09 June 2020

Spanish slang from the streets of Spain - Part II

You might not notice that you use slang in your own language when talking to friends, but you do! Slang is informal language that helps you sound more natural in conversation, especially with native speakers. Plus, it’s fun to learn! Take a look at some common Spanish slang words and expressions used in Spain. If you like this list, don’t miss Part I.

Sunny day on a street in the Raval neighbourhood
Spanish slang you'll hear on the streets of Spain. Image via @itsxaviripoll

1. Molar

Molar is a slang word used in Spain a lot. It’s similar to the word guay in that you’ll hear it all the time and it also means “cool”.

¡Esa camiseta mola! ¿Dónde la has comprado?
That’s a cool T-shirt! Where did you buy it?

2. Piti

Piti short for pitillo which is a cigarette. In the UK, one might use the word “fag” and in North America, it would translate as cig or ciggy.

¿Me invitas un piti? Ya he fumado todos los míos.
Can I have a ciggy? I’ve already smoked all of mine.

3. Mono/mona

The real meaning of mono is monkey, but that’s not what it means when you tell someone their hat is muy mono. Mono means cute, adorable or pretty. And it’s actually the word they use for “overalls” in Spain. Anything that connects pants or shorts with a top is called a mono.

¿Has visto el cachorrito de Ana? ¡Es tan mono que me lo podría comer!
Have you seen Ana’s little puppy? He’s so cute I could eat him!

4. Pijo/pija

A person who is a pijo or pija is considered posh, preppy or snobbish. It’s usually used to describe someone who has money.

Sandra es muy pija. Cada vez que salimos solo quiere ir a los bares caros de cócteles.
Sandra is so preppy. Every time we go out she only wants to go to expensive cocktail bars.

5. Cutre

Cutre is one of those Spanish slang words you’ll probably only hear in Spain. You can use it to describe a person or an object. A person who is cutre is stingy, tight and generally a cheapskate who doesn’t like to spend money. When a place is cutre, it probably doesn’t have the money behind it to make it as cool as other places so it’s a bit shabby or seedy.

Luís es un cutre. Siempre le invito cervezas y cafés y él nunca ofrece pagar.
Luís is a cheapskate. I always treat him to beers and coffee and he never offers to pay.

Al final de la noche acabamos en un bar cutre con muchos tipos raros.
At the of the night we ended up in a seedy bar with lots of strange people.

6. Friki

The Spanish slang word friki comes from the English freak, but it doesn’t share exactly the same meaning. In some ways it can mean geek which isn’t the nicest thing to say. However, you can also be a friki (or fan) of something.

Daniel es un friki de fútbol. Es lo único de lo que habla.
Daniel is a football freak. It’s the only thing he talks about.

7. Joder

The word joder is a Spanish palabrota (swear word) that can be used in many different ways. It can be a simple exclamation ¡Joder! that basically means sh¡t or f*&%, but it can also mean “to mess with” or annoy. As with all slang, it just depends on the context.

No me jodas. Estoy de mal humor hoy.
Don’t mess with me. I’m in a bad mood today.

Lo que pasó con Sergio es muy jodido … No puedo creer que lo hayan atacado.
What happened with Sergio is so messed up… I can’t believe they attacked him.

8. Chulo/chula

Chulo is another one of those wonderfully multifaceted slang words here in Spain. It’s literally a pimp, but it can mean cool or great, or it can also be used in a negative way to describe someone who’s cocky or a show-off.

Cristiano Ronaldo es un chulo que siempre que se quita la camiseta, pero marca muchos goles.
Cristiana Ronaldo is a show-off that always takes off his shirt, but he scores a lot of goals.

¡Qué bici tan chula!
What a cool bike!

9. Pirarse

Pirarse is to spit, bounce, leave a place. It’s another Spanish-only slang word you’ll overhear on the street or among friends.

Chicos, es hora de pirarse. Mañana tenemos que despertar tempra.
Guys, it’s time to go. We have to wake up early tomorrow.

10. La leche

What would a blog about Spanish slang be without mentioning milk? For some reason, Spaniards love using milk in their expressions. Mala leche (bad milk) can be bad luck or a drag, while something that is la leche is awesome. Someone who has or is bad milk is in a bad mood or a generally grumpy person. And when you’re really pissed off: me cago en la leche. I crap in the milk!

Deja a Mariana en paz. Está de mala leche.
Leave Mariana in peace. She’s in a bad mood.

¡ Me cago en la leche ! Es la tercera vez que se me ha caído el móvil.
For f&@$‘s sake! That’s the third time I’ve dropped my phone.