The days when your Spanish writing skills were only used for penning a letter or finishing an essay are over — now we’re sending texts and posting on social media instead.
To transfer your formal writing skills into the digital age, you’ll need to pick up some common Spanish internet slang. Master these words and phrases so you can keep up with your group texts and Spanish friends’ Instagram comments and DMs.
Similar to how we shorten words in English to save space and time typing on your phone, you’ll find when texting your Spanish-speaking friends that some words lose a few letters.
If a word begins with es, like estoy or esta, you can drop the first two letters for a more succinct message. Estoy becomes toy and esta bien is often written as ta b.
Other common words like que, which can mean both what and which, are frequently shortened to just q when written online, and usually connotes confusion.
Gracias can be written as grx or grax, and a combination of bien and bueno is often used in Spanish internet slang as bno, usually to express agreement.
You’ll also often see letters switched around — the most common example is the letters q and c, which both become k. The word que alone can be written as k or q, so quiero becomes kiero, and aquí becomes aki.
The letter x is also common in Spanish text slang, and usually stands in for the word por. Por favor can be written as xfa, and porque is xq. The word para is also shortened with an x and written as xa, so para que might appear in a text as xa q.
X also commonly replaces the letters ch in Spanish internet slang. Mucho can be written as mxo and chau as xau.
In English, you’re probably familiar with abbreviations like TTYL that are used in most online communication. Spanish internet speak has its own abbreviated phrases, which can help you text and message online like a local. Keep in mind that some well-known English text abbreviations like LOL and OMG are also used in Spanish.
Te quiero mucho = TQM or TKM
Tqm can be used in a light-hearted and casual way to express your affection for whoever happens to be on the other end of the message. It’s less formal than te amo, and might be used colloquially with friends or someone you’re in a relationship with.
Besito = BST
Te amo mucho = TAM
Para tu información = PTI
Quien = kn
Entonces = ntnc/tonces
Genial = gnl
Callate = kyat
Fin de semana = fin d
Estoy muerto = KO
Venis = VNS
Tengo que irme = TQI/TKI
No pasa nada = NPN
Verdad = vrd/vdd
This abbreviation can be used to simply mean true or truth, but also can act similarly to the word “right” in English at the end of a sentence.
No te preocupes = ntp
Vienes = vns
If you made plans to meet a friend and they haven’t arrived yet, vns is a common way of asking where they are, similar to wya in English internet slang.
Gracias por invitar = GPI
Numbers and symbols
You might be familiar with the way that symbols can stand in for letters in English, and the same is true for Spanish! Rather than writing saludos to greet your Spanish friends, try salu2 instead.
Similarly, you can replace cien with 100, as they’re the same pronunciation when read aloud. You can write recién as re100, or siempre as 100pre.
Just as you might respond to a friend’s text with hahaha in English, Spanish speakers use jajajaja, jejejeje, or jijijiji.
Whether you want to keep up with a group chat or are trying to understand your Spanish-speaking friends’ social media pages, these slang phrases and spellings are sure to be useful. Practice texting like a local and use your Spanish skills on your own social media accounts!