Spanish Slang for Friend – How to Tell Someone He Is Your “Bro”


As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, Spanish speaking cultures tend to be very friendly and warm towards “gringos,“ making it exceptionally easy to make friends. 

They are also friendly and fun-loving, so getting a Latin “bro” will assure you have a great time while in Spain or South America. 

As you may already know, “friend” in Spanish is “amigo” (for a man) and “amiga” (for a woman). These two different possibilities have to do with the noun and adjective gender in Spanish grammar

But how about words like “pal,” “mate,” “buddy,” “dude,” “man,” “bro” that we like to use so much? Does Spanish have any less formal equivalents of “friend”?

Of course, it does! Just like it has slang words for “girl,” “money,” and many other terms. 

Most Common Slang for “Friend” in Different Spanish-Speaking Countries:

  • 🇪🇸 amigazo – 🇬🇧 a derivate of “amigo” used for a good and old friend across countries. 
  • 🇪🇸 compadre / comadre – 🇬🇧 these two words may mean godfather / godmother but are also widely used as slang for friend
  • 🇪🇸 gancho – 🇬🇧 “ a hook” also means friend in Argentina
  • 🇪🇸 boludo – 🇬🇧 another common Argentinean word that translates as “dude.
  • 🇪🇸 chamo / chama – 🇬🇧 probably THE most popular slang word in Venezuela
  • 🇪🇸 hermano / hermana – 🇬🇧 brother / sister (used in almost all Latin America)
  • 🇪🇸 chico / chica – 🇬🇧 literally boy / girl, can also mean friend
  • 🇪🇸 mano / manito – 🇬🇧 short for “hermano” – common in Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Guatemala
  • 🇪🇸 pana / panita – 🇬🇧 can be heard mostly in Central America
  • 🇪🇸 güey – 🇬🇧 Mexican staple word for “friend,” but also a popular interjection
  • 🇪🇸 cuate – 🇬🇧 apart from Mexico, it is also used in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Paraguay
  • 🇪🇸 bróder, brother – 🇬🇧 a clear American influence used in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, and Bolivia
  • 🇪🇸 fren – 🇬🇧 from the English word “friend” is a part of Panamanian slang
  • 🇪🇸 weón, huevón / won – 🇬🇧 in Chile and Peru, they can be used as “friend,” but they are considered offensive in other countries. 
  • 🇪🇸 compa – 🇬🇧 short for “compañero,” popular in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Argentina, and Costa Rica
  • 🇪🇸 ñero / ñera – 🇬🇧 again, short for “compañero,” used in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Colombia
  • 🇪🇸 tío / tía – 🇬🇧 literally uncle / aunt, is how they call man / woman and also a friend in Spain
  • 🇪🇸 yunta – 🇬🇧 is a word for a really close friend that you can hear in Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Peru
  • 🇪🇸 primo – 🇬🇧 literally it means “cousin” but is also used as “friend” in countries like Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica, and parts of Bolivia
  • 🇪🇸 parce – 🇬🇧 a common Colombian synonym of “friend
  • 🇪🇸 llave / llavero – 🇬🇧 can be translated as “key” and “keyring,” but in Colombia, they mean “mate”
  • 🇪🇸 gomía – 🇬🇧 the Argentinians have invented this word by changing the order of the letters in “amigo
  • 🇪🇸 gauche – 🇬🇧 means “pal” in Venezuela

Wow, that’s a lot to pick from, isn’t it? Be careful, though; Spanish slang and idiomatic expressions are often closely tight to a particular country. Misusing them might lead to sometimes funny and sometimes embarrassing situations. 

Now that we’ve clarified that important point, let’s play a little with the words from the list and see how this Spanish slang for Friend will sound in real sentences. 

🇪🇸 ¡Tanto tiempo, amigazo! ¡Hace meses que no te veía! ¿Cómo has estado!
🇬🇧 Long time no see, buddy! I haven’t seen you in months! How’ve you been?

🇪🇸 Si necesitas ayuda le puedo decir a mi compadre Pablo que te eche una mano.
🇬🇧 If you need help, I can ask my pal, Pablo, to give you a hand. 

🇪🇸 Oye weón, y si nos tomamos un par de cervezas?
🇬🇧 Listen, dude, why don’t we have a couple of beers?

🇪🇸 Disculpa, compa, ¿me prestas tu engrapadora un segundo, por favor?
🇬🇧 Sorry, (work)mate, will you lend me your stapler for a second, please?

🇪🇸 ¡Hola, hermano!  ¿Qué hay de tu vida? ¿Cómo va el trabajo?
🇬🇧 Hi, bro! How’s life? How’s work?

🇪🇸 No sabía que Pancho y Carlos eran tan yunta.
🇬🇧 I didn’t know Pancho and Carlos were such close friends / so tight. 

🇪🇸 Ay, chama, no me siento bien hoy. No sé qué me pasa.
🇬🇧 Ah, girl, I don’t feel very well today. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. 

🇪🇸 ¡Qué bueno verte, güey! Justo necesitaba hablar contigo. 
🇬🇧 Good to see you, mate! I need to talk to you about something. 

🇪🇸 Che, boludo, tengo una birra bien helada en la casa. ¿Vamos?
🇬🇧 Hey, dude, I have some icy co beer at home. Let’s go?

More Spanish Slang Words for Hanging Out With Friends

  • 🇪🇸 salir de fiesta / a carretear / a rumbear – 🇬🇧 to go partying
  • 🇪🇸 ligar / enrollarse / coquetear – 🇬🇧 to flirt, to pick up (girls or guys)
  • 🇪🇸 charlar / copuchar / chismear – 🇬🇧 to gossip
  • 🇪🇸 pelar (a alguien) – 🇬🇧 literally “to peel”, can also mean to talk about someone behind their back
  • 🇪🇸 perrear – 🇬🇧 to dance to reggaetón music, very popular in Latin America
  • 🇪🇸 tomarse una cervecita / una chela / una pola / una fría – 🇬🇧 to have a pint
  • 🇪🇸 fumarse un pucho / un pitillo / un cigarro – 🇬🇧 to have a smoke
  • 🇪🇸 pasarla bien / pasarlo chancho – 🇬🇧 to have a good time
  • 🇪🇸 relajarse / pasar un buen rato – 🇬🇧 to chill out
  • 🇪🇸 boludear – 🇬🇧 to hang out (Argentinean slang)

Let’s pretend you want to invite some of your Spanish speaking friends to hang out with you. What can you say?

🇪🇸 “Oigan, chicos, ¿qué les parece un carrete en mi casa este sábado?
🇬🇧 Listen, guys, how about a party at my place this Saturday?

🇪🇸 ¿Vamos a esa nueva disco que abrieron? Seguro que habrá muchas tías con las que ligar. 
🇬🇧 Let’s go to that new disco they’ve opened! I’m sure there are going to be lots of girls to flirt with.

🇪🇸 ¡Chamas, nos vemos el miércoles como siempre! ¡Me muero de ganas de pelar a mi nueva jefa!
🇬🇧 Girls, see you on Wednesday, as usual! I am dying to gossip about my new boss!

🇪🇸 Voy a salir a fumarme un pitillo. ¿Vas conmigo, hermano?
🇬🇧 I’m going out to have a smoke. You coming with me, bro?

🇪🇸 La pasé chancho en el cumpleaños de Juan. ¡Qué manera de reírnos!
🇬🇧 I had a blast at Juan’s birthday party. We laughed our heads off!

Speaking of birthdays, do you know how to say “Happy Birthday” in Spanish? If you don’t, make sure to catch up on the most common greetings in this language. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Joanna Lupa
Joanna Lupa
Polish by birth, Chilean by the turns of life. Has spent 20 years in that beautiful South American country working as a language teacher and translator. Has taught Spanish and English to students of all proficiency levels. Passionate about languages, books, and traveling. A mother of 2 trilingual teenagers.

Your Spanish Journey
Starts Here