20 Salvadoran Slang Phrases (in GIFs)

This Spanish Friday I’m going to do things a little differently than usual. Instead of a post in Spanish followed by the English translation, I decided we’d have a little fun and I could do a Salvadoran version of this Mexican slang post on Buzzfeed, complete with animated gifs. Note: Guatemalans and Hondurans may also use some of these words/phrases – and some are probably not appropriate to use around your abuela. ¿Listos? Here we go!


1. ¿Qué onda, bichos?
Rough English translation: What’s up, guys?


2. ¡Púchica!
Rough English translation: Shoot! [Can also be used as a positive exclamation when impressed.]


3. ¡Hijueputa!
Rough English translation: Son of a bitch!


4. Ta’ chivo, ¿vá?
Rough English translation: It’s cool, isn’t it?


5. Cabal.
Rough English translation: Exactly.


6. El cipote está afuera juegando con en chucho.
Rough English translation: The kid is outside playing with the dog.


7. Tus patas están bien chucas porque no usaste chancletas.
Rough English translation: Your feet are really dirty because you didn’t use sandals.


8. ¡Ey, chero! Dame un rai!
Rough English translation: Hey friend! Give me a ride!


9. Me da nervios.
Rough English translation: It makes me nervous.


10. Pura paja habla esta maje.
Rough English translation: This dude tells nothing but lies.


11. ¡No seas bayunco!
Rough English translation: Don’t be goofy/stupid!


12. ¡Ay! Golpeaste. Por cierto vas a tener un chindondo.
Rough English translation: Ouch! You hit yourself. You’re going to have a bump for sure.


13. ¿Tienes el pisto de la cabuda?
Rough English translation: Do you have the cash from the lending circle?


14. ¿Dónde está el bolado?
Rough English translation: Where is the thing?


15. ¡Qué bien baila el bolo!
Rough English translation: How well that drunk dances!


16. La fiesta estaba bien vergóna. Estaba toda la mara allí.
Rough English translation: The party was really awesome. The whole gang was there. [And by “gang”, I mean group of friends, although “mara” can also refer to criminal gangs as well.]


17. Jajaja, ¡te pelaste!
Rough English translation: Hahaha, you screwed up!


18. Vaya pues.
Rough English translation: Okay then.


19. Está yuca.
Rough English translation: It’s difficult.


20. Vos.
Rough English translation: You


    • Chulo/a is super common in El Salvador. I haven’t personally heard a Salvadoran use jalón for ride but maybe they do near Guatemala’s border?

      • Jalón es súper común. Chulo es mucho más común en guate pero por supuesto se entiende acá en guanacolandia.

      • Interesting! Which department are you and/or your family from? Carlos is from San Salvador but his mother’s side of the family is from Chalate. They use chulo almost daily but I’ve never heard them say jalón. They always say “rai.”

      • Hi! This was awesome! But yes I’ve never ever heard “Rai” only jalón. My mother is from La Union and my father from San Miguel. Only heard jalón. This was fun to read :)

    • Jalón o raí, Same meaning yet small El Salvador has diferent words or meaning for the same, like Paila can be a not too dip dish or a small plate for tea or coffee time, west or east could have slightly different use or meaning.
      Bicho can be dayli used for child, but some others will felt offended citing they’re humans not insects. Like Vos can create layers of social discomfort or can be welcome as close friendship. Just if u live there u could get it. Lol

  1. !!Que Chivisimo!! I’ve been wanting to learn more Salvadoran words! I totally shocked a good friend of mine a few years ago. I said something and he asked me, “Where did you learn THAT word?!” I said, “I have the internet!” jejeje.

    • Interesting. My husband (who is Salvadoran) uses the word chancla. I wonder if he picked it up here in the US.

    • Caite, chancla, good year (old people used to wear those made out of car’s tires with straps), huaraches, chancletas, but made only in El Salvador “Yina”….thanks Maria.

      Shopping in El Salvador
      Rinso=most common brand name Powder detergent.
      Buyer: Can I have a Rinso?
      Teller: What brand name?…..lol

      Shopping in Mexico
      Clorox=most popular (almost monopoly) bleach brand name in whole mexico….Spanish translation for bleach is “Lejía”.
      Buyer: Can I have a clorox?
      Teller: What brand name?…..lol

    • We central Americans have alot of words in common, and I know that many words we use in Colombia and Venezuela they use them as well.

  2. Love this!!! I’m in the process of writing a post on Argentinian slang this was a fun read! It’s crazy how much Spanish varies from country to country because I didn’t recognize the majority of these vocabulary words. I really liked how you used gifs to support the phrases! :)

    • Puchica is an exclamation which has a similar meaning to “shoot” (like when you drop something and don’t want to say shit.) … It can be used to express that you’re impressed too.

      Bayunco is used for a person who is acting goofy or clowning around.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Hilarious post! I came across it looking for a particular Salvadoran slang word that my mom uses all the time: Chipalote/a

    As in: Te vistes como una chipalota!
    It means somebody that’s sloppy and bum-like, at least that’s how she used it. I can’t find it anywhere, does anyone else even use this word?

    • well well im salvadoran and i never heard that word before Elba Flamenco it looks like the word is familiarized with cipote/a word that i think most of la mara have heard. which is a synonym for bicho/a, nino/a as well. te viste con un cipote? = te viste con un bicho, chico, chamako, joven. i hope it helps you. salu pues!!!

  4. Nice and accurate, not vulgar but folk, regardless that most of these are commonly used to curse. Remember those?
    Bicho, mono, cipote, carajo, güiro, pisado, bolo, chichipato(e), huelepega, transa, chibola, cherche, pelón chinculla, chele, bistec, pichél (pitchel in inglés), birria, chero (el del granjero), pisto, chuñas, chonta or chontota, paja, casaca, pijo, talego, un puño, un vergo (a Lot), socado(a), masiso,bien vergón, cachinbón (With n not m), culero, mariquita, piña, culiado, chichón, serote, pijiar y muchos más.

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