From Órale to Chido: 15 Essential Mexican Words You Need to Know

Virginia Orozco
June 21, 2023
From Órale to Chido: 15 Essential Mexican Words You Need to Know

Mexico, a land of ancient civilizations, breathtaking landscapes, and warm-hearted people, boasts a linguistic heritage that is as diverse as its geographical wonders. As you embark on this linguistic journey, get ready to immerse yourself in the melodic cadence of Mexican Spanish and discover the power of words that resonate with history, tradition, and the joyful spirit of the Mexican people.


Get to the heart of Mexico, understand it: 


In this article, we invite you to unlock the secrets of 15 essential Mexican expressions that will transport you beyond basic vocabulary and into the heart of Mexican communication, where language intertwines with culture and reveals the vibrant soul of this fascinating country. These expressions are the threads that weave together the canvas of daily life in Mexico, reflecting the country’s unique customs, values, and humor. By embracing these phrases, you will not only expand your language skills but also gain a deeper understanding of Mexican culture and forge meaningful connections with the locals.


Gain confidence and authenticity: 


From the bustling markets of Guadalajara to the enchanting colonial streets of San Miguel de Allende, mastering these expressions will empower you to navigate the vibrant Mexican life with confidence and authenticity. Whether you’re bargaining for handicrafts, sharing a hearty laugh with newfound friends, or indulging in the delectable flavors of Mexican cuisine, these essential expressions will serve as your cultural compass, guiding you through the nuances and subtleties of everyday interactions.


So join us on this linguistic adventure as we delve into the colorful world of Mexican expressions. Let these essential Mexican words and expressions transport you to the heart of Mexico’s cultural heritage and ignite a passion for language that transcends borders. ¡Vamos! 


  1. “¡Órale!” – One of the most famous ones, an all-purpose expression conveying surprise, excitement, or encouragement. Use it to show enthusiasm or to say “Let’s go!”
  2. “Qué padre” – Literally meaning “How father,” it’s used to express that something is really cool or awesome.
  3. Está padre” – This phrase means “It’s cool” and is commonly used to describe something that is impressive or enjoyable.
  4. “No hay bronca” – Translating to “No problem,” this expression conveys a relaxed and easygoing attitude.
  5. “Chido/a” – A slang term meaning “cool” or “awesome.” Use it to express admiration or approval.
  6. “A huevo” – A colloquial phrase that can mean “definitely” or “absolutely.” It’s often used to show agreement or assertiveness.
  7. “Wey” (also spelled “güey”) – Is a term commonly used among friends and acquaintances. Its meaning can vary depending on the context, but it is generally used as a way to refer to someone, similar to the English terms “dude,” “guy,” or “mate.” 
  8. “Chamba” – A slang word for “work” or “job.” Use it when talking about your occupation or career.
  9. “Dar lata” – Translated as “to bother” or “to annoy,” this expression is used when someone is being bothersome or causing inconvenience.
  10. “Estar en las nubes” – Literally meaning “to be in the clouds,” this expression refers to someone who is daydreaming or not paying attention.
  11. “Agarrar la onda” – This phrase means “to catch on” or “to understand.” Use it when you grasp a concept or get the hang of something.
  12. “Chavo” – Is a term used to refer to a young boy or a young man. It is similar to the English term “kid” or “guy.” The female version would be “chava.”
  13. “Estar frito/a” – This phrase translates to “to be exhausted” or “to be worn out.” It’s used to express extreme tiredness.
  14. “Chingón” – Can be used as a positive adjective to express admiration or praise, when something is really cool or nice.
  15. “Lana” – Is a term commonly used to refer to money. It is similar to the English slang term “cash” or “dough.” When someone says “tengo lana” or “no tengo lana,” they are saying “I have money” or “I don’t have money,” respectively.


As we conclude this exploration of 15 essential Mexican expressions, we hope you feel inspired and equipped to embark on your Mexican adventure with a deeper appreciation for the language and culture that shape this extraordinary nation. By incorporating these expressions into your conversations, you will not only communicate more effectively but also demonstrate your genuine interest in connecting with the Mexican people on a personal level.


Remember, language is the key that unlocks doors to new friendships, cultural insights, and unforgettable experiences. Embrace the spirit of Mexico as you immerse yourself in its vibrant world of expressions, and let the power of words open your heart to the warmth, humor, and richness of Mexican life. May your journey through Mexico be filled with laughter, genuine connections, and a deep appreciation for the beauty that lies within its language and people.


¡Viva México! May these expressions serve as a reminder of the wonderful experiences and memories that await you in this extraordinary country. And if you want to put these into practice and expand the list, you can book with any of our rocking Mexican teachers at WorldsAcross. ¡Hasta luego, amigos!

What are you wating for? Learn the real Spanish!

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