Spanish Text Slang: How to LOL like a true Spaniard - My Daily Spanish

Spanish Text Slang: How to LOL like a true Spaniard

These days, it seems like every1 is using txt lingo. U c it all the time. It’s impossible 2 miss. It’s even seeped into our everyday speech: “OMG!” “LOL” “BRB.”


Texting has become more popular than phone calls to communicate. The shorthand slang that used to be like a learned second language has become as common as everyday English. The same has happened in other languages, as well. Spanish is no exception.

If you’re hoping to wow your Spanish speaking friends with some impressive Spanish texting skills (or maybe you’re just hoping to decode some of those Spanish text slang in the messages they already sent you), this post will come in handy! Read on to learn how to text like a Spanish pro.

Via GIPHY

What texting in Spanish looks like

Just like texting in English, Spanish texting has some “rules.”

You can’t (or, at least, you probably wouldn’t) text “OhMG” instead of “OMG” (Oh my God) or “2BA” for “TBA” (to be announced) even though they make perfect sense. This is because certain abbreviations or acronyms have already been cemented and patterns have already been established.

So, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, why don’t we take a moment to chat about what texting in Spanish actually looks like.

Disappearing Letters

Like with English, texting in Spanish can cause some letters to disappear. This happens most commonly with: “e-” and “es-” at the beginning of words and “d” between vowels.

Examples:

  • Estoy --> Toy (I am)
  • Esta --> Ta (He/She/It is)
  • Todo --> Too (All)

Letter Replacement

Apparently, some letters aren’t as cool as others and aren’t worthy of being included in the texting universe. They often get replaced. This happens come commonly with hard “c”, hard “q”, and “ch.”

“C” and “q” become “k”. Some examples:

  • Quiero --> Kiero (I want)
  • Aquí --> Aki (Here)
  • Que --> Q or K (What/ That)
  • Como --> Komo (Like/ How)

“Ch” becomes “x”

  • Escucha --> Kuxa

This is an example of the disappearing “es” and the replacement of “ch” with “x”. 

Rebus: When letters “say” their names

We do this in English a lot. For example, we might say “u” instead of writing out “you” or “r” in place or “are.” It makes texting quicker, saving the time it takes to type out all those unnecessary “extra” letters. In Spanish, we can do this with letters like “t” (“te) or “k” (“ca”).

Examples:

  • Cadena --> Kdena (Chain)
  • Te --> T (To you)
  • Bebé --> BB (baby)

Using Numbers and Symbols

Like letters that say their names, some number and symbols can be used to “say” what they are as well. It’s like in English when we say “2” instead of writing out “to,” “too,” or “two.” This happens all the time in Spanish.

Examples:

  • Por --> x (For/ By)
  • Menos --> - (Less)
  • Al menos --> al - (At least)
  • Más -->  +  (More/ Plus)
  • Demasiado --> de+sia2 (Too much)

Siglas (Initials)

Probably the most common form of texting lingo is the use of initials. “BRB” for “be right back” or “LOL” for “laugh out loud.” There are plenty of popular initials in Spanish texting.

Some of the most common are:

  • TQM = Te quiero mucho (I love you a lot)
  • TQI/ TKI= Tengo que Irme (I have to go)
  • Pq = Porque/ Por qué (Because/ Why)
  • MDI = Me da igual (I don’t care)
  • PTI = Para tu información (FYI- For your information)

Most Common Spanish Texting Lingo

Spanish TextSpanish MeaningEnglish Meaning
AsdcA salir de casaAbout to leave home
AoraAhoraNow
BBienGood/ Well
BbBebéBaby
BnxBuenas nochesGood night
Bs/Bss/MuakBesosKisses
CdoCuandoWhen
CdtCuídateTake care/ Be careful
CmComo/ ¿Cómo?Like/ How
DcrDecirSay/ Tell
DimDímeTell me
DndDonde/ ¿Dónde?Where
Fin dFin de semanaWeekend
GnlGenialGreat
GraxGraciasThank you
HlaHolaHello
jjj/jajaja/jijijijajaja/ jijijiHaha (laughing- i.e. laughing out loud)
KnQuien/ ¿Quién?Who
KntmCuéntameTell me
KOEstoy muerto/aI’m in trouble
¡Kyat!¡Cállate!Shut up!
MDI/ Me da=/ Da =Me da igual/ Da igualI don’t care/ Doesn’t matter
NphNo puedo hablarI can’t talk
NpnNo pasa nadaIt’s okay
PeraEsperaWait
PtiPara tu informaciónFor your information
Q/KQue/ ¿Qué?That/ What
¿Q tl?¿Qué tal?How’s it going?
¿Q/K aces?¿Qué haces?What are you doing?
Q/K risaQué risaHow funny
QdmsQuedamosWe meet
re100ReciénRecently
Salu2SaludosGreetings
¿Sbs?¿Sabes?You know?
Ta bEstá bienIt’s good/ It’s okay
Tmbn/ Tb/ TbnTambiénAlso
Tnces/ NtcnEntoncesThen/ Well
Tqi/ TkiTengo que irmeI have to go
TvoTe veoI see you
¿Vns?¿Vienes?Are you coming?
WenoBuenoWell/ Good
Wapo/ WapaGuapo/aHandsome/ Beautiful
XPorFor
XaParaFor
Xa qPara que/ ¿Para qué?In order that/ For what?
XauChauBye
XdonPerdónI’m sorry/ Excuse me
XfaPor fa/ Por FavorPlease
XqPorque/ ¿Por qué?Because/ Why?
Ymam/ YmmLlámameCall me
100preSiempreAlways
+o-Más o menosMore or less

Examples: Let’s try some on for size!

Let’s pretend that you’re texting with your Spanish friends. Would you understand if you got the following text messages from them? What do they mean? What would you reply?

  • 1
    Hla. ¿Q tl?
  • 2
    ¿Q aces?
  • 3
    ¿Vns?
  • 4
    Ymm

Here are some sample conversations using the expressions above:

Example 1:


Maria: Hla. ¿Q tl?

Samuel: B. ¿y tú?

Maria: KO

Samuel: ¿Xq?

What it means:

Maria: Hola. ¿Qué tal? (Hello. How’s it going?)

Samuel: Bien. ¿Y tú? (Good, and you?)

Maria: Estoy muerto (I’m in trouble.)

Samuel: ¿Por qué? (Why?)

Example 2:


Julia: ¿Q aces?

Ann: Toy en casa. ¿Tú?

Julia: Toy d compras

What it means:

Julia: ¿Qué haces? (What are you doing?)

Ann: Estoy en casa. ¿Tú? (I'm at home. You?)

Julia: Estoy de compras. (I'm shopping.)

Example 3:


Manuel: ¿Vns?

Hugo: Sí

Manuel: ¿Dnd tas?

Hugo: ASDC

What it means:

Manuel: ¿Vienes? (Are you coming?)

Hugo: (Yes)

Manuel: ¿Dónde estás? (Where are you?)

Hugo: A salir de casa (About to leave home)

Example 4:


Sofia: Ymm

Paulo: Nph. T llamo luego.

What it means:

Sofia: Llámame (call me)

Paulo: No puedo hablar. Te llamo luego (I can’t talk. I’ll call you later.)

Now that you have these texting skills, it’s time to put them to practice! Text your Spanish speaking friends, or your friends learning Spanish. Text your mom, your brother, your best friend in Spanish! They might not understand you… but at least you’ll put this new information to good use.

What do you think? Do you know of any other texting slang or abbreviations that should be included in this list? We always love to hear from you!

About the Author Ana

Anastasia is a Chicago, Illinois native. She began studying Spanish over 10 years ago, and hasn’t stopped since. Living in Spain since 2012, she loves Spanish tortilla, vino tinto, and anything that contains jamón ibérico.

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