If you are over thirty and grew up on a steady diet of cartoons, watching and rewatching them until your parents turned off the television and forced you to get productive, you may have been productive after all, in fact you might even have been learning a little Spanish. Of all the Looney Tunes characters, one of the most memorable members of the cast is Speedy Gonzalez, the fastest Mouse in Mexico. In all likelihood, you probably learned your first Spanish slang word from his trademark “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!” catchphrase. The word “ándale” is so commonly used in Mexico that it’s hard to find a region in the country where is doesn’t come in handy, yet this word is still absent from most Spanish language dictionaries. Knowing the meaning of this interjection is an absolute essential if you’re interested in communicating in a more expressive way in Spanish.
Similar to other slang words, “ándale” has a wide range of uses and meanings. It can be used to express encouragement, surprise, frustration and affirmation, to name just a few. Meaning can also be inferred through context and the tone of the speaker’s voice, so that even without knowing the meaning, we already know that Speedy is encouraging us. His signature catchphrase “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba¡” actually translates into something comparable to “C’mon, c’mon, giddyup, giddyup!” Here are three ways in which you can use this word:
Ándale, vamos al parque. (Alright, let’s go to the park.)
¡Ándale, tenemos que irnos! (Hurry up! We have to leave!)
¡Ándale, que llegamos tarde a la boda! (Come on, we’re running late to the wedding!)
“Ándale” is as authentically Mexican as it gets and if you ever find yourself in a situation where someone is shouting “ándale, ándale” at you, you’ll know exactly what to do. So there you have it, you’re one step closer to speaking Spanish like a true Mexican.