14 El Salvador Slang Words

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Yesterday I crossed the border into El Salvador from Guatemala. The process only took 20 minutes and I was in my 41st country! I will truly miss my guides Laura, Rita and driver Wandemar. Now I’m traveling in a new trio- with guide Benjamin and driver Helson. I knew when I met them that these next 12 days would be a blast. I haven’t been here long, but I am starting to get a feel or El Salvador slang words.

It’s no secret that Central America is a tapestry of different cultures and languages, but in the first few hours of being in El Salvador I noticed that there were different words being spoken. I am fluent in Spanish, but even I couldn’t tell what people were saying, so I decided to compile fourteen El Salvador slang words that you may find helpful when speaking to locals.

Check out 15 Places You Should Visit in El Salvador

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1. Chivo– ok, fantastic, nice, amazing

2. Bolado– anything

3. Chero or Chera– friend (m) or (f)

4. Bicho or Bicha– little kids (the meaning of “bicho” varies in every Spanish-speaking country.)

5. Cipote or Cipota– teenager or young person (m) or (f)

6. Vea– for real

7. Tierno– newly born

8. Dundo– dumb

9. Baboso– dumb (can also be loosely translated into “drooler”)

10. Chucho– dog

11. De Choto– for free

12. Salu– good bye

13. Chuco– dirty

14. Puya– wow

For now these are some common day-to-day words that I picked up. I will keep posting as my knowledge of El Salvadorian Spanish expands. Here is another few words:

15. De Choto– for free

16. Chucho– dog

17. Guebiar– rob

18. Puchica– damn

19. Chele– white person

20. Pisto– money

My guide told me that in the southern parts of the country, the people use J (jota) in every word and I will film this as soon as I get there in 5 days.

Here are the top 5 tours I recommend in El Salvador:

Special thanks to the El Salvador Tourism Organization.

19 Responses to “14 El Salvador Slang Words”

  1. Cport

    hey! very nice! many people when visiting my country (El Salvador) have said that. Here we have a lot of slang words and phrases. I only wanted to add that the word “BEA” it´s really “VEA” because its a shorter form of the word VERDAD which means TRUE.

    • David

      Thanks for stopping by! I will fix this asap and thank you for spell-checking 🙂

    • Julio

      I was about to point that out!

    • Lucy

      And “salu”- is short for “salud”: this is typically used when waving or saying goodbye. I guess it stems from wishing well/farewell.

  2. Daniel Milián

    Hey, being outside from El Salvador made me realize how many slang we use.
    Also chero/a could also means guy/gal(girl).
    Such as “Mira a esa chera” would be “Hey look at that girl”. Which you might not even know.
    Anyways, thanks for the fun read. (:

    • David

      Hi Daniel, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed 🙂

    • Tricia

      Thank you, some words were very informative. I’m first generation Salvi/American, I came across your page by accident. I’m glad, much thanks.

  3. Carmelita

    Huiste- Broken Glass
    Mono/Mona-Girl Boy despite age
    Esta Chivo- Its cool/awesome
    Lora-Refers to a parrot or someone who talks a lot
    Bayunco/a- Someone who acts Silly; Clown
    Chindondo- Knot (Bruise)
    Colocho/a-Person with curly haor
    Puchica-Omg! (anything similar)


  4. joseph mejia aka in el salvador como jose mejia

    chuco is a hot drink too, atole de chuco.

  5. Milwar

    One I haven’t seen listed is “choco” which is the version of “ciego” which is blind in English. Also, “tufo” which is like saying a bad smell/odor. “Pasmado” is another way of saying stupid or dumb. Other slang phrases that I’ve seen my family use are:
    -por vida mano(wow, seriously?!, basically a expression of incredulity)
    -la vida no es cola de garrobo(you don’t have infinite lives, a way to say be careful)
    -se juga el cutis(a way to mock somebody or sarcastically exaggerate that you or a person does way more than expected)

    Hope this helps and I’ll add more as I remember!

  6. Lidia Teresa Martin

    Thanks! I am preparing for an exam where I have to know central american colloquialisms. This is helpful!

  7. Marta

    Chevere-also means cool/awesome. Juela- wow/omg

  8. David

    WOW! I really enjoyed and laughed reading this, It is amazing that there is a lot of words that characterizes us (Salvadorans) and it is amazing to remembers those words that make us! Estuvo Chivo este bolado! 🙂 SV

  9. Armando

    You can also add
    Chimbolo: meaning a small fish not the type you eat.
    Yuca: to determine something is very hard to do ” Esta Yuca”, also the food they sell boiled or fried. Cassava root
    Pepescas: a small fish you eat fried and add to the Yuca with curtido.
    Chamuscado: Something than is burnt
    Chompipe: a turkey
    Chumpa: A winter coat

    • Pepe

      How could anyone forget my absolute favorite Salvadoran word:
      Chulon = butt naked!

      • Franko

        Pepe. Your phrase was my favorite . 😄😄😄😄😄!!!

  10. Izairo

    maje is also used to describe a person but in some parts it’s considered a bad word


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