What does Guay mean in Spanish? Spaniards use this slang term all the time

‘Guay’ graphic by Saydung89 via Pixabay

If you spend more than about 15 minutes in Spain, you will eventually hear a Spaniard use the word ‘Guay’.

A slang term that has been in use for decades, but has become one of the most popular terms for people under the age of 40 in recent years.

What does ‘Guay’ mean in Spanish? Is it polite, when can you use it, and with whom?



What does Guay mean in Spanish?

Now, I have no idea if Guay is often used in other countries where Spanish is the national language but, here in Spain, Guay is used for tens of thousands of situations and by millions of Spaniards.

What does Guay mean?

Simply — “cool”.

That’s why you can be walking on a street in Spain and suddenly hear someone exclaim “Esa bolsa es guay” — “That bag is cool”.

And yes, Guay is polite, or at least not rude, and it can be used in any situation where you find a thing, a person or a situation “cool”. Even with people who are older, as they will likely have heard the slang term before.

La casa de papel es guay”.

Yes, that Spanish Netflix series (Money Heist in English) is cool.

Now, if you need any help pronouncing ‘guay’, that is where the fabulous pronunciation website Forvo can help.