Home Language Learning 42 Spanish Slang Phrases for Cash from Across the World

42 Spanish Slang Phrases for Cash from Across the World

42 Spanish Slang Phrases for Cash from Across the World


money in spanish slang

Do you know that flies, turkeys, shrimps and mangoes are frequent currencies in some Spanish-speaking international locations?

No, I haven’t gone mad. I’m simply utilizing Spanish cash slang!

When you search for the phrase “cash” in a dictionary, you’ll most likely simply get the time period dinero. When you’re fortunate, you may even see plata and billete.

However with a various 21 international locations having Spanish as their official language, there’s an enormous wealth of slang for this time period. Listed below are 43 good ones to get you began.


The place it’s used: Spain

Probably of Catalonian origin, the phrase pela comes from the verb pelar (to peel). This time period is without doubt one of the most typical methods to consult with cash typically in Spain.

It’s usually used within the plural (pelas).

The place it’s used: All Latin America

The phrase plata (“silver”) is without doubt one of the most widespread methods to consult with cash, second solely to the phrase dinero itself.

Even individuals who don’t use this phrase every day know its which means. So, if doubtful, be at liberty to make use of it each time you might be in Latin America.

No tenemos plata, güey.
(We don’t have any cash, man.)

The place it’s used: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay

Mosca (fly) is one other well-liked slang phrase Spanish-speaking individuals like to make use of to consult with cash.

In Spanish, you’ll be able to say el dinero vuela (lit. cash flies), and from that to calling it a mosca was only a matter of time.

The place it’s used: Primarily Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela

This can be a very fascinating phrase as a result of, regardless of referring to cash in a number of international locations, you could possibly say it has a special which means in every of them.

For the needs of this put up, let’s say that for those who’re in any of the international locations talked about above, a luca is 1,000 native financial models (apart from Peru, the place it means one financial unit).

It’s even frequent to listen to the expression luca verde (inexperienced luca) to consult with 1,000 US {dollars}.

The place it’s used: Spain

You’ll see Spain quite a bit on this put up, however that’s solely as a result of the phrases they use over there are very distinctive and virtually unique to the nation.

Chatarra means “scrap steel,” so it’s straightforward to grasp why Spaniards name their cash that.

The place it’s used: All Latin America

A billete is a banknote (amongst different issues), and it’s additionally a brilliant frequent method to consult with cash typically in Latin America.

Préstame billete, loco.
(Lend me some cash, bro.)

The place it’s used: Spain

As soon as once more, we’ve got Spain by itself, however I couldn’t resist including this phrase to the record.

Pavo means “turkey,” and it’s a time period Spaniards use to consult with the US greenback.

Pagó 500 pavos por ese reloj.
(He paid $500 for that watch.)

The place it’s used: Primarily Mexico, Panama and Peru

Lana (wool) is a phrase you may need heard whereas watching a Mexican telenovela, because it’s one of many phrases they use to consult with cash.

That is thought to have originated within the period when the wool business was booming in America. When you had quite a lot of wool, you have been mainly a wealthy individual.

No me queda mucha lana.
 (I don’t have some huge cash left.)

The place it’s used: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Spain and Uruguay

You most likely acknowledge the Spanish cognate guitarra (guitar), however do you know that’s what they name cash in Bolivia?

The brief type guita is principally utilized in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Spain and Uruguay.

No tengo guita, boludo.
 (I don’t have any cash, bro.)

The place it’s used: Cuba and Spain

kilo is a kilogram, and it has two totally different meanings in the case of cash.

In Spain, it means a million pesetas (approx. 6,780 US {dollars}), however in Cuba it means one penny. That’s fairly a distinction!

La fiesta no me costó ni un quilo.
 (I didn’t spend a penny on the occasion.)

The place it’s used: Cuba

An apparent borrowing of the phrase “cash,” moni and its kinds are primarily utilized in Cuba.

Nevertheless, it’s more and more tough to discover a Spanish-speaking one that doesn’t know the which means of the time period.

Yo no tengo moni, compay.
 (I don’t have any cash, buddy.)

The place it’s used: Primarily the Dominican Republic and Spain

The phrase cuarto means “fourth,” “quarter” and “room.”

It will also be used (usually within the plural type) to consult with cash within the Dominican Republic and Spain, primarily.

Se pulió los cuartos en un auto.
 (He wasted his cash on a automotive.)

The place it’s used: Spain

This can be a phrase that tends to seem very often in flamenco and sevillanas. So for those who’re concerned with Spanish folklore music, this one is helpful to know.

Parné comes from the Caló language (the language spoken by the Romani in Portugal and Spain), but it surely’s an accepted phrase in Spanish.

Mi hermano no tiene parné.
 (My brother doesn’t have any cash.)

The place it’s used: Argentina

Chirola is an instance from the Lunfardo jargon of Argentina, and it refers to low-value cash. It’s usually used to explain small portions of money, and it’s generally used within the plural.

¿Me prestás unas chirolas, bolu?
(Are you able to lend me a number of cash, bro?)

The place it’s used: Bolivia

I’ve tried my hardest to analysis why Bolivians name cash quivo, however I haven’t been capable of finding something.

Just one factor is for certain: It’s just about solely utilized in Bolivia.

Nos quedamos sin quivo.
 (We’ve no cash left.)

The place it’s used: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela 

Biyuyo and firm are one other well-liked set of phrases used to consult with cash.

There are virtually as many various spellings as international locations the place they’re used, however all of them imply the identical factor: Cash!

Me quedé sin biyuyo.
 (I’ve no cash left.)

The place it’s used: Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico and Uruguay

The phrase morlaco is one other Lunfardism that’s used to consult with cash typically.

The time period began getting used to consult with cash by low-income immigrants round 1900.

Ese auto cuesta unos buenos morlacos.
 (That automotive is kind of costly.)

The place it’s used: Costa Rica

Harina is certainly one of my favourite phrases on this record. It means “flour,” and it’s primarily utilized in Costa Rica.

As soon as once more, I haven’t been capable of finding the rationale why this time period is used to consult with cash, so we will solely guess.

Mae, me quedé sin harina.
 (Bro, I’ve no cash left.)

The place it’s used: Primarily Cuba (much less steadily in Argentina)

An astilla is a splinter.

The DRAE (Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary) contains the expression sacar astilla (to make a revenue), which might clarify why astilla ended up which means cash in Cuba.

Me quedé sin astilla.
 (I’ve no cash left.)

The place it’s used: Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico

The phrases baro/varo are primarily utilized in three international locations, they usually usually consult with a peso.

Nevertheless, in Cuba, they’ll additionally describe an enormous sum of cash.

¿Me prestas un baro, güey?
(Are you able to lend me a peso, bro?)

The place it’s used: Cuba, Mexico and Spain (much less steadily in Argentina)

When you’re a pasta lover, you’ll be dissatisfied to know the origin of pasta as a method to consult with cash comes from the molten steel paste that was as soon as used to mint cash. Sorry!

Haría cualquier cosa por la pasta.
 (He’d do something for cash.)

The place it’s used: Ecuador

This must be probably the most uncommon but most stunning phrase on this record.

It comes from Kichwa kullki, which implies “cash.”

No sé qué hacer con mi cushqui.
(I don’t know what to do with my cash.)

The place it’s used: El Salvador and Nicaragua

Papa means “potato” in Spanish, which provides one more food-related phrase to our record.

The hyperlink between cash and potatoes comes from when the potato was the principle technique of subsistence for the indigenous peoples.

When you had an excellent harvest, you could possibly contemplate your self wealthy. 

Ya no queda papa.
 (There’s no cash left.)

The place it’s used: Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico

A feria is a good or carnival, but it surely additionally refers to small change or to cash typically.

No tengo feria, mano.
(I don’t have any cash, bro.)

The place it’s used: Honduras and Nicaragua

One other enjoyable method to consult with cash is luz (“gentle”). Nevertheless, I haven’t been capable of finding a single supply explaining how this happened. Maybe it’s from the glint of shiny cash?

No traigo luz.
 (I don’t have any cash on me.)

The place it’s used: Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and Peru

Marmaja comes from the Greek marmarízō, which implies “to shine.”

Once more, cash is shiny, so I feel this one makes quite a lot of sense!

Rogelito tiene mucha marmaja.
 (Rogelito has some huge cash.)

The place it’s used: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras

pisto is, amongst different issues, a vegetable fry (all this speak of meals is making me hungry!).

It’s additionally a phrase you should use to consult with cash in El Salvador (the place it’s very generally used), Guatemala and Honduras.

Te gastaste todo el pisto, viejo.
(You’ve spent all the cash, bro.)

The place it’s used: Mexico

Morralla actually means “whitefish.” It’s additionally a phrase Mexicans use to consult with small change.

Tengo pura morralla.
 (I’ve quite a lot of small change.)

The place it’s used: Panama

In English, money registers go “ka-ching!”

In Panama, they take the phrase for that sound and use it to imply cash. Neat!

Me quedé sin chenchén, primo.
(I’ve no cash left, bro.)

The place it’s used: Paraguay

That is one other stunning instance of indigenous phrases and meals being included into Spanish.

Pira pire (two phrases) means “fish pores and skin” in Guaraní. However whenever you write these two phrases collectively (pirapire), they imply cash.

No hay pirapire.
 (There’s no cash.)

The place it’s used: Spain

I promise that is the final time I discuss a phrase you’ll be able to solely use in Spain. However I like non-mainstream languages, and Caló is a good instance of 1.

Jurdel/jurdeles is a time period for cash you’ll hear usually for those who’re concerned with flamenco and comparable folklore music. The vast majority of my Spanish college students love the subject, so my guess is that you’ll, too.

Necesito sacarme unos jurdeles.
 (I have to earn some cash.)

The place it’s used: Panama

The phrase chimbilín comes from chimbil (the fruit of the cereus cactus) and the Spanish suffix -ín.

I haven’t discovered any dependable supply explaining the soar from cactus to cash, however my guess is that the transversal minimize of a cereus cactus may resemble a coin.

Necesitamos más chimbilín.
 (We want extra money.)

The place it’s used: Puerto Rico

Each time I hear the phrase chavo (“baby,” “teenager”), the very first thing that involves my thoughts is Mexico’s El Chavo del Ocho. 

Nevertheless, this phrase has nothing to do with the sitcom or kids in Puerto Rico, because it’s a synonym for cash.

No tengo chavos.
(I don’t have any cash.)

The place it’s used: Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay

Mangoes are scrumptious however the phrase mango with the which means of cash doesn’t come from the fruit however from the Lunfardo time period marengo, which most likely refers to a coin minted after Napoleon’s victory within the Battle of Marengo.

No tenemos un mango.
(We don’t have any cash.)

The place it’s used: Argentina, Chile and Uruguay

We add one other meals phrase to the record with gamba, which is Spanish for “shrimp”.

On the subject of cash, it’s generally used to consult with a 100 pesos be aware. 

It’s because there was as soon as a 100 pesos be aware in Chile that was the colour of a cooked shrimp!

Préstame gamba, pana.
 (Lend me some cash, bro.)

The place it’s used: Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Peru

Palo primarily means a stick, a membership or a pole.

It’s additionally a phrase that’s utilized in a few Spanish-speaking international locations to refer to 1 million pesos.

When you add the phrase verde (inexperienced) on the finish, it refers to 1,000,000 {dollars}.

Me costó tres palos.
 (It value me three million pesos.) 

The place it’s used: Costa Rica, Cuba and Puerto Rico

Usually talking, one thing menudo is one thing small.

This may clarify why menudo refers to small change in a few international locations.

Necesito menudo para la guagua.
 (I would like change for the bus.)

The place it’s used: Cuba and the Dominican Republic

This one’s fairly a harmful phrase. 

Tolete means “oarlock/rowlock” actually.

If it’s utilized in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, it could possibly imply “peso.”

When you use it wherever else (and even in these two international locations relying on the context), it’ll primarily imply “male reproductive organ.”

Préstame 5000 toletes.
 (Lend me 5,000 pesos.)

The place it’s used: Argentina and Uruguay

Teca means teak in Spanish, and it’s primarily used within the Montevideo space.

It’s not fully clear why this phrase began to consult with a sum of cash, however one of many theories is that it comes from the Lunfardism tela, which additionally refers to cash.

No tengo teca para viajar a Montevideo.
 (I don’t have any cash to journey to Montevideo.)

The place it’s used: Venezuela

There isn’t a transparent rationalization as to why muna began for use to consult with cash.

My private concept is that it comes from the verb munir, which implies “to offer with one thing.”

Dale sus munas.
 (Give him his cash.)

The place it’s used: El Salvador and Nicaragua

The phrase maracandaca presumably comes from the phrase macaco, which was certainly one of the primary cash in Central America.

These days, it usually refers to cash typically in El Salvador, and to a córdoba in Nicaragua.

¿Dónde están las maracandacas?
 (The place’s the cash?)

The place it’s used: Ecuador and Spain (much less steadily in Mexico)

One thing suelto is one thing free or untied. That’s most likely how this got here to be one other phrase to consult with small change.

No tengo suelto.
 (I don’t have any change.)


Phew! That was intense!

With so some ways to consult with cash, you’ll know precisely which slang phrase to make use of in every Spanish-speaking nation.

And now begin saving that plata and finding out some extra Spanish to your subsequent journey.

Keep curious, my associates, and as all the time, blissful studying!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here