Insider Mexican Spanish: The Secret Slang Only Mexicans Understand

Yo soy Paulísima de Spring Spanish (I’m Paulísima from Spring Spanish) and in this lesson we’re going on an expedition to explore the REAL underground Spanish spoken on the streets in Mexico…

Here’s your insider Mexican Spanish 😉

INSIDER MEXICAN SPANISH: The Secret Slang Only Mexicans Use

Not your typical “guëy”, “neta” and “qué onda”. We’re talking words and expressions no other Spanish-speaking country uses… 

Here’s the first one!

1. Ponerse de pechito (Being on your chest)

Being on your little chest, similar to “to put one’s foot on one’s mouth”. Putting yourself in a position of vulnerability. Making it easy for your peers to tease you or to make jokes at your expense. 

This one is used a lot when people are making albures. Albur is a play of words in Mexican Spanish that involves a double meaning, more than often involving sexual innuendo. 

¡Tajín! ¡Amo el tajín. El tajín es mi chile favorito ¡No mames!  ¡No mames! Este chile está buenísimo. Buenísimo este chile. (Tajin. I love tajin chilli powder. Tajin is my favorite. Get out of here! This chili is so good! So good this chili!)

(By the way, no mames is Mexican slang, too. Use it with discretion, it’s a bit vulgar). 

If I said this: ¡No mames!  Está buenísimo este chile (Get out of here! This chili is so good!) in front of my Mexican friends who are good at albures, they would have so many comebacks: Pau loves el chile. Here’s some more chile for you. Oh, so you LOVE chile!

And somehow it’d be my fault, for por haberme puesto de pechito al hablar con tanto entusiasmo sobre el chile. (For having made myself vulnerable to innuendo by talking about the chili with so much enthusiasm.) 

2. ¡Te falta barrio! (You are lacking hood!)

If you don’t use slang, if you don’t understand the way people speak on the streets of Mexico, if you don’t know certain places or haven’t eaten certain foods… ¡ay no, yo no quiero comer tacos de tripa, guácala! you risk being told that you’re lacking of barrio (hood)! Actually, when I was doing my research for this video, my niece Paulina told me this phrase a few times! 

Oye Pau, ¿qué significa la frase “ponerse de pechito”?
(Pau, what does “ponerse de pechito” mean?) 

¡Te falta barrio Peque!
(You are lacking hood, Peque!)

Just to show you it’s really used often: Spanish teacher María Fernanda also had to endure this one quite often when we made a video about Spanish vs Mexican slang…  

My favorite comeback when my friends tell me que me falta barrio is

Pues a ti te falta mundo. 
(Well, you’re lacking “world”)

¡Ah qué mala! 
(Oh! So mean!)

3. Vete a ver si ya puso la marrana (Go check if the sow has laid eggs)

Go check if the sow has laid eggs already! We use this to send someone out of the room when we don’t want someone to be around.  

Sí, sí, amiga oye, pero ¿sabes qué? Se pone más bueno el chisme. ¿Me tienes en altavoz? Ay ¿está tu hijo por ahí? No, no, no. Mandalo a ver si ya puso la marrana amiga porque lo que te voy a contar ¡uh! No es apto para oídos del infante. 

(Yes, yes my friend but, you know what? The gossip gets better. Oh! Am I on speaker? Oh! Your son is around? No, no! “Send him to see if the sow laid eggs” because what I’m about to tell you is oh! so not appropriate for a child’s ears!) 

4. ¡Caele! ¡Ya estufas! (To fall down)

Literally it means “to fall down”. We use it to make plans to meet. En México tus amigos no te visitan, te caen. (In Mexico, your friends don’t visit you, they “fall upon you”.) 

And when you agree upon something you could say: ya estás or ya estuvo which is colloquial, but you could also take it a step further and say: Ya estufas. Let’s see it in a dialogue: 

Amiguis, vente a echarte unas chelas conmigo el sábado ¿no?
(Bestie, come to my place to have some beers on Saturday, no?) 

Órale. ¿A qué hora te caigo? 
(Alright. What time should I get there?)

Pues como a las ocho, más o menos. 
(Well like at 8, more or less.)

¡Ya estufas!
(I got it!)  

5. Ponerse hasta… (Get oneself up to…)

To get oneself up to?  This one has a few variations: 

  • Ponerse hasta las manitas”  (“get up to the little hands”)
  • Ponerse hasta las chanclas”   (“get up to the sandals”)
  • “Ponerse hasta atrás” (“get all the way to the back”)
  • Ponerse hasta el queque”  (“get up to the queque”)

¡Ponerse hasta el queque! Está es muy cagada güey. (This one ‘s really funny dude!) 

This means to get really wasted.

So it turns out that a long time ago, people used these wineskins, called odres, containers made with the skin of an animal, like a goat, to transport liquids. In Mexico, people used them to transport pulque, a traditional Mexican alcoholic fermented drink. When they meant they wanted the wineskin to be completely full, they said they wanted it filled up to the hands, so that’s the origin of the expression. 

Paulísima, ¿cómo te fue ayer en el antro? 
(Paulísima, how did it go yesterday at the club?) 

Ay güey estuvo genial, pero me puse hasta las manitas.
(It was great, but I got really wasted.) 

¿Y eso? ¿Tomaste tequila de nuevo? ¿Verdad canija?
(How come? Did you have tequila again? Right, you bad girl!)

Tequila, champaña, cerveza, la verdad es que ya no me acuerdo, ¡pero quedé hasta atrás! 
(Tequila, champagne, beer, I don’t remember, but I ended up really wasted!)

6. 50, 100, 500, 1000

Why would you say cincuenta, cien, quinientos or mil (fifty, one hundred, five hundred and one thousand) when you could say: un tostón, un ciego, un quiñón o una milpa (a silver coin, “a blind one”, a “quiñón” and a “milpa”.)

That’s right! If you want to sound like you have enough barrio repite después de mi por favor  (hood repeat after me please):

  • Un tostón: 50 pesos
  • Un ciego: 100 pesos
  • Un quiñón: 500 pesos 
  • Una milpa: 1000 pesos

¡Jefe! ¿Tendrá cambio de un quiñón?
(Boss, do you have change for a 500?) 

No, señorita se lo debo.
(No, sorry miss, I don’t.) 

8. Al chile (Saying/Doing honestly)

In Mexico when you say or do something “Al chile” it means that you’re doing it or saying it honestly, wholeheartedly. Like you really, really mean it. 

Oye amiga, checa mi video de las cosas que no nos gustan a los mexicanos. Oye, es que no me gusta mi maquillaje ahí. Estuve experimentado y cómo que no me gustó. Ya dime cómo me veo. Dime la verdad, la neta. 
(Friend, check my video, the one about the things that Mexicans dislike. Hey, I don’t like my makeup there. I was experimentando and I kind of didn’t like it. Tell me already, how do I look? Tell me the truth. Real talk.) 

No pues, te quedó interesante amiga.
(Well, it’s interesting, friend.)

Ya güey, ¡dímelo al chile!
(Dude, be honest!) 

Ay amiga, la verdad es que te ves un poquito como la muñeca de El conjuro. 
(Oh my friend, the truth is you look a little bit like the doll from The Conjure.) 

9. Creerse el muy muy (Being arrogant)

Literal translations are incredibly funny! This one would be “to believe oneself to be the very very”! We also say creerse el muy acá (To believe oneself to be the very here). We use this to talk about someone who acts snobby, or arrogant.

¡Cómo me cae mal ese tipo!
(I really dislike that guy!)

¿Por qué? 

Pues porque se cree el muy muy. 
(Because he’s arrogant.) 

10. Ya nos cayó el chahuistle (The chahuistle has befallen upon us)

The chahuistle has befallen upon us. Chahuistle is a type of fungus that damages grain crops, especially corn. We use this expression when we have been caught red-handed, when something bad happens all of a sudden or when something happens that makes an otherwise fun situation end abruptly. 

Example: I’m having an unauthorized party at home, we hear sirens coming in, and we say:

¡Ya nos cayó el chahuistle! (The chahuistle has befallen upon us!) 

Imagínate estamos reunidos con la familia, tomando unas chelitas, escuchando música y pasando muy bien. (Imagine, we are gathered together with the family, having some beers, listening to music, and having a great time.) And all the sudden you hear sirens. A great opportunity to say: 

¡Ya nos cayó el chahuistle! (The chahuistle has befallen upon us!) 

11.  Echar la hueva (Being lazy)

Literally: Laying fish roe. This means being lazy and not doing anything productive.

¿Qué onda amiga qué haces? 
(My friend, what are you up to?)

Nada, aquí en mi casa echando la hueva. ¿Y tú? 
(Nothing, at home, being lazy. What about you?)

Igual amiga, también estaba echando la hueva.
(Same, also being lazy.)

Ah pues si quieres ¡cáele!
(Oh well, then come over!)

Órale, ¡ya estufas! 
(You got it!)

This is really underground Mexican slang. Use it to be seen as a real insider!

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