Top 10 Mexican Slang
Top Ten Mexican Slang
The order of this list has no meaning other than the words and phrases I think are the most interesting, amusing, common, or unique. Please disagree with me, correct my spelling, or remind me of what I’ve left out.
WARNING: if you’re a FRESA (stuck-up person) you might be offended by some vulgar language, but if you’re a NACO (low-class, person with bad taste), you’ll overuse most of the words on this list.
10. You may have noticed that NO HAY BRONCA is the name of my blog. It means “no problem.”
9. ¡A HUEVO! (vulgar) – Do you know what huevo means? It means egg, but HUEVOS are balls.
There are many ways to use the word. When my Spanish was still at a pretty basic level I had a student who said HUEVOS DIAS to me – not a very nice thing to say.
¡A HUEVO! means “of course!” – a very useful expression. Another variation is TENGO HUEVA, which means you are feeling lazy.
8. CHELA / CAGUAMA – CHELA means beer, and CAGUAMAS are the big returnable 40 ounce bottles, undoubtedly your best value on the street.
7. ¡ORALE! – It can be used for encouragement, like “go for it!” or “right on!” Or it can be used like “let’s do it!” or “let’s go!” Look out for its second cousin HIJOLE, which is like “wow” or “my goodness!”
6. ¿QUE ONDA? – Along with ¿QUE PASO?, ¿QUE TAL?, and the vulgar ¿QUE PEDO?, this is yet another way to say “what’s up?” ONDA literally means waves or, in this case, vibes.
5. PEDO (vulgar) – This word is as versatile as the tortilla, but, unlike the tortilla, rarely appropriate. As a noun it usually means problem, or more literally, fart.
NO HAY PEDO is a substitute for NO HAY BRONCA, no problem. CUAL ES TU PINCHE PEDO means “what’s your fucking problem?”
As an adjective it means drunk. ESTOY BIEN PEDO, WEY. “I’m fucking drunk.” A drunken party or a binge is UNA PEDA.
You can make great phrases with it too, such as the aforementioned ¿QUE PEDO?
4. CHIDO means cool. If you don’t hear this word 100 times a day, you aren’t off the tourist track yet. On a similar note, PADRE (father) means good or cool while MADRE (mother) usually means bad. No, it doesn’t make sense.
3. ¡NO MANCHES! – The literal meaning is ridiculous, but this is used like “no way!” or “come on!” Look out for ¡NO MAMES!, the vulgar equivalent.
2. CHINGAR (vulgar) – Much like English’s beloved f-word, CHINGAR has a wide range of uses – from describing something positively – CHINGON – to negatively – DE LA CHINGADA.
Or, if there is a lot of something, traffic for example, you can say HAY UN CHINGO DE TRAFICO. In general, you can use it to express the foulest, rudest, and most aggressive sentiments.
This is a truly Mexican word, and to learn the origins and deep thoughts behind it read The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz. (Click the books for info.) For everyday uses, check out the Chinganario.
This post contains affiliate links.
1. WEY / GUEY – I’m not sure how to spell it. WEY isn’t as famous as ORALE or versatile as CHINGAR, and may not be as common as CHIDO. You might spend a month here without hearing it. But, once in the proper circles, you’ll hear WEY between every other word, like how teenage American girls use ”like.”
“¡Simon wey, mira wey, chupamos veinte caguamas wey, no mames wey, estabamos bien pedos wey!”
WEY means “dude,” and if you haven’t heard something like the above already, I truly hope that when you do you will recall this example and laugh.
SIMON in this case is a slang substitute for “sí,” yes.
HONORABLE MENTION(S): You can add “-ón” or “-ona” to any body part to describe someone who has a prominent one. For example:
NARIZ: nose — NARIZÓN – guy with a big nose
CEJAS: eybrows — CEJÓN – guy with bushy eyebrows
FRENTE: foreheard – FRENTONA – girl with a big forehead
CULO: ass — CULONA – girl with a big ass, often complimentary (vulgar)
You also can do this with jobs. “-ero” or “-era” makes a job title.
OBRA: work project — OBRERO – worker
PALOMITA: popcorn — PALOMERO – popcorn seller
CULO: ass — CULERO – literally “ass seller,” but actually more like “asshole.”
For more slang check out Part 2 here.
And don’t miss my newly-published Mexican Slang Master List, with more than 100 words and phrases of Mexican Spanish.
Also A Spanish Cheat Sheet for Travelers in Mexico.
If you’re studying Spanish, there’s no better book than Madrigal’s Magic Key (click the book for info):
Please click here for more books I recommend for studying Spanish.
(This post contains paid Amazon Associate links.)
Practice your Spanish while traveling in Chiapas or the Mayan Riviera, two top destinations in Mexico. You will save the low price of my Cancun and Mayan Riviera 5-Day Itinerary or Your Chiapas Adventure: San Cristobal de las Casas and Palenque the first time you follow my advice on a bus, restaurant, hotel or cenote.
Posted on May 20, 2011, in LANGUAGE and tagged bad words, beer, mexico, slang, spanish, travel. Bookmark the permalink. 145 Comments.
Se escribe guey …si se usa Como dices like “dude” girls and guys… also is someone tells you estas bien guey it’s like you dumb…but you can only use with friends not family maybe cousins your own age…depends on how you get along w the person
What is (forgive the phonetic spelling, please!!) …sounds like “No lay ah say?”
Probably “no le hace,” which by itself means something like “no problem” or “it doesn’t matter.”
Hey bro the spelling is not chido but ” chilo” meaning cool as fuck or when referring to a person it means someone with a cool style! As for “wey” it is usually spelled guey or huey. Another meaning for it goes as follows, No seas huey! Or como eres huey! This is in reference to ur girl cheating on you. It is a putdown when someone tells you que tienes la cara de huey! Its translates into you have the face of a sucker whose girl cheats on you. Not good, not good at all! Hope i was helpful!👌
It’s chido wey. And wey is common unless you’re fresa lol
I think Padre and Madre makes sense… Padre = Daddio 50’s slang for cool… What’s up, daddio… It’s cool daddy… Madre=Mother… Short for MotherF******R. That’s a mother zit you have… Etc. Makes sense to me. Thanks for reminding me about Chido, Wey and for using Mames in one of your examples. I totally forgot about those… Another one i’ve seen used is “cuñado”… Brother-In-Law… You call your friend this in jest to suggest your banging his sister…
Can anyone tell me what “Me tiene hasta los huevos” means?
I have the balls to do it, or I am tough enough
That means they have you by the balls or that you are really fed up!
Thanks for all the comments and clarifications. I wrote this post years ago and have since learned a lot more Mexican slang, although I still think these are the top ten. (Maybe not no hay bronca, but it is the name of my blog). I recently wrote a comprehensive list here, check it out: https://nohaybronca.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/mexican-slang-master-list/
If i am not mistaken the word you are looking to spell is: guauy. It is a bull that has lost his bullness.
Guey, or wey, is actually “buey,” which is a stupid animal, or a bull, not a fighting bull.
Buey literally means ox, a castrated bull used as a draft animal. The initial “b” is almost or completely silent, so it sounds like “way”.
In central Texas the word guey or wey is used like you mentioned in your Top 10 list. However, I have also been told that if a person from another part of Mexico uses guey too much and that person doesn’t know the person he or she is talking to well enough, it may come across as a rude or demeaning explitive, especially in a work environment. For example, plantar los flores mas rapido guey. That could come across as plant those flowers faster you lazy donkey or you lazy dog. Bottom line is guey is a tricky one if you don’t have the proper report with whom you are speaking to.
I’ve had similar experiences in the restaurant world. Some groups use it very much like we would use the word buddy or pal. Other groups get very upset if you use it.
Very nice blog, I’ll share with my boyfriend so he can learn 🙂 I guess it’s hard for me to explain slangs since i use them daily, you’re really good with words… Well, I could only say in Sinaloa we say chilo instead chido and we use the word morra for girl (morro for man), congratulations for your blog and thanks for loving my country 🙂
Huey is used as a putdown because a bull has horns and a term for getting cheated on is ” te pusieron los cuernos” meaning you got horned ergo… the bull has horns and the other name for a bull is huey thus the term ” te hicieron huey”
This blog is great, I’m learning a great deal. I would like to know what the younger generation 18-25 year olds say. Do they have different sayings that we do?
Bueno cabrones, ya que leyeron este blog, pueden disfrutar
de esta pinche rola que se encuentra aqui.
Subanle, ponganse a pistear, y no se me agüiten. Ajuua.
It’s buey a castareted bull
Your definition of buey is correct, but in this case it’s definitely güey, and it’s more common colloquial spelling is wey.
This spelling is also accepted by the RAE:
You’re most welcome, TC. By the way, I’ve passed your great site along to my son who teaches Spanish. Now that we’re into layers of esoterica, some might remember that the ubiquitous “a huevo” enjoyed an echo expression: “A Wilbur”–probably no longer extant. Readers who enjoy the trajectory of this blog should read an amazing classic, “Picardía Mexicana” by A. Jiménez. It has some great chistes, albures, cartoons and fun sections like “Clasificación Ciéntifica del Pedo”. And, for endless variations of “chingar”, “El Chingolés” is the ultimate authority. “El Laberinto de la Soledad” (which you´ve already alluded to) is of course an incomparable masterwork in terms of dissecting the Mexican psyche.
Great suggestions, thanks. And no, I’ve never heard A Wilbur. jajaja
I believe the actual word you are searching for with Wey and Guey is Buey, which is the word for a castrated bull. I am an American married to a Mexican and he and all his friends do use this word almost like we’d use dude. Also, chido means cute, as well as cool. Another thing it is highly irreverent for a woman to use no mames, especially in mixed company, It literally translates to no sucking, meaning no blowjob, my husband says.
Wey is the most common spelling of güey that I’ve seen, meaning dude as you pointed out.
As for women not using no mames, that has not been my experience. I hear men and women using this all the time in the streets of Tijuana (even in mixed company), and repeatedly in movies and YouTube videos. It’s used a lot, by everyone. And I’ve never heard it translated as no blowjob. A blowjob could be referred to as a mamada or a guaguis (not sure about spelling, but that’s how it sounds).
Hey, this blog seems never to end–and it never should, it’s so great!! I’m an old gringo “pedo viejo” who stumbled upon this and, via this, has stumbled back to his almost forgotten youth. Every single thing, or nearly so, mentioned by these wonderful contributors has struck a chord of memory with me, from the days of my youth (1960’s) “andando por las calles del DF con mi compadre Enrique, también conocido como ‘el Rey de los Golfos’, ‘El Siete Vidas’ y ‘El Güero Broncas’ “. Enrique spent some formative years in Tepito where los tepiteños spoke their own slang version of Spanish, where “¿No sábanas?” was used for “¿No sabes?” and “simón” and “nel” were the usual forms for “sí” and “no”. While he used nearly “all of the above” mentioned by contributors (except that “chido” hadn´t yet arrived in those days–“qué padre” or “a todo dar” were in vogue), he also used exclamations like “PUta BUrra”, “puta leche”, “hijo de la Gran Reputa” or even the deadly “hijo de su pinche bofa madre” for someone especially disdained. “Ya estuvo” meant someone was calling it quits when things got too hot for him, but “Ya estufas” was what could be heard as an equivalent in Tepito. Other random things I remember….”Me cae que sí”, “a toda máquina”, “me cae en la punta de la verga” (for someone really detested), “deja ya de estarme chingando”, “no la chingues” y “vete a la chingada”. The standard “verga” came in variations like “pito”, “pitote”, “camote” and “pinga” or referred to in “Me la pela” while “panocha” was also known as “tamal”, “nido” and by rural folks as “su pájarito”. Real rural folks had other regional expressions like “hijos de mi mal dormir” and “Qué chuladas de maíz negro” (used to refer to a good looking young woman).
I would like to add one thing that some Americans need to be reminded of, unfortunately, which is: what an amazing culture Mexicans belong to and what an amazing and wonderful people Mexicans are! When I hear some “pinche pendejo e hijo de la chingada” like Donald the Dipshit Trump putting down Mexicans “Me dan ganas de ponerle en la madre al pinche cabrón culero que es” and no, I don´t have a drop of Mexican blood in my veins (though I´d be the better off for it if I had), just a great sense of appreciation and respect for all the great, generous, loyal Mexican friends I’ve been privileged to have known over these many years.
Thanks for writing–nice comments like yours make keeping this blog with while. Great words and expressions too!
Don’t forget about jodido, pinchi, cavrón, verga, y feo! Lol😃
Don’t forget jodido, pinchi, cavrón, feo, y verga, etc…😃
OMG… I’ve not heard these words or saying since I was a kid… I’m 77-years-old now. I was cracking up. How does one say that in Mexican slang?
I came into this site.. because I remember a woman using the saying, Le le… meaning like dumb or stupid… of loose as in not connected…. Has anyone info on that saying? Le le. LOL
I believe I have heard this, but I think the version I heard was “le lo”.
Yeah, it’s “lelo” and it is like a “innocent” and really really old way to say someone is a fool, it could be translated to “Silly” or something like that. Or it could be also the phrase “lero lero” that little kids use to tease someone.
Watch El Señor de Los Cielos, it’s on Netflix, if you want here some serious slang used. They mainly have Mexican slang but some of the characters are Columbian, so they throw that in as well. The English subtitles stink, it loses all the flavor of the conversations.
What is the meaning of orala jefe when one is joking.
Güey is the standard spelling. Its a “corruption” of Buey (Ox). Huey is an alternate spelling but less common. As its slang there is no real official spelling but the usual changes that occur from “Bue-” initial sounds to “Güe-” sounds are spelled this way. Its called velarization; the articulation of the sound moving from the front to the back of the mouth.
Don’t forget wacha which means to look…as to say mirar =look….Wacha esa ruqa…Look at that chick….
Eso solo es en el norti!
Its spelled like this ” watcha esa ruca!”
muy bueno tu blog, hay muchas mas palabras por qprender aqui pero estas son las mas usadas
I used to hear “andale” from a norteño guy a lot. Is it still used? And how?
It means “hurry up,” “let´s go,” or “come on!”
Hey TC, great blog enjoying it! When I lived in Puebla, it was very common to hear
Meaning “hurry up!”
Among friends almost always said as:
“Con prisa, guey!!”
I regularly speak Spanish at home with my children nowadays and I have to catch myself sometimes from saying some of the more “colorful” sayings!! This is great and helping me recall how fun it was living and learning a new language, thanks!
Andale means hurry up or get going or move it
Hi there! I was wondering if I can copy – paste some of your posted info, for a Dia de Muertos website I´m doing.
Hi Luis, please write me at email@example.com and let me know what you want to use. Thanks!
This is hilarious. I have fanatically studying Spanish since I was 15 and was pretty close to fluency when I met my bilingual husband who is Mexican. Within a few months I had heard the words chido, guey, pedo and no manches about a billion times, after years of only hearing proper Spanish, some words my husband never even uses. I prefer to keep it proper but understanding language every way it comes it the way to go. I am bookmarking this. I always learn something new.
Thanks for this. I lived in Mexico two decades ago and was surprised to find all the terms I learned then still fairly current now. It made me smile as it took me to memory lane!
What about the words “Homes” (sounds likes Holmes) and “Ese”? Are those words just used by Chicanos in Southern California?
They are not used where I live in central Mexico. I know “ese” from Cypress Hill. Don’t you know I’m loco?
Homes is more of a cholo or chicano slang.
Another one that is used is morro or morra, which means child, boy/girl
Ruca/ruco, usually used when you talk about an older male/female
Jefe/jefa which means boss, but also used when referring to your father/mother
“Como estas jefa?”
Another slang: Te la voy a partir which would translate to I’m going to break it for you, actually saying ” I’m going to beat you up”
Good ones, thanks!
“Te la voy a partir” – I’ve always heard the complete expression, ” Te voy a partir la madre”. You probably don’t want to use this unless you’re ready for a fight.
Nice to know you can shorten it. Not that I plan on having to use it one day.
Homes is a twist of the word homeboys or homies and it is used more in the south
So glad I found this! I’m writing something that has two Mexican Angeleno teenagers in it, so this will be VERY helpful. 🙂
It’s really nice to find a blog like this. The expressions are explained well, including all those variations that Mexican use on daily speech.
About the word “Güey” if we write it without the dots it sounds like the word “gay” in English, It’s true that a lot of people usually don’t know how to spell correctly this word and that’s why some people prefer the use of W instead of Gü wich has the same sound.
Güey or Wey both are correct.
Thanks for the nice comment! I don’t think there is an official spelling, other than “Buey” which is the original word.
Being Mexican, I can tell you that our slang is very unique and everybody uses It! doesn’t matter the social class you belong to. “No mames”, “Me parti la madre”, “No hay pedo”, “Me la pelas”, “A toda madre”, “A huevo”, “Como chingas” , “Ve y chinga tu madre”, “Son chingaderas”, “Como eres culero”, this are just a few samples believe me there are so many more. This is Mexican slang better known as “calo”. Words like madre,pedo,chinga,culo,mamar,huevo are used in many forms of expressions in Mexican slang.
Nice work describing our mexican slang words…very accurate too.
I will put your blog on a craiglist page which has a section for blogs (http://www.ahuevoloencuentro.com)…by the way this craiglist site also has a slogan based on a slang word “ahuevo” which also means cheap..for example “las cosas valen a huevo”. that’s because time ago in mexico the eggs were very cheap, not today.
Thanks for adding my blog Javier. I’ll put a link to the site on this blog.
I think it was Salman Rushdie who said you really know a society by its untranslatable words (or something cool like that.) This blog is awesome. I love languages in general, but the past couple of years my love for Mexican Spanish has grown into a passion and it’s the slang, man. There’s nothing quite as vivid and colorful.
What does “ya ni chingas ” mean? Is it like “no way, you’re shitting me? “
how about, me vale also can be used with me vale medre, me vale ve*ga me vale means i dont care or i can care less its a typical one too bro
What does this phrase mean?
Una fria bien fria… A chiflar su flauta las flemas
Fría, frío= cold
Una cerveza = a cold
Una fría bien fría = a beer very cold
Also people say, ” una cerveza bien muerta” = a beer very dead, since dead people are cold, “pásame una bien muerta” “quieres una cerveza? Si pero que este bien muerta”.
“A chiflar su flauta” comes from: “a chingar su madre” which means fuck you! , screw you I’m off!
I think “las flemas” it’s just to put some folklore to the sentence, which makes me think, he just want to take off and have some drinks! 😉
“Una cerveza = a cold”
As in refresiado, catarro or gripe? Cerveza can mean more than just beer?
I think she meant to say “a cold beer.” Cerveza is cerveza!
How was Cancun Rodney?
Hahaha, Una bien fría means one very cold, they’re talking about beers of course, you can use, vamos a hecharnos unas frías _Let’s go have some cold ones.
A chiflar a su flauta las flemas(To blow their flutes the phlegms), means in spanish A chingar a su madre las flemas (To hell with the phlegms
“A chiflar su flauta la flema” is actually
pretty disgusting… literal meaning “to blow your flute, the phlegm” –use your imagination
güey is the proper spelling but it doesn’t really matter people understand you, it’s kinda like the way we say dude or man in the US. Also Cabrón, is one of those words where it may be vulgar to say it to someone you don’t know but if you hang out with Mexicans you’ll hear it pretty frequently in similar situations as güey, and I’m with these guys on pinche, thats a pretty common one too
chale can have several meanings : shit, reaffirming something in favor of it. it depends on the tone and feeling transmitted.
I first went to Mexico just when I was learning Spanish so wasn’t able to enjoy the slang or even identify Mexican Spanish compared to Spanish from other countries.
Now, I’d have a great time exploring the local Spanish, and I’d love to learn more about the regional vocabulary and accents within Mexico.
Fun article Ted, thanks,
Thanks for the comment Jared! Yes, what I don’t address here is regional vocabulary, which changes from place to place.
Do you have any words you can share that mean different things in different parts of Mexico?
Sta muy bien pero estos son palabras en general. En Villahermosa y e otras partes son muy differente.
Pero, stoy celosa d tu trabaja jeje
Wow, yours are the best description ive ever read. Most of those words and expressions are so absolutely engraved in our mexican psyche and are so commonly and visceraly used, that its difficult for us to give an objective explanation of them.
Just so you know a CULERO is also a onsie.. those things you put on a baby with the snaps at the bottom! 🙂
Interesting… it makes sense!
Love this look forward to following blog
Whey is spelled BUEY
Reblogged this on Word Wabbit and commented:
Great post and great site!
Excellent post Luis. Also: Me vale 3 kilos de verga = Me vale 3 kilos de riata
Question….Chale = shit? Are you sure? I’ve never read that or had anyone tell me it was that strong.
Now youve done it! is a way of saying ya ni chi
Chale means no
Carnal la neta te faltan varias, pero no hay bronca, como yo soy bien buen pedo te voy a rolar algunas:
– Carnal: brother Used between friends or actual brothers.
– ser buen pedo, ser buena onda: to be a nice person. Ex. ese wey es buena onda, ese wey es buen pedo.
– vato: used in the north of México mostly offensive. Means dude.
– mijo: comes from “mi hijo” used by moms and also by older people to refer to younger ones like “son”
– puto, puñal, joto, maricón, marica: faggot
– chale: shit Ex. Chale me quedé sin varo
– varo, feria, lana: money
– verga: it means penis in a very vulgar way, but can also be used like “chingón” Ex. soy el más vergas. Can also be used in a negative way Ex Te ves de la verga (You look like shit)
Another use of this word is to say “I don´t give a fuck” Ex. Me vale 3 kilos de verga (I don´t give 3 kg of fucks) and like “vete a la verga” go to hell)
Note: You can use the extremely vulgar phrases and words in your circle of friends and it won’t be inappropriate.
There is a large variety of slang here in México and it changes depending on the location, we also have slang of ethnical origins. As you can see México is a beautiful and culturally extended country.
Ay nos vidrios wey, te la lavas. Saludos.
Excelente! Gracias carnal.
“Riata” may be used in place of “verga”
Can also be used for “fistfight”
“Se ponieron bien pedo, y luego se agarraron a riatazos.”
“Se ponieron bien pedo, y luego se agarraron a vergazos.”
“Se ponieron bien pedo, y luego se agarraron a chingazos.”
“They got wasted, then got into a fight”
“Si no dejas de estar chingando, te voy a meter unos riatazos.”
“If you don’t leave me alone, I’ll kick your ass.”
Note: “lariat” is an loan word from “la riata”
Ni vale verga
¡no vale pipi!
¡que te vaya mucho la verga! Lol
We have so many different weys to say things! But it’s important to mentIon, one should be careful how they use these many different words/phrases…
I lived in Guadalajara with a Mexican family for 2 months while I was taking interim classes there. We met a couple of boys who were the family’s friends. They took us places and got us “cultured” so to speak. We learned right away (being 2 spunky college girls with blonde hair and preppy clothes) that we would need to be cool and casual around locals or we would be devoured. I was instructed to say, “iNo mames!” everytime I heard an aggressive “ch ch mamasita!” and when we walked into a nightclub and got rubber necked glares to say “!Hola, que pedo!” It worked. Though my mother wouldn’t have been so proud. The first time I tried it was when a guest at a party in our honor, no less, approached me and said, “Necesito tu fuego,” to which I snapped back, “No mames,” and he looked mortified. I thought, wow that was powerful! then he said, “No, No, encendedor, necisito tu encendedor!!! por favor?” I’m such an ass at this point. Then another guy really was being aggressive so I said, ‘No mames!” and he said, in tortured english, “Or what?” I didn’t have amo for that one, so I did the dorkiest thing, I said, “or I’ll crema tus cacahuates!” But it worked. He laughed and let me walk away. I said that Just cuz I had peanutbutter on my toast that morning and I made a comment about the funny word for it. This was in 1985 by the way, and thank you for bringing back memories… iQue buena onda!
Imaginate, una guerita andaba diciendo no mames….jajaja
Ted, I just saw the message you left on my blog. I’d love to have you write something, send me an email wey…firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: buey, guey
“Buey” is an ox in English i.e. a castrated bull. Slang spelling “guey”.
1. “Tu senora te esta haciendo buey”.
“You wife is being unfaithful”. “You wife is fooling you.”
The word can also mean that you’re being cheated.
“Pagaste $100? Te hicieron guey!”
“You paid $100? They fooled you!”
2. “Guey” can also mean stupid.
“- Voy a nadar hasta china.
– No seas guey, te ahogas.”
“- I’m going to swim to China
– Don’t be stupid, you’ll drown”
3. Of course, can also mean “dude/guy”
“Que paso guey?”
“What’s going on dude?”
“Quien es ese guey?”
“Who’s that guy?”
“Pendejo” can be used instead of “buey/guey” for 1 & 2
I do think it should be mentioned that “wey” IS used casually like “dude” among friends.. but it also means someone who is being cuckolded … so, if you don’t know someone well you should be careful saying it. I’ve definitely seen people take offense when some strange gringo uses it with them.
This is very true…. if you use guey/wey, or should really only be used amongst closest of friends bcus it can be offensive if it’s just randomly said by some random gringo
caguamas are 32 ounces not 40. I believe a 40 ounce is called a caguamon. Some other drinking related slag is pisto = booze/hard liquor and crudo = hungover.
Haha, really great list!;)
Also too much common is “pues”: “orale pues!”, “vamonos pues”, “corrale pues”, “pues vas a ir o que?”)) I hear it 1000 times per day)
It’s hard for me to give you the full image or the full meaning and the equivalents in English, since I don’t know the slang in English to give you equivalents, but I sure know the use of most of our slang in Mexico, so let me try to help you with “Orale”:
Agree: synonym of OK:
– Call me later
– Órale (yes, Ok)
Synonym of “you’re on”:
– I’ll bet you 100 dollars on today’s game
– Órale (you’re on), or also “Órale, ya vas” (ok, you’re on). “Ya vas” is redundant in this case, but we use it that way.
Amazement – Congratulations (positive):
– I just received an offer for the job I’ve been looking for.
– Órale! I knew you could make it! (Great!, or Good for you!)
Disbelief (in an ironic way, as in “yes, sure”)
– I’m dating Jennifer Lopez
– Si, órale, (yes, sure… in an ironic way, meaning I don’t believe a single word).
Hurry up, do it right now
– A mother to her kids: Órale niños… apúrense, Come on kids, Hurry up. It could be just Órale!!!!, meaning hurry up in whatever it is that you have to do.
Please… Come on
– Papa, préstame el coche, órale. (Dad, let me use the car, come on)
Used for something that stands out, in either a negative (ironic again) or positive way
– Órale con el vestido de Diana: (something like “check Diane’s dress”), it could mean that it’s the best by far, or that it’s ridiculous)
Well… that’s what I can think of right now. I hope it helps
This helps a lot. Thanks a lot Rodrigo.
Here I have two new ones for you: “esto vale madres” means “this is worthless” or “it`s no use”, and “ya valió madres” which means “it`s all screwed up”. I hope these expressions are useful. I´m an Spanish native speaker, I´m from Mexico, City but I´m also an English teacher and student and I´d like to know about american slang and idioms
Thanks a lot Alex. Any questions about American slang, post them here.
For example, me vale madres could also translate as “I don’t give a fuck.” jajaja
Hey TC, As I think about Me vale madres, that one might be more like I don’t give a damn, while me vale verga is definitely I don’t give a fuck.
I’d like a native speaker to weigh in on this though.
MADRE is the most insulting word with others (that I won’ mention) cuz mention mom and the fight is on…WHEY does more or less means DUDE..but stupid or dumb goes with it. Mostly used by the Northern people of Mexico..My come back is usselly “AQIE NO SE AN’DA LOS WHEY’S'”…
Mention the other most insulting words!
Hijole is a considered a more polite, shortened version of hijo de la chingade (literally son fo the fucked one) in truly high class circles both are frowned upon. A proximate English equivalent might be SON OF A GUN in place of SON OF A BITCH as an expression of disbelief, suprise, frustration etc.
Haha great list 😀 Now I will know what I hear as I travel through the streets of MX in a couple weeks!
You can say Eres la neta, meaning something like “you’re awesome!”. While it has the same meaning as chingon, it’s not vulgar.
Esos tacos son la neta! (those tacos are awesome)
In general neta = verdad, “really”, or “the truth”
– Estoy embarazado.
– La neta que si (It’s really true)
– Dime la neta
There’s also netamente…
La neta es una expresión muy coloquial y netamente mexicana
Mil gracias Rodney.
Anyone who wants to learn Spanish slang (like me) should regularly consult Rodney´s blog:
La neta means the truth. Another term for awesome is de awuellas!!
I think the origin of “wey” is “buey” which is an ox. The original idea was similar to being a sheep, basically a dummy with no ideas of his/her own who would do as told. Then the spelling changed to “güey” (“guey” would be pronounced as “gey”) and finally in recent years to wey. It is the most common “dude”-like word in Mexico, at least central Mexico, where I grew up.
Orale, Flo! I think we agree on “wey”!
Pretty sure it comes from the Nahuatl word “huey”, that was used somehow to indicate greatness. The emperor of the Aztecs was called “huey tlatoani”, were “tlatoani” means leader, or ruler.
“Orale” would, I believe, be closest to the American use of “Tell it!”. Orar being to orate, tell, or pray…at least as a more literal translation. And isn’t “wey” actually, “buey” literally, “ox” – sort of like “dude” inasmuch as it is a cowboy term for a man.
Hi David, where are you from? I’m originally from the midwest and I don’t think people say “tell it” there. Now that I’ve lived in Mexico a little longer, I think orale is like “right on” or wow.”
Thanks for commenting.
I am from Arizona…but that is a more Afrocentric expression in my experience…and a literal translation. You are right that it is used as “right on”, but so is “tell it!”
Orale can translate differently depending on the context.
It can mean OK…
– Te llamo despues
– Quieres ir al cine?
– Orale, vamos.
– Mi novia esta embarazada.
– Orale wey! Neta ? [neta = en serio]
– Estoy saliendo con Selma Hayak
– Orale wey, no manches.
There are probably other ways to use it as well, that’s just what comes to mind and probably other uses I just don’t know about.
Rodney you are the man. Thanks for the breakdown – and thanks to the people with the previous comments too. Orale is one of those expressions you won´t learn from a book or blog, you just have to hang out with Mexicans and hear them use it.
Neta – isn´t la neta like chingon?
Hola! soy mexicano y puedo asegurar que “órale” no es “tell it”. And “wey” is no cowboy term.
Oh! And more than disbelief is just surprise. Like when you see some badass special effect on a movie you go “Óoooorale!”. And “la neta” is indeed like “chingón”.
Me despido con dos chidas:
1. “cámara” is the word for camera but we use it to say goodbye:
-Estuvo buena la peda pero ya me voy, cámara wey!-
2. “chido” but using it instead of “gracias”:
-¿Me das de tu chela? (could u give me some bear?)
-Sí wey, tómale (Yes dude, drink)
-Chido, carnal! (Thank u, hommie!)
Those ones are very tough slang ones!
LOL ! That’s so cool ! and if you move from south to north you will find hundreds of little modifications to each slang… For example: A huevo! someone could say; A wiwi ! which actually means nothing… just being lazy on the words.
Greetings from a mexican from Juarez City (La pinche ciudad mas vergas del norte ! A huevo!)
Thanks a lot for the comment man. Que haces en juarez cabron? me asaltaron la policia de alla, no mames
Hey good people who read my blog!!!
Thanks to the coolness of wordpress I can see what you searched for that brought you here. I sometimes see combinations of these words that I didn´t fully explain. Write it in the comments and I´ll translate it for you.
We strive to bring you full satisfaction here at No Hay Bronca!
These are funny. They say “Que Ondas” here a lot in El Salvador, and some others my husband says like Que Pedo he may have learned in the U.S from his Mexican buddies. Culero is in every other phrase here. Here’s a funny one: Pelamela – which literally means “peel it off me” – like peeling a banana, which in human terms would be – er, you know. My husband uses it to say things that seem like “no way / get out of here / unbelievable.”
I haven`t been to Salvador yet, but I was just in Honduras and they use Que Pedo quite frequently there, while in Mexico it is extremely vulgar (though common in certain circles).
Thanks a lot for leaving a comment!
The slang word “pedo” Is used more commonly then what you think. “Ando bien pedo” = I’m so drunk. “Cual es tu pinche pedo” = what’s your fucking problem. “No hay pedo” = No problem, or Its ok. “Se puso una peda!” He/She got shit face. I agree with La Flaca on her comment, Mexican slang is very vivid and colorful! but you have to know when you can use it and with whom. I used It since I was growing up in my native Mexico and believe me I still use It every day, if you’re Mexican you can’t help it!! La pura neta!
In case anyone’s interested, my e-book Quick Guide to Mexican Spanish, about Mexican vocabulary, is free at the moment on Amazon: http://amzn.to/10cgByA
Please feel free to share the link with anyone, and if you are so inclined, a great Amazon review would also help.
If you have any suggestions to improve the book, please feel free to email me.
Haha! Mexican Spanish makes me laugh. I actually prefer the accent to most other accents (probably because I am accustomed to it) but their slang is so unique. You will probably hear very few conversations in Mexican Spanish without hearing “que onda” “orale” and “pinche” or “cabron” or “Chinga”. I have got to get down to Mexico!
hahaha culona. i like that. you forgot “pinche!” haha i havent heard that used outside of Mexico. Whenever I use “chido” in Mexico or anywhere else in Latin America everyone always laughs. I think its the equvalent of describing something as “radical” in the states
Yeah man pinche is a big one!
i know it happens ….to be honest ….they laugh cause you are speaking very “mexican” with an “english-speaking accent”
What are you talking about pinche is used very often by spanish speakers here in Los Angeles. I know I use it all the time like i’m sure most other mexican americans here in the U.S. use it on a daily basis.
Ha! This is great stuff. These are high frequency terms that are nearly unavoidable. You may think you’ll never hear them, but trust me, eventually you will. If you take your Mexican Spanish serious, you gotta know all of these.
I will also add nalgona to this list, which is a synonym for culona. I actually hear nalgona more.
I still remember when I first learned the word “frentona”, lol. And there’s bigotona, which is a woman with moustache.
I love this post and I never get tired of learning Mexican slang. Keep up the good work!
Pingback: Mexican Slang Master List | No Hay Bronca
Pingback: What Does Valio Madre Mean | Iloveyoustrong
Pingback: How to Learn Spanish in 17 Days
Pingback: After Work at Taco Toots | thegreengourmande
Pingback: Que onda wey? | My fantasmagorically chido year out in Mexico!
Pingback: A Spanish Cheat Sheet for Travelers in Mexico | no hay bronca
Pingback: Top Twenty Mexican Slang (Top Ten Mexican Slang Part 2) | no hay bronca
Pingback: Everyday Mexican Slang « no hay bronca
Pingback: Volcán Laguna de Chicabal, Guatemala « no hay bronca