50 Spanglish Words and Phrases With Examples That Can Improve Your Spanish

Are you listening to reggaeton artists? Or watching a good Spanish or American TV show and you hear strange words that sound both like Spanish and English?

You’re not crazy! These are Spanglish words and phrases that are present in the Spanish language. It’s easy to learn them, and it’s too good to use them. Why? Because if you use these Spanglish words then you’re getting closer to sounding like a true native.

That’s right: native speakers also use these words because the Spanish language – just like any other – is always evolving. And coming up with new words is totally normal for a language.

Spring Spanish (my side project with my friend and colleague, Gabriel Gelman) made a lesson on the top 10 Spanglish words:

In our blog post, we list 50 (!) of these Spanglish words. Let’s go!

1. What is Spanglish?

Spanglish refers to the brand new blend of Spanish and English language. Spanglish words and phrases are often used in communities where both languages are spoken, or if people are bilingual. (That’s a common occurrence in the US.)

Effortless Answers

Spanglish involves mixing words, phrases or even sentence structures from Spanish and English.

How do these words and phrases appear?

Sometimes, Spanish directly borrows words from English (e.g., “Voy a hacer un check-in” instead of “Voy a registrarme“), or you switch between languages mid-sentence (e.g., “Fui al market y compré leche” instead of “Fui al mercado y compré leche“).

And rarely, you can even create new words: combine elements from both languages to form new words or expressions (e.g., “parquear” from the English word “to park” instead of the Spanish “estacionar“).

Spanglish shows the dynamic cultural and linguistic exchange between English and Spanish speakers. It’s an ever-evolving form of communication that’s especially popular in areas like the United States where there are more and more Spanish-speaking populations.

2. The pros and cons of using Spanglish terms

Like with most things in life, using common Spanglish terms, phrases, words has its pros and cons.

Pros of using common Spanglish words

For bilingual speakers, Spanglish can make communication easier and more fluid. This is true in areas where both languages are understood. The Spanglish phrases also show the cultural identity of someone and gives you a shared experience of belonging together.

This might sound contradictory, but seldom, Spanglish allows for a richer means of expression: when you can’t find the right word for something in Spanish or English – you combine them!

And another pro of Spanglish is that it can make it easier to describe concepts or items that don’t have direct translations in one language or the other.

spanglish words with spanish and us flags mixed

Cons of using Spanglish phrases

There are also disadvantages of using Spanglish. One of these disadvantages is connected to over-reliance. Spanglish can hinder full proficiency in either Spanish or English: it’s a meaningful warning because you might not learn the most important formalities in either of the languages.

Not everyone can understand Spanglish – this leads to confusion. Monolingual speakers or those that are less familiar with the Spanish culture can have a mixed feeling about it.

In formal education settings, the use of Spanglish might complicate the teaching and learning of standard Spanish or English. And one more thing!

Spanglish is considered informal in most use cases – this can be seen as unprofessional or inappropriate in certain contexts like written Spanish or business Spanish.

3. 50 Spanglish Words and Phrases with Examples

Okay, after all of this chit-chat and long explanations, time to jump right in!

In this table, you’ll find 50 Spanglish words and phrases used in everyday Spanish conversations. And there are also some easy Spanish sentences to truly show you how these phrases work in real-life scenarios.

SpanglishEnglishExample
TrocaTruckVoy a manejar la troca. (I’m going to drive the truck.)
LoncheLunch¿Qué tienes para lonche? (What do you have for lunch?)
RentaRentTenemos que pagar la renta. (We have to pay the rent.)
ParquearTo parkVoy a parquear el coche. (I’m going to park the car.)
ChequearTo checkVoy a chequear mi correo. (I’m going to check my mail.)
Email/e-mailEmailTe envío un email. (I’ll send you an email.)
AplicarTo applyElla va a aplicar para el trabajo. (She is going to apply for the job.)
TicketTicketCompré un ticket para el concierto. (I bought a ticket for the concert.)
CarpetaCarpetVoy a limpiar la carpeta. (I’m going to clean the carpet.)
BilesBillsTengo que pagar los biles. (I have to pay the bills.)
ShoppingShoppingVamos de shopping. (Let’s go shopping.)
MarquetaMarketVoy a la marqueta. (I’m going to the market.)
BrecaBrakeTienes que brecar ahí. (You have to brake there.)
ColegioCollegeElla va al colegio. (She goes to college.)
FaxearTo faxVoy a faxear el documento. (I’m going to fax the document.)
DeletearTo deleteVoy a deletear este archivo. (I’m going to delete this file.)
MapearTo mopNecesito mapear el piso. (I need to mop the floor.)
BeisbolBaseballMe gusta jugar beisbol. (I like to play baseball.)
SuéterSweaterElla lleva un suéter. (She is wearing a sweater.)
ConfleiCornflakesDesayuno conflei cada mañana. (I have cornflakes for breakfast every morning.)
TaiperTypewriterUsa una taiper antigua. (He uses an old typewriter.)
FútbolFootballNos encanta el fútbol. (We love football.)
EsmartSmartElla es muy esmart. (She is very smart.)
PrinterPrinterLa printer no funciona. (The printer isn’t working.)
ClickearTo clickTienes que clickear aquí. (You have to click here.)
HondurearTo honkVoy a hondurear la bocina. (I’m going to honk the horn.)
BloguearTo blogElla está blogueando. (She is blogging.)
ChatChatTenemos un chat pendiente. (We have a chat scheduled.)
CaterinCateringEl caterin fue excelente. (The catering was excellent.)
PartyPartyVamos a una party. (We’re going to a party.)
PrintarTo printVoy a printar el documento. (I’m going to print the document.)
ClickClickHaz click aquí. (Click here.)
FixearTo fixVoy a fixear el carro. (I’m going to fix the car.)
RankearTo rankVamos a rankear los mejores. (Let’s rank the best ones.)
HangeoHang out¿Quieres hangeo este sábado? (Do you want to hang out this Saturday?)
TextarTo textVoy a textar a María. (I’m going to text María.)
RelaxearTo relaxNecesito relaxear un poco. (I need to relax a bit.)
SuicheSwitchAprieta el suiche. (Press the switch.)
PusharTo pushTienes que pushar la puerta. (You have to push the door.)
WachearTo watchVamos a wachear una película. (Let’s watch a movie.)
PlomeroPlumberLlamé al plomero. (I called the plumber.)
BullyBullyÉl es un bully en la escuela. (He is a bully at school.)
ComputerComputerLa computer no enciende. (The computer won’t turn on.)
ScolearTo scoldElla va a scolear a los niños. (She’s going to scold the kids.)
NerseNurseLa nerse fue muy amable. (The nurse was very kind.)
MárquetinMarketingTrabaja en márquetin. (He works in marketing.)
RentarTo rentVoy a rentar un coche. (I’m going to rent a car.)
YonqueJunkyardVoy al yonque. (I’m going to the junkyard.)

4. Funny Spanglish phrases in pop culture

Many pop culture elements and events feature a lot of funny Spanglish phrases.

Jane the Virgin is an American television series that uses Spanglish to show that the main character comes from a bilingual community and that Latinos often use Spanglish. Another TV show example could be Ugly Betty – in this show, characters switch between English and Spanish.

And what could be a better example for using Spanglish than the movie ‘Spanglish’ itself?! This film, directed by James L. Brooks, shows the dynamics of a bilingual household.

Finally, let’s not even mention Spanish music because learning Spanish with music (or Spanglish) is a whole another thing. Spanglish happens practically every day in today’s pop music.

5. Do common Spanglish phrases lead to learning Spanish?

Using Spanglish can help the process of learning Spanish. Here’s how:

Being exposed to Spanish words and phrases within a familiar English context can make it easier to pick up vocabulary and basic phrases.

spanglish words illustrated with spanish and uk flag mixed

It can make you feel more comfortable and confident using Spanish, especially if you can switch between English and Spanish. Plus, you can enhance engagement and interest in learning Spanish if you connect it to your own cultural context and everyday experiences.

Nonetheless, you should still dedicate a given time to practice Spanish – WITHOUT mixing in English to build a strong foundation in the language. You can follow formal classes or go through a structured learning resources to understand the basics, and after that, throw in some Spanglish yourself.

6. Spanish and English speakers can both learn with Conversation Based Chunking

No matter which language is your native and which one you want to learn, Conversation Based Chunking is a method that will help you learn your target language.

This approach focuses on the most important building blocks of the language – on those that will help you speak any language naturally.

If you sign up now, you’ll get your first Spanish Chunking Starter Pack and will get you on the path to learn fluent Spanish. What are you waiting for?

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