How to sound cool on a night out in Spain

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How to sound cool on a night out in Spain
Spain has more bars and restaurants per capita than any other country in the world. Photos: Gianni Cumbo

Ever wondered how to shout out 'what a rip-off' when a Spanish waiter overcharges you? The Local lists some of Spain's essential bar culture slang.


Ask Spaniards abroad what they miss most about home and you're likely to get three answers: the weather, mum's cooking and "la marcha" - Spain's exciting social life.

Bar culture is an essential part of Spanish people's day-to-day routine, with more bars and restaurants per capita than any other country in the world.

It's where families and friends meet to eat, drink and chat to their hearts' content.

As Mark McKinnon, author of Spanish-English slang dictionary Word Up, says: "If you are a GUIRI (foreigner) and you want to be cool, then you should get to know the bar culture."

Luckily, Mark McKinnon's has provided this essential guide to his favourite Spanish slang to help you sound cool on a night out with the locals.

Ok, so your PEÑA (crowd) has pulled your arm and convinced you to SALIR DE MARCHA (go out partying)...

...You stumble into a BARETO (boozer) and kick off a crazy night with a round of CHUPITOS (shots)...

...The bar is CAÑERO (jumping/lively) so you all order a CUBATA (a spirit with a mixer) and a CAÑA (beer)...


...By the time you've downed your drink you decide to try your luck at PILLAR CACHO (get some action) by managing to ENTRAR A (chat up) UNA TÍA (bird/ chick) whose TÍO (bloke/ guy) has gone to the toilet...

...You shout out MENUDA CLAVADA (what a rip off) when the barman overcharges you, taking advantage of your drunken state...

...You quickly head out to SACAR PELAS (withdraw money) but you keep an eye out for CHORIZOS (thieves) who might want to pickpocket you...


...It all turns into a bit of a blur when you join a BOTELLÓN (big booze up outside in the streets or squares) and run off home when the MONOS (police) chase the crowd off…

...The next day you have a killer RESACA (hangover) but you have to CURRAR (work). It's your turn to PRINGAR (slog it out) and you only have yourself to blame. Still, what a night!


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