One of the most exciting things about learning Spanish is discovering that every Spanish-speaking country has its local slang.
And without a doubt, Mexico has one of the richest and most nourished vocabularies of all Spanish-speaking countries.
So if you ever travel to Mexico, you will surely leave the country with many typical sweets and many new words in your vocabulary.
But if you want to know once and for all which are the most used local words in Mexico, here we give you a guide with ten of them.
We warn you that there are many, many more words missing.
1. ¡No manches!
Generally, this phrase is used in Mexican Spanish to express surprise or don’t believe it happened. In Spanish, it has other equivalent phrases such as ¡No inventes! or ¡No me digas!
-¿Supiste que Karen se casó?
-¡No manches! ¿Con quién?
It is one of the most used words in Mexico, especially in the country’s central part.
Mexicans use “chale” to express discontent, disappointment, anger, or annoyance.
A possible translation in English is: “you’re kidding,” but it is not very literal.
-Le robaron su billetera
-¡Chale! Qué mal
This word can be used in two senses: one as an offense and the other to refer to any person in a conversational way without calling him or her by name.
The “offensive” meaning of güey was popularized in the early nineties and derived from the word buey (ox), which in Spanish refers to bulls, implying that these animals are slow.
The non-offensive meaning is used to refer to any friend, for example: “dude.”
- “No seas güey”
- Hola, güey
It is one of the words with the most meanings in Mexican Spanish. It can be used to express surprise, to say you agree, or to ask someone to hurry up on a task.
The expression of surprise could be the equivalent of “wow” in English. To say that you agree the English equivalent could be “ok.” To ask someone to hurry, perhaps the equivalent could be “go” or “move fast.”
- ¡Órale! ¿Ya viste las estrellas?
- ¿Te parece bien si te vendo estos audífonos en cien pesos?
- ¡Órale! que ya vamos súper tarde
5. Chido / padre
In Mexico, we say something is Chido or padre when we like it a lot. We say Chido when something is cute, pretty, or of good quality. Its equivalent in English could be “awesome” or “beautiful.”
1. Mañana me gradúo
-¡Qué chido! / ¡Qué padre!
2. -Me compré estos tenis
-Están chidos / Están padres
It is one of the funniest and most intriguing words for foreigners visiting Mexico.
For some foreigners, even Spanish speakers, the word “ahorita” refers to the precise moment in which the word is uttered, that is, the current present, that is, this moment.
But in Mexico the word “ahorita” has a variable duration. It could be the equivalent of “en este momento”; “un poco más tarde” or “nunca”.
A Spanish linguist named Laura García said in an interview with Verne that in Mexico, “ahorita” means that “yes you will do something, but you don’t know when.”
In Mexico, we are experts in adapting words that come from abroad to our own language, and this word is a clear example of that.
The word “Neta” has its origin in the French word. “Net,” which means “pure” or “without stain.” So in Mexico, we add an “a” and use it as a synonym for “the truth” because the truth is something pure, isn’t it?
It is also used to denote surprise when someone tells us something useful.
Its equivalent in English can be “the truth” or “¿really?” if you want to denote surprise.
1. La neta no recuerdo qué pasó ayer
2. Me compré un coche
-¿Neta? Qué chido
This word also expresses surprise, but in an unpleasant way. In English, its equivalent could be the expression “oops.”
¡Chin! Se me olvidaron las llaves
The expression ¡Aguas! It is an expression to warn the interlocutor that some danger may become. It means to be careful! And its history is a bit strange.
Since there was no drainage system like the one we have now in colonial times, some people would throw the contents of the chamber pots into the street, but before doing so, they would shout “¡aguas!” so that people passing by would get out of the way.
In English, it could be translated as: be careful!
Ejemplos de uso:
¡Aguas con el café! Está muy caliente
10. ¿Qué onda?
In English, its equivalent would be “What ‘s up?”
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You may want to read: 31 Funny Phrases in Spanish
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