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42 Spanish Slang Phrases for Cash from Across the World

Do you know that flies, turkeys, shrimps and mangoes are widespread currencies in some Spanish-speaking nations?

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

Should you lookup the phrase “cash” in a dictionary, you’ll in all probability simply get the time period dinero. Should you’re fortunate, you would possibly even see plata and billete.

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


1. pela

The place it’s used: Spain

Probably of Catalonian origin, the phrase pela comes from the verb pelar (to peel). This time period is among the commonest methods to consult with cash basically in Spain.

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

No ha venido porque no tiene pelas. (He hasn’t come as a result of he doesn’t have any cash.)

2. plata

The place it’s used: All Latin America

The phrase plata (“silver”) is among the most widespread methods to consult with cash, second solely to the phrase dinero itself.

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

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

3. mosca

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

Mosca (fly) is one other in style slang phrase Spanish-speaking folks like to make use of to consult with cash.

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

¡Afloja la mosca! (Shell out!)

4. luca

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

It is a very attention-grabbing phrase as a result of, regardless of referring to cash in a number of nations, you possibly can say it has a unique that means in every of them.

For the needs of this submit, let’s say that when you’re in any of the nations talked about above, a luca is 1,000 native financial items (apart from Peru, the place it means one financial unit).

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

Préstame cinco lucas verdes, mano. (Lend me 5 grand, bro.)

5. chatarra

The place it’s used: Spain

You’ll see Spain rather a lot on this submit, however that’s solely as a result of the phrases they use over there are very distinctive and nearly unique to the nation.

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

No me des tanta chatarra, Ana. (Don’t give me so many cash, Ana.)

6. billete

The place it’s used: All Latin America

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

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

7. pavo

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 listing.

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.)

8. lana

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 trade was booming in America. Should you had a variety of wool, you had been mainly a wealthy individual.

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

9. guitarra/guita

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

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

The quick type guita is especially utilized in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Spain and Uruguay.

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

10. kilo/quilo

The place it’s used: Cuba and Spain

kilo is a kilogram, and it has two completely different meanings with regards to 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 celebration.)

11. moni/monis/monís

The place it’s used: Cuba

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

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

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

12. cuartos

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

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

It can 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.)

13. parné

The place it’s used: Spain

It is a phrase that tends to seem very often in flamenco and sevillanas. So when you’re eager about 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), however it’s an accepted phrase in Spanish.

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

14. chirola

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 typically 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?)

15. quivo

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. (Now we have no cash left.)

16. biyuya/biyuyo/billuyo/billullo/biyullo/billuzo

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

Biyuyo and firm are one other in style set of phrases used to consult with cash.

There are nearly as many alternative spellings as nations the place they’re used, however all of them imply the identical factor: Cash!

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

17. morlaco

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 basically.

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.)

18. harina

The place it’s used: Costa Rica

Harina is one in all my favourite phrases on this listing. 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 are able to solely guess.

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

19. astilla

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

An astilla is a splinter.

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

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

20. baro/varo

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

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

Nonetheless, 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?)

21. pasta

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

Should you’re a pasta lover, you’ll be disillusioned to know the origin of pasta as a technique 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.)

22. cushqui

The place it’s used: Ecuador

This must be essentially the most uncommon but most lovely phrase on this listing.

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.)

23. papa

The place it’s used: El Salvador and Nicaragua

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

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

Should you had an excellent harvest, you possibly can contemplate your self wealthy. 

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

24. feria

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

A feria is a good or carnival, however it additionally refers to small change or to cash basically.

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

25. luz

The place it’s used: Honduras and Nicaragua

One other enjoyable technique to consult with cash is luz (“mild”). Nonetheless, 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.)

26. marmaja

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 a variety of sense!

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

27. pisto/pixto

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.)

28. morralla

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 a variety of small change.)

29. chen chen/chenchén

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.)

30. pirapire

The place it’s used: Paraguay

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

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

No hay pirapire. (There’s no cash.)

31. jurdel/jurdeles

The place it’s used: Spain

I promise that is the final time I speak about a phrase you may solely use in Spain. However I really like non-mainstream languages, and Caló is a good instance of 1.

Jurdel/jurdeles is a time period for cash you’ll hear typically when you’re eager about flamenco and comparable folklore music. Nearly all 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.)

32. chimbilín

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 leap from cactus to cash, however my guess is that the transversal reduce of a cereus cactus would possibly resemble a coin.

Necesitamos más chimbilín. (We want extra money.)

33. chavos

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. 

Nonetheless, 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.)

34. mango

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

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

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

35. gamba

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

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

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

It is because there was as soon as a 100 pesos observe in Chile that was the colour of a cooked shrimp!

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

36. palo

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 nations to refer to 1 million pesos.

Should you add the phrase verde (inexperienced) on the finish, it refers to one million {dollars}.

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

37. menudo

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

Typically talking, one thing menudo is one thing small.

This would possibly clarify why menudo refers to small change in a few nations.

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

38. tolete

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 actually imply “peso.”

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

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

39. teca

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 utterly 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.)

40. muna

The place it’s used: Venezuela

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

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

Dale sus munas. (Give him his cash.)

41. maracandaca

The place it’s used: El Salvador and Nicaragua

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

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

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

42. suelto

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

One thing suelto is one thing unfastened or untied. That’s in all probability 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, glad studying!



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