Mexican vs Spanish

Mexican Spanish vs. Spanish from Spain!   

Here is a collection of words, phrases and expressions contrasted between the Spanish spoken in Mexico and the Spanish spoken in Spain. Each word is given in Mexican Spanish, followed by the ‘peninsular’ version and then by the English translation. See if you can recognize the similarities and the differences. One thing is true though: Most of the Mexican Spanish is exactly the same as the Spanish spoken in all other countries. It is just the little differences that make you master the language perfectly and make you adapt to the place you live/work/travel.

1)  Mexican Spanish: abajo de

     Peninsular Spanish: debajo de

     In English: under, underneath

2)  Mexican Spanish: acá

     Peninsular Spanish: aquí

     In English: here

3)  Mexican Spanish: afuera

     Peninsular Spanish: fuera

     In English: outside

4)  Mexican Spanish: arete

     Peninsular Spanish: pendiente

     In English: earring

5)  Mexican Spanish: atrás de

     Peninsular Spanish: detrás

     In English: behind

6)  Mexican Spanish: aviso

     Peninsular Spanish: anuncio

     In English: announcement, advertisement

7)  Mexican Spanish: bañarse

     Peninsular Spanish: ducharse

     In English: to have a shower

8)  Mexican Spanish: baño, taza

     Peninsular Spanish: wáter

     In English: toilet

9)  Mexican Spanish: baño, regadera

     Peninsular Spanish: ducha

     In English: shower

10)  Mexican Spanish: bocinas

     Peninsular Spanish: bafles, parlantes, altavoces

     In English: speakers, loudspeakers

12)  Mexican Spanish: boleto

     Peninsular Spanish: billete

     In English: ticket

13)  Mexican Spanish: bolsa

     Peninsular Spanish: bolso

     In English: bag, handbag

14)  Mexican Spanish: botanas

     Peninsular Spanish: tapas

     In English: snacks, nibbles

15)  Mexican Spanish: ¡bueno!

     Peninsular Spanish: ¡hola!

     In English: hello! (on the phone)

16)  Mexican Spanish: burro

     Peninsular Spanish: tabla de planchar

     In English: ironing board

17)  Mexican Spanish: café

     Peninsular Spanish: marrón

     In English: brown, dark brown

18)  Mexican Spanish: calabacita

     Peninsular Spanish: calabacín

     In English: courgette

19)  Mexican Spanish: camarón

     Peninsular Spanish: gamba

     In English: prawn

20)  Mexican Spanish: camión

     Peninsular Spanish: autobús

     In English: coach, tour bus

21)  Mexican Spanish: carretera de cuota

     Peninsular Spanish: carretera de peaje

     In English: toll road

22)  Mexican Spanish: carro

     Peninsular Spanish: coche, auto

     In English: car

23)  Mexican Spanish: chabacano

     Peninsular Spanish: albaricoque

     In English: apricot

24)  Mexican Spanish: chamba

     Peninsular Spanish: trabajo

     In English: work

25)  Mexican Spanish: chambear

     Peninsular Spanish: trabajar

     In English: to work

26)  Mexican Spanish: celular

     Peninsular Spanish: móvil

     In English: mobile, cell phone

27)  Mexican Spanish: chango

     Peninsular Spanish: mono

     In English: monkey

28)  Mexican Spanish: checar

     Peninsular Spanish: verificar, chequear

     In English: to check

29)  Mexican Spanish: chupar

     Peninsular Spanish: beber, tomar alcohol

     In English: to booze

30)  Mexican Spanish: clóset

     Peninsular Spanish: ropero

     In English: closet, wardrobe

31)  Mexican Spanish: guardarropa

     Peninsular Spanish: ropero

     In English: cloakroom

32)  Mexican Spanish: corte

     Peninsular Spanish: tribunal

     In English: (law) court

33)  Mexican Spanish: costo

     Peninsular Spanish: coste

     In English: cost

34)  Mexican Spanish: departamento

     Peninsular Spanish: piso

     In English: flat, apartment

35)  Mexican Spanish: dulce

     Peninsular Spanish: caramelo

     In English: sweet, candy

36)  Mexican Spanish: durazno

     Peninsular Spanish: melocotón

     In English: peach

37)  Mexican Spanish: falla

     Peninsular Spanish: defecto

     In English: fault

38)  Mexican Spanish: (diá) feriado

     Peninsular Spanish: fiesta nacional

     In English: public holiday

39)  Mexican Spanish: flojera

     Peninsular Spanish: pereza

     In English: laziness

40)  Mexican Spanish: flojo

     Peninsular Spanish: perezoso

     In English: lazy, idle

41)  Mexican Spanish: foco

     Peninsular Spanish: bombilla

     In English: light bulb

42)  Mexican Spanish: gancho

     Peninsular Spanish: percha

     In English: clothes hanger

43)  Mexican Spanish: güevón

     Peninsular Spanish: perezoso

     In English: lazy, bone-idle

44)  Mexican Spanish: hablar

     Peninsular Spanish: llamar

     In English: to phone, call

45)  Mexican Spanish: hongos

     Peninsular Spanish: champiñones

     In English: (edible) mushrooms

46)  Mexican Spanish: jugo

     Peninsular Spanish: zumo

     In English: (fruit) juice

47)  Mexican Spanish: lagarto

     Peninsular Spanish: aligátor, caimán

     In English: alligator

48)  Mexican Spanish: manejar

     Peninsular Spanish: conducir

     In English: to drive (a vehicle)

49)  Mexican Spanish: ¿qué onda?

     Peninsular Spanish: ¿qué tal?

     In English: how’s it going?

50)  Mexican Spanish: buena onda

     Peninsular Spanish: amigable

     In English: friendly, easy-going

51)  Mexican Spanish: ostión

     Peninsular Spanish: N/A

     In English: (type of large) oyster

52)  Mexican Spanish: padre

     Peninsular Spanish: estupendo

     In English: amazing

53)  Mexican Spanish: pay, pie

     Peninsular Spanish: tarta

     In English: pie

54)  Mexican Spanish: pesero

     Peninsular Spanish: autobús

     In English: bus, town-centre minibus

55)  Mexican Spanish: planeación

     Peninsular Spanish: planificación

     In English: planning

56)  Mexican Spanish: platillo fuerte

     Peninsular Spanish: segundo plato

     In English: main course, dish

57)  Mexican Spanish: pluma

     Peninsular Spanish: bolígrafo

     In English: pen

58)  Mexican Spanish: prestar

     Peninsular Spanish: pedir prestado

     In English: borrow

59)  Mexican Spanish: seguido

     Peninsular Spanish: a menudo

     In English: often

60)  Mexican Spanish: ustedes

     Peninsular Spanish: vosotros

     In English: you (familiar, pl)

61)  Mexican Spanish: voltear(se)

     Peninsular Spanish: volver(se)

     In English: to turn round



About Mexican Spanish:

As it happens, the Spanish language is spoken by hundreds of millions of people all over the world. And everywhere it is spoken in a slightly different variation. This is not to say that Mexicans and Argentines don’t understand each other. But what it does mean is that there are words you use in one place, that you simply don’t use in another place. Mexican Spanish has assumed quite an important role in the Spanish speaking AND the English speaking world due to the proximity of Mexico with the USA.

The Spanish language came to Mexico by means of being a Spanish colony. The Spanish spoken in Spain then evolved differently from the Spanish spoken in Mexico. This is why there are words, phrases and expressions in Mexican Spanish, that are not commonly used, or sometimes totally unknown to people from Spain.

This site is an attempt to collect all the features of Mexican Spanish that are different from the Spanish spoken in other places.

Feel free to contribute to the collection as it should be ever expanding.

Happy Spanish learning!

Saludos, the Mexican-Spanish Team


– News in Spanish: – | Titulares de Sección Internacional


Useful Links:

To get an overview of what Mexican Spanish means and where it comes from you can start by looking at the Wikipedia article.

Mexican Spanish comes in most useful when you are traveling to the country or when you have business relations there. A site that can help you with a lot of background information for planning your trip and for many other things is this one:

The Guadalajara Language centre,, will be a useful stopping point for you if you are trying to learn Mexican Spanish or simply brush up the Spanish you already know.

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