Chula – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Have you spent time in LA or just around Spanish people in general? If so, chances are you have heard the word chula tossed around more than once. The word "Chula" in a sentence has a different meaning than when you see it on its own.

More than just knowing the meaning of a word, it's also crucial for you to know how to use it in a sentence.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The word Chula has multiple meanings. The most common use of the word is to describe someone beautiful, pretty, or cute. When used in this context, it is often seen as a compliment.

For example, you might say, "That girl is so Chula", to describe how attractive you think someone is.

The word Chula can also be used to describe something nice or cool. For example, you might say, "This party is so Chula", to describe how much fun you're having. Mami Chula means beautiful, and it is the feminine form of the Spanish word Chulo, which means calm and charming.

Example Usage

"You look pretty in a Chula dress”.

"Where are you going? My Mami Chula!”

"Happy Birthday, Chula”.

"Hey Chula, Where are you going?”

"Are you ready for a surprise, Chula?”

"That little Chulo ran through the parking lot while loading the truck!"


In American English, a pimp, or effeminate man, was called a Chulo. It was also used derogatorily to describe a man/woman of low class during the late 1980s if he prostituted himself or was a pimp. In the 1990s, Mexican-Americans called Chulos were perceived as low-class gangsters and fresh immigrants, which gave them a negative connotation.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Katino hip-hop artists like Christopher Rios began employing the term to adorn their songs. For instance, in “Piña Colada,” Rios brags about his Honda moto that all the “Mami Chulas” want to ride.

Despite the word's informal nature, it should be treated with care because some people might find it demeaning and have different connotations in different cultures. As such, Mami Chulas.  This word is only appropriate when one knows the person will not find it offensive or demeaning.

Phrases Similar to Chula

  • “Honey” means sweet baby, sometimes used to call someone you like.
  • “Raving beauty” means a beautiful woman.
  • “Dollface” is a person having a pretty face with a childish expression.
  • “Bonita” and its masculine form bonito mean 'handsome' or 'cute.' It is common in casual conversations in Spanish.
  • “Hermosa” means "beautiful"; this can be used formally.

Phrases opposite to Chula

  • "Eye sore" means something unpleasant to look at.
  • “Blight” means an unattractive or ruined area.
  • “Butter face” is a woman with a beautiful body but an ugly face.
  • “Homely” is a person who is not attractive.
  • "Plain Jane" is an expression for a woman who is not beautiful.

What is The Correct Saying?

The correct say for the word is "Chula." The female term for this phrase is "Mami Chula," and its counterpart is “Papi Chula."

Ways People May Incorrectly Say Chula

Chula, which translates to beautiful, is used almost exclusively to describe things that are interesting or appealing to look at. However, due to its varied connotations in different cultures, some people may incorrectly use it to describe people or things they find sexually attractive. Also, because the word is feminine, some people may incorrectly use it to describe men.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Chula

  • You are looking amazing mia chula.
  • What’s up chula, you got plans for later tonight?
  • I saw that chula walking up the street and I just fell in love.
  • Look at that stunning chula vista! I bet you have never seen one that vibrant.
  • That necklace is extremely chula, I bet it cost a fortune with all those diamonds.

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