Mexican Spanish Slang
& Colloquial Expressions
Pack these Mexican Spanish slang terms away somewhere in your memory banks because you’re pretty much guaranteed to bump into at least one of them the next time you spend a few minutes talking to anyone from Mexico!
¡Qué padre!<br>That’s cool!
In Mexico, the Spanish word padre (father) is one of the most popular slang words in use today. When used as an adjective, it means cool, awesome, great, or the equivalent.
No Manches / No mames
Te compré un regalo – ¡No manches!
I bought you a gift – No way!
The slang expression ¡No manches! is often used to express shock, surprise or disbelief (No way! Are you kidding? Get outta here! Stop fooling around!). No manches is actually a milder version of the rougher sounding Mexican slang phrase no mames. The two expressions generally imply the same thing, but no mames has more of a bite to it. For example, no mames is like saying “You’ve gotta be f***ing kidding me!” By comparison, no manches is much more gentle and is more like saying “you’re kidding!”
Oye, ¿quieres otra cerveza?
Hey, want another beer
There can’t be a discussion about Mexican Spanish slang without the word Órale. It can mean a variety of different things in Mexico, depending on the context. It’s one of the most ubiquitous Mexican Spanish slang terms in the country and is used by everyone from business executives and teachers, to kids and their grandmas. Common translations include: Yes! Wow! Right on! Sure! Let’s do it! or Gotcha!
Oye, ándale, agarra una rebanada de pizza.
Hey, go ahead, grab a slice of pizza.
Like órale, the words ándele (usted) / ándale (tú) are enormously popular slang terms in Mexico. They can be translated in various ways depending on the context. Some common translations are Come on, Go ahead, or Let’s go. However in other contexts, it might be used informally as an affirmation, as if to say Ok, Right on, You got it, or Way to go.
Es mucha lana.
It’s a lot of dough.
In Mexico, the Spanish word lana (which means wool) is also a colloquial or slang way to refer to money, similar to dough or bread.
Por favor, no pongas esta foto en línea, ¿sale?
Please don’t post this pic online, okay?
In contexts like this, ¿sale? is an informal and slang way of saying “ok?” People use sale in Mexico in the same way that the word vale is used in Spain, that is to say, it’s an affirmation or way of saying “yes, sure, fine, ok.”
a todo dar
¡Mi amiga es a todo dar!
My friend is the best!
A todo dar is a colloquial way to say that someone or something is great, amazing or awesome. It’s the softer version of the slang expression a toda madre.
¡Qué mala onda!
What a bummer!
The word Onda (wave) is another Mexican Spanish slang word that is used in a wide variety of expressions and phrases. For instance, if someone or something is buena onda it means they’re nice, cool or a good person. Alternatively, if something is mala onda it’s the opposite, and refers to a person or situation that’s a bummer, bad news or gives off bad vibes.
Uf, la neta es que no tengo ganas de estudiar ahorita.
Ugh, actually I really don’t feel like studying right now.
The word neta or phrase la neta generally means “the truth, seriously,” or “for real.” It’s informal in tone and used widely among the fresa crowd in Mexico.
Ella es súper fresa.
She’s a total snob.
In Spanish, the word fresa literally means strawberry, but in Mexico, it’s also commonly used as a slang way to describe something or someone who is snobby, snooty, posh or pretentious. It’s also used to describe the rich, upper-class in Mexico. In season 2 of our podcast series, we have a fun episode devoted entirely to los Fresas en México. ¡Chécalo!
Me chocan los lunes.
I hate Mondays.
In a literal sense, the Spanish verb chocar means “to crash.” However in Mexico, it’s also a slang or colloquial way to express annoyance or dislike about something. As a tip for students, it’s conjugated the same way as the verb gustar; Me choca (one thing) /Me chocan (2 or more things).
Por favor, dame el que está ahí luego luego al lado del chocolate.
I’ll take the one right there next to the chocolate, please.
The Mexican Spanish slang expression luego luego is an adverbial phrase, commonly used in the spoken language. Synonymous with enseguida, it’s a way to indicate that something is “right ” “directly” or “immediately” at hand. For example, mi casa está luego luego ahí would mean “my house is right there.”
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In episode 12 of our podcast series, Mexican Slang at La Fiesta, we get a chance to eavesdrop on two teenagers having a youthful conversation in Spanish which is full of colloquial phrases and Mexican slang expressions. Then join us after the conversation as we have a fun time examining many of the more colorful and popular Mexican Spanish slang phrases from the dialogue.
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