Arts & Culture How do you say "cool" in Spanish? It depends on what country you're in!

Published on February 9th, 2011 | by Mark Chesnut

How do you say "cool" in Spanish? It depends on what country you're in!

How To Say “Cool” in Spanish? There are Lots of Ways!

As I struggled to come up with ways to capture the interest of a group of seventh- and eighth-grade Spanish classes recently, I decided to share some “insider” slang that might resonate with the students. You may have already seen my earlier post, about this, Texting and Instant Messaging in Spanish, so now I’m sharing some more of what I presented. 

We all want to be cool, right? Well, in Spanish — just like in English — there are countless ways to say that something is cool, fly, groovy, phat or (as I learned recently from the students) beastly. In some cases, it depends on the age of the speaker, and in other cases, it depends on the country in which they live. Here are a few ways to say “cool” in Spanish that I’ve learned during my travels. 

• Bacano (Colombia)
• Bárbaro
• Brutal
• Chévere (Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, coastal Colombia)
• Chido (Mexico)
• Cool (Panama, as in “¡Que cool!”)
• Copado (Argentina)
• Genial
• Guay (Spain)
• Padre (Mexico)
• Regio
• Tuane (Costa Rica, Nicaragua)
• Vacano (Dominican Republic) 

Please share any words that I’ve left out!

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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