50 Mexican Slang Words and Phrases You MUST Learn with Chunking

What’s up, raza! You’re walking the streets of Mexico City, feeling like a total chilango (a true Mexican) with your casual “¿Qué pedo?” greetings and “chido” compliments. Little do you realize that your attempts to sound like a local are falling on deaf ears.

As you stop to enjoy some delicious tacos, the taquero gives you a confused look. Clearly, your Spanish slang is more Spanish-oriented than Mexican. It’s time to kick it up a notch and embrace the true essence of Mexican caló. Here’s the secret Mexican slang only Mexican natives use:

The insight were brought to you by Spring Spanish (a project I co-founded), and now it’s time to learn more essential Mexican slang, so you don’t get into strange situations!

1. Mexican Spanish vs standard Spanish phrases

Mexican Spanish is a bit different from the standard Spanish taught in schools. Standard Spanish is like the language used by teachers and Spanish textbooks, and Mexican Spanish is the language used by your friends and family in real life.

Mexican Spanish has some differences in pronunciation, letters or syllables because they are frequently dropped or changed slightly in real-life examples. All in all, we can say that Mexican Spanish is a more casual, informal way of using the Spanish language – it’s used in everyday life compared to the textbook Spanish that is sometimes boring and too… rigid.

mexican slang illustrated with a mexican flag on flagpole

One of the main differences is the use of unique words and expressions. These are informal phrases that are commonly used in casual conversations, but they might not make sense if you translate them word-for-word. Instead of saying “That’s cool” in standard Spanish (“Eso es genial“), a Mexican might say “Está chido” or “Está bien padre.”

Let’s go deeper and explore some of these most common Mexican slangs!

2. Mexican slang words for greetings and interjections

You’ve just arrived to the country and greet your native Mexican friends. How to do that? With these Mexican slang terms, it’s easy:

Mexican SlangEnglish
¿Qué onda?What’s up?
ÓraleAlright/Sure
CuateFriend
BroncaProblem/Trouble
Chamaco/aKid
Chavo/aGuy/Girl
Naco/aTacky/Vulgar
RazaPeople/Folks

This is how it could go like:

Ramos: ¿Qué onda, cuate? [What’s up, friend?]
Rici: Órale, no pasa nada. Acabo de salir de la chamba. [Alright, nothing much. I just got off work.]
Ramos: ¿En serio? ¿Y cómo te fue en el taque? [Really? How was the food/meal?]
Rici: Pues la neta, estuvo bien gacho. El pinche chamaco naco que me atendió fue bien meco. [Well, to be honest, it was really unpleasant. The tacky dumb kid who served me was really stupid.]
Ramos: No manches, ¿en serio? Qué bronca con esa raza. [No way, seriously? What a problem with those people.]
Rici: Simón, ni modo. ¿Nos vamos a chupar unas tecates? [Yeah, oh well. Shall we go drink some Tecate beers?]
Ramos: Órale, vamos. [Alright, let’s go.]

3. Mexican slang phrases to describe things and people

And after the first greetings and kisses, you start to look around and describe things and other people (seeing a friend after a long time can be quite the feeling!). So, you impress them with slangs only locals use!

Mexican SlangEnglish
ChidoCool
PadreCool/Awesome
Chingón/aGreat/Awesome
Está cabronThat’s crazy/difficult
CamaradaFriend/Buddy
CarnalClose friend
Gacho/aUnpleasant/Lousy
Meco/aStupid/Dumb
Ñoño/aNerd/Geek

Here’s how it can go:

Eduard: ¡Oye camarada! ¿Ya viste la nueva peli de Marvel? ¡Está bien chingona! [Hey buddy! Did you see the new Marvel movie? It’s really great/awesome!
Rudi: Simón carnal, la vi anoche. El Spiderman está bien padre. [Yeah close friend, I saw it last night. Spiderman is really cool/awesome.]
Eduard: ¿En serio? A mí se me hizo bien meca la verdad. [Really? To me it seemed really stupid to be honest.]
Rudi: ¿Qué dices güey? ¡No manches! Está bien cabrón lo que dices. [What are you saying dude? No way! What you’re saying is crazy/difficult.]
Eduard: Pues yo la verdad prefiero las pelis de ñoños de ciencia ficción. [Well I actually prefer those nerdy sci-fi movies.]
Rudi: Ay wey, ya me saliste bien gacho. Mejor vamos por unas chelas. [Ah dude, you’re being really unpleasant now. Let’s just go get some beers instead.]

4. Common Mexican slang expressions

You’re sitting down for a great coffee – by the way, I have another project titled Emergent Brew where I share coffee tips and facts (and my enthusiasm) about coffee altogether – to chat about, well… life. You’re enjoying the company and you’re throwing in the following everydays Mexican expressions:

Mexican SlangEnglish
Güey/WeyDude/Guy
No manchesNo way/You’re kidding
NetaReally/Seriously
Ni modoOh well/Never mind
Está de huevaIt’s a pain/hassle
JarcharTo bother/annoy
PedoProblem/Fart
Ruco/aOld person
SimónYes/Sure
Ya estuvoThat’s enough

A short conversation could go down like this:

Juan: ¿Qué onda güey? ¿Compraste los regalos? [What’s up dude? Did you buy the gifts?]
Pedro: Neta no, está de hueva ir al centro comercial. [Really no, it’s a pain/hassle to go to the mall.]
Juan: No te jarches, vamos ahorita. [Don’t bother/annoy me, let’s go now.]
Pedro: Ni modo, pero no me jarches luego. [Oh well, but don’t bother/annoy me later.]

5. Learn Mexican slang for work & money

Now the topic shifts to a more serious angle but you still want to keep it casual. How’s life in your country, how much do people earn and make, and also, how do Mexican live? Time to talk about work and money and jobs in Spanish speaking countries!

Mexican SlangEnglish
ChambaWork/Job
MaraGang
MarroCash/Money
MordidaBribe
PedoProblem
PiónEmployee/Worker
PlebePoor person
QuebradaBroke
TalachaHard work
TaqueFood/Meal

Let’s imagine this situation with real Spanish sentences, too:

Gabriel: ¿Cómo va la chamba cuate? [How’s the job going friend?]
Pedrito: Una talacha por mi jefe plebe. [Hard work because of my poor boss.]
Gabriel: ¿Y el marro? ¿Te pagan bien los piones? [And the cash/money? Do the employees pay you well?]
Pedrito: Ni modo, la quedrada no alcanza ni pa’ taque. [Oh well, being broke I can’t even afford food/meals.]
Gabriel: ¿Y pedirle mordida al jefe? [What about asking for a bribe from the boss?]
Pedrito: ¡No manches! Eso es de maras, no me meto en broncas. [No way! That’s for gangs, I don’t get involved in problems.]
Gabriel: Simón, busca otra chamba. Esta ya está de hueva. [Yeah, find another job. This one became a pain/hassle.]

6. Mexican slang words and phrases when you’re out partying

Enough of the serious political debates. Time to party!

(Just make sure to avoid ‘cruda‘ – who wants that nowadays, right?

Mexican SlangEnglish
ChuparTo drink alcohol
CrudaHangover
ChupeDrunk
Tengo una crudaI have a hangover

After a heavy party, you could talk like this:

Riqui: Oye güey, anoche me puse bien chupe en la peda. [Hey dude, last night I got really drunk at the party.]
Sergi: No manches, ¿en serio? ¿Y ahorita tienes una cruda bien cabrona? [No way, really? And now you have a really bad hangover?]
Riqui: Simón carnal, me duele hasta la verga. Creo que mejor no voy a chupar en un buen rato. [Yeah buddy, it hurts like hell. I think I better not drink alcohol for a while.]
Sergi: Jajaja, ni modo cuate. Así te pasa por andar de chupe todos los fines. [Hahaha, oh well friend. That’s what you get for getting drunk every weekend.]
Riqui: Ya se me quitará esta cruda, pero la próxima vez voy a tomar las cosas con más calma. [This hangover will go away, but next time I’ll take things more slowly.]

7. Common Mexican slang words for people & places

As your journey comes to and end, you are already a ‘chilango‘ because you learned how to use the Mexican slang that’s so popular in the country. You’re throwing goodbye kisses and saying goodbye in Spanish.

Mexican SlangEnglish
Chilango/aSomeone from Mexico City
FresaPreppy/Snob
GandallaLazy person
GüeyDude (derogatory)
MochisKisses
TecateBeer (brand name)

Sergio: ¿Conoces a la vecina chilanga? [Have you met the neighbor from Mexico City?]
Hernandez: La fresa que presume su carro. [The preppy one showing off her car.]
Sergio: Ni me peló ayer, la gandalla. [She didn’t even acknowledge me yesterday, the lazy person.]
Hernandez: Invítala a unas tecates para que se le quite lo fresa. [Invite her for some Tecate beers to cure her of being so preppy.]
Sergio: ¿Crees que acepte mochis de un güey como yo? [You think she’ll accept kisses from a dude like me?]
Hernandez: Simón, para que vea que no todos los chilangos somos iguales. [Yeah, so she sees not all Mexico City people are the same.]

8. All the Mexican slang words you need in one place

Although we categorized these Mexican slang words, having them in one place is good too! Here you go:

Mexican SlangEnglish
¿Qué onda?What’s up?
Güey/WeyDude/Guy
ChidoCool
PadreCool/Awesome
No manchesNo way/You’re kidding
ÓraleAlright/Sure
¿Qué pedo?What’s happening?
Chingón/aGreat/Awesome
NetaReally/Seriously
Está cabronThat’s crazy/difficult
Ni modoOh well/Never mind
Está de huevaIt’s a pain/hassle
CamaradaFriend/Buddy
CarnalClose friend
CuateFriend
BroncaProblem/Trouble
ChambaWork/Job
CotorrearTo chat/gossip
Chamaco/aKid
Chavo/aGuy/Girl
Chilango/aSomeone from Mexico City
ChuparTo drink alcohol
CrudaHangover
ChupeDrunk
FresaPreppy/Snob
Gacho/aUnpleasant/Lousy
GandallaLazy person
GüeyDude (derogatory)
JarcharTo bother/annoy
MaraGang
MarroCash/Money
Meco/aStupid/Dumb
MochisKisses
MordidaBribe
Naco/aTacky/Vulgar
Ñoño/aNerd/Geek
PedoProblem/Fart
PelaMoney
PiónEmployee/Worker
PlebePoor person
QuebradaBroke
RazaPeople/Folks
Ruco/aOld person
SimónYes/Sure
TalachaHard work
TaqueFood/Meal
TecateBeer (brand name)
Tengo una crudaI have a hangover
VergaPenis (used as an expletive)
Ya estuvoThat’s enough/I’m done

9. Practice Mexican Slang with our exercises

Let’s review these Mexican slangs together with some flashcards!

Curious to learn more? Here’s your chance!

10. Learn Spanish slang with Conversation Based Chunking

But you’re not saying bye to one thing: learning Spanish. Instead, you’re only saying hello in Spanish with Conversation Based Chunking.

It’s a method you should use just like you use Spanish slangs all the time. Chunking focuses on the naturla building blocks of a language – things that native speakers use without much thinking.

Do you want to avoid grammar just like these locals? Sign up now, and Effortless Conversations will teach you everything you have to know about the Conversation Based Chunking method, PLUS, you’ll get your first Spanish Chunking Starter Pack immediately with essential chunking lists, dialogues, practice worksheets and a lot more!

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