Home » Buhay Guro » Mexican Slang 101: A Fun & Educational Guide for Filipino Students & Teachers

Mexican Slang 101: A Fun & Educational Guide for Filipino Students & Teachers

Learning slang is an essential part of understanding authentic Spanish and connecting with native speakers. For Filipino students studying Spanish, exploring the colorful world of Mexican slang can be a particularly fun and engaging way to improve their language skills and cultural awareness. This article provides a comprehensive guide to 10 popular Mexican slang words and phrases, complete with definitions, examples, classroom activities, and lesson plan ideas. Teachers can use this resource to bring the vibrant culture and language of Mexico into their classrooms, making Spanish learning more relevant and exciting for their students.

10 Must-Know Mexican Slang Words & Phrases

1. ¿Qué onda? 

   – Definition: A casual greeting meaning “What’s up?” or “How’s it going?”

   – Example: “¿Qué onda, amigo? ¿Cómo estás?” (What’s up, friend? How are you?)

   – Classroom Activity: Have students practice greeting each other using “¿Qué onda?” and responding with appropriate phrases like “Todo bien” (All good) or “Nada nuevo” (Nothing new).

   – Cultural Context: “¿Qué onda?” is a common greeting among young people in Mexico and reflects the laid-back, friendly nature of Mexican culture.

   – Lesson Plan Idea: Incorporate “¿Qué onda?” into a lesson on informal greetings and farewells. Compare it to similar slang greetings in Filipino, such as “Kumusta?” or “Ano’ng balita?”

2. No mames

   – Definition: An expression of disbelief, surprise, or exasperation, similar to “No way!” or “You’re kidding!”

   – Example: “¿Sacaste un 100 en el examen? ¡No mames!” (You got a 100 on the exam? No way!)

   – Classroom Activity: Present students with surprising or unbelievable scenarios and have them practice responding with “No mames” and other appropriate expressions of disbelief.

   – Cultural Context: “No mames” is a very common phrase in Mexican Spanish, but it’s considered quite informal and should be used with caution in more formal settings.

   – Lesson Plan Idea: Use “No mames” as part of a lesson on expressing emotions and reactions in Spanish. Discuss how intonation and context can change the meaning of the phrase.

3. Wey/Güey

   – Definition: A casual way to address a friend or acquaintance, similar to “dude” or “man” in English.

   – Example: “Oye, wey, ¿quieres ir al cine?” (Hey, dude, do you want to go to the movies?)

   – Classroom Activity: Have students practice using “wey” or “güey” in casual conversations with classmates, role-playing different scenarios like making plans or asking for favors.

   – Cultural Context: “Wey” and “güey” are very common in Mexican Spanish, particularly among young people, but they can be considered rude or disrespectful if used with strangers or in formal situations.

   – Lesson Plan Idea: Incorporate “wey” and “güey” into a lesson on informal vs. formal language and the importance of using appropriate register in different social contexts.

4. Chido

   – Definition: An adjective meaning “cool,” “awesome,” or “great.”

   – Example: “Ese concierto fue chido, ¿no?” (That concert was awesome, wasn’t it?)

   – Classroom Activity: Have students share their opinions on various topics (music, movies, food, etc.) using “chido” and other adjectives to express positive opinions.

   – Cultural Context: “Chido” is a very popular slang term in Mexico, used to express approval or appreciation for something.

   – Lesson Plan Idea: Use “chido” in a lesson on expressing opinions and preferences in Spanish. Compare it to similar slang adjectives in Filipino, such as “astig” or “galing.”

5. Neta

   – Definition: An expression meaning “really?” or “seriously?”, often used to express surprise or disbelief.

   – Example: “¿Neta? ¿Te vas a casar?” (Seriously? You’re getting married?)

   – Classroom Activity: Present students with surprising news headlines or facts and have them practice responding with “neta” and asking follow-up questions.

   – Cultural Context: “Neta” is a common way to express surprise or seek confirmation in Mexican Spanish, particularly in informal conversations.

   – Lesson Plan Idea: Incorporate “neta” into a lesson on asking questions and expressing surprise or doubt. Discuss how intonation can change the meaning of the word.

6. Chamba

   – Definition: A noun meaning “work” or “job.”

   – Example: “Tengo mucha chamba esta semana.” (I have a lot of work this week.)

   – Classroom Activity: Have students discuss their dream jobs or current work experiences using “chamba” and related vocabulary.

   – Cultural Context: “Chamba” is a common slang term for work in Mexico, reflecting the importance of hard work and dedication in Mexican culture.

   – Lesson Plan Idea: Use “chamba” in a lesson on professions and the world of work. Compare it to similar slang terms in Filipino, such as “trabaho” or “hanapbuhay.”

7. Fresa

   – Definition: An adjective describing someone or something as posh, fancy, or high-class.

   – Example: “Ese restaurante es muy fresa, con precios altísimos.” (That restaurant is very posh, with sky-high prices.)

   – Classroom Activity: Have students imagine and describe their “fresa” dream house, car, or vacation, using related vocabulary and adjectives.

   – Cultural Context: “Fresa” is often used in Mexican Spanish to describe people or things associated with wealth, luxury, or pretentiousness.

   – Lesson Plan Idea: Incorporate “fresa” into a lesson on adjectives and descriptive language. Discuss how the term can have both positive and negative connotations depending on context.

8. Carnal

   – Definition: A noun meaning “brother” or “close friend,” often used as a term of endearment.

   – Example: “¿Qué tal, carnal? ¿Listo para el partido?” (What’s up, brother? Ready for the game?)

   – Classroom Activity: Have students practice using “carnal” in role-play conversations with close friends or family members, discussing shared interests or experiences.

   – Cultural Context: “Carnal” reflects the importance of close friendships and family bonds in Mexican culture, and is often used to show affection and solidarity.

   – Lesson Plan Idea: Use “carnal” in a lesson on family and interpersonal relationships. Compare it to similar terms of endearment in Filipino, such as “kuya” or “ate.”

9. Sale

   – Definition: An expression meaning “okay,” “sure,” or “got it,” used to agree or confirm understanding.

   – Example: “¿Nos vemos a las 8? Sale, ahí estaré.” (See you at 8? Okay, I’ll be there.)

   – Classroom Activity: Have students practice making plans or agreements with each other using “sale” and related expressions.

   – Cultural Context: “Sale” is a common way to express agreement or confirmation in Mexican Spanish, particularly in casual conversations.

   – Lesson Plan Idea: Incorporate “sale” into a lesson on making plans and expressing agreement. Compare it to similar expressions in Filipino, such as “sige” or “okay lang.”

10. Chingar

    – Definition: A versatile verb with many meanings, including “to mess with,” “to bother,” or “to party.”

    – Example: “No me chingues, estoy tratando de estudiar.” (Don’t bother me, I’m trying to study.)

    – Classroom Activity: Have students brainstorm and share the different ways they’ve heard “chingar” used in Mexican Spanish media (movies, music, etc.).

    – Cultural Context: “Chingar” is a very common and versatile slang verb in Mexico, but it can also be considered vulgar or offensive in some contexts.

    – Lesson Plan Idea: Use “chingar” as part of a lesson on the different meanings and uses of slang verbs. Discuss how context and tone can change the connotation of the word.

Final Thoughts

By learning and practicing these 10 Mexican slang words and phrases, Filipino students can take their Spanish skills to the next level and connect with the vibrant culture and language of Mexico. Teachers can use the classroom activities, discussion topics, and lesson plan ideas provided in this article to create engaging and relevant learning experiences for their students. Incorporating slang into Spanish lessons not only makes the language come alive but also helps students develop their communicative competence and cultural awareness. So, ¿qué onda? ¡Vamos a aprender some Mexican slang!

Mexican Slang Quiz

1. What does “¿Qué onda?” mean?

   a) What’s your name?

   b) What’s up?

   c) Where are you from?

   d) What time is it?

2. Which of the following is NOT a meaning of “No mames”?

   a) No way!

   b) You’re kidding!

   c) That’s amazing!

   d) I don’t believe it!

3. “Wey” and “güey” are commonly used to address…

   a) parents

   b) teachers

   c) friends

   d) strangers

4. If someone says “Ese libro es chido,” they mean…

   a) the book is boring

   b) the book is difficult

   c) the book is awesome

   d) the book is long

5. “Neta” is often used to express…

   a) happiness

   b) surprise or disbelief

   c) anger

   d) sadness

6. “Chamba” is Mexican slang for…

   a) party

   b) school

   c) food

   d) work

7. If someone or something is described as “fresa,” they are…

   a) posh or fancy

   b) poor or cheap

   c) funny or amusing

   d) boring or dull

8. “Carnal” is a term of endearment meaning…

   a) cousin

   b) brother or close friend

   c) girlfriend or boyfriend

   d) teacher or mentor

9. When someone says “sale” in response to a question, they are expressing…

   a) disagreement

   b) confusion

   c) agreement or confirmation

   d) surprise

10. Which of the following is NOT a common meaning of “chingar”?

    a) to mess with

    b) to bother

    c) to party

    d) to study

Answer Key:

1. b) What’s up?

2. c) That’s amazing!

3. c) friends

4. c) the book is awesome

5. b) surprise or disbelief

6. d) work

7. a) posh or fancy

8. b) brother or close friend

9. c) agreement or confirmation

10. d) to study

Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, hailing from the Philippines, has made a profound impact on the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access crucial information and engage in meaningful exchanges of ideas. His contributions have significantly enhanced their instructional and supervisory capabilities, elevating the quality of education in the Philippines. Beyond his domestic influence, Mark's insightful articles on teaching have garnered international recognition, being featured on highly respected educational websites in the United States. As an agent of change, he continues to empower teachers, both locally and internationally, to excel in their roles and make a lasting difference in the lives of their students, serving as a shining example of the transformative power of knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the teaching community.

Leave a Comment

Can't Find What You'RE Looking For?

We are here to help - please use the search box below.