10 colloquial expressions in Mexican Spanish to sound like a local - Justlearn (2023)

What do you know about the Spanish spoken in Mexico?

When we think of Spanish-speaking countries, Mexico is almost always the first thing that comes to mind.

Many of us even started to learn Spanish thanks to this country.

Although Spanish is the common language of allSpanish-speaking countriesHave you ever noticed that they have different words and phrases?

Now you're probably trying to remember all the phrases you heard, right?

Surely you have heard of Andale, Orale, Hijole, etc.

They may sound familiar mainly because of that.mexican soap operasthe modern Mexican films.

But do you know what they mean and when to use them?

There is nothing to worry about there.

Today we share the most useful Mexican words and phrases that can help you sound like a local.

You can also learn Mexican words and phrases while you're there, but we're pretty sure you'll want to be prepared ahead of time so you can strike up casual conversation with the locals.

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10 colloquial expressions in Mexican Spanish to sound like a local - Justlearn (1)

How do you learn Mexican Spanish?

As in any Spanish-speaking country, there are different dialects for many historical and social reasons.

The Spanish language was brought to Mexico in the 16th century.

The influence of Spanish was so strong that Spanish is still used today not only in Mexico but in almost every country in Latin America.

The differences between the Spanish spoken in Spain and Mexico are small. They are mainly reflected in some colloquial words and phrases.

So if you want to learn Mexican dialect, you can learn Spanish, Castilian. Not only do you have an advantage, but you can talk to the locals in any Spanish-speaking country you travel to.

(Video) Learn Mexican Spanish Phrases For Daily Life (beginners / intermediate) 🌴English/Spanish

Useful resources for learning Spanish from Mexico


This book will teach you the Mexican slang and give you tips on how to use it in practice.

In addition to idioms, you can also learn about the history of slang.

If you are planning to travel to Mexico and spend some time there, this is the perfect book for you.

Institute of Language and Culture Na'atik

This is ideal for Mexican Spanish students as there are also explanations and programs in Spanish and Mayan.

This institute has created an excellent blog where you can learn about Mexican history, culture, and much more.

This institute also offers an immersion program. If you apply, you can live with a Mexican family for a while and learn the language with them.

Quick guide to Mexican slang

There are over 500 words and phrases in this book.

It is ideal because you can take it with you wherever you go. It includes many phrases, definitions, online links, and other useful information about the language.

10 Mexican-Spanish Slang That Will Impress Any Local

There are dozens of interjections used in many different situations. Depending on the situation, you have to know which one to use.

On the streets of Mexico, people use these phrases on a daily basis. So if you are planning to go to Mexico we recommend that you learn them because they will be very useful for you.

let's dive in

come along

This expression is so common that it can express many different feelings.

You can show encouragement, surprise, validation, disappointment, frustration.

Andale is a typical Mexican word. Probably anyone who hears this phrase would immediately assume that it belongs to Mexico.

'Come along! Come along! Above! Above!'

This word was made famous by Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in the world.

If you've seen this cartoon, you've probably heard the mouse sing "Come on! Come on! Up! Up!"

In this case, it shows encouragement and motivation to run very fast.

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C'mon C'mon

This word can have different meanings. You can use it as "Órale, ándale", which can mean both encouragement, disappointment and surprise, depending on the speaker's tone of voice.


The expression "Come on then" is often used to express concern.

You can also use it as a sign of mutual understanding or to end a casual conversation.

You can also use "Oral Pues" since there is not much difference between these two.

It can also be used as "I told you so".

For example, you didn't listen to your parents when they told you to study for your exams. So if you fail, they might say, “Go ahead! I told you!"


"Órale" has many different meanings and can be used in many different situations.

Mexican linguists say that the word comes from "ahora" which means "now", but today they do not look alike.

These are some of the meanings of the phrase:

  • It is commonly used to urge the situation, such as "let's go", "hurry up", or "let's go".

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  • It can be used to express surprise or excitement like "wow" or "oh my gosh."

  • You can use it as an "ok", "yes" or "fine" contract clause.

  • It can be used as a greeting like "What's up?". Mexicans often use the phrase "órale vato" which means "what's up, man." The word "vato" is a northern Mexican slang word for male.

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      The following lines provide some examples of the use of "órale" in different contexts:

      • Orale pues.- Also gut

      • Wow, we don't have all day!- Hurry up, we don't have all day!

      • Okay, we'll see you at eight.- Okay, we'll see you at eight.

      • Oh, oh, oh! Dejala sola! - Whoa Whoa! Dejala sola!


      One of the most popular interjections is "Híjole". It is similar to "damn", "wow" or "geez" in English. It is mainly used to express surprise, shock, or in some cases despair.

      It's not really vulgar, but it's certainly not polite, so you have to be careful when using it.

      These are some of the examples when Mexicans use this word:

      • When you see some horrible car accidents, say whoa!

      • These shoes cost $700... Wow!


      The more appropriate English equivalent for this interjection is wow, whoa, or damn.

      It can also be used in situations to prohibit someone from doing something, similar to the English "Stop!"

      If you still don't quite understand when to use this word, here are some examples:

      • Wait... Épale, what are you doing? - Wait... wait, what are you doing?

      • Come on boy, what else? - Hey, buddy, what's up?


      This word comes from the well-known expression "What was there?", which means "What's up?"

      As you can see, this is one of the ways to greet someone. Many consider it the most popular slang expression used by Mexicans. It is an informal form of address that people use among close friends or relatives. You can use it whether you saw that person yesterday or you haven't seen them for a while.

      10 colloquial expressions in Mexican Spanish to sound like a local - Justlearn (2)

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      This phrase is the equivalent of the English word "exactly!" It shows that you strongly agree with someone. Depending on the context, it can be translated as "of course!".


      Mexicans are friendly and happy people. However, they also have bad bays and can express sadness and disappointment. Of course, some phrases are used to express disappointment or dismay. One of them is "újule".

      It is usually an introduction to bad news.

      It is gone

      Like the previous one, this expression is also used to express disappointment.

      In the following lines you will find some examples of the use of this slang word:

      • Happiness! I lost my phone again. Yuck! I lost my phone again.

      • Try it, dude! I don't want to see you around here again.- Go away, man! I don't want to see you here again.


      This expression can be translated as "good vibes". It is mainly used as an expression to send positive energy and good vibes.

      It is an informal way of saying that someone is inherently good and positive, as in the following example:

      He is great. He's a good guy.

      It can often be modified with "good" to express something even better. For example:

      The boy is very cool. He's a great guy.

      small then

      Just as "Good vibes" means something good and positive, there is the opposite expression that means something bad; "Bad wave".

      For example, you heard bad news. In this situation you can say: What a bad wave! - That's horrible!

      That works?

      This expression is one of the most common to greet someone or to start a conversation. It literally means "what wave?". In English, however, the closest equivalent would be "What's up?"

      It is a casual and positive question that you can use in informal conversations. It also transmits good vibes and positive energy, like "Good vibes".

      The barrel of our voice can often say more than our words. So if you say "What's up?" with a wave of the hand and not so polite and cheerful intonation, it can mean "Do you have a problem?", which means that you want to fight.


      These expressions are just one piece of the puzzle that makes up the Spanish language of Mexico.

      (Video) Spanish Immersion Program in Mexico [Learn Spanish Abroad]

      The good news for you is that they are all similar and can be used in many different situations.

      Of course, you must know which is the most appropriate. You can talk to him to be sure.Spanish teacher at Justlearn. Among them you will find native Mexicans who can teach you to speak like a local.

    • FAQs

      10 colloquial expressions in Mexican Spanish to sound like a local - Justlearn? ›

      The common verbal greeting is “Buenos dias” (Good day), “Buenas tardes” (Good afternoon) or “Buenas noches” (Good evening/night) depending on the time of day. A more casual greeting is “Hola” (Hello), “¿Qué tal?” (What's up?) or “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?).

      What are colloquial greetings in Mexico? ›

      The common verbal greeting is “Buenos dias” (Good day), “Buenas tardes” (Good afternoon) or “Buenas noches” (Good evening/night) depending on the time of day. A more casual greeting is “Hola” (Hello), “¿Qué tal?” (What's up?) or “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?).

      What is the most Mexican thing to say? ›

      Most Common Mexican Slang Words:
      • ¡Aguas!: Watch out!
      • Sale: Alright.
      • Chido: Awesome.
      • Padre: Cool.
      • Ándale: Come on.
      • Avísame: Let me know!
      • Órale: All right.
      • Porfis: Please.

      What is a common Mexican idiom used to say what's up? ›

      ¿Qué pedo?” is a very Mexican way of saying, “What's up?” (It's another way of saying “¿Qué onda?”) You can say it to a friend, just asking how life is going.

      What is the Mexican slang word for girl? ›

      Instead of using muchacho or muchacha or niño or niña, try out the Mexican slang term for “boy” or “girl,” which is chango or changa.

      What is a colloquial greeting? ›

      Hey, Hey man or Hi

      You can use “hey” and “hi” to greet someone instead of “hello.” Both are particularly popular among younger people. While “hi” is appropriate to use in any casual situation, “hey” is for people who have already met.

      What is a Spanish colloquial greeting? ›

      Common greetings in Spanish
      EnglishSpanishIPA pronunciation
      How are you?¿Cómo estás?ˈkomo ɛsˈtas
      Hello everyoneHola a todosˈola a ˈtoðos
      5 more rows
      Dec 13, 2021

      What is the Spanish slang for hot girl? ›

      hot girl {noun}

      ricura {f} [LAm.]

      What is the Mexican slang for kid? ›


      A word used to informally refer to children, like “kids” in English. Other words in Mexico with similar meanings include chamaco/a and morro/a.

      Is Que Onda rude? ›

      Que onda in Spanish is a way friends and family welcome each other in an informal situation. Remember, if you're using que onda as a greeting, it should be with someone you already know or in a casual scenario. Que onda is not acceptable in formal or elegant situations.

      What is the slang word for pee in Spanish? ›

      (vulgar) [pɪs ] (= urine) meados (vulg) mpl. (= act) meada (vulg) f.

      What is the Mexican slang for drinking? ›

      Chupar (literally to lick or to suck) and pistear are both slang for “to drink.” El chupe and el pisto are the nouns, so they refer to “the drinks.” Chupar and chupe are used in the center and south of Mexico, while pistear and pisto are more common in the north.

      What is a bro in Mexican slang? ›

      Wey (güey) means bro or dude, but it can also be a general word for guy. A lot of young people have incorporated it into their vocabulary and even use it as a transition word, like the English use “like”. “y tipo wey, estaba allí, y me miró…”

      What is Mexican slang for white girl? ›

      The word güera is, in Chicano and Mexican-Spanish slang, a term for a white girl.

      What is Mexican slang for flirt? ›

      The Spanish Verb for “to Flirt”: Coquetear

      There are several verbs to say “to flirt” in Spanish, but the most common one is coquetear.

      What do Mexicans call love? ›

      Mi amor

      Mi amor is one of the most common terms of endearment in Spanish. Mi amor means “my love” in English.

      What are some colloquial expressions? ›

      Some examples of informal colloquialisms can include words (such as “y'all” or “gonna” or "wanna"), phrases (such as "old as the hills" and "graveyard dead"), or sometimes even an entire aphorism ("There's more than one way to skin a cat" and "He needs to step up to the plate.").

      What are considered colloquial words? ›

      1, 2. Colloquial, conversational, informal refer to types of speech or to usages not on a formal level. Colloquial is often mistakenly used with a connotation of disapproval, as if it meant “vulgar” or “bad” or “incorrect” usage, whereas it is merely a familiar style used in speaking and writing.

      Is hi a colloquial word? ›

      Hi is equivalent to hello, but it is considered a little bit more informal in tone. In fact, it was recorded a lot earlier than hello. Hi developed from the Middle English hy, similar to hey and ha.

      How do you greet a Mexican parent? ›

      Follow their lead when it comes to greetings: a handshake for the father, but most likely it is a kiss on the cheek and a hug for the mother. Even if you're not personally introduced to everyone in the room, make sure you acknowledge everyone even if it's just by waving and saying “buenos días” or “buenas tardes”…

      What are 3 greetings that give a time of day in Spanish? ›

      Initial Greetings
      SpanishEnglish equivalentContext
      HolaHelloStandard greeting
      Buenos díasGood morningMornings (until 12:00 p.m. noon)
      Buenas tardesGood afternoonUntil the sun goes down / depends on the country
      Buenas nochesGood night/Good eveningAfter the sun goes down / after dinnertime; could be used as a farewell
      1 more row

      What is a dirty girl slang in Spanish? ›

      Meanings of "dirty woman" in Spanish English Dictionary : 5 result(s)
      1Generalchancha [f] LA
      2Colloquialmarrana [f]
      3Colloquiallechona [f]
      5 more rows

      How do you say big girl in Spanish slang? ›

      big girl {feminine}

      grandullón {m} [coll.]

      What is the Spanish word for badass girl? ›

      Claim your inner "chingona", a Spanish term for "badass woman"

      What is Mexican slang for poor? ›

      Naco (fem. naca) is a pejorative word often used in Mexican Spanish that may be translated into English as "low-class", "uncultured", "vulgar" or "uncivilized ". A naco (Spanish: [ˈnako] ( listen)) is usually associated with lower socio-economic classes.

      What does 13 mean in Mexican? ›

      The gang has allegiance to the CA prison gang, Mexican Mafia, aka “La Eme”. Sureños identify with “13”, “XIII”, “X3”, the letter “M” - 13th letter in the alphabet - as homage to the Mexican Mafia.

      How do Mexican moms call their kids? ›

      Papi (ito) / mami (ita)

      Some Hispanic parents refer to their children as “papi” or “papito” and “mami” or “mamita”, especially in their childhood years.

      Is chupa a bad word? ›

      Spanish-speaking social media users have pointed out that “chupa” literally means “suck” or “to suck”. The trailer actually addresses the word's meaning, with one character pointing out that Alex's nickname for the chupacabra means “sucker”, suggesting it could be interpreted as “bad”.

      Is Vato a bad word? ›

      The word "vato" is a slang term that is often used to refer to a man or a guy in Spanish-speaking communities. It can be used in a variety of contexts, ranging from casual and informal to derogatory and disrespectful.

      Is no mames a bad word? ›

      No mames is crude Spanish slang used to express disbelief (both positive and negative) or excitement. Used especially among Mexican Spanish speakers, the exclamation corresponds to “No way!”, “You're kidding me!”, or “Stop messing with me!”.

      How do you say pee in Mexico? ›

      "pee" in Spanish
      1. volume_up. pis.
      2. pipí

      What is pee pee English slang? ›

      (hypocoristic, slang) To urinate.

      What is slang for diarrhea in Mexico? ›

      Moctezuma's revenge is a colloquial term for travelers' diarrhea contracted in Mexico.

      What is a Mexican boyfriend called by his girlfriend? ›

      Darling: Mi Amor: My Love

      This term of endearment is very common, use “darling” with your girl, boy, or even a friend. Mi amor is used in everyday situations.

      What do you call Mexican friends? ›

      If you're studying Spanish, you probably know that amigo is the word for 'friend.

      What do Mexicans call each other as friends? ›

      The word camarada (comrade), can be used practically in every Spanish-speaking country to refer to your friends and pals, informally.

      What is Mexican slang for pretty? ›

      • Bello / Bella – “Beautiful” ...
      • Bonito / Bonita – “Pretty” or “Nice” ...
      • Guapo / Guapa – “Handsome” ...
      • Lindo / Linda – “Lovely” ...
      • Bueno / Buena – “Good Looking” ...
      • Hermoso / Hermosa – “Gorgeous” ...
      • Radiante – “Radiant” ...
      • Precioso / Preciosa – “Gorgeous” or “Lovely”

      What do Mexicans call pretty girls? ›

      Say “hermosa mujer.” This means “beautiful woman” in Spanish. To say “beautiful girl,” you would say "niña hermosa."

      What is a white girl slang? ›

      What does white girl mean? White girl is just another name for young Caucasian females … but it often stereotypes them as vapid materialists. The term white girl is also slang for cocaine. Related words: whooty.

      What is Mexican slang for chubby? ›

      kiludo {adj.}

      What to say to a Spanish girl to turn her on? ›

      10 Spanish pick up phrases
      • Tienes una sonrisa hermosa.
      • ¿Vamos afuera?
      • 1.Te quiero.
      • Te amo.
      • Estoy enamorado(a) de ti.
      • Besarte es como ver las estrellas.
      • Creo que hacemos buena pareja.
      • Te quiero con toda mi alma.

      What does mi vida mean? ›

      Mi vida: “My life

      How do Mexicans greet you? ›

      Greetings. Greetings in Moroccan culture are more formal, yet very warm and welcoming. Moroccans will say “salaam alykum” (hello) to everyone, even in large gatherings and they'll ask about your health and the wellbeing of your family and children.

      What are the greeting gestures in Mexico? ›

      When greeting someone in Mexico, it is customary to make physical contact, rather than simply saying “hello.” A handshake is the most common form of greeting between strangers, though friends will usually greet each other with a single kiss on the cheek. The same physical gestures are repeated when you say goodbye.

      How do Mexicans greet each other in business? ›

      Mexicans are sociable, friendly and warm. The standard greeting for men or women is a handshake, although this may extend to a hug between men or a kiss on the cheek between women.

      How do Mexicans salute? ›

      Article 14 within Mexican law states: “The civil salute to the Mexican Flag will be done in a straight position, putting the right hand extended over the breast, with the palm facing down to where the heart is located. The male people will salute the flag with the head uncovered.”

      How do you greet a Latino with a kiss? ›

      Double cheek kissing

      In Spain, people greet each other and say goodbye with a kiss on each cheek. Don't be mistaken - these aren't wet, sloppy kisses! In fact, these aren't really proper kisses at all. People usually touch their right cheeks together and make a kissing sound, then repeat the process on the left side.

      How do you respond to Hola? ›

      If in passing someone says “hola!” to you, it would acceptable to reply: “como estas?

      How many kisses do Mexicans greet with? ›

      Italians, Croatians and Hungarians usually kiss twice in a greeting and in Mexico and Belgium only one kiss is necessary. In Ecuador, women kiss on the right cheek only and in Oman it is not unusual for men to kiss one another on the nose after a handshake.

      What does thumbs down mean in Mexico? ›

      thumbs up and thumbs down; one palm outward (both meanings, “stop” and “talk to the hand”); curling the index finger (“come here”); fingers crossed, but only the version in front of the person.

      How can I be polite in Mexico? ›

      1. People are expected to pay 10-15% as a tip after a service has been performed.
      2. It is polite to say “Salud” when someone sneezes. ...
      3. If you cannot avoid momentarily interrupting a conversation, it is polite to say, “Con permiso” (Excuse me) before speaking up.
      4. Men commonly open doors and offer seats for women.

      What is good morning in Mexico? ›

      Good morning is buenos días.

      How do you say thank you in Mexico? ›

      gracias. Gracias is used just like “thank you” in English. But, there will be occasions when you will wish to express gratitude in a more polite and obvious manner, and then you should use the expression muchas gracias.

      What is Mexican handshake etiquette? ›

      Meeting Etiquette
      • When greeting in social situations, women pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder, rather than shake hands.
      • Men shake hands until they know someone well, at which time they progress to the more traditional hug and back slapping.
      • Wait until invited before using a Mexican's first name.

      How do Mexicans honor their dead? ›

      In Mexico, after a death, a vigil is held with family and friends for 24-48 hours. They will eat and drink together, and guests will pray and bring the family gifts. The deceased will be buried with their clothing and important possessions. Children will be included from a young age.

      How to do a Mexican cheers? ›

      Pronounced as sah-loo, it is used to honor someone and wish them good health during a Spanish toast. This phrase can be used in any type of situation where a toast is to be had.


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