Ecua-slang – learning the local lingo

First of all, let me start with this. I love Spanish. I think I’m a little obsessed with it. I love hearing the language, I love reading it and most of all, I’m really enjoying the process of improving my own Spanish poco a poco (that’s little by little, by the way).

One of the coolest things about learning another language in-country is getting to know the local colloquialisms. You know you’re getting somewhere when you start to understand, and more importantly, learn to use local slang in the right context! And the locals love it!

So here’s my little list of Ecuadorian slang that I have picked up to add to your Ecua-dictionary. In no particular order:

  • ¡Que chévere! – one of the most common ways to say ‘How cool!’ or ‘How awesome!’
  • ¡Que bacán! – can also be translated to ‘How cool!’. My Quiteño friends especially like this one.
    Talking about Quiteños…
  • ¿Que fuefff?  – this is apparently super typical in Quito. They add ffff to the end of pretty much anything they can. Then ¿Que fue? (or ‘What’s up?’ becomes a fueffff
  • Super – this is a word used super often to say ‘very’ in Ecuador
  • Full – similarly to super, full is used all the time in front of adjectives or adverbs for emphasis. Full rico, full chévere (see what I did there? Two slang words in one expression!)
  • Mihin(a) – the best Ecuadorian equivalent for mate! Best accompanied by a cool fist bump when greeting a friend. Don’t forget to add the  at the end when addressing a female!
  • Ñeña(o) – this is probably my favourite. It’s an affectionate way to address someone close to you. The word derives from the indigenous Kichwa language and means sister (or brother). My host mum and her daughter in Quito used to call me ñeña all the time and I think it’s adorable!
  • Wawa – another Kichwa word which actually means baby but can be used to cheekily refer to a guy.

This is only a short list of the Ecuadorian slang I was introduced to, but if you’re looking for a comprehensive list, check out this blog post!

Happy slanging!


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