Top 20 Mexican Slang (Top 10 Mexican Slang Part 2)
The most popular post on this blog is Top Ten Mexican Slang. But for sure ten words don’t even scratch the surface of slang here in Mexico.
I hear these words every day. Unlike the original Top Ten Mexican Slang, in this post every word has a PG rating. Maybe PG-13.
Pinche could have been in the original top ten. It translates to many words in English, damn for example, but only when used to describe something.
“¡Pinche coche!” – damn car
“Pinche Juan” – goddamn Juan
Mande is the Mexican way to ask what or excuse me, when you don’t understand what someone said. It can also be used like tell me.
Neta can be used in several ways, but often like really? or for real?
“Estoy pedo, pero ya me tengo que ir a la chamba.”
Ahora means now. The “-ita” or “-ito” (female or male) stem is a diminutive, used to show that something is small or cute. So literally ahorita means little now.
Mexicans might tell you that ahorita means right now, but really it means soon or eventually. If you ask a Mexican to do something and they reply with ahorita, then it could happen in five minutes, five hours, or never.
“¿Puedes ayudarme con mi tarea?” “Ahorita.”
“¿Ya vámonos?” “Ahorita.”
You probably know that agua means water. But in slang aguas means be careful or look out!
I was told that it comes from when a lady would pour out a bucket of water onto the sidewalk. Is that right?
In places like Guatemala or Honduras, when I tell people that I live in Mexico, I often get “¡Ah, cabrón!¨ in response. That´s how Mexican this word is, that other Latins think of it right away when they think about Mexicans.
It might translate to bastard, but really it´s a word to say to a close friend. A male friend. Like bastard, cabrón isn´t appropriate for the family dinner table.
Other words for a male friend are carnal or wey. Vato is similar, more like dude, used in northern Mexico and by chicanos in the U.S.
Chicano is the word for Mexican-Americans.
A tocayo is someone with the same name. You can say somos tocayos or just call the person with the same name as you tocayo.
When you visit Mexico you’ll see speedbumps everywhere. Aguas when you drive over them. They often aren’t marked. Hitting them hard at night makes everyone in the backseat bounce up and slam their heads into the roof of the car.
Speedbumps are called topes, and only in Mexico, I think. In other parts of Latin America and some parts of Mexico they are called something else – tumolo, right?
A camión is a bus. In other parts of Latin America it’s a truck. I told people in Guatemala that I arrived by camión. They looked at me crazy until I figured it out.
The more official word for a bus in Mexico is autobús, not just plain bus.
A chamba is a job, often a lousy job.
You can say, “Tengo que regresar a mi chamba” or ask, “¿Que chamba tienes?”
Chafa describes something cheap or low quality.
“Esta coche es chafa.”
Codo means elbow, but in slang it means cheap, as in a cheap person. A codo person doesn´t want to flex their elbow, as in pulling out money and putting it on the table.
The “real” word for this is tacano.
“No seas codo” – don’t be cheap.
Continuing with the “ch” words, here are slang words for kids. You can also call kids chamacos. Remember the final “o” is for males and “a” for females.
Córrale / apúrate / tengo prisa
The first two mean hurry up. I don’t know if they´re actually slang, but they are damn common.
Tengo prisa means I’m in a hurry.
I hope this list was helpful. Please write whatever I left out or got wrong in the comments.
Don’t miss my newly-published Mexican Slang Master List, with more than 100 words and phrases of Mexican Spanish.
Posted on November 8, 2013, in Learning Spanish, Mexico and tagged aguas, ahorita, cabron, chafa, chavo, chicano, mande, mexican slang, mexican spanish, neta, tocayo. Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.