Don’t Say HOLA in Mexico City! Say these 8 alternatives for hello in Spanish!

Don’t Say HOLA in Mexico City, say THIS slang instead (8 Spanish Alternatives)!

Mis amigos, if you want to sound like a native from Mexico City, please don’t greet people with a simple ¡Hola! I mean, yeah, it does the job but if you really want to blend in and speak Spanish at a high level, better use the following 8 alternatives for hola in Spanish! 

People use ‘Hola‘ as a common greeting to say hello or hi in different social situations. You can ‘Hola‘ when meeting someone for the first time, entering a room, or when you want to start a conversation.

I’m teacher María Fernanda from Spring Spanish, and HERE is alternative number one:

1. A fun Mexican Spanish greeting: ¿Qué Pachuca por Toluca?

I gotta say, it was so much fun to do research about this topic. Some of these expressions are ONLY heard in Mexico City.

These are with the CHILANGO seal.

A Chilango is what other people from outside Mexico City called the natives from Mexico City.  If these chunks sound weird? Well… you’ll be the judge of that. 

¿Qué Pachuca por Toluca?
(What’s up? Lit.: What Pachuca in Toluca?)

Nada wey, ando en friega que tengo que cachar el metro.
(Nothing dude, I’m in a rush, I need to catch the metro.)

Sale pues, ahí los vidrios.
(Alright, see you later! Lit.: there the glasses)

Ora, cuídate.
(Ok, take care.)

So, Qué Pachuca is a deformation of the phrase ¿Qué pasa? (What’s up), and why Pachuca and Toluca? I am going to guess, because these are the neighbor states of the capital city.

2. An informal greeting: ¿Qué tranza o qué transita por tus venas? 

Tranza, comes from the word rip-off or con artist, when you say ¿Qué tranza? it means: What’s our next move? And for some reason, this got deformed into ¿Qué transita por tus venas? (What is flowing through your veins)?

I mean WOW! The chilangos are really creative.

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Another way of saying ¿Qué pasó?….

3. Greet someone with: ¿Qué pasión? 

Yes, just like you heard… What’s your passion? This one I have heard before… It basically means What’s up?

And how do you reply to this? Well… you have tons of alternatives in the video lesson I made for you about stop saying “Estoy bien” and I will leave that lesson for you here. Meanwhile, if you want to sound like a native from Mexico City, you MUST use this chunk.

¿Qué pasión?
(What’s up? Lit.: What passion?)

Nada carnal, y tú ¿qué pex?
(Nothing dude, and you what’s up with you?)

Which leads me to number 4…

4. A very informal greeting in Spanish: ¿Qué pex o qué pedo?

You might have heard in the past we use the expression, ¿Qué pedo? (which a big warning it is not considered a polite greeting actually it might be a bit vulgar), but because Mexicans rather change every single word or make it shorter.

Qué pedo wasn’t good enough, so it got shortened to Qué pex… María Fernanda… and the meaning? Yes, I forgot… this is like when we say: What’s popping? But the literal meaning is: What a fart? Which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. The beauty of Mexican slang.

hola in spanish example of que pex

But wait, if these expressions are too advanced for your level… Then check the video my colleague Juan made about 5 expressions in Spanish to greet someone. 

Let’s move onto our Mexico City greetings… In Mexico City they also have another phrase that starts with Cómo estás… but instead is number 5…

5. Instead of ¿cómo estás: ¿Cómo estanques?

Wait… estanque, like a pond?

Yes, in Mexico City asking cómo estás is boring, instead they ask cómo estanques

You’re not obliged to use the slang, however, I think it is important for you to know, so next time you travel to Mexico City do not be surprised when hearing all of this.

6. A classic way to say hi: ¿Qué onda? 

Hey María Fernanda, I have definitely heard this before. Yes you might and I gotta say is not exclusive for Mexico City.

Qué onda or it’s literal translation: what a wave, I think is used all over the country.

My friends from the North can corroborate this information. We use ‘què onda’ to say how are things going?

This means, what’s up with you? But for the chilangos ‘qué onda’ wasn’t good enough therefore they came with number 7…

7. A different way of saying hello in Spanish: ¿Qué hondón o qué Honduras? 


What’s up?… and no… Honduras is not related to Mexico and… my friends from Honduras, now you should know that in Mexico City you are always remembered each time they say hi.

hola in spanish que ondón example written on a yellow and blue background

If I have ever used these before?

No, I haven’t even heard of them, but again I am not chilanga.

But you will surely be mistaken for one if you use these super, super slang chunks. I have a bonus for you guys, but this one is from my hometown Southeast of Mexico City…

8. Say hola in Spanish and: Quiúbole or kiuvo

If we ever meet, I am warning you this is how I would say Hola to you, kiuvo or quiúbole it is also an adaptation of the question ¿Qué hubo? Which literal translation in English would be “what was there?” Which basically means “what’s up?” How would you use this in a conversation with slang.

Here is an example:

¡Kiuuvo! ¿Cómo estás wey?
(What’s uuuup? How are you dude?)

¡Quiúbole tú! Tanto tiempo sin vernos.
(What’s new with you? Long time no see!)

Ya sé pachi, ahora sí que tenía rato de no verte.
(I know dude, it’s been a long time without seeing you.)

¡Ya no te pierdas! Hay que vernos pa’ echarnos un cafecito.
(Don´t get lost! We need to meet for a coffee.)

¡Me late wey! Nos vemos el fin entonces. ¿Va?
(I’d like that. See you this weekend then. ¿Okey?)

Ya estás peinada pa’trás.

So, what do you think about these special greetings, just let me know in the comments below if you have ever heard one of these before.

And now that you know how natives really greet each other in Mexico City, you need to know what natives do to say goodbye.

I got you covered! Let’s continue this lesson with great alternatives to “adios”, so… goodbye in Spanish.

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