Is "sympa" just an abbreviation of "sympatico"? Or is there another connotation to it?

I have heard it addressed directly to me, but also small kids and babies described with it.

What exactly does "sympa" mean?

Thanks I only heard the word from a Spanish speaker and have not asked where she got it from. So it being of french origin can make sense especially since the definition seems to match exactly. Thanks

  • AS other said, "sympa" is a french word. One says "tu es sympa!". Jul 19, 2015 at 12:52

2 Answers 2


The reference you provided does not state that "sympa" is by any means a word in Spanish. That sympatico may be an English slang, probably originated from the Spanish simpático (Although it could very well be originated from the French sympathique), but that does not mean that "sympa" has a real meaning in Spanish.

When I have heard "simpa" (sounds the same; different spelling) in Spanish, it's almost always "hacer un simpa", meaning "(Nos vamos) sin pagar de este sitio".

El camarero tarda mucho con la cuenta. Deberíamos hacer un simpa.

Ese restaurante era tan malo que nos entraron ganas de hacer un simpa

  • Un ejemplo sobre Hacer un "simpa"
    – Diego
    Jul 15, 2015 at 17:54
  • +1 por el de hacer un simpa. Pero no sé si disfruta de uso panhispánico (dúdolo). Jul 15, 2015 at 18:42
  • 1
    Sympa is very usual in French, indeed. In Spanish, the only meaning I know is what you explain in your answer, though it is probably only used in Spain slang.
    – Gorpik
    Jul 16, 2015 at 6:50
  • 2
    I strongly believe it refers to the French word sympa as Gorpik said. Jul 18, 2015 at 8:05
  • @NicholasJ. I strongly agree. I don't know why the OP thought sympa was Spanish slang. The reference provided has an example in English (nothing leads to think that this word is actually used in Spanish) and with that spelling I would bet it comes from French rather than Spanish. Nevertheless, I think that the answer to the original question still is "Sympa has no meaning in Spanish", regardless which language the word came from.
    – Diego
    Jul 19, 2015 at 17:47

The proof it's not the spanish word you are refering to, is that you have spelled it with a y, and not a i.

"Sympa" is a french word, used in "tu es sympa!" or "c'est sympa!". It's more friendly and casual than "sympathique" that has a more formal meaning.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.