10 Great Spanish Slang terms to help you speak Spanish like a local!

Are you learning Spanish in Spain? Do you find that the Spanish spoken in the street isn’t quite the same as the Spanish you learn in the classroom? Sometimes it’s good know a few common slang terms that you can throw into conversation to impress locals you meet in plazas or at the shops or even to impress your Spanish teacher with.

Here are some of my favourites with an example of how to use them:


  1. 1.      Cabezota : Stubborn

This word is more commonly used as an adjective but can also be used as a noun. You can describe someone as ‘cabezota’ as well as call them ‘un/una cabezota’, a stubborn person.

Example: ¡Mira que eres cabezota! – You’re really stubborn!


  1. 2.      Chorrada : Nonsense.

Often used to show disbelief in something someone is saying. Slang way to say that something is complete nonsense or ‘a bunch of crap’.

Example: ¡Qué chorrada! – What a load of nonsense!


  1. 3.      Cutre : Cheap, dirty, seedy, shabby, tacky.

This is a word that can be used in place of many words in English and is one that you will hear a lot in the street. It has negative connotations and can be used to describe a person, a bar, a film…pretty much anything.

Example: Le llevó a un bar cutre después de una película aún más cutre – He took her to a tacky bar, after watching an even tackier movie.


  1. 4.      Estar como una cabra : To be absolutely crazy, mental, bonkers.

Literally this sentence means “To be [as crazy] as a goat” and it’s commonly used on the streets as a way of saying that somebody is completely crazy. Using this phrase isn’t to necessarily insult someone. This can be something that is said in jest amongst friends.

Example: Pedro está como una cabra, se ha quitado los pantalones y ha empezado a correr por la calle! – Pedro is absolutely crazy, he took his pants off and started running across the street!


  1. 5.      Ir a su bola : To do one’s own thing.

If you’re a loner type or just like to go against the crowd sometimes and do something different then this is a great slang phrase for you to learn.

Example: No asistí a la playa con todos, fui a mi bola - I didn’t go to the beach with everyone, I did my own thing.


  1. 6.      Mala pata : Bad luck.

Have you lost money in a bar or on the beach? Were you just one number away from winning the lottery? Did you miss your train by a few seconds? Then you definitely have ‘mala pata’.

Example: Ando de mala pata últimamente, todo me sale mal – I’m having bad luck lately, everything goes wrong.


  1. 7.      Ni fu ni fa : So-so, Neither good nor bad, I’m indifferent.

This fun expression is one that communicates indifference. It’s a very colloquial way of saying that you don’t really have an opinion. It’s a good one to remember when talking about likes and dislike with people.

Example: ¿Qué te parece la película? Ni fu ni fa. – What did you think of the film? It was so-so.


  1. 8.      Pijo : Snob, Upper class conservative.

Pronounced ‘pee-ho’ this is a derogatory term used to describe an upper middle class, conservative person. A pijo is someone you would expect to look badly upon people of lower classes than themselves.

Example: José sólo se compra polos de Lacoste, ¡es un pijo! – José only buys polos from Lacoste, he’s such a snob.


  1. 9.      Ser la leche : To be amazing

This phrase literally means, ‘to be the milk’. However, in modern Spanish culture, it’s a way of that one is amazing. It’s most commonly used phrase is, ‘Soy la leche!’, meaning, ‘I’m amazing’. The phrase can be used both positively and negatively. Below is a positive example.

Example: ¡Acabo de ganar el campeonato de comer frankfurts, es que soy la leche! – I just won the hot-dog-eating contest, I’m amazing!


  1. 10.  Tener buen rollo : To have good vibes, to have chemistry, to get on very well.

This is a great way to describe the way you feel about classmates or room-mates. The opposite also works. Tener mal rollo: To not get along and have bad chemistry.

Example: Mis compañeros de piso y yo tenemos buen rollo – My housemates and I, we get along very well.

NOTE: Be very careful when using the slang term above. It’s important not to get it confused with ‘tener un rollo’. Telling someone you meet, ‘tengo un rollo’, could lead to some strange looks.

Tener un rollo: To have a fling or a casual sex partner.


Well I hope you find these Spanish Language Slang examples useful. Let us know if you do and we’ll post some more. Until then, if you want to learn some more Spanish language vocabulary that would be useful when you’re out and about in Spain. Try reading the following articles….

Learn Spanish Slang: Enthusiasm

Spanish language jokes

Greeting and kissing in Spain




  1. Martin
    847 days ago

    Nice list of terms! I’m actually taking Spanish lessons right now since I plan to visit Spain with my family during the summer and they don’t really discuss these in the school so I appreciate you telling these info!

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