/ni muerta: Over my dead body.
  • Qué padre: Awesome, great, brilliant, amazing.
  • Echar pasión: To have sex.
  • Se la jugó: He/she risked it all or he/she gave it all.
  • Se le fue el tren: That ship has sailed.
  • No seas mula: Don’t be a bully.
  • Se cagó: He shit his pants.
  • Me caga: I can´t stand it.
  • Es una friega: Something that is a chore or a burden.  
  • ¡En la torre!: Oh gosh! Oh my god!
  • ¿Es neta?: Are you kidding me?
  • Vives en las nubes: You have your head in the clouds.
  • A la chingada: Fuck it! The fucking thing.
  • ¡Vámonos!: Let’s go!
mexican slang

Most Common Mexican Slang Words:

  • ¡Aguas!: Watch out!
  • Sale: Alright.
  • Chido: Awesome.
  • Padre: Cool.
  • Ándale: Come on.
  • Avísame: Let me know!
  • Órale: All right.
  • Porfis: Please.
  • Chale: Give me a break.
  • Mecachis: Shoot!
  • Ahorita: In a moment please.
  • ¡Guácala!: Gross, disgusting.
  • ¡Híjole!: Blimey.
  • El súper: Supermarket.
  • El cole: School.
  • Cantón: House.
  • Chupe: Alcoholic drinks.
  • Antro: Nightclub.
  • Reventón: Great party.
  • Bueno: Hello? (when someone answers the phone)
  • Oso: Embarrassing moment.
  • Neta: Truth.
  • Coyotito: Quick nap.
  • Garnacha: Street food.
  • Guëy: Dude, mate.

Mexican Words to Describe People:

  • Fresa: Posh
  • Sangrón/sangrona: Stuck up man/woman.
  • Mamón/mamona: Snob
  • Naco/naca: Trashy, new rich, tacky.
  • Cuate: Close friend.
  • Carnal: Brother, really close friend.
  • Gandalla: Jerk, schmuck.
  • Chingón/chingona: Badass man/woman.
  • Mujeriego: Womanizer.
  • Pendejo/pendeja: Asshole.
  • Mosquita muerta: Snake in the grass.
  • Vividor: Opportunistic.
  • Despistado: Scatterbrain, absent-minded.
  • Chilango: From Mexico City.
  • Buleador: Bully.
  • Matado: Nerd.
  • Teto: Geek.
  • Escuincle: Nipper.
  • Mexican Slang Verbs:
  • Apapachar: To snuggle, cuddle or spoil.
  • Achicopalar: To get down, get depressed.
  • Chingar: To knock back, fuck or annoy.
  • Chacharear: To buy knickknacks.
  • Carlanguear: To waste time.
  • Shoppinear: To go shopping.
  • Chismear: To chitchat.
  • Cantinflear: To babble.
  • Checar: To check.
  • Chelear: To drink beer (chela).
  • Alburear: To pun, make a joke.
  • Ligar: To flirt.
  • Chulear: To compliment.
  • Chorear: To muddle, confuse or give a speech.
  • Netear: To tell the truth.
  • Chamaquear: To cheat, deceive, lie or distract.
  • Cagar: To have a shit.
  • Agandallar: To act greedily, scoff or to take away something.

Mexican Jargon

mexican slang

As mentioned before, jargon encompasses a vocabulary specific to a context.

  1. At the Office:

The following list relates to employees and their daily tasks.

  • Godínez: A dedicated employee or office worker.
  • Godín: Used as an adjective to describe anything related to office work or a corporate environment.
  • Mundo Godínez: Corporate life.
  • La quincena: Pay day (biweekly)
  • El jefe: The boss.
  • El gerente: The manager.
  • Los topers: Tupper ware or similar food containers.
  • La hora de la comida: Lunch time.
  • El cafecito: The coffee break.
  • El lamesuelas: The brownnoser.
  • La secre: The PA.
  • Mal del puerco: A condition that refers to someone who feels heavy and sleepy after having a big meal.
  • Bomberazo: An urgent job.
  • La junta: The meeting.
  • Pedir el día: To take the day off.
  • San Lunes: Taking the day off at an inconvenient time or skiving.
  • Juevebes: It’s Thursday and we can have a drink! (Jueves + bebes)
  • Mirrey: Young handsome male from a well-to-do Mexican family.
  • Chambear: To work.
  • El patrón: The owner.
  • El changarro: The business.

If you are keen to submerge yourself into the deep waters of Mexican working life slang you may enjoy watching the Mexican film Mirreyes vs. Godínez.

  • At the Football Stadium:

Football soccer is the national sport of Mexico enjoying a huge fan base.

  • Crack: A very skilled player.
  • Pro: An expert.
  • Goleador: Goal scorer or striker.
  • Faulero: A fouling bastard or cheater.
  • Árbitro vendido: A referee that has taken a bribe.
  • Ardido: A sore loser.
  • El partido: The match.
  • El amistoso: A friendly match.
  • La porra: The hard core group of fans, the fan club.
  • La mascota: The mascot.
  • La botana: The snacks.
  • Las cheves: The beers.

Try listening to a football match commentary to tune in your ear or read the sports news to get acquainted with general Mexican slang and Mexican sports jargon.

More Mexican Words, Please!

Finally, there is a long list of old sayings (refranes) and flirty phrases (piropos), which can be flattering or offensive, but these deserve their own space.

To learn more about Mexican slang (and the entire language as a whole), grab our FREE Spanish Survival Crash Course. We’ll send Spanish-laerning material including study guides, audio lessons, and more straight to your inbox:

mexican slang terms

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