The Meaning of Orale: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of órale? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word órale, including its definition, etymology, usage, example uses, and more!

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What does the word órale mean?

According to Spanish Dict, Urban Dictionary, Doorway to Mexico and Speaking Latino, the word órale (sometimes spelled orale) is a Mexican Spanish slang interjection that has a variety of different meanings. This can mean anything from yes, ok, come on, alright then, so anyway, yo, whoa, wow, hey, wow, watch out, or hell yea, amongst others. This surprise expression has lots of meanings, like many a colloquialism. It can be used as a greeting, a surprise exclamation, an affirmation, or another term of excitement by Mexicans, Chicanos, Chicanas, and Mexican Americans. This Chicano word does not have a definite meaning, but its connotations are determined by tone. If one uses the phrase in an intimidating tone, this might be taken as a violent invitation. This common interjection does not have a good equivalent expression in English – perhaps whoa, or some other form of affirmative depending on the circumstance. However, there are many similar expressions we use in English that have different meanings depending on the tone of voice and can be a substitute to express agreement or to convey other things. 

How can the word órale be used in a sentence?

The word órale can be used in many different conversations and circumstances in Spanish, especially in Mexico. This word is very versatile. Below are a few conversation examples for the word órale.

SPANISH:

Persona 1: ¡Conseguí el nuevo trabajo!

Persona 2: ¡Órale! Sabía que podrías hacerlo. Estoy tan orgulloso de ti.

ENGLISH: 

Person 1: I got the new job!

Person 2: Wow! I knew you could do it. I’m so proud of you.

SPANISH:

Persona 1: No me importa a quién quieras tener como compañero de escena, estoy asignando los roles.

Persona 2: Ah, órale. No hay necesidad de enojarse.

ENGLISH:

Person 1: I don’t care who you want to have as your scene partner, I am assigning the roles.

Person 2: Alright, fine. No need to get angry.

SPANISH:

Persona 1: Vaya, se hace tarde. Debería ir a casa y dormir un poco. Tengo clase mañana a las nueve de la mañana.

Persona 2: Órale, conduzca con cuidado. Envíame un mensaje de texto cuando llegues a casa.

ENGLISH:

Person 1: Wow, it’s getting late. I should head home and get some sleep. I have a class at nine in the morning tomorrow.

Person 2: Okay, drive safe. Text me when you get home. 

As you can see, these are just a few of the many examples in which a person can sue the Mexican slang term órale. This term is extremely versatile just like many different slang terms that one might find in the English language. It is best to talk to a netive speaker and ask if you are using the term correctly to avoid confusion and embarrassment. While online translators and study guides may be able to help you decipher the meaning of a word, it is often difficult to understand the colloquial connotations without the help of a native speaker, instructor, or professor. It is always good to study up on the language of a country that you are visiting if you are traveling. Note that many different Spanish speaking countries have different slang terms.

What is the origin of the word órale?

According to Word Sense, it is possible that the word órale comes from the word ora, which is the apheretic form of the Spanish word ahora, meaning now, and le. Some other Mexican Spanish exclamations also end with le, like ándale, apúrale, córrele, etc.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word órale?

There are many different words in English that a person can use in place of the word órale. If someone does not speak Spanish, or if they are not familiar with this slang term, they might be confused at its use. Therefore, it is very useful to know synonyms – which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase – in English. Synonyms are also useful to know if you are trying not to repeat yourself, or if you are trying to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word órale is provided by Thesaurus

  •  undoubtedly
  •  agreed
  •  true
  •  granted
  •  okay
  •  aye
  •  without fail
  •  sure thing
  •  even so
  •  yes
  •  just so
  •  by all means
  •  good
  •  gladly
  •  all right
  •  good enough
  •  positively
  •  amen
  •  willingly
  •  indubitably
  •  affirmative
  •  unquestionably
  •  beyond a doubt
  •  of course
  •  certainly
  •  definitely
  •  fine
  •  most assuredly
  •  yea
  •  surely
  •  precisely
  •  exactly
  •  naturally
  •  yep
  •  very well

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning as the word órale. These are called antonyms, which are another great way to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word órale is also provided by Thesaurus

  •  repugnant
  •  naysaying
  •  disavowing
  •  rejecting
  •  no
  •  unfavorable
  •  unwilling
  •  weak
  •  nix
  •  not
  •  adverse
  •  contravening
  •  resistive
  •  anti
  •  counteractive
  •  opposing
  •  dissenting
  •  unaffirmative
  •  colorless
  •  dissentient
  •  against
  •  invalidating
  •  privative
  •  con
  •  denying
  •  cynical
  •  never
  •  gainsaying
  •  disallowing
  •  contrary
  •  refusing
  •  gloomy
  •  annulling
  •  impugning
  •  detrimental
  •  abrogating
  •  negative
  •  uninterested
  •  nugatory
  •  jaundiced
  •  pessimistic
  •  nay
  •  nullifying
  •  neutralizing
  •  balky
  •  unenthusiastic
  •  removed
  •  recusant
  •  antagonistic
  •  resisting

Overall, the word órale is a Mexican Spanish slang term that has a variety of different meanings. This term can refer to some affirmative, but it can also be used as an interjection to express excitement or something similar. The meaning of the word órale heavily depends on the context and tone of voice that is used. 

Sources:

  1. Orale | Spanish to English Translation | Spanish Dict 
  2. Órale meaning | The multiple meanings of órale in Mexico | Doorway to Mexico 
  3. Orale | Urban Dictionary 
  4. 3 Meanings and Usages of the Mexican Spanish Slang Word ¡ÓRALE! | Speaking Latino 
  5. Orale | Word Sense
  6. YES Synonyms: 34 Synonyms & Antonyms for YES | Thesaurus 
  7. NO Synonyms: 12 Synonyms & Antonyms for NO | Thesaurus