ES  Lacunza IH San Sebastián

5 Spanish slang words you need to know to survive in Spain.

If you have already travelled abroad, you already know that people use lot of slang in their day to day conversations. I'm sure it's the same in your language. These words and expressions are totally part of the language and are very useful. You can learn them watching TV or listening to the radio, but obviously the most efficient is definitely a total immersion in the country.
 

These words vary a lot from one country to another and even from one region to another and every generation use to have its own dialect.

 

We made it easy for you – here is our selection of our 5 favorite slang words – you'll be able to impress your new friends and teachers when you come to Spain.

 

Do you understand this sentence? If not, do not worry, after reading this article you should be able to understand it.

Tío, te mola salir esta tarde? He quedado con unos amigos guiris de visita a San Sebastián, les quiero enseñar mogollón de cosas sobre la ciudad y acabaremos tomando algo en un nuevo bar muy chulo que han abierto en la calle Reyes Católicos.”

 

 

 

TÍO / TÍA

 

I think it's the word you'll hear the most here in Spain and it can be quite disturbing when you hear it for the first time. This word has several meanings.

 

The first one is maybe the one you learned at school – it means “ uncle or aunt
“ Mi tía me compró un coche el año pasado” / My aunt bought me a car last year.

 

But “tío / tía” is frequently used to talk about someone you don't know

“ Hay un tío raro fuera en la calle” / There's a a weird guy in the street.

But you will hear a lot when you're talking to a friend:
“ Venga tío, ven conmigo” / Come on man, come with me.

 

 

 

 

GUIRI

 

It's a very common word in Spain especially in summer.

It can be pejorative but lot of people use it as a term or endearment as well.
At the beginning it was used to describe tourists from Noth of Europe, but is now used to talk about every foreign tourist in Spain whatever his/her nationality.
 

There are lot of theories about its origins; but the most relevant one states it would come from euskera ( basque language). Basque Speakers used to call Queen Cristina's liberal soldiers ( Los Cristinos) “ guiristas”.

The word – in its short version guiri – appeared again in the 60's to talk about the foreign tourists – usually quite liberal – in the still Francoist Spain.
 

 

“ Si quieres practicar inglés, puedes ir a este bar, vas a poder conocer a muchos guiris” / if you want to practise English, you can go to this bar, you'll get to know lots of guiris.

 

CHULO / CHULA

 

This word has different meanings in Spain and in some of south american countries like Costa Rica for example.
In Spain it means something very beautiful, cool or fashionable like clothes, songs...

“ Que ropa más chula llevas hoy” / Your clothes are so cool.


You can also use it as a single expression
“ ¡Ay que chulo ! “ / Aw that's so cool.

 

Be careful, it can also mean arrogant in this expression for example:
“ No te pongas chulo conmigo” / Don't be that cocky with me.

 

 

MOGOLLÓN

 

Mogollón means "a lot", and is very frequently used.
 

«  Hay mogollón de gente en este bar «  / There are lots of people in this bar
« Tengo mogollón de libros en mi habitación » I have tons of books in my room.

 

There's also a quite ancient expression meaning for free.
«  beber de mogollón » / scrounge a drink

 

 

MOLAR

Literally it's the adjective of the word molar ( the tooth) but it's much more used to refer to something you love, that is IN or something you're really into.

“ Cómo me mola este coche” This car is so cool.

 

You can also use it to ask if someone wants to do something.
 

“ ¿Te mola ir a la playa? Are you up to go to the beach?

 

And you can answer if you're up for it or not.

“ No, ahora mismo no me mola” No right now I don't fancy.

 

In Lacunza IH we do organize free workshops for our students to help them with their Spanish, teaching them some slang words, explaining the origin of some expressions but also talking about movies, books, recipes... It's a fun way to learn more about Spansh culture and keep learning.

 

 

It's now your turn to practise to speak like a native.I'm pretty sure you do understand  this sentence now don't you?

 

Tío, te mola salir esta tarde? He quedado con unos amigos guiris de visita a San Sebastián, les quiero enseñar mogollón de cosas sobre la ciudad y acabaremos tomando algo en un nuevo bar muy chulo que han abierto en la calle Reyes Católicos.”