You May Know Spanish. But Do You Know Mexican Slang?

I’ll never forget the first time I brought Dustin (my husband) to Mexico City for the very first time. Most of my family speaks English, but in good Mexican tradition, they all spoke only Spanish and made it a point to teach the new guy some Mexican slang.

And after 5 days in Mexico City, Dustin came back home saying things like “Que hueva” and “que pedo.” The kinds of phrases that NO Spanish school will teach you in Mexico, but the kinds of phrases that are very common in Mexican culture.

And moving to Mexico means you’ll instantly be surrounded by new slang and cultural phrases or colloquialisms that will make you scratch your head- because if you use Google translate they won’t make sense.

Que Pedo? Que Hueva!

Spend an extended amount of time in Mexico, and you’ll surely hear this one. Que pedo?

Put it into Google translate and you’ll get “What the Fart?”

Obviously, this isn’t what it means. Que pedo is slang, and its translation is simply “What’s Up?” Not sure how it became a popular phrase, but you’ll easily hear this one among teenagers and younger people in Mexico. Or sometimes you’ll hear someone say “Que Hueva!” But put that into google translate and you’ll likely get “What an egg.” Makes no sense, right? The actual meaning of que hueva is “I’m too lazy to do that” or something along the lines of “that seems hard.”

And that’s the thing, once you think you’ve started to master your Spanish course, Mexico will throw a curveball at you by giving you slang terms. And you’ll have no idea what they mean.

But there are tooo many of them to try and cram into this post. Luckily, there’s an awesome site that does a really good job of listing a lot of them and even alphabetizing them. Reading through the list will make you chuckle, and raise your eyebrow at some of the Mexican slang

But trust me, learning some of these will put you lightyears ahead at integrating and understanding what people are actually saying.

Mexican Slang Dictionary

Now, full disclaimer these translations and definitions have been done to the best of the author’s knowledge, and without prejudice or malice.

This is a glossary intended to inform those who want to know the meanings of common Mexican terms, not to stir up controversy or ill-feeling.

Check out the dictionary here.

But I want to hear from YOU. Let me know what other Mexican terms you have learned that are not on the list. Share them in the comments below.

Learn a few of these and people will certainly start to think you’re a true Mexicano(a)!

Mariana Lange

Mariana Lima-Lange was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when she was a child. She spent every summer visiting family throughout Mexico and is very knowledgeable about Mexican culture, lifestyle, and traditions. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Reader Interactions


  1. Debra Perfitt says

    Thanks Mariana Lange
    Some of those Spanish slang translations are just hilarious. Really enjoying these emails. Making my homework a lot easier.

    Gracias mariana lange
    Algunas de esas traducciones de la jerga española son simplemente divertidas. Realmente disfruto estos correos electrónicos. Haciéndome la tarea mucho más fácil.

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