Slang 101: ‘Bellaco,’ ‘Dura,’ ‘Mami’, ‘Combi completa’ & More

In the contemporary music genres such as trap, reggaeton, rap & even pop, slang is commonly used to add authenticity and style

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Music is something that breaks the boundaries of language and transcends them; it’s probably one of the purest forms of communication that exists. Through music, we can find a sense of identification, as a song can harmonize with our emotions.  

Another aspect revolutionizing language is the contemporary music genres like trap, reggaeton, rap, hip-hop, and even pop. In all these genres, it’s common to encounter words that, despite our knowledge of or fluency in Spanish, might be unfamiliar to us. 

In all these genres, slang is commonly used to add authenticity, style, and a connection with the public. Song lyrics often incorporate slang terms to reflect the culture and experiences of the artists themselves, as well as those who feel represented or identified with that music. 

‘What Do You Mean?’ 

Slang is a type of casual and informal language used in everyday situations or among specific groups. It consists of words, expressions, or phrases that are popular in certain social or cultural contexts, but they don’t typically belong to formal or standard language. 

Slang varies depending on the region, community, or social group of the speaker. Often, slang emerges as a unique and creative form of expression that reflects current trends, pop culture, and social dynamics. It’s used to convey feelings, ideas, or concepts in a more personal and relatable way among friends, young people, or individuals with shared interests. 

Artists such as Guaynaa, has named himself after a slang word that is derived from a Puerto Rican expression that denotes a wealthy or high-class person; someone who belongs to the upper class, dress expensively and with glamour, or as defined by the singer, ‘to be the child of a doctor or lawyer’.

Getty Images. 

Slang In Songs 

     Something very interesting about trap music is how it breaks down language barriers and rises above them. This genre not only blends musical rhythms like reggaeton, rap, and hip-hop; within the same song, its lyrics combine various languages and expressions. It’s an inclusive genre of languages, which is why it’s reaching so many different countries—United States, Spain, Argentina, and the rest of Latin America» explained Paula Fernández, a linguist from the language learning app Babbel. 

Creating a comprehensive glossary of all the slang used in every region of all Spanish-speaking countries would be quite challenging. However, we’ve compiled some of the most widely recognized ones (including examples from Billboard and ámbito). 

It’s important to note that the meanings and usage of these words can vary depending on the context and region. Nevertheless, these are generally their meanings. 


ALGARETE: In reggaeton lyrics, it means going crazy as hell.


BEBECITA: It’s a way to say ‘baby.’ The term regained popularity when Anuel AA gave his (now ex) girlfriend Karol G this nickname on social media.

@facu_lyricsss 😍👹. || #facu_lyricsss #facu_trpx #anuel #anuelaa #realhastalamuerte #fyp #parati #capcut #viral #karolg ♬ sonido original – 𝖋𝖆𝖈𝖚𝖚 †

BELLACO / A: In its strict definition, the word refers to someone bad, mischievous, or rascal; however, in some countries like Puerto Rico, it has a more sexy connotation. It’s also used to describe someone who is se*ually aroused.

BICHO: In many Latin American countries, «bicho» is another word for insect, but in reggaeton lyrics, it refers to a man’s private part.


CALLEJERO/A: Related to street life, often used to describe a strong or authentic attitude.

CANGRI: Represents a person who is a champion, the best or even important.

CHAVOS: Another term used for ‘money.’ In Mexico, it is also a way to refer to young people.

COMBI COMPLETA: «Combi completa» is used to describe a person who has the «whole package.»

@laresistencia_cero EL ORIGEN DE LA COMBI COMPLETA #davidbroncano #broncano #laresistenciamovistar #chochaculoteta #daddyyankee #nickyjam #musica #puertorico🇵🇷 ♬ sonido original – La Resistencia en M+

CORILLO: This term is used to refer to a group of friends. In other words, your ‘crew,’ your ‘squad.’


DARLE DURO: Working hard or putting effort into something.

DURA: It’s literal translation means “hard,” but in urban lyrics it’s used to describe a woman who looks really good.


FLOW: Having «flow» means having style, following the rhythm, and letting yourself be carried away by the music.


GUAYO: Zion and Lennox told Billboard that ‘guayo’ is another word for ‘perreo,’ which means dancing in a dirty way.

GÜERO: Is Mexican slang for a person with pale skin or blonde hair, and is often used to denote the complete opposite.

GUCCI: In trap music, well-known luxury brands are often mentioned to emphasize the meaning of lyrics. In this case, saying ‘everything is Gucci’ is a way of saying everything is ‘very good.’


LA PELÍCULA / LA MOVIE: Someone who creates a fantasy about their life.

LIGAR: Getting someone’s romantic interest, flirting.


MAMI: Affectionate way of addressing an attractive woman.

MATA EL TIEMPO: Doing something to pass the time without a specific purpose.

MERA: Simply put, is another way of saying ‘mira,’ basically another way of saying ‘look.’

MODODIABLO: Means ‘feel alive.’ This expression was popularized by Duki, the famous Argentine trap artist, and is used when someone has a lot of energy or a desire to do something.

Duki Announces New Album Antes de Amari
Duki at his concert in Madrid. Ricardo Rubio/Getty Images.


PAPI: Affectionate way of addressing an attractive man.

PARCHAR: A Colombian word used to describe a group of friends who gather to do something.

PERREAR: ‘Perreo’ is the term used to describe the popular dance style in reggaeton.

PIQUETE: Having a lot of style, a lot of flow.

PICHAR: Ignoring someone.

PILLÉ: This term means that someone was caught in action.

PONERSE AL TIRO: Being alert or ready, often aggressively.

PONERSE LAS PILAS: Getting into action or putting in more effort.


SKERE: Used to end a sentence where we say something is good.


TIRAERA: This term describes when two artists are in a lyrical battle.

TIRAR ONDA: Flirting.


VAINA: Used to refer to a situation or thing, similar to ‘thing’ or ‘matter.’

Did you already know how many of them?