Spanish Slang Terms and Phrases

The Playful Language of Spain: 10 Spanish Slang Terms and Phrases

Are you learning Spanish and want to sound like a Spaniard? You’re at the right place! In this blog post, we’re diving headfirst into the exciting realm of Spanish slang words, those colorful and often quirky expressions that reflect the heart and soul of Spanish people.

Picture this: cobblestone streets, bustling markets, and lively tapas bars – that’s where Spanish slang comes to life. It’s the secret handshake of the streets, the lingo that ties friends together and makes tourists do a double-take. So, if you’re itching to go beyond “hola” and “gracias,” you’re in for a treat.

Whether you’re gearing up to mingle with locals on a trip to sunny Spain or just want to sprinkle some authentic flair into your convos, stick around. We’re about to unravel the real-world Spanish that’ll have you sounding less like a tourist and more like you’ve got Spain in your soul. 

Listo? Let’s roll!

Spanish Slang Terms and Phrases

Spanish Slang Terms and Phrases Infographic

1. Guay 

“Guay” is a Spanish slang term that typically describes something or someone as cool, and it can even mean something as impressive as amazing. Generally, it’s a catch-all for anything positive.


  • ¡Mira este coche nuevo, está muy guay! (Look at this new car, it’s really cool!)
  • El concierto de anoche estuvo súper guay. (Last night’s concert was really cool.)

You May Also Like: What Are The Differences Between Castilian Spanish And Latin American Spanish?

2. No Pasa Nada

This phrase translates to “nothing is happening,” but it’s used to convey a lack of consequence or issue – essentially, an assurance that there’s no trouble. It’s comparable to the English expression “no worries.”


  • Sé que estás preocupada, Ellie, pero no pasa nada.(I know you’re concerned, Ellie, but it’s fine.)

3. Vale

“Vale” is a versatile Spanish slang term that’s often used to express agreement, acknowledgment, or understanding. It can also mean “okay,” “got it,” or “alright.” In casual conversations, “vale” is frequently used as a response to confirm that you’ve heard and understood what someone has said. It’s a common and informal way to show agreement or approval in various contexts.


Person A: ¿Vamos al cine esta noche? (Are we going to the movies tonight?)

Person B: ¡Vale, suena bien! (Sure, sounds good!)

4. Tío/Tía

In Spanish slang, “tío” and “tía” are used to refer to someone in a casual and colloquial manner, similar to how “dude” or “guy” might be used in English. These terms are often used among friends or acquaintances and can be used regardless of gender.

“Tío”: This is typically used to refer to a male friend or person in a laid-back way. It’s like saying “dude” or “buddy” in English.

“Tía”: Similarly, “tía” is used to refer to a female friend or person in a similar casual manner. It’s akin to saying “girl” or “gal” in English.

Both of these terms are informal and friendly, often used in relaxed conversations among peers.

5. Hombre

In Spanish slang, “hombre” is used in a way similar to the English slang term “man” or “dude.” It’s an informal and colloquial way of addressing someone or referring to them, often to get their attention, express agreement, or emphasize a point. It’s commonly used among friends and acquaintances and can be used regardless of gender.


  • ¡Hombre, cómo estás? (Hey, man, how are you?)
  • No me digas, hombre. (You don’t say, man.)

6. Venga

In Spanish slang, “venga” is a versatile term that can be used in various contexts to convey encouragement, agreement, enthusiasm, or simply to urge someone to do something. Its used as a filler word, meaning “alright” or “come on!” 


  • Venga, levántate y empecemos el día. (Come on, get up and let’s start the day.)
  • ¡Venga, va a ser una noche increíble! (Yeah, it’s going to be an amazing night!)

7. Guiri

In Spanish slang, “guiri” is a term used to refer to foreign tourists or visitors, especially those who are easily identifiable as non-locals. It’s often used informally, sometimes with a slightly playful or light-hearted tone, but it can also carry a hint of condescension or stereotyping.


  • Mira, hay un grupo de guiris explorando el centro histórico. (Look, there’s a group of tourists exploring the historic center.)

8. Chaval

In Spanish slang, “chaval” is a colloquial term used to refer to a young person, often a boy or young man. It’s equivalent to saying “kid,” “youngster,” or “guy” in English. This term is commonly used among friends or in casual conversations and can be used in a friendly and informal manner.


  • ¿Viste al chaval nuevo que se mudó al vecindario? (Did you see the new guy who moved into the neighborhood?)
  • Ese chaval tiene mucho talento para tocar la guitarra. (That kid has a lot of talent for playing the guitar.)

9. Majo

In Spanish slang, “majo” is a term used to describe someone who is friendly, nice, or pleasant. It’s similar to saying “cool,” “nice,” or “decent” in English. It’s often used to convey a positive impression of someone’s character or demeanor. 

“Maja” is the feminine form of the term and is used to describe a friendly or nice woman.

10. Ostia

In slang, “ostia” is used to express surprise, amazement, or disbelief. It’s similar to exclaiming “wow,” “damn,” or “holy cow” in English. 

It’s important to note that while “ostia” is commonly used in informal conversations, it can also be considered a mild expletive or profanity, depending on the context and tone in which it’s used.

Learn More: What Does Ostia Mean In English? The 3 Most Common Castilian Spanish Curse Words

Start Talking Like A Local!

From the lively streets of Madrid to the sun-soaked beaches of Barcelona, the slang words we’ve explored paint a vivid picture of the camaraderie, humor, and authenticity that define Spanish communication.

So whether you’re a “guiri” exploring the streets of Spain or a seasoned “majo” engaging in local banter, the world of Spanish slang is an invitation to step beyond the confines of traditional language learning and immerse yourself in the dynamic rhythm of authentic communication.

Do you need a new Spanish tutor? Get in touch with us! Our team of experienced professionals will respond within 24 hours, allowing you to start practicing your Italian skills immediately!



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