Mexican Spanish is one of the most used Spanish languages in the world – at least 122 million people use it in just Mexico. During various journeys to Mexico and listening to their language, you can notice that there are a lot of interesting words that are ONLY used in Mexico. Each of them is very unique and commonly used in Mexican society. Whenever you’re in Mexico and asked somebody there to teach you some Spanish, they would first think of teaching you Mexican slang. Learning these slang words not only helps you have a better understanding of Mexican Spanish, but it also makes it easier to get around Mexico and make more local friends. Plus it’s interesting and authentic.
How to use Mexican slang?
Generally, it’s not a good idea to use slang when speaking a foreign language unless you have really great language skills. The reason being it’s jarring to hear someone speak slang and making a bunch of grammar errors not to mention it will also make it harder for you to be understood. Even so, it’s a good thing to learn some common slang because it will help you follow conversations. As such as answers that Google Translate simply can’t correctly translate and provide definitions of real-world, commonly used Mexican slang.
Most common mexican slang words
Chances are you’ve heard this word before because “güey” — sometimes also spelled “wey” — is used all over Mexico. Güey translates to “dude” or “mate” in English and is mostly used amongst friends — it’s so common, we’d venture to say most Mexicans say it at least once per conversation.
There is perhaps no phrase more quintessentially Mexican than “no manches.” This extremely versatile phrase is used as a reaction to unexpected news be it for something amazing (or not so amazing) or something unbelievable. It best translates to “Really?” or “Are you kidding?” though we would add an “OMG” to make it more precise as in, “OMG really?”
Like “No Manches” another expression used a ton is “Ósea,” which Mexicans use as a filler much in the way Californians use “like.” It’s worth noting that “Ósea” has a more traditional use too.
The term “¿Mande?” is a very polite way to ask someone to repeat themselves. For example, if you can’t hear someone or don’t understand what they said, you can reply with “¿Mande?” Using this term indicates “unfamiliarity” and the person will most likely repeat his or her previous statement. “¿Mande?” can be translated to “Can you repeat that?” or to “Excuse me?”
Having tequila shots in Mexico is fun, but what about having “tragos?” In Mexico “Vamos a echar un trago” translates to “Let’s go out and have some drinks.” You probably don’t want to order nor ask the server at a restaurant for a drink using the words “un trago” since these words are most likely to be used between friends or in a party environment.
If you hang around Millennials in Mexico, you’ll hear the word “chido” multiple times because they frequently use this word as a synonym for “que padre” or in English “cool” or “awesome”. Millennials might be the ones who use the word the most but this doesn’t mean that older people don’t use the word. Chido is a modern word that indicates something is awesome.