Buenas amigos! Good friends! If you have been studying Spanish for a while you probably know that what you learn in textbooks doesn't necessarily match real life conversations—particularly slang or "jerga" as we call it in Spanish. Slang is an informal type of language that is more common in speech than writing. It consistently changes and adapts beyond the reach of textbooks. So without further ado here are the five Spanish slang words that you need to know:
When we say something is “un rollo” we mean that it's really boring. For emphasis you can say “rollazo” to express your dissatisfaction.
- Ayer vi la película del director Peréz, !menudo rollo!
- Yesterday I watched director Perez's movie, it was so boring!
Watch out! Do not confuse with "enrollado", even though it seems similar, it's not! Enrollado is actually a word we use to describe someone that's cool.
- Mi jefe es muy enrollado, me deja salir pronto si he acabado el trabajo
- “My boss is really cool, he lets me leave early if I've done all my work”
An informal word used to agree, or to say something is cool or trendy.
- ¿Qué te parece si vamos al cine esta noche? -¡Guay!
- What do you think about going to the cinema tonight? –Cool!
- Me encanta su nuevo piso está muy bien decorado, es muy guay
- I love her new flat, it is so well decorated, it is very cool/trendy
You probably know this one, but referring to family members, in this case, it's a popular way to refer to a friend—and the gender changes depending on if it is a female friend (tía) or a male friend (tío), quite similar to English slang to express a good friend: “brother" or "man”.
- Hey, ¿Qué pasa tío? Hace mucho que no te veo , ¿todo bien?
- Hey, what’s up bro? I haven't seen you in a while! All good?
4. Puto (puñetero)/puta (puñetera)
The word in brakets are softer; as puto and puta are quite harsh and famous for being swear words. However, they can also mean something that's good too—all depending on what you want to convey in your speech. We sometimes use it to express something that is bigger or better, similar to “muy”.
- ¿Has visto el nuevo coche de Juan? Es puto rápido.
- Have you seen Juan’s new car? It is really fast.
Note: It can have a bad tone as well, meaning "big" too.
- La conferencia de ayer, fue una pérdida de tiempo, un puto/puñetero rollo.
- The conference yesterday was a waste of time, so boring.
We use the verb “flipar” when we are surprised or something caught us by surprise.
- No tengo ni idea de que está pasando, estoy flipando
- I have no idea what is going on…I am freaking out.
Sometimes it is used to say that we don't believe something as it is so surprising.
- !Flipa de lo que me he enterado!
- You will flip out when you hear what I have learned!
And there we have it friends. These are the five words that I want you to become familiar with and start using, as they are pretty “guay”. They'll help you get you a step closer to Spanish fluency!
As you know after each article I like to give you some excercises so you can practice: use these words in your next informal writing. It's good that you now know them, but it's not enough unless you actively incorporate them into your speech. If you have any questions regarding their uses, meanings, etc. pregúntame! Ask me, I am here to help you.
Ahora. I would love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment below and tell me if you knew these words before, if you think they're handy, and feel free to post any other slang you know as you could help others on their Spanish learning journey. I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new. Gracias for reading, have a great day!
Hero image by Dennis van den Worm on Unsplash