Street Slang from Spain

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July 21, 2021

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So, you’ve got to grips with the basics of Spanish, and you’re ready to move it on to the next level. In this article, we go over some mild colloquialisms as well as some of the more vulgar slang words that you’ll hear on the streets of Spain.

WARNING: This article contains EXPLICIT language, including that of a sexual nature. Please don’t read on if you are a minor.
Spain street slang

Positives

  • Molar

To rock/to be awesome

¡Madrid mola!Madrid rocks!
  • Ser la leche

To be amazing (literally: to be the milk)

Nuestro nuevo profesor es la leche.Our new teacher is the best.
Ser la leche

via Pixabay

  • Ponerse las pilas

To get your act together/get hyped (literally: to put your batteries in)

Ponte las pilas. ¡Vamos a bailar!Get ready. We’re gonna dance!
  • De puta madre

Awesome (literally: of whore mother)

Be careful with this one. As you’ll see later, calling someone ‘puto/a’ or ‘hijo de puta’ is rude. But if you say someone is ‘de puta madre,’ you’re saying that they’re pretty awesome.

Esta comida es de puta madre.This food is awesome.
  • El crack

Star

¿Ya terminaste la tarea? ¡Eres un crack!You finished the task already? You’re a star!
  • Sip

Yep

—¿Estás seguro?
—Sip.
“Are you sure?”
“Yep.”
  • Guay/Chulo

Cool

Be careful, ’coschulo’ also means ‘pimp.’

Me encanta tu nuevo reloj. ¡Qué guay/chulo!I love your new watch. How cool!

Negatives/Insults in Spanish

  • Aguafiestas

Party pooper (literally: party waterer)

No invites a Juan. Es aguafiestas.Don’t invite Juan. He’s a party pooper.
  • Cuatrojos

Four-eyes

¡Oye, cuatrojos!Oi, four-eyes!
  • Gilipollas

US: jerk

UK: dickhead/twat

No entiendo por qué sigues saliendo con ese gilipollas.I don’t understand why you’re still going out with that jerk.
  • Cabrón

Bastard

Me engañaste, Gregor. ¡Eres cabrón!You cheated on me, Gregor. You’re a bastard!
  • Zorra

Whore

Be careful if you use this one around a Chilean native, as they may take it to mean ‘c*nt.’

—Esa chica es una zorra.
—No la juzgues.
“That girl is a whore.”
“Don’t judge her.”
  • Puta

Whore

Tu hermana es puta.Your sister’s a whore.
  • Maricón/marica

Faggot

My observation from having lived in Spain is that political correctness still has a way to go. Because they use this kind of language more frequently than us, it means that it may not have quite as strong an offensive connotation as it does in English.

¿Por qué llevas una camisa rosa? ¡Maricón!Why are you wearing a pink shirt? Faggot!
  • Yonqui

Junkie

No te metas con él. Es un yonqui que necesita ayuda profesional.Don’t get involved with him. He’s a junkie who needs professional help.
  • Hijo/a de puta

Son of a bitch

You can use ‘hijo’ or ‘hija’ depending on whether you’re insulting a male or female.

Ben me robó el móvil. ¡Hijo de puta!Ben stole my cell. Son of a bitch!
  • Guiri

Foreigner/foreign tourist

En lugares como Magaluf e Ibiza, los guiris suelen faltar respeto para las normas culturales.In places like Magaluf and Ibiza, foreign tourists often lack respect for cultural norms.
  • Cagarse en…

To hell with … (literally: to shit on)

Me cago en la leche.To hell with it. (Literally: I shit in the milk.)
Me cago en tus muertos.Fuck off/I don’t respect or like you. (Literally: I shit on your dead relatives.)
—Tienes que estudiar para el examen.
—Me cago en el puto examen.
“You have to study for the exam.”
“To hell with the fucking exam.” (Literally: “I shit on the fucking exam.”)
  •  (Vete) a tomar por culo

Fuck off (literally: go and take it up the ass)

Another bit of homophobia entrenched in the Spanish language.

—Creo que eres mala persona.
—Vete a tomar por culo, hijo de puta.
“I think you’re a bad person.”
“Fuck off, you son of a bitch.”
Le eché un piropo y me mandó a tomar por culo.I catcalled her and she told me to piss off.
  • Que te den (por culo)/que te jodan

Screw you/fuck off/up yours (literally: may they give it to you [up the ass]/may they fuck you)

—Si no me mandas las fotos que te pido, revelo tu secreto.
—Que te jodan, cabrón.
“If you don’t send me the photos I ask for, I’ll reveal your secret.”
“Fuck off, bastard.”
  • Guarro/a

Dirty

This can mean dirty in the physical sense, e.g. when your car gets dirty, but also in the dirty-minded sense.

Qué hombre más guarro.What a filthy man.
  • Jodido

Fucked

Mi coche está jodido.My car is fucked.
  • Dar la paliza

To pester (literally: to give the beating)

Deja de darme la paliza, por favor.Stop pestering me, please.
  • Dar

To hit (literally: to give)

Luché con Lidia y me dio en las costillas.I fought with Lidia and she hit me in the ribs.
  • Ni puta idea

Not a bloody clue

—¿A qué hora empieza la peli?
—No tengo ni puta idea.
“What time does the movie start?”
“I don’t have a bloody clue.”
Not a bloody clue

Via Pixabay

  • Nop

Nope

—¿Quieres más alcohol?
—Nop.
“Do you want more alcohol?”
“Nope.”
  • Ni de coña

No fucking way

—Hermana, ¿me prestas tu nuevo coche?
—¡Ni de coña!
“Sis, can you lend me your new car?”
“No fucking way!”

Body parts, bodily functions, sex

  • Huevos/cojones

Balls

These can both be used in the literal sense, meaning testicles, or the more figurative sense, denoting bravery.

Me dio una patada en los huevos/cojones.She kicked me in the balls.
No tienes los huevos/cojones para invitarle una bebida.You don’t have the balls to offer to buy her a drink.
  • Polla

Dick/cock

This refers to the actual body part. If you wanted to call someone a dick as an insult, you’d go for one of the insults above, like ‘gilipollas,’ which you’ll notice does contain the word ‘polla’!

Mi novio fue a ver al médico porque tiene un problemilla con su polla.My boyfriend went to see the doctor because he has a little problem with his dick.
  • Tetas

Tits

—Enséñame las tetas, rubia.
—Vete a tomar por culo.
“Show me your tits, blondie.”
“Fuck off.”
  • Hacer pipí

To pee

This isn’t vulgar slang, this is kinda cute, and can be used with kids.

Cariño, ¿tienes que hacer pipí antes de que nos vayamos?Sweetie, do you need to have a wee wee before we go?
  • Hacer caca

To poop

Another cutesy way to talk about toilet business.

Mamá, tengo que hacer caca.Mommy, I have to poop.
  • Mear

To piss

Tengo que mear. I have to take a piss.
To piss

Via Pixabay

  • Mearse

To piss oneself

Deja de hacerme reír, ¡que me meo!Stop making me laugh, I’m gonna piss myself!
  • Cagar

To shit

Aquí los perros cagan donde sea, y los dueños no hacen nada.Here the dogs shit wherever, and the owners do nothing.
  • Follamigo/a

Fuck buddy

A cruder version of friends with benefits. The word ‘follamigo/a’ comes from mixing ‘follar’ (to fuck) with ‘amigo/a’ (friend).

—¿Te acuerdas de Carlos, mi follamigo?
—Sip.
—Creo que me estoy enamorando de él.
“Do you remember Carlos, my fuck buddy?”
“Yep.”
“I think I’m falling in love with him.”
  • Follar

To fuck

Fui a la casa de mi ex para recoger mi ropa pero acabamos follando.I went to my ex’s house to pick up my clothes but we ended up fucking.
  • Echar un polvo

To get laid

Estoy muy cachonda, tengo que echar un polvo ya.I’m so horny, I need to get laid already.
  • Ligar

To hook up/to flirt

Quiero ligar con alguien esta noche.I want to get with someone tonight.
  • Perrear

To grind (dance)

Mira como perrea ese tío.Look at that guy grinding.
  • Tableta de chocolate

Six pack (body)

Voy a entrenar duro en el gimnasio para tener tableta de chocolate para la playa.I’m going to train hard at the gym to get a six pack for the beach.
  • Ponerle los cuernos a alguien

To cheat on someone

Estoy triste porque mi novia me puso los cuernos.I’m feeling sad because my girlfriend cheated on me.

Going out

  • Echar un trago

To have a drink

¿Quieres echar un trago después de currar?Do you want to grab a drink after work?
  • La copa

Drink (alcoholic)

¿Quieres una copa?Do you want a drink?
  • Irse de juerga

To go out partying

Tengo que comprar una nueva falda, que mañana las chicas y yo nos vamos de juerga.I have to buy a new skirt cause tomorrow the girls and I are going out.
To go out partying

Via Pixabay

  • Irse de borrachera

To go out binge drinking

La familia entera se va de borrachera.The whole family is gonna get wasted.
  • La putivuelta

A quick browse of the club to see if there’s anyone you’re attracted to

Espera aquí. Voy a dar una putivuelta.Wait here. I’m gonna check out the talent.
  • Estar pedo

To be drunk/high

No puedo conducir ahora. Estoy pedo.I can’t drive now. I’m drunk.
  • Tapear

To go for tapas

—¿Qué quieres de comer?
—Tengo ganas de tapear.
“What do you want to eat?”
“I feel like getting tapas.”
  • Tranqui

Chilled

Short for ‘tranquilo/a’ (calm).

No voy a beber mucho hoy. Salimos de tranquis.I’m not gonna drink much today. We’re going out for a quiet one.
—Estoy nerviosa.
—¡Tranqui!
“I’m nervous.”
“Relax!”

Miscellaneous colloquialisms

  • Y …

And what about …?/and where is …?

[Al entrar en casa]: ¿Y Papá?[On entering the house]: Is Dad not here?
  • Oye

Listen/Hey

This can be used in Spain like a colloquial ‘excuse me.’

Oye, ¿qué coño haces?Hey, what the fuck are you doing?
  • Porfa/porfis

Pretty please

A cute version of ‘por favor.’

Mamá, ¿me compras este juguete, porfis?Mommy, will you buy me this toy, pretty please?
  • Tipo

Dude/Guy

Mira a ese tipo.Look at that guy.
  • Fulano/a

Some guy/girl/so-and-so

Vino un fulano buscándote.Some guy came looking for you.
  • Tío/tía

Guy/girl/buddy

Tío’ and ‘tía’ also mean uncle and aunt.

¿Qué tal, tío?How’s it going, buddy?
  • Colega

Friend/buddy

This is an alternate meaning to the standard translation of ‘colleague.’

Voy a la fiesta con mi colega.I’m going to the party with my buddy.
  • Chaval(a)

Kid

Los chavales del cole están acosando a mi hijo.The kids from the school are bullying my son.
  • Friqui/friki

Geek, nerd

Este es mi cómic favorito. ¡Soy bastante friki!This is my favorite comic. I’m quite a nerd!
  • Media naranja

Other half/soulmate

Literally, this means ‘half orange.’

No te preocupes, ya encontrarás tu media naranja.Don’t worry, you’ll find your soulmate.
Other half/soulmate

Pixabay

  • La poli

Cops

Short for ‘policía’ (‘police’).

¡Corre! ¡Viene la poli!Run! The cops are coming!
  • Flipar

To flip out, to go mental

Tengo algo gracioso que contarte. Vas a flipar.I have something funny to tell you. You’re gonna flip out.
  • Mazo

A lot

Use with a verb.

María me gusta mazo.I like María a lot.
  • Mogollón

Heaps

Mi padrastro compró un mogollón de cerveza.My stepdad bought a shitload of beer.

Fillers and Exclamations

You’ll hear lots of fillers, e.g. ‘ehhhh’ (pronounced like a nasal version of the vowel in ‘aaaanyway’) on the Spanish streets. 

There are also loads of swear words used as interjections and exclamations. A list of Spanish exclamations can be found on our blog.

Text talk

To finish off, don’t forget that language is adapting for the modern age. Click here to find out how to use text slang in Spanish!

¡Guay!

This article has hopefully given you some fun bits of slang to throw into your Spanish speaking, to make you sound more like a native. Just be careful where and when you use it (don’t go swearing around your boss!)

About the author 

Annabel is a language-enthusiast from the UK. She studied Spanish and French at the University of Southampton (with an Erasmus study year in Madrid!) and recently graduated. She has interests across the Spanish-speaking world, and is a fan of language in general.

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