Chicano Slang

The following is a list of Chicano slang words and expressions borrowed from Wikipedia and will add my own as the list grows. Each word has a different meaning depending on where you live, therefore the following are related to Mexican Spanish slang. If you know of any words and would like to expand the list of Chicano slang, let us know and we'll add the slang word whenever we get a chance. Simon!

Contents

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

a ponemos chancla 
(from chancla, Nahuatl for sandal) "Let's dance". The grammar is deliberately incorrect.
águila 
(lit. "eagle") "Be alert"
aliviane 
a form of help "Aliviáname - help me"
aguas 
"to be alert, be careful". ¡Agua! ("Water!) is the cry of sellers of dodgy items when police are spotted.
arre 
lets go, lets do it.
A.T.M. 
a toda madre - great, fantastic, out of sight (expression antedates the abbreviation for "automated teller machine")
Ariza 
Slang for Arizona.

B

baika: bicycle

baro 
coin, money.
bironga 
beer, booze
borracho 
A drunk or someone on a bender.
bolillo 
derogatory term for "white boy" or "white guy," similar to "cracker" in American slang. Derived from the white dinner roll of the same name. Also used in Mexican Spanish.
bola 
A dollar. "Prestame una bola." "Lend me a dollar."
bomba 
(also "bomb") a lowrider car or truck from the 1930s - mid-1950s
bote 
(literally: "can") jail or prison; also, a lid of marijuana.
borlo 
dance, party. "Vamos al borlo." "Let's go to the dance/party."
bronca 
trouble or a problem with someone else
Burque 
a contraction of the old spelling of Albuquerque, New Mexico (Originally spelled "Alburquerque").

C

cabulear 
to "bullshit"; to "chew the fat with"
Caer la Greña
 
To be good at something
             
Caile 
Come here, go any where
Califas 
California. In standard Spanish, it means "caliphs".
calcos 
shoes
Caló 
a language used by Chicanos or Mexican-Americans, derived from the name of the Spanish Gypsy (gitano) dialect, Caló
canicas 
(lit. marbles) love; , genitals(male); also "andar a canicas"(walking around naked).
cantón 
home; house; apartment
carnal 
brother; close friend; homeboy, from primo carnal, "first-grade cousin." (also "karnal")
careja 
all at once, burdon, blows
Carrucha
Car, Your Ride (related to "carro," car)
Carrujo
joint, marijuana cigarette
cagua 
beer (related to Mexican slang for large beer, "caguama," literally "giant turtle")
catos 
fistfight, fisticuffs
chafa 
low quality
chale 
expresses disagreement, "no way"; antonym of simón
chancla 
shoe, sandal
chavala
(from Gypsy/Gitano Calo) little girl; also used as an insult for a man that lacks courage
chavalo
(from Gypsy/Gitano Calo, related to Mexican Spanish "chavo") little boy
chela
beer
chido
cool. awesome. "que chido wey" "esta chida la rola"
chingazo
a punch or a kick delivered during a fight or brawl
chorra 
penis
chota 
cops, police
chuco 
El Paso, Texas
clecha 
school, class
clica 
clique, social group, gang (also "klika")
con safos
(frequently abbreviated as "c/s") "Nobody can mess with this" (likely from Arabic-derived Spanish zafo = unobstructed, clear, safe, intact)
coco
bruise, cut, scrape, head, wound of some sort.
cuete
gun (from cohete = rocket)

D

dale gas 
step on it, go for it
de aquellas 
(lit. "from those over there") "the best"
descuéntate 
beat it, get lost
descuéntatelo 
hit him
descontar 
to hit, irregular conjugation (descuento, descuentas, descuenta, descuentan, descontamos)
dispensa
(also 'spensa)excuse me(?)
drapes 
syn. for "zoot suit" (see below), originating in 1930s Harlem African American for stylish clothing;

E

echa la cookie 
fast, as in running fast
empanzonar
impregnate
éna 
short for Norteña
éne 
short for Norteño
enjaular 
to lock up. Standard Spanish.
entacucharse 
to dress up, more specifically, to wear a tuxedo or suit
escamado 
scared. Standard Spanish.
escuelín 
school
esquina 
help, give a hand
esquinar 
help out.
ésa 
short for Sureña (lit. "that one", "that girl")
ése 
short for Sureño (lit. "that one", "that guy")
esponjes 
lie as in no esponges ese
esponjes 
angry, as in no te esponges == "don't get angry"

F

fajates 
blew it
feria 
money (literally "fair", as in "county fair," but references the homonym "fare" as a bilingual pun)
filero 
knife. Spanish filo means "edge".
firme 
cool (as in "hip"); good. In standard Spanish, "firm".
frajo 
cigarette
fresa 
prep
fusca 
gun

G

gabacho/a 
(also "gavacho") term for a white person. Related to Mexican Spanish slang for the United States, "el gabo" (In Spain, "Frenchman").
gacho 
unfortunate, inappropriate, or cruel (possibly from Basque "gaizto")
gasofas 
Gas, Petrol
Good nuff 
Half-ass bullshit, work ethic
grifa 
marijuana (whence the US slang word "reefer"; derived from "grifo")
grifo 
(lit. "faucet") marijuana addict; someone who is always "prendido", or "lit"
güacha 
(also "wacha" or "wachale") "Look"; "Watch"
güaino 
Wino
güero 
(also "huero" or "weddo") white person; light skinned, blue eyed/blond person
güisa 
(also "wisa" and "weesa") woman; girlfriend
güey 
Technically means a castrated bull, but it's often used as like homeboy or dude. For example, "Que onda guey?" means, "what's up man?" Also may refer to a man who's being cheated on by his significant other. Commonly used in Mexico, but considered somewhat vulgar there, usually used among close male friends. (sometimes spelled "buey" or "wey")

H

homeboy 
(also "homie") 1) a very close associate usually identified as someone from one's own barrio or neighborhood; 2) a person with whom one identifies closely with implying a strong loyalty toward; possibly derivative of Spanish hombre
homes 
(also "holmes") variation on the word "homeboy", used to identify a friend; can also be used as a casual greeting for anyone
hyna
a girl, or girlfriend

J

jaina 
(also spelled "hyna", "heina", and "hayna") woman; honey; girlfriend
jale 
a job
jefa/jefita 
mother
jefe/jefito 
(lit. "boss") father
jura 
police

L

lacra 
low life individual
lambache 
suck ass
lambiscón 
suck ass
lana 
(lit. "wool") money
la neta 
"the truth" or an unquestionable axiom (as in "es la neta" means "that's the truth"), also tends to be followed with "que" as its universal conjunction to other words such as "laneta que el otro dia..." meaning "the truth is that the other day…". From la neta verdad, "the pure truth".
lanzar chingadazos 
throw blows
laquiar
to lock
leño 
marijuana cigarette (joint). In Spanish, "wood block".
leva 
coward, hood hopper/set tripper
llantas 
(lit. "tires") a term for homemade sandals or beat-up shoes, also used to refer to extra fat acquired around the waist (similar to "rolls" or "love handles")
llevanate 
behave, be cool, chill out
litro 
cigarette lighter
lisa 
shirt
loc 
(pronounced "loke") short for "loco"; a street crazy; hardcore street tough, also maddogs or heavily tinted sunglasses
locochón 
crazy

M

machín 
excellent, high-achieving, outstanding
manflora 
(also manfi) derogatory for lesbian, dyke
máscara 
face. In Spanish, "mask".
mayate/mayata 
(n-word) derogatory for a dark-skinned male/female, usually African American; der. from mayatl (Nahuatl) an iridescent black scarab
mayatero 
someone who tries to "act black"
mexa 
from a Mexican origin
miclo 
light-skinned Mexican
mojado
wetback. Any immigrant crossing the Rio Grande river (mostly Mexican). Literally, "wet".

Monda: penis

mono 
movie
mono 
the devil; demon. Literally "monkey".
Morro
Young man or boy.
Morra
Young woman or girl.
mota 
slang for marijuana (possibly from Seminole "mota" meaning tobacco; in Mexican Spanish, mota means "speck")

N

naranjas 
no. Literally "oranges". In Spain the phrase "naranjas de la China" means "no way".
narices 
no. Literally "noses".

Naco- someone who does not dress well

negro/a 
(lit. "black") a somewhat affectionate term for a darker skinned individual of whatever race, e.g. chicano, African American or others (e.g. "vamos mi negro"), can be softened in the diminutive (negrito/a) as negro can also be derogatory
nel 
no
nikle 
Pronounced "nee-kleh." Five cents.
no manches  
don't mess around
no hay pedo 
no problem; no sweat
Norte Califas 
Northern California
Norteño
northerner; street chapter of the Nuestra Familia prison gang, associated with the color red and the number 14.
no te agüites 
don't get depressed

O

Órale
"Right on"; "Alright!"
Ojete  
asshole [example: ya no seas ojete]
Ojo  
Watch out, keep your eyes open, be careful

P

Pachuco
a native or resident of El Paso, Texas, later extended to mean all Mexicans and Mexican Americans adopting aspects of Pachuco culture such as dressing in zoot suits and speaking Caló.
paisa (from 'Paisano')
(also "border brother") a somewhat affectionate term for recent immigrants from Mexico
pano/paño 
a style of art, with drawings or paintings made in prison, on handkerchiefs (literally "handkerchief")
panocha 
pussy
pancho
(orig. nickname for the first name "Francisco") crying or complaining, used with the verb "hacer" i.e. "tu haces mucho pancho!" meaning "you do a lot of complaining"
panzón 
fat man. Standard Spanish, compare English paunch.
panzona 
fat woman; pregnant woman
pásame las tres 
Literally, "pass me the three". "Let me have a drag" (of a cigarette)
pase 
slang for cocaine
pedo 
(literally "fart") intoxicated; 'estar pedo'
pedo 
problem; 'no hay pedo'
pendejo
extremely foolish person, a coward, "no seas pendejo" (don't be a fool), "me hice pendejo" (I turned a blind eye); also pubic hair (archaic) highly offensive.
perico 
slang for cocaine
perrucha 
very difficult; female trouble-maker (related to "perra," meaning female dog or bitch)
pestaña 
(lit. eyelash) sleep
pestañear 
to sleep
picaste 
did you "get" some (from Sp. picar, to poke; also to shoot up as in heroin)
pinta 
jail; prison (more specifically)
pintar paredes 
to masturbate
pisto 
beer; can of beer (more specifically); also general term for alcoholic beverage. In Spanish, "soup"[1]
Pitaso 
To "Rat someone out" - Dieron un pitaso
placa 
(literally "badge") tattoo; the police; a person's graffiti tag
ponerse al alba 
"to put oneself to the dawn", to get with it
ponerse zafado 
to get high on marijuana
ponte las pilas 
get your stuff together
Puñal 
A knife, Gay, (homosexual) "eres Puñal"
Puto 
Gay individual or a coward
putazo 
a big punch.
prendido 
"lit on", high on drugs; high on marijuana (most common)

Q

¿qué onda? 
"what's up?"
quemar llanta 
to burn rubber (as in driving)
Quilmas 
San Quentin prison
¿Quiubo? (Quíhubo, Qiobo. quióboles. Q-vo)
(from "Qué hubo" meaning "What was there?"} "What's going on?"; "What's up?" (Also, Quevolet....pronounced like Q-voh-lay)
Que Suda 
"how stupid" "how crazy" "you're out of it"

R

ranfla 
car; low-rider car
rifamos 
"We rule" Also (to take) a chance; "nos la rifamos"
rifar 
to rule, have superiority in a neighborhood, in a sport, or some territory
refin 
food
refinando 
eating
refinar 
to eat
refran 
soda, derived from "refresco"
rola 
song
ruca 
(literally: "old woman") girlfriend; woman
ruco 
Old man

S

safis 
Oops! Some type of error.
Sancha 
Girlfriend on the side; secret (or not) lover
Sancho 
Boyfriend on the side; secret (or not) lover
sawrucha 
saw
sentirse aviador 
"to feel as an airman", to feel high or drunk
Serio/a 
"seriously", for real (also spelled Cerio/a)
simón 
"Yeah", often combined with ese: simónese
soda 
slang for cocaine
soflamera 
whiner
songas 
songs
Swata  
Idiot
Sur Califas
Southern California
Sureño
southerner, street chapter of La eMe (or Mexican Mafia), associated with the color blue and the number 13.
Estéicis 
(from shoe manufacturer "Stacey Adams") a brand of dress shoes favored by pachucos and swingers; a generic term for polished dress shoes

T

ta con madre 
shortened form of "está con madre" (lit. "is with mom") the best, or something really good, outstanding.
tacuche 
(literally: "suit") zoot suit; fancy clothing
talonear 
"to heel", to walk, also to con, prostitute (to pimp)
tecato 
heroin addict
tinto 
(literally. "dark") derogatory referring to an African-American
tirando chancla  
dancing your ass off
tira
police
tirar la masa 
(lit. "to throw corn dough") to defecate
tirarlo a león 
(lit. "to ignore") to blow off, to forget about it
tirar tripa 
(lit. "to throw guts") to vomit
TJ 
"jury-rigged" or of inferior workmanship, (from the initials for Tijuana, a California border town where Americans go for cut-rate dentistry, auto body repair, and upholstry)
toleco 
Fify-cent piece.
torcido 
(lit. "twisted") jail time; locked up in prison (most specifically)
torta 
(lit. "cake") derogatory slang for a fat female
tortilla
lesbian
traer cola 
"to carry a tail", to be on parole
tragazón 
food, especially in large amounts. From tragar, "to swallow".
tramos 
pants
trinquetiar 
to cheat; to mess (someone) up
trola 
cigarette lighter, match
trucha 
(lit. "trout") "Watch out"; smart; wise
tubos 
"tubes". Socks
turiquear 
to get along; to communicate

U

un Abril 
(also "un abro") a year's jail sentence

V

vasquear 
to vomit
vaisa 
grip (possibly derived from vise grip)
varrio 
neighborhood or 'hood (misspelling or alternate spelling of barrio)
vato 
dude; guy; man
verga 
(lit. "mast", "pole"), "dick" "penis" "cock"
vieja 
(lit. "old lady") girlfriend, wife
volar 
(lit. "to fly") to hurry

W

wango 
loose, sloppy, awkward in appearance
Wachar 
to watch, to look out for; also güachar
Wáchale 
watch out! (interjection)
wesudo 
westside
weso  
westside
wilo, güilo 
skinny
wilo, güilo 
male prostitute
wino 
term for someone consuming large amounts of alcohol, an alcoholic

Y

yesca 
(also "yeska") marijuana. In Spanish, "a fungus to light fire".
yonka 
bike
¿Y qué? 
"And what?"; "So (what)?" (used to question, add emphasis, or challenge someone)
"ay wey" 
" oh, shit"
"ya estuvo" 
it's over, it's finished, I'm done

Z

zafado 
goofy
zafo 
I'm out, I bail out. (used when asking for volunteers); derived from/related to con safos (see above)
zoot suit
an outfit of male clothing consisting of large trousers which become narrower towards the bottom, a formal jacket which matches with the trousers, and a long chain running from the pocket
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