Sound Cool in Spanish with these 40+ Spanish Slang Words

“Cool” in Spanish is guay.

And here are lots more cool Spanish words so you can sound cool when you’re speaking the language.

What do I mean by “sound cool”? Well, I mean smooth-talking, slangy phrases and local lingo that only a real insider would know. Words and phrases that make you sound natural in Spanish.

Now, keep in mind that Spanish is spoken all over the world — so these cool words in Spanish vary by region. Guay is the universal word for “cool” in Spanish taught in classes and textbooks. But the most common way to say “cool” will differ depending on which Spanish speaking country you’re in. And that’s not the only slang word that’s different by country, region, or even city!

Think about how slang works in English. Where I live now, in NYC, it’s common to say “mad good” or “deadass”. But in California, you’d hear “hella good”. In Ireland, we say “yoke”, meaning “thing” or “thingamajig”. So slang can vary quite a bit even in the same country speaking the same language. And the farther apart the regions or countries are, the greater the difference is in the dialects and choice of words.

But don’t worry — I’ve included all kinds of cool Spanish words from all over the world. So if you’re learning Latin American Spanish or Castilian Spanish, or anything else in between, you can still learn how to sound “cool” in Spanish.

“Cool” in Spanish and 9 Other Slang from Spain

Es una pasada

In Spain, the phrase es una pasada means something is cool, interesting, great, or nice. One thing you’ll notice about slang is that gender is often disregarded. This phrase always stays feminine, even if you’re talking about a masculine noun.

Estar como una cabra

Do you know those screaming goats? They’re crazy, aren’t they? Well, that’s what this phrase means. The translation means “to be like a goat”, but it’s used to say someone is crazy.

Vale

This is an alternative way to say “yes” or acknowledge someone. It means “Okay!” or “Got it!” It can also be used as “Alright?”

Molar

Molar is another way to say something is “cool” or “appealing” and you like it. It’s a synonym for gustar (“to like”) and conjugates the same way. So, you’d use me mola… like you would me gusta.

¡Qué chulo!

This phrase means “How cool!” or “How great!” in Spain. You can often use chulo in place of bonito (pretty)… Be careful with this one though — it has a variety of meanings. In Spain, it can also mean “conceited” and in Mexican slang, it could mean “sexy” or even “pimp”!

Venga

Venga is used as an interjection at the beginning of a sentence and said in both a positive or negative way. That means you could use it to say “Alright! Let’s do it!” or “Oh, come on.” or “For Pete’s sake”. For example, you could say Venga, ¡vamos! to say excitedly “Alright, let’s go!” Or, with a change of tone, it could mean “Ugh, come on, let’s go!”

¡Qué caña!

The word caña refers to a bamboo-like reed. But it’s used idiomatically to express pleasant surprise.

No pasa nada

This one is common to hear in Spain. The literal meaning is “nothing happens” but it’s used like “no worries” in English. Combine it with the casual hombre to say Ay, hombre, no pasa nada. (“Hey man, no worries.”)

Colega and Chaval

Colega would mean “co-worker” in any other Spanish-speaking country. But in Spain, it’s used in place of amigo for strangers and acquaintances. Chaval / Chavala essentially means the same thing, except it’s used only to talk about kids or teens.

Estar en pelotas

Yes, this means what you may think: “to be in the balls”. It’s a funny phrase used to describe being in your birthday suit, in the nude, or like in American English… “butt naked”.

10 Spanish Slang Words from Mexico

Chido

This is the most common way to say “cool” in Mexican Spanish. Anything can be muy chido.

Neta

This means “truth” but it’s used to say “For real?” or “Truly?” You’ll hear this one quite a bit between friends or TV.

Chavo or Chava

This is a casual way to say “kid” in Mexican Spanish. You can use it to talk about a kid, or to address someone, like Oye, chavo, “Hey, kid”.

Wey

Wey is used between friends to call someone “dude”. Be careful though — this can be a bit rude when used to talk about strangers or acquaintances

¡Órale!

This is used as an exclamation, and literally means “Pray!” like “Pray tell!” But casually, it’s used to express amazement like “Wow”, “That’s amazing”, or “That’s crazy!”

Naco

This means someone is “trashy”, either in their behaviour or appearance. Obviously, this is a pretty negative word to call someone. If you wouldn’t use the word “trashy” to someone in English, don’t use this one in Spanish either.

Pedo

This is used in all kinds of slang phrases, although stick to using this one with friends. It literally means “fart”. But you can use it to say no hay pedo (“no problem”, “no big deal” or… “it’s no fart”). You can also greet someone with ¿Qué pedo? (“What’s up” or, literally, “What fart?”)

Padre

Yes, padre means “father” in Spanish. But in Mexico, it’s another way to say “cool”.

Buena onda

This is also often translated as “cool”. But it means something more like “good vibes”. Use this to describe someone or something that gives you a real positive feeling or energy.

Fresa

This means “strawberry.” But when it’s used as a slang term, it describes someone who is stuck up or a snob.

5 Cool Spanish Slang Words from Argentina

Bárbaro

This is one of those catch-all words. It can mean “cool”, “great”, “fantastic”. Or, it can mean “barbaric” and “cruel”.

Fiaca

This means you’re feeling “lazy”. Don’t even feel like getting up? Then you say, Me de fiaca levantarme.

Piola

Piola is another way to say something is “cool” or “amazing”. It can also mean someone is clever, friendly or calm.

Centavo

In Argentina, you would use centavo instead of dinero. Don’t have any moolah? Then you say No tengo un centavo. It literally means, “I don’t even have a penny.”

Quilombo

If something is scandalous, you say it’s quilombo in Argentina. It can also be used to say something is a “mess”.

5 Spanish Slang Words You’ll Hear in Chile

Fome

This is a casual way to say “boring” in Chile. This could be a situation, person, movie… anything.

Al tiro

This means “right away”, and you’ll hear it quite often. For instance, ve al tiro means “go right now.”

Bacán

Meaning “cool” in Chile, bacán is also used widely in Peru, Cuba and Colombia. Just know this means a variety of things in other Spanish-speaking countries, like someone is “very attractive” or your “lover”.

Todo cachete

This literally means “all cheek”, but it’s used to say something is amazing, cool or fantastic. This phrase is also used in Costa Rica.

Tinto

Are you a coffee snob who enjoys only the best black coffee? Then you want un tinto — or Café solo, sin leche ni azúcar (“Only coffee, without milk or sugar”).

3 Spanish Slang Words from Cuba

Mate

Is half of your heart in Havana, na na na? (Sorry, I had to.) Then you’re mate. It’s a slang term to say “desperately in love”.

Chavos

This is another word for dinero, or money, in Cuba.

Mono

This word means “monkey” in most of the Spanish-speaking world, so be mindful with this one. But in Cuba (and in Spain), it’s a casual way to say someone or something is “cute”.

And to Finish… 7 Other Cool Slang Words from Spanish-Speaking Countries

Culo

This usually means “ass”, so be careful with it. But remember how in NYC they say “deadass” as a positive term? In Colombia and the Caribbean, culo is used in the same way. It’s “deadass cool”.

Pura vida

This translates as “pure life”. But in Costa Rica, it means “cool”, “amazing”, or a greeting to say “What’s up?”

Buenazo

In Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, you’ll hear this phrase used to say something is “excellent”, “great” or “really cool”.

Calidá

In Guatemala, they use calidá as a casual slang term for “cool”.

Choy

Choy can be used as an exclamation, like “Hey!” But in Peru, it can also mean “Wow!” or “Cool!”

Gufiao

You’ll hear this one in Puerto Rico for “cool”. It can also be spelled gufeao — either way is correct. Nítido is another common slang term for “amazing” or “cool” in Puerto Rico, which means “clear” or “sharp” in other Spanish regions.

Muy Guapo en Español!

Now you know plenty of ways to sound cool in Spanish! These slang terms and various ways to say “cool” in Spanish will help you understand regional variations. Plus, you’ll sound more natural no matter where you’re speaking Spanish.

If you’re looking for more ways to learn real-life Spanish, podcasts are a great place to start. SpanishPod101 is one of my go-to resources I recommend for listening and understanding everyday Spanish. From the basics to advanced conversations and slang, they cover it all!

What other Spanish words for “cool” do you know? How about other slang terms you have heard or use often? Share them with me in the comments.

The post Sound Cool in Spanish with these 40+ Spanish Slang Words appeared first on Fluent in 3 months – Language Hacking and Travel Tips.