málaga, spain, study abroad, abroad, españa

Ultimate Guide to Spanish Slang

If you’ve studied Spanish through a Latin American teacher or textbook like me, you’re most likely not familiar with the Spanish slang words used everyday in Spain. Below is a list of eight slang words/phrases that will help your communication with the locals!

1. Tío/a

Literal Meaning: Uncle/Aunt

Slang Meaning: Friend, guy/girl, pal

At first, some may wonder why so many Spaniards are always talking about their Aunts or Uncles. However, in most cases, they are actually talking about a friend or even a stranger.

2. Vale

Literal Meaning: It is worth it

Slang Meaning: Okay or yes

Vale is one of the most common words used in casual conversation. Sometimes, my teachers will ask “vale?” as in “do you understand/are you all good?”

3. Guay

Slang Meaning: Cool

Words like “chévere” and “chido” are commonly used for “cool” in Latin American countries. If you want to express that something is cool in Spain…use “guay”!

“Qué guay” = “How cool”

4. Pasta

Literal Meaning: Pasta

Slang Meaning: Money

The word “pasta” is often used by children in placement of “dinero.” It is similar to saying “dough” for “money” in English.

5. Me importa un pimiento

Literal Meaning: It is as important as a pepper

Slang Meaning: I do not care

“Me importa un pimiento la locación” = “I don’t care about the location”

6. Buenas

Literal Meaning: Good

Slang Meaning: Hello

Most have learned “hola” as a way to greet someone. However, if you want to sound like a real native say “buenas”!

7. No pasa nada

Literal Meaning: Nothing happens

Slang Meaning: Don’t worry about it/It’s all good

I forgot a specific Spanish grammatical rule and my teacher responded “no pasa nada” to indicate not to worry.

8. La Marcha

Literal Meaning: The march

Slang Meaning: Nightlife

La Marcha means the Spanish nightlife however, it also includes the zest and excitement the Spaniards have for staying up late with friends.

Qué guay! Now you are ready to hit the streets and impress some locals by using your new and improved Spanish slang vocabulary.

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