Cuban slang words

Sound Native With 16 Cuban Slang Words

Hey there, fellow language enthusiasts! Are you ready to add some flair to your Spanish conversations? Well, get ready to dive into the vibrant world of Cuban slang words that will have you speaking like a local in no time. Slang is like the secret language of a culture – it’s the colorful expressions and colloquialisms that make you feel like you belong. In this blog post, we’ll explore what slang is all about, why learning Cuban slang is a game-changer, and introduce you to 16 fantastic Cuban slang words along with examples that will have you sounding like a true native. Let’s jump in!

What’s Slang, Anyway?

Slang is the linguistic spice that flavors everyday conversation. It’s the cool cousin of formal language, the casual banter that adds personality and authenticity to interactions. Slang often reflects the unique experiences, history, and influences of a particular group or culture. Think about it – when you’re hanging out with your friends, you’re more likely to drop slang terms that wouldn’t necessarily befit a formal setting.

Why You Should Learn Cuban Slang Words

Learning Cuban slang is like getting an exclusive backstage pass to the heart and soul of the island’s culture. While standard Spanish is perfectly fine, incorporating slang into your vocabulary allows you to connect with locals on a deeper level. It’s a way to show respect, break down barriers, and truly immerse yourself in the Cuban way of life. Plus, using slang words will earn you instant street cred and a knowing nod from those in the know.

16 Cuban Slang Words with Examples

1. Chévere: (Adj.) Meaning “cool” or “awesome.”

Example: “¡Esa fiesta estuvo chévere!” (That party was awesome!)

2. Guagua: (Noun) A bus.

Example: “Nos vamos a la playa en bus.” (We’re heading to the beach by bus.)

3. Chavito: (Noun) A small coin, usually a cent.

Example: “Me costó solo cinco chavitos.” (It only cost me five cents.)

4. Bistec: (Noun) Literally meaning “steak,” it’s used to refer to someone who’s brave or tough.   

Example: “Ese boxeador es un bistec.” (That boxer is tough as nails.)

5. Jama: (Noun) Food or a meal.

Example: “Vamos a comer la jama.” (Let’s go eat the food.)

6. Candela: (Noun) Fire, but also used to describe a difficult situation or something intense. 

Example: “¡Esa película está candela!” (That movie is intense!)

7. Chisme: (Noun) Gossip.

Example: “Siempre hay rumores en el vecindario.” (There’s always gossip in the neighborhood.)

8. Chivatón/Chivatona: (Noun) A snitch or someone who tells on others.

Example: “No le cuentes nada, es un chivatón.” (Don’t tell him anything, he’s a snitch.)

9. Tranquilo/a: (Adj.) Calm down or relax.

Example: “Relájate, todo saldrá bien.” (Relax, everything will turn out fine.)

10. Cajita de fósforos: (Phrase) A small and compact person.

Example: “Mi sobrino es una cajita de fósforos.” (My nephew is a small and compact person.)

11. Jinetero/a: (Noun) A hustler or someone who tries to take advantage of tourists.

Example: “Mantén los ojos abiertos ante los jineteros en la calle.” (Keep your eyes open for the hustlers on the street.)

12. Luchar el paquete: (Phrase) To struggle with something difficult.

Example: “Estoy luchando el paquete de matemáticas.” (I’m struggling with the math assignment.)

13. Causa: (Noun) Friend or buddy.

Example: “Voy a salir con mis causas esta noche.” (I’m going out with my buddies tonight.)

14. Picadillo: (Noun) A mess or something chaotic.

Example: “Mi cuarto está hecho un picadillo.” (My room is a mess.)

15. Candela: (Adj.) Awesome or impressive.

Example: “¡Ese concierto estuvo candela!” (That concert was amazing!)

16. Trabuco: (Noun) A big problem or a difficult situation.

Example: “Este examen es un trabuco.” (This exam is a tough one.)


My fellow language adventurers, you’re now armed with the keys to the Cuban linguistic treasure chest. These 16 Cuban slang words are your ticket to sounding like a true native and making unforgettable connections on the island. From the ‘chévere’ parties to the ‘trabuco’ challenges, you’ll navigate Cuba’s vibrant culture with ease and flair. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to take your Spanish to the next level, and where better to do it than in Cuba itself! Pack your bags, and let’s embark on an unforgettable journey of language and culture. ¡Vamos! Learn Spanish in Cuba, and let your adventure begin!