¡Órale! Must-Know Spanish Slang in Mérida

A celebratory toast with champagne and beer

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Spanish slang is a fascinating and constantly evolving aspect of the Spanish language. It is a collection of informal words, expressions, and phrases that are commonly used in various Spanish-speaking countries. Spanish slang is often playful, colorful, and full of cultural references. This makes it an essential part of understanding the language and its diverse communities.

Brush up on some Spanish slang before you go to Mérida. A vibrant city, locals often use unique phrases and terms that can be confusing to outsiders. To help you out, explore some of the most common and interesting examples of Spanish slang in Mérida. From ¡Órale! to No manches, speak Spanish Slang Phrases in Mérida like a local in no time!

Most Common Spanish Slang in Mérida


  • An expression of excitement, this word means right on, cool, or to indicate surprise.
  • ¡Órale! Did you see the score of the soccer match?

Buena onda

  • Literally translated as “good wave”, it’s used to indicate good vibes of a person.
  • “She is muy buena onda.”

¿Qué onda?

  • Translated as “What wave?”, this is how you ask “What’s up?” It’s typically followed by a term of familiar endearment (see below).
  • ¿Qué onda carnal? Meaning what’s up my friend?


  • Slang for “friend”, carnal comes from the word “carne” (meat). But, also means of the same blood, family or relative.


  • Fart is the literal translation of this word. This word is generally used with qué to say “What’s up?” meaning “what fart” which makes no sense at all. But, makes me laugh hysterically nonetheless.
  • Hey carnal, ¿Qué pedo?


  • While technically not slang, you need to know this word used in place of ¿Qué? or ¿Cómo? It’s a more respectful word to use.
  • Angel, did you hear what I said? Angel responds, ¿Mande?


  • With no literal translation, this word is used in place of “Really?” as a response.
  • The beer at the new cantina is really, really good! Your friend responds, ¿Neta?

¡Qué padre! or Padrisimo

  • “How father!” is the literal translation which doesn’t make any sense. Likewise, use padrisimo in the same way meaning cool or awesome as a reponse or an adjective.
  • Our trip to Oaxaca was padrisimo. Your friend responds, ¡Qué padre!


  • Another word that has no literal translation but is interchanged with ¡Qué padre! or padrisimo. It is also used to describe someone (male is chingon, female is chingona) that is a bad ass.
  • In business, she is a chingona.


  • Another word for cool or awesome. It’s used alone, with qué as a response, or as an adjective.
  • We had a fun day at the zoo. ¡Qué chido!
  • Wow, that car was super chido!

Va que Va / Sale Vale

  • “It’s going, it’s going” is the literal translation of va que va. While the literal translation of sale vale is “comes out ok” (which doesn’t make sense). These two terms are interchangeable.
  • Your friend says, “I’ll meet you at the park later on.” You reply va que va or sale vale.


  • This is a cute way to say ahora, meaning “now”. Adding “ita” means right now.
  • I would like a marquesita ahorita, por favor.

marquesita cart in Merida Mexico


  • Yes, cerveza is beer. But, chela is used more often especially on advertising as it is illegal to advertise beer or cerveza.
  • Happy hour at El Cardenal on Sundays is 2 for 1 chelas.

Crudo or Cruda

  • Meaning “raw”, this is a word to describe a hangover. Crudo is the masculine, cruda is the feminine.
  • I woke up very cruda.


  • While strawberry is the liternal translation, this word means someone who is priveleged (usually a millenial).
  • The kids in the restaurant today are fresas.

A Toda Madre

  • Meaning “all mother”, use this phrase for a super cool situation or person.
  • Jesse is a toda madre with his new business program.

Da tu tanda

  • “Give your batch” is the literal translation which has no sense. Use this phrase when asking your server to bring another round of drinks to your table.
  • Your server asks, “Would you like anything else?” You respond, “Da tu tanda.”

Dame chance

  • Meaning give me a chance or give me a break, say this phrase when you need more time with something.
  • Dame chance to bring you a copy of my keys to get into the house.

¡No manches! or ¡A poco!

  • While these two phrases are essentially one in the same. ¡No manches! means “don’t stain” and ¡A poco! means a little.
  • ¡No manches! I can’t believe there are so many people in the city right now. ¡A poco!

Viene Viene

  • Meaning “come, come”, this guy helps you in grocery store or other parking lots.
  • Be sure to tip your viene viene a few pesos.

Catrinas in Merida Mexico during Dia de Muertos

El Jale

  • A synonym of work.
  • Today, I have to go el jale early.

En La Madre

  • Translating as “In the mother”, this is a way to say right on or you forgot.
  • Do remember that cool concert we went to? Your friend responds, “En la madre!” (Right on!)
  • Be sure to come to the park tomorrow. Your friend responds, “En la madre!” (They forgot.)

Chamba (work)

  • This is a variance of the verb chambear meaning to work. It is typically used in the service industry between co-workers.
  • Wow, today I had mucha chamba. (I had alot of work.)

Camote (busy)

  • Meaning sweet potato, this is slang for super busy.
  • During tourist season we are super camote.


  • Yet another word without a translation. Use this word as a response to a sad situation
  • We wanted to go to the beach today but it was raining. ¡Chale!