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Copy of Week 23 Day 4: Useful Spanish Slang

  • English

  • Spanish

Today’s goal is:

  • To learn some useful Spanish expressions

Listen to Week 23 Day 4 Track 1

Carlos: Oye, ¿me puedes hacer el paro?

Hey, can you do me a favor?

María: Sí, dale. ¿Qué necesitas?

Yeah, sure. What do you need?

Carlos: Es que me quedé sin plata y tengo que comprar los pañales para el bebé.

It’s just that I ran out of money and I have to buy diapers for my baby.

María: Claro, no te preocupes. Yo te presto la plata.

Sure, don’t worry. I’ll lend you the money.

Carlos: ¿De pana? Gracias. Siempre estoy pelando bolas a final de mes.

Really? Thanks. I’m alway broke by the end of the month.

María: Te entiendo. La situación está difícil estos días.

I get it. Things are tough these days.

Carlos: Ojalá fuese que no tengo dinero porque salgo a rumbear todos los fines de semana y no porque mi jefe es pichirre

I wish it was that I didn’t have any money because I spend it partying every weekend and not because my boss is stingy.

María: ¿Has pensado en buscar otro trabajo?

Have you thought about looking for another job?

Carlos: Sí, pero yo siempre tengo mala leche con los nuevos trabajos.

Yeah, but I always have really bad luck with new jobs.

María: Envíame tu currículo y veré qué puedo hacer.

Send me your resumé and I’ll see what I can do.

Carlos: Muchas gracias. Eres un ángel.

Thank you so much. You’re an angel.

Coloquialismos en español – Spanish slang

  • English

  • Spanish

A great way to take your Spanish to the next level is by learning Spanish colloquialisms or slang. This will not only make you sound more native-like, but it will help you understand Spanish speakers better and not leave you scratching your head.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Listen to Week 23 Day 4 Track 2

  • Tío – dude
  • Ratero – thief
  • Rumba – party
  • Tener mala leche – to have really bad luck
  • English

  • Spanish

Keep in mind that though many of the expressions we will cover in this lesson can be understood across most Latin American countries, certain regions can have variations of the same word or have them take completely different meanings. Tío, for example, means “dude” in Spain, while in Latin America it means uncle only.

For your reference, we will point out when colloquialisms are used in one country or region only.

(V) = Venezuela

(M) = México

(A) = Argentina

(S) = España

Listen to Week 23 Day 4 Track 3

  • Chamo (V) / Güey (M) / Chabón (A) / Tío (S) – dude
  • Chévere / Fino (V) / Chido (M) / Piola (A) / Guay (S) – cool 
  • Plata / Lana (M) / Guita (A) / Pasta (S) – money 
  • Sifrino (V) / Fresa (M) / Cheto (A) / Pijo (S) – snobbish
  • ¿De pana? (V) / ¿Neta? (M) / ¿Posta? (A) – For real?
  • Choro / Ratero (M) – thief
  • Pichirre (V) – stingy
  • Puente – long weekend
  • Rumba – party
  • Un pelo (V) / toque (A) – a bit
  • En un abrir y cerrar de ojos – in the blink of an eye
  • Mono (S) / Cuchi (V) – cute / adorable
  • Metiche (V) – nosy
  • Vaina – thing
  • No la da (V) – it’s not good enough.
  • No da (A) – it’s not possible / unacceptable.
  • English

  • Spanish


1. Vaina is probably the most versatile word in many countries in the Caribbean. It can refer to objects or even situations.

2. No la da is used to say that something is not up to what it should be, while no da often refers to something that is not possible or is unacceptable under the current circumstances.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

Listen to Week 23 Day 4 Track 4

  • No tengo plata. (I have no money.)
  • Este bar es bastante piola. (This bar is really cool.)
  • ¿Te compraste un carro nuevo? ¿Posta? (You bought a new car? For real?)
  • Este fin de semana hay un puente, ¿no? (This is going to be a long weekend, right?)
  • Déjame descansar un pelo y salimos. (Let me rest for a bit and then we’ll go out.)
  • Pásame la vaina que está encima de la mesa. (Hand me that thing on the table.)
  • Este restaurante no la da. (This restaurant is not good enough.)

Speaking Practice Exercise 1

  • English

  • Spanish

Now, let’s go over some longer useful phrases:

Listen to Week 23 Day 4 Track 5

  • Tener que ponerse las pilas – to have to get cracking
  • Hablar hasta por los codos – to be a chatterbox
  • Echar los perros (V) – to hit on someone 
  • Sacar la piedra – to get on your nerves
  • Tener mala leche – to have really bad luck
  • Estar prendido (V) – to be buzzed
  • Rumbear – to party
  • Estar pelando bolas (V) – to be broke
  • Tener flojera / Tener fiaca (A) – to feel lazy
  • Estar enratonado (V) / Estar crudo (M) – to be hung over
  • Parar bolas / pelotas – to pay attention
  • Estar moscas (V) – to stay on your toes
  • Dejar plantado – to stand someone up
  • Ponerse como un tomate – to blush profusely
  • Tirar la toalla – to give up 
  • Ser del año de la pera – to be really old 
  • Estar en la luna – to be absent-minded
  • Caer un palo de agua – to be raining cats and dogs
  • Hacer el paro – to do a favor
  • Echar una mano – to help someone out
  • Somos tres gatos – There’s just a few of us.
  • Tomarlo con soda (A) / Coca cola (V) – to take it easy
  • Partirse / Comerse el coco – to overthink

Speaking Practice Exercise 2

  • English

  • Spanish


1. Tener fiaca / flojera is simply not feeling like doing something, mostly out of laziness.

2. Ser tres gatos is used when there are only a few people in a place or event, which often makes the experience boring or less enjoyable.

3. Ser del año de la pera is used to say something is really old. It’s not used with people.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

Listen to Week 23 Day 4 Track 6

  • Nosotros estuvimos rumbeando todo el fin de semana. (We were partying all weekend.)
  • El chico que conocí en Tinder me dejó plantada. (The guy I met on Tinder stood me up.)
  • Hoy amanecí muy cruda. (I woke up with such a hangover.)
  • Tengo fiaca de ir a trabajar. (I don’t feel like going to work.)
  • Esa película es del año de la pera. (That movie is really old.)
  • Anoche cayó un palo de agua terrible. (Last night it was raining cats and dogs.)




Today we went over some pretty useful every-day Spanish slang. Remember that a language is so much more than the grammar or the outdated vocabulary you might find in old textbooks. Learning these expressions can help you sound more natural when you’re out there having a conversation. You should also be mindful of the region certain expressions are used since they may vary in meaning from place to place. This will help you avoid confusion or misunderstandings.

Sharpen Your Knowledge with Exercises

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4