Ray Gudrups

Travelled to 28 countries / regions

Written 44 briefs
Lived in Mexico for 10 years



Americas > Mexico > Useful Info
Submitted on Jun 02, 2019 Useful Info

Mexican Slang Words To Sound Like A Local


Used to ask someone to repeat it you didn’t hear or understand what they said

It is more polite than ¿Qué? or ¿Cómo? in Mexico, but rarely used elsewhere.

No manches

When a friend tells you about some amazing story or something that you don’t know if it’s real or not, you can say -

"No manches!"(Really? or Are you kidding?)

You can also use ¡No mames! which means the same thing, but is a little rougher (similar to damn!).

¿Qué onda?

This one is nice and simple! It’s another casual way to ask a friend, “What’s up?” and you’ll hear Mexicans use it all the time.


This word has many different purposes: surprise, support, enthusiasm and even to complement orders.

"¡Órale! ¿Y tu desde cuando trabajas tanto?" – Wow, since when do you work so much?


Chelas, or cheves are beers, and the word comes from a beer cocktail (michelada) that mixes beer with lime, chili and tomato juice.

"Dame dos chelas para mi y mi compadre" – Give me two chelas for me and my friend.


Means to have a hangover

"Esta mañana amaneci crudo" – I woke up with a hangover today

Güey (also spelled “wey”)

Güey translates roughly to “dude” or “man” in Mexico.

Where in Spain you might ask a friend, ¿Qué pasa, tio?, you’d be much more likely to say, ¿Qué onda, güey? in Mexico.


Of course, padre generally means ‘father’ in Spanish, but in Mexico, it’s also another way to say, “Awesome!” or “Great!”, for instance:

"¡Qué padre!" – How awesome/great!


¡Aguas! means… Watch out!

The story tells that this expression goes back to the days when the contents of wastewater were cast out the window and into the street each morning

These days, ¡Aguas! isn’t related to water or waste at all. Instead, it’s an expression similar to “Heads up!” still used in Mexico


It states something as ugly, terrible, bad quality or as a curse word to enhance an insult

The same way “fucking” in English is used

"¡Jajaja! pinche Ricardo, siempre sales con esas cosas" – hahaha, fucking Ricardo, you always come up with stuff like this

"Eres un pinche idiota, Ricardo" – You’re a fucking idiot, Ricardo


Chido is a Mexican word meaning “awesome” or “cool”.

It’s used the same the way you would use guay in Spain. For example:

"Es un guay chido" – He’s a cool guy!


You apparently know this word as “strawberry”, but in Mexican slang, “fresa” is used to describe a person who is a snob, thinks that they are better than everyone else. Also refers to "rich youth"

"Sabes que no me gusta salir con hombres como él, es demasiado fresa" – You know I don’t like going out with men like him, he’s way too stuck up


Directly translates and known as “old lady”.

In Mexican slang, this word is used as an loving word for your mom.

"Tengo que visitar a la vieja de vez en cuando, y darle algún regalito" – I have to visit my mother from time to time, and give her some little present


A word used like “kids” or "guys" in English.

"Los chavos están jugando al fútbol" – The kids are playing football.


Just as Spaniards say vale to mean “Let’s go!” or “Okay, cool” and Argentineans use dale, Mexicans express the same thing with the word sale.

" Vamos al cine a la tarde? – Sale "– Shall we go to the cinema in the afternoon? Ok, cool.


A word for flip-flops, a common everywhere in the country.

"Deberías ponerte algo mejor que esas chanclas para salir" – You should put on something better than those flip-flops to go out