5 Awesome Words in Spanish that Describe Someone as a Genius

Argentinians tend to repeat a series of words in Spanish that describe someone as a genius. We often use these words as a compliment to someone that achieved something great or that has been kind to us. 

For example, let’s say you passed all your exams with excellent grades. When you tell that to your Argentine friends, it’s likely they’ll call you “capo/a” or “genio/a.” 

Now, let’s imagine you’ve done an incredible favor to an Argentine friend. Chances are your grateful friend will thank you with a compliment such as “gracias, ídolo/a.”

There are numerous terms that capture the essence of brilliance and intellectual prowess. However, in this blog post we will focus on five words.

Let’s delve into these five awesome words that Argentinians use to celebrate the genius in people.

5 Words to Describe Someone as a Genius (Like an Argentinian Would)

“¡Sos un capo!”

1. Capo/a: The term “capo/a” is more than just a word; it’s a badge of honor reserved for those who possess extraordinary intelligence and skill. 

Derived from Italian, this word has seamlessly integrated into Spanish slang to describe someone who excels in their field, whether it be academics, sports, or any other endeavor. 

-María trajo pizzas. 

-¿Posta? ¡Sos una capa, María!

“¡Qué ídola!”

2. Ídolo/a: To call someone an “ídolo/a” is to acknowledge their status as a genius in their own right. 

This word goes beyond mere admiration; it signifies profound respect and reverence for someone’s exceptional abilities and achievements. 

  • ¡Messi metió un gol!
  • ¡Qué ídolo!

“¡Sos una genia!”

3. Genio/a: It’s hard to discuss words that describe genius in Spanish without mentioning “genio/a.” 

This term encapsulates the quintessential traits of brilliance and ingenuity. A “genio/a” possesses a sharp intellect, boundless creativity, and a knack for solving even the most complex problems with ease. 

  • Aprobé todos los exámenes del semestre con excelentes notas.
  • ¡Sos una genia!

“¡Pero qué grande!”

4. Grande: While “grande” may seem like a simple word meaning “big” or “large,” its significance in describing someone as a genius cannot be overstated. 

InArgentina, referring to someone as “un/a grande” is a mark of profound admiration and respect.

 A “grande” is not just intellectually gifted but also possesses a generous spirit and a noble heart.

-Te traje las tuercas que me pediste.

-¡Gracias, che! ¡Qué grande!

“¡Sos un maestro!”

5. Maestro: Last but certainly not least, we have the word “maestro,” which pays homage to the true masters of their craft. 

Whether it’s in the realm of art, music, science, or any other domain of human endeavor, a “maestro” embodies the pinnacle of excellence and expertise. 

Again, Argentinians use “maestro” to compliment someone for being a great person, kind, or smart.

  • Amigo, yo invito las birras.
  • ¡Gracias, maestro!

Chilean Loves How Argentinians Give Each Other Compliments

In an episode of the Easy Argentine Spanish podcast, our Chilean guest, Natalia Fontalva, shares that she loves how Argentinians compliment one another. Listen to this fun episode below:

Natalia also has an amazing podcast to help you learn Chilean Spanish. Check it out here.


In conclusion, these five words in Spanish that describe someone as a genius—capo/a, ídolo/a, genio/a, grande, and maestro—will help you better understand Argentinian’s way of giving compliments. 

What other words in Spanish do you think capture the essence of genius? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

¿Qué otras palabras conoces que capturen la esencia de un “genio”?  Dejame un comentario abajo. 

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¡Hola! Soy Melany

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I’m so happy you’re here! My name is Melany and I help language learners speak Argentine Spanish. I primarily teach Argentine slang and idioms, how to sound more natural and to speak Spanish with confidence.

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