Converse Like a Local with 12 of These Spanish Slangs

Mon, 16 Nov 2020

Aside from all the formal grammatical expressions and common phrases we are required to learn when pursuing a foreign language, mastering informal slangs while looking into their literal meanings is a great way to boost your fluency! It’ll help you blend in with the natives, and it’s a fun way to learn the language. 


The thing about slang is that the phrase usually doesn’t correspond with its actual meaning, and that, we think, is the exciting part about learning languages! 


Did you know that Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world after Mandarin? Therefore, it’ll be really beneficial to gain fluency in Spanish. Your language learning experience would not be complete without a dash of some slang words, so get ready to learn some of them right here, right now!


1. Qué chulo

You say something is Qué chulo if it’s extremely cool or amusing! Note that this slang is positive only if referring to non-living things! When describing a person, using the word chulo actually means that you’re saying they’re cocky. So, be extra careful!


2. Ser la leche

This slang is used to describe something that’s really cool, or awful. Really, there’s none in between. You can use this for both inanimate objects and people, and it’s similar to the word “sick” in English, where it could be seen as both a good and bad connotation!


3. Vale

This is a very common expression that appears in almost every Spanish conversation. Vale basically means to say “okay” or to agree with someone ; a more informal tone to sí! 


4.  En un abrir y cerrar de ojos

When translated to its literal meaning in English, it would mean “in an opening and closing of eyes”. In slang expression, it means “in the blink of an eye” which, just as how it is in English, describes something that happens so fast, it’s unnoticeable. Use this term to express something that can be done in no time!


5. Colega

Colega is a slang alternative to the term amigo, which means an acquaintance or a co-worker, someone you don’t exactly know that well. This slang is also not gender-specific, meaning that it’s fine to use for both men and women!


6. Bocachancla

Literally, Bocachancla means “flip flop mouth” which in the slang world, means someone who has a big mouth, a.k.a, gossips a lot!


7. Hincar los codos

In learning new languages, you got to “Hincar los codos!” It has a literal meaning of “sticking elbow into something”, which translates to “study hard”!


8. No entender ni papa

This slang is for ones who tend to be clueless of anything! This phrase means “to not understand a thing”. The literal translation of this phrase is quite funny, being “to not even understand a potato”!


9. Cabrearse

Need a word to describe your frustration or anger in Spanish? Cabrearse it is! Although, on a side note, this may sound harsh depending on who you say it to, so, again, be careful!


10. Estar como una cabra

This is a phrase to describe something, or someone that is crazy, nuts, and unpredictable! The literal meaning translates to “like a goat”, amusing, isn’t it?


11. Hombre

It’s a slang term to call a buddy or a friend, something similar to “dude”, or “man” in English!


12. Estar como un flan

This last one means “to be like a flan”, where flan is similar to pudding, which shakes easily. This slang basically means “to be nervous” (both a flan and a nervous person shakes easily, hence the slang). 


Feel like learning more Spanish along with their amusing slang expressions? Book a course with LingoTalk, as you’ll develop your speaking skills from day 1 as our courses are conversation-focused! 


Register a class here today, and hasta luego!


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