The Spanish language first started its process of developement when the Romans brought Latin onto the Iberian peninsula (present day Spain and Portugal). The locals of the territory, then started converting it to a Latin slang then called Vulgar Latin. The biggest change that happened to the language after that was when the Moors successfully conquered the peninsula. There were 3 languages spoken at the time but after they left many of their words had permeated the Spanish language. Words that begin in “al” for example algodon-cotton, alfombra- carpet are all of Arabic origin. For this reason you will see differences in common Latin words which are similar between French and Italian, but not Spanish and Portuguese.
After colonialism Spanish became one of the most spoken languages in the world, and is spoken all through South and Central America, except for countries like Brazil and the 3 Guyanas. Spanish spoken in many of these countries drew it’s base from the Andalucian dialect of southern Spain which is different from Iberian Spanish and has been influenced by local words and American English.
Common features of some of these dialects are the non pronunciation of the letter “s” and in some places like Chile they also don’t pronounce the “d” either.
Iberian Spanish has many dialects, ranging from north to south, Asturian for example and the very strong Andalucian dialect in the south.
Spanish sounds similar to Italian, but written it is closer to Portuguese. Spanish slang is varied from country to country, city to city, but is the very basis from which it was formed from Latin to Vulgar Latin and the modern day Spanish.
Greetings & Wishes/Saludos y Deseos
Goodbye (farewell, used when you don’t expect to see someone for a long time)
Fortunately all’s well (formal- but often heard in some countries)
Have a good day!
Enjoy your meal
Choque la mano
Give me five
Encantado de conocerte
Delighted to meet you
See you later (used when you know that you will see each other soonish)
See you tomorrow
See you soon
Mucho gusto de había conocierte
Pleased to meet you
No hay de que
Don’t mention it
(or) No hay de queso, no mas de papa
Don’t mention the cheese, nor the potato
No pasa nada
¿Que es de tu vida?
¿Que hay de nuveo, Viejo?
What’s up old man? Bug’s Bunny in Spanish “Eh! What’s up doc?”
Que milagro verte!
What a surprise to see you!
¿Que pasa calabaza?
What’s happening pumpkin? (it rhymes)
¡Que lo pases bien!
Have a good time!
How are you? (How is it?)
A ver- Let’s see!
¡Cálmate- Calm down!
¡Cállate- be quiet!
Cuidade-te- Look after yourself!
¡Déjalo! Let it go!
¡Date prisa/Deprisa!- Hurry up!
¡Lárgate, asqueroso!- Get lost, stinky!
¡Multiplicate por cero! Multiply yourself by zero (dissapear)
¡No te preocupas!-Don’t worry!
No te pones bravo conmigo!
Don’t get angry with me!
!Pon te serio!-Be serious!
¡Pon te tranquila!-Calm down!
Todas las chicas se quiten sus ropas
All the girls take off your clothes
¡Ojo! Watch out!
¡Que va! -No way
¡Sal -Get out
¡Sueltàme la mano!
Let go of my hand!
Vamos- -Let’s go
¡Véte -Get lost
¡Y esta! – That’s it
¡Que me deja en paz!-Leave me alone!
¿Viste? You see?
¡Ya basta!-That’s enough
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El cielo está enladrillado. ¿Quién lo desenladrillará?
El desenladrillador que lo desenladrille, ¡buen desenladrillador será!
The sky is full of bricks. Who will put them out now?
The “unbricker” who could put them out, will be such a good “unbricker”!
El perro de San Roque no tiene rabo porque Ramón Rodríguez se lo ha robado.
Saint Roque’s dog has no tail because Ramón Rodríguez has stolen it.
El vino vino, pero el vino no vino vino. El vino vino vinagre.
The wine came, but the wine that came wasn’t wine. The wine became vinegar.
El amor es una locura que solo el cura lo cura,
pero el cura que lo cura comete una gran locura.
Love is craziness, that only a priest cures,
but the priest that cures it commits an act of complete craziness
Tres tristes tigres trigaban trigo en un trigal: un tigre, dos tigres, tres tigres.
Three sad tigers ate wheat on a wheat field: one tiger, two tigers, three tigers.
a nonsensical word invented as a tongue-twister for children in Honduras
Mi mamá me mima mucho.
Mum spoils me a lot.
El bebé bebe bebidas.
The baby drinks sodas.
Our Spanish Slang Pages
- Argentinian Slang – Que barbaro- How Cool: slang and colloquialisms particular to Argentina
- Chilean Slang – Hola huevon- Hey big balls: slang and colloquialisms particular to Chile
- Colombian Slang – Que chevére!- How cool!: slang and colloquialisms particular to Colombia
- Iberian Spanish Slang – Hola tio- Hey dude!: here are some slangs and colloquialisms particular to Spain
- Mexican Slang – Hola cuate- Hey mate!: here are some slangs and colloquialisms particular to Mexico
More on Spanish Slang
Spanish Street Slang
Spanish Street Slang for How do you say “cool” in various different parts of the Spanish speaking world, funny words to express yourself in “Having a Laugh” and typical “Commands” that are given in the Spanish language.
Click here for Spanish Street Slang
Classic Spanish Songs
When trying to adapt to a new culture it is also important to know some of the songs of that culture that we have included in Classic Spanish Songs. Given that Hispanic culture is quite varied we have included in this list the most common songs that most of the Spanish speakers will start singing with passion when they hear them. Manu Chao although quite recet captured a lot of popularity, Guantanamera a classic Cuban song, La Bamba a Mexican folkloric song and Bambaleo, by the Gypsy Kings representing the traditional flamenco sound of Spain.
To check see the lyrics and sounds of our selection of Classic Spanish Songs click here.
Other Related articles
- How To Make A Mojito (mademan.com)
- Weekend in Malaga (onceuponatimeinestepona.wordpress.com)
- Argentine Slang = Lunfardo (maximizetravel.wordpress.com)
- The Latin Influence on Spanish (socyberty.com)
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This list of Spanish slang words and colloquialisms from Peru was compiled during a recent trip there.
Wake up and smell the tacos, cabrón, and learn español from mi column. Bilingualism is a wonderful thing, and studies are continually showing it leads to bigger brains and healthier sex lives.