Spanish Slang Words & Phrases
Slang is the use of informal words and phrases that aren’t part of the formal language. This includes many swears and insults.
Most Spanish courses don’t teach slang and many dictionaries don’t define slang words and expressions. Nonetheless, slang is commonly used in conversation and is a colorful and fun part of language learning.
On this page I’ve summarized a few common slang expressions I’ve encountered in Mexico and Argentina. This is not an exhaustive list of every Spanish slang term, but rather a selection of a few of my favorites.
Spanish slang is highly regional. It is not universal. Expressions used in Mexico, for example, may not be used or even understood in Spain, Argentina or other Latin countries.
Slang in any language is also age-dependent. Older people generally use different slang than teenagers.
Popular Slang Expressions
bárbaro (Argentina) – awesome, fantastic
boludo (Argentina) – jerk, idiot. taxi drivers yell this often. also used to address friends and buddies
cabrón (Mexico) – jerk, bastard
che (Argentina) – hey, yo. dude, man. often used to get someone’s attention
cornudo (Argentina) – a man whose wife is cheating on him. another favorite insult of taxi drivers
culo – butt, ass
Ella tiene un magnífico culo.
She has a great ass.
lana (Mexico) – money. literally means wool
mina (Argentina) – girl, woman, babe
pajero – person who masturbates
pendejo (Mexico) – jerk, idiot
Ese pendejo no sirve para nada.
That jerk is totally useless.
plata – money
puta – slut, whore
tipo (Mexico) – guy
Ese tipo es el novio de mi hermana.
That guy is my sister’s boyfriend.
More Spanish Slang, Swear Words, Curses and Insults
To learn more Spanish slang, including how to swear in Spanish, see the sites below.
Language Realm Spanish Slang Dictionary – Dictionary of slang, vulgarisms, curses and insults
Argentine Spanish Slang Dictionary at Oh Buenos Aires – Excellent list of Argentina slang with clear definitions
Insults.net – Good collection of Spanish insults and dirty words
The Alternative Spanish Dictionary – More slang and swear words to enrich your vocabulary