Spanish Slang words: 15 best expressions

Wednesday April 21, 2021 | Spanish Language | Posted by studyspanishinspain

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Spanish Slang words: 15 best expressions

If you are an intermediate speaker of Spanish, a beginner, or an advanced speaker… it is always good (and fun) to learn some Spanish slang. But be careful: don’t use these slang terms outside of Spain. The Spanish phrases and Spanish words you’ll read below do not have the same meaning to people from Latin America as they do to a Spaniard. You could possibly offend or confuse someone. But when you do it right, you will be el puto amo* 🙂 so don’t leave the room before throwing out the new Spanish slang you learn here today.

When to use slang?

Before you start using new Spanish slang words, remember when is a good moment. When do you normally use slang in your own country? Probably in informal situations, while playing or watching sports, hanging out with friends, at a bar or an informal restaurant, a party, on a date, or while texting. There are appropriate times to use slang. Other (more formal) situation are less suitable. So make sure to always adapt your form of language depending on the situation, context and mood.

The magic of Slang

With slang language you can build a strong sense of belonging with the people from your country – or from the country you are living in. You may even share a laugh with a fellow countryperson when everyone around you looks confused at your shared slang. Or you may see the appreciation in the eyes of your new friends or host family, when you use Spanish slang. It’s a great way to show interest and to immerse in the language and the culture. Slang is a secret way of communicating that helps set people apart in a distinct and individual way.

Spanish Slang words: 15 best expressions

1. Tomar el pelo

Literal definition: to take the hair
Definition: to kid around, to make fun of, to tease
Example: ¿Me estás tomando el pelo?
Translation: Are you kidding me?

2. Estar en pelotas

Literal definition: to be in balls
Definition: to be naked
Example: Cuando mis amigos entraron a mi departamento, yo estaba en pelotas, pero, por suerte, estaba muy oscuro.
Translation: When my friends came into my apartment, I was completely naked, but, luckily, it was really dark.

3. Ir a tapear

Literal definition: go to tapas
Definition: wanting to go out to eat tapas or have a quick bite
Example: Vamos a tapear.
Translation: Let’s go have tapas.

Ir de tapas Spanish Slang

4. Tener una empanada mental

Literal definition: to have a mental empanada
Definition: to be all over the place, to be in a sea of confusion, to not have clear ideas about something, used for someone who does not understand anything even after you explain it 100 times, someone who is half asleep
Example: Tía, estás empanada, ¡despierta ya!
Translation: Hey you, you are half asleep, wake up!
Example: Vaya empanada mental que tengo.
Translation: Oh! My brain is fried!

5. Partirse el culo

Literal definition: to break your ass
Definition: to laugh out loud (lol), to laugh your ass off
Example: Estás partiéndote el culo con tus amigos.
Translation: You’re laughing your ass off with your friends.

6. Chulo/a

Literal definition: pimp
Definition: you say this for something that is very beautiful, cute or very cool.
Example: ¡Qué foto más chula!
Translation: What a cool photo!
Example: Esa falda es muy chula.
Translation: That skirt is so cute.
Example: ¡Y luego me enseñó su nuevo celular tan chulo!
Translation: And then he showed me his cool new phone!

7. Ser mono

Literal definition: to be a monkey
Definition: to be cute
Example: Su hija es tan mona.
Translation: Your daughter is so adorable.
Example: El vestido que su hija tiene puesto es tan mono.
Translation: The dress your daughter is wearing is so cute.

Pimientos Spanish Slang

8. Ser la leche

Literal definition: to be the milk
Definition: to be the coolest, the most amazing or even awful. Similar to when we say something is “sick”, can be used both positively and negatively.
Example: Acaba de graduarse y se cree la leche.
Translation: He just graduated and thinks he is all that.
Example: Tu hermano es muy gracioso, es la leche.
Translation: Your brother is very funny, he’s the best.
Example: Tu hermano siempre contesta mal, es la leche.
Translation: Your brother always answers badly, he’s awful.

9. Estar de mala leche

Literal definition: to be of bad milk
Definition: to be in a bad mood
Example: Estoy de mala leche porque no dormí nada anoche.
Translation: I’m in a bad mood because I didn’t sleep at all last night.
Example: Mia tiene muy mala leche.
Translation: Mia is really grumpy.

10. Me importa un pimiento

Literal definition: it is as important as a pepper
Definition: I don’t care, it’s not worth my time
Example: La boda me importa un pimiento.
Translation: I could care less about the wedding.
Example: Me importa un pimiento la nieve.
Translation: I don’t care about the snow.

11. Mala pata

Literal definition: bad paw
Definition: bad luck
Example: Son las cinco y acaba de entrar un cliente, qué mala pata. (It’s five o’clock and a customer just walked in, what bad luck.)
Tengo mala pata, siempre tengo que esperar en los semáforos. (I have bad luck, I’m always waiting at stoplights.)

12. El puto amo

Literal definition: the fucking boss
Definition: to be the best, the man, when you walk into a place and own it
Example: No soy bueno en todo, pero soy el puto amo en este juego. (I’m not good at everything, but I’m the fucking best at this game.)
Example: No sé cómo lo haces, David, pero de nuevo vendiste el doble de mercancía que el resto de nosotros juntos. – Lo sé. Soy el puto amo.
Translation: I don’t know how you do it, David, but once again you sold more merchandise than the rest of us put together. – I know. I’m the fucking man.

13. Esmallao

Literal definition: faint
Definition: to be starving, famished
Example: ¿Qué hay para cenar, mamá? ¡Estoy esmallao!
Translation: What’s for dinner, Mom? I’m starving!
Example: Estábamos esmallaos después del paseo, así que fuimos al sitio de hamburguesas a comer algo.
Translation: We were famished after the trip, so we went to the burger joint to grab a bite.

14. Voy a mi bola (Ir a su bola)

Literal definition: I am going to my ball
Definition: to do your own thing and not care what people say
Example: Ella no viene a nuestras fiestas, ella va a su bola.
Translation: She doesn’t come to our parties, she does her own thing.
Example: No quiero ir a comer, voy a mi bola.
Translation: I don’t want to go out to eat I’m going to do my own thing.

15. Colega

Literal definition: colleague
Definition: friend
Example: Ayer fui a la fiesta con mis colegas.
Definition: Yesterday, I went to the party with my friends.
¡Eh, colega!
Definition: Hey, friend!

Reading Tip:

Common Spanish Phrases

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