When I first heard the phrase “No mames guey”, I thought it was “Dank Meme” slang for “No memes guy”- somebody who has no memes.
But when I looked into it further, I discovered it’s Mexican slang.
“No mames guey” can either mean “No way!” or “C’mon dude!”.
Whilst it is a Spanish phrase, it’s not one that people would recognise if you went to Spain. It’s origins are in Mexico, where it’s often said by today’s youths.
In this article, I want to talk about where this word comes from, whether a Spaniard would understand it, why you should know about it, and how it came to be part of the English Lexicon.
Just because this is a website about English grammar, doesn’t mean we can’t look at non-English phrases that we use over here.
The literal translation (which is rarely what we mean) is “Don’t suck it, guy”.
If you were to say “don’t suck it”, most people will give you some very odd looks, and have no idea what you’re talking about. Even bilingual people who speak both Spanish and English will laugh at you!
When it comes to idioms, a good rule of thumb is never translate word for word from one language into another. Doing so will just make people confused, and it will be clear that you’re not a native speaker.
In English “no” and “don’t” are two different words. But in Spanish, they are the same word-“no”.
The phrase “No hablo Ingles” is a great thing to say to cold callers and people who stop on the street. Translated into English, it means “I don’t speak English”.
If you have run out of cash, you will say “No tengo dinero”. This can either mean “I have no money” or “I don’t have any money”.
I can imagine that Spanish natives might struggle to learn that we have two words where they would just have one. It’s interesting to think about how English learners might struggle.
The word “mames” wouldn’t make much sense to a Spaniard. This is because it’s a slang term that comes from Mexico. Think of it like how a British person might get confused if an American says “John Hancock” or an American may get confused when Ketchup is called “Tommy K”.
“Mames” means to suck. Even if you are Mexican, it’s a crude term that you probably wouldn’t want to say to your mother or your boss.
Usually, it’s referring to the nipple, but people may interpret it as a part of the male body.
The word “guey” just means “guy”. Although the formal version is “chico”, “guey” isn’t rude or derogatory, so you could get away with saying it to your mother, and maybe even your boss.
In English, we also have more than one word for “man”: man, bloke, fella, dude, geeza.
Using casual terminology can help you to talk to people in a foreign country because you will come across as someone with a good grasp on their language, rather than someone who’s still learning.
If you’re in a professional context, I would stick to “Chico”, but when having a chat with your friends, you could say “guey” instead.
Why do the Americans use it?
If this phrase is Mexican, why is it used in English?
As you’re probably aware, America and Mexico share a border. Because of this, people who were born in Mexico sometimes move to America for either a holiday or to live and work.
Because of the interactions between Americans and Mexicans, certain phrases have managed to find their way into each other’s vocabularies.
Now, thanks to the internet, Americans and Mexicans can talk to one another without ever having to meet face to face. This has sped up the exchange of phrases.
Spanish isn’t the only language that has some words and phrases in our language.
If somebody is the best of the best, you might say they’re the “Creme de la crème”, translated from french as the “cream of the cream”.
When your pasta still has some bite to it, you might say it’s “Al Dente”, Italian for “to the tooth”.
When you make the most of every day, you would say the Latin for seize the day, “Carpe Diem”.
And when you get happy at someone else’s misfortune, you may use the German ” schadenfreude” meaning “malicious joy”.
Spanish beyond Spain
As I’m sure, some of you will be aware, in the past Spain had an empire. They travelled to the Americas and conquered several countries, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.
If you were to do a tour of all the Spanish speaking countries, even though the language is the same, the people would all sound different. Despite having the same language when first conquered, the countries have blended Spanish with their native language and evolved it independently over time.
Some of the differences will include pronunciation, individual words, dialects, and emphasises.
It’s similar to how England, America, and Australia all speak English, but none of them speaks the same English.
Why you should know Mexican slang
Why do you need to know any of this? What’s the point in learning about Mexican slang?
Firstly, you never know. You might one day find yourself in Mexico, either for a holiday or on business. And if you go, you’ll want to be able to speak to the locals.
But also, because Latin music is becoming more and more popular, thanks to singers such as Luis Fonsi, and Cardi B. When you’re listening to their music, you’ll want to be able to have some understanding of what they’re saying.
You might not know the song word for word, but a tiny idea is better than no idea.
“No mames guey” might sound like “No memes guy” but it’s Mexican slang for “No way!” or “C’mon dude”.
Even though Mexico speaks Spanish, their version of Spanish has evolved independently from the language of Spain, so certain words will exist that a Spaniard wouldn’t recognise.
Translated literally, it means “Don’t suck it guy”, but that’s not what it means at all.
Next time you listen to a Latin pop song, you stand a better chance of understanding what the singer is trying to say. Unless it’s Cardi B, good luck understanding her.
All The Mexican Slang Terms You Need To Know
Palenque | © Dennis Jarvis/Flickr
Mexican Spanish is replete with a ton of slang terminology that often has some strange and confusing literal translations; however, if you’re new to the world of Mexican Spanish, then you need to read this guide to the essential swearwords and slang that you should learn before exploring the country.
This is the most ubiquitous word in everyday Mexican conversation. If you’re going to learn just one piece of Mexican Spanish slang, let güey be the one. Most closely translated to ‘mate’, you’ll mainly see it written as wey (which is incidentally how it’s pronounced) rather than güey.
Ex.: ‘¿Qué pedo, wey?’ = ‘Mate, what happened?’
Folk dance | © Giulian Frisoni/Flickr
Another crucial piece of slang you should try to pick up is pinche. The translation for this isn’t super fixed, but its most commonly used as a substitute for ‘fucking’, when referring to a person or situation.
Ex.: ‘Mi pinche hermano le robó mi sueter.’ = ‘My fucking brother stole my jumper.’
Pinche graffiti in Argentina | © Randal Sheppard/Flickr
While pendejo literally means ‘pubic hair’, it is rarely if ever used in such a way. Rather, it is mainly used as a stronger form of ‘idiot’. You’re sure to hear this one shouted from car windows during rush hour. An equally great swearword is culero, which rather more literally means ‘arsehole’.
Ex.: ‘Eres tan pendejo.’ = ‘You’re such an arsehole.’
Comalcalco | © Dennis Jarvis/Flickr
While verga (pronounced like ‘burger’) is a generic slang term for ‘penis’, it also features in some regularly used phrases, the first of which is vales verga. This more or less translates to ‘you’re useless’ (or more literally, ‘you’re worth dick’). A la verga is also one you’ll want to listen out for; when used as an exclamatory, it’s a catch-call response that can express surprise, excitement and even anger in equal measure.
Ex.: ‘¡A la verga! Gané la loteríá!’ = ‘OMG! I won the lottery!’
Viva Mexico | © eperales/Flickr
No mames (literally means ‘don’t suck it’) is one of the most ubiquitous Mexican swearwords. From expressing surprise and shock to outrage, no mames loosely translates to ‘no fucking way’ or ‘what the fuck’. If you’re in the presence of elders, the tamer no manches expresses the same sentiment. Oh, and mamadas can mean both ‘blowjob’ and ‘bullshit’.
Ex.: ‘¡No mames! Son unas mamadas.’ = ‘What the fuck! That’s bullshit.’
Palenque | © Dennis Jarvis/Flickr
Chingar (fuck) is a tricky one to fully explain in just a few lines, given that it is perhaps Mexico’s most versatile verb. It is used in phrases like chinga tu madre (go fuck yourself) to chingadera (rubbish, in the sense of an object). It isn’t always negative, though, as chingonazo refers to someone admirable. For a more complete run down of chingar’s many, many uses, we recommend checking out this guide.
Ex.: ‘¡No me chingues! Vete a la chingada.’ = ‘Don’t fuck with me! Go fuck yourself.’
Mexico | © iivangm/Flickr
Both chela and cheve are slang terms for beer; you can thank us later for that tip off. Other equally essential beer-related terminology includes caguama (a 1.2 liter bottle of beer), six/seis (literally just a six-pack) and pista is the Mexican equivalent of a generic ‘drink’.
Ex.: ‘Vamos a la tienda para comprar la pista. ¿Quieren una caguama o un six de cheves?’ = ‘We’re going to the shop for drinks. Do you want a bottle of beer or a six-pack?’
Chelas | © Arantxa/Flickr
It seems appropriate to give a crash course in hangover vocab while we’re on the subject; crudo (lit. ‘raw’) is the Mexican version of resaca, which is ‘hangover’ in English. If you’re still feeling the effects of the alcohol, though, you’re more than likely pedo (lit. ‘fart’) or ‘drunk’.
Ex.: ‘¡Estoy bien pedo! Estaré muy crudo mañana.’ = ‘I’m so drunk! I’m going to be hungover tomorrow.’
Puebla | © Russ Bowling/Flickr
Fresa means strawberry, right? Well, yes, fresa is literally a strawberry, but in Mexico, a person can also be fresa. Calling someone a fresa often means they’re a bit stuck-up or snobby, and generally well off, too. The antithesis to fresa is often considered to be naco, or ‘tacky’.
Ex.: ‘Ella es muy fresa, ¿verdad?’ = ‘She’s a bit stuck-up, right?’
Cholula | © Russ Bowling/Flickr
Almost untranslatable due to the wildly varying contexts it can be used in, órale can be used as an interjection of encouragement, an expression of shock, surprise or excitement – even agreement with a statement can be communicated through a timely use of the word órale.
Ex.: ‘¿Vamos a la fiesta?’ ‘Sí, órale, vámonos.’ = ‘Are we going to the party?’ ‘Yeah, sure, let’s go.’
Mexico City | © Kasper Christensen/Flickr
This is a weird one. Try and directly translate it and you’ll realize it means ‘a little’. However, a poco used as an exclamatory statement is akin to saying ‘really?!’ or ‘you don’t say!’ in English, in a surprised context. Give ¡a poco! a whirl next time someone gives you some shocking news of juicy gossip.
Ex.: ‘¿Te dieron el trabajo? ¡A poco!’ = ‘You got the job?! No way!’
Riviera Maya | © Joe Hunt/Flickr
If you’re at all familiar with Peninsula Spanish, or rather Spanish from Spain, you’ll probably know that guay means ‘cool’. Well, if you say guay in Mexico, you might get some funny looks – instead, stick to calling things chido and padre, and you’ll blend right in!
Ex.: ‘¡Ay, que chida estuvo la película!’ = ‘The film was so cool!’
k chido! | © William Murphy/Flickr
You could be forgiven for thinking that this colloquialism has something to do with eggs, given that it includes the word huevo (egg). However, a huevo (more commonly written a webo) actually means ‘hell yeah!’ On a similar note, hueva means laziness, as does floja, and a huevón is a lazy person.
Ex.: ‘Tengo mucha hueva, ya no quiero salir.’ = ‘I’m feeling lazy, I don’t fancy going out now.’
Guanajuato | © Russ Bowling/Flickr
Literally translating to ‘what fart?’ and ‘what wave?’ respectively, ¿qué pedo? And ¿qué onda? are questions you’ll hear all the time in Mexico. While they both mean ‘what’s up?’, ¿qué pedo? is perhaps slightly more accusative than ¿qué onda?, which is friendlier in tone. Similarly, if someone is buena onda or buen pedo, it means they’re nice.
Ex.: ‘¿Qué pedo, wey?’ = ‘What’s up, mate?’
Mexico City | © Blok 70/Flickr
We’ve lumped these four phrases together as their meanings are somewhat similar; the fact they all start with ‘c’ was a happy coincidence! Cuate is slang for ‘friend’, as is compa, carnal and cabrón. They tend to be used to varying degrees depending which part of Mexico you’re in, and cabrón can also be used as an insult at times. Context is everything!
Ex.: ‘Es mi compa, mi carnal – ¡lo quiero!’ = ‘He’s my friend – I love him!’
Mexico’s Historic Centre | © iivangm/Flickr
Madre (lit. ‘mother’), as with chingar, is one of those words you’ll see used in all kinds of phrases. From describing something as con madre (awesome), to saying that something me vale madre (I don’t give a shit), there are endless slang terms that use ‘mother’ as an insult. You can find a comprehensive guide here.
Ex.: ‘¡Estuvo a toda madre!’ = ‘It was awesome!’
Teotihuacán | © Dennis Jarvis/Flickr
A commonly used term in Mexican slang, neta translates roughly to ‘truth’ or ‘really?!’ when used as an exclamatory. Say someone gives you some really great gossip; a wide-eyed ¿neta? would make for the ideal response.
Ex.: ‘Oí que estás embarazada. ¿Es neta?’ = ‘I heard you were pregnant. Is it true?’
Mexico City | © Jay Walt/Flickr
Used Mexico-wide, gacho is pretty much like saying something is ‘bad’ or ‘not cool’. For example, people can be gacho, as can less than ideal situations.
Ex.: ‘¡No seas gacho!’ = ‘Don’t be bad/ mean!’
Palacio Nacional | © Blok 70/Flickr
If all those terms weren’t enough for you and you’re still in the mood to learn some hyperlocal Chilango (Mexico City) slang, we recommend you give Café Tacuba’sChilanga Banda a listen!
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No Mames Wey / No Mames Guey
What does No Mames Wey / No Mames Guey mean?
No mames wey, also encountered as no mames guey or no mames güey is a colloquial expression in Mexican Spanish.
The phrase could be roughly translated to English as “no way dude”.
“No mames” is a phrase that can be used to express surprise, excitement, fear as well as anger, while “wey” or “guey” is a way to refer to a person (usually male) without calling out their name, similar to the English “dude”.
What's the origin of No Mames Wey / No Mames Guey?
While the exact origin of “no mames wey” is debated, it is mostly agreed upon by Spanish speakers in the US that it was coined in Mexico.
An early example of it emerged in a post on a Spanish language forum as early as 1992.
Spread and Usage
How did No Mames Wey / No Mames Guey spread?
“No mames wey” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2009.
The phrase, however started getting popular after Diego Luna taught the expression to Conan O’Brien on his late night show in 2015.
Since then, the phrase emerged in numerous contexts online.
Published: 05/27/2021 by Isaac Anderson | Last updated: 05/27/2021 | 476 views | Report error
Mames wey no
A Spanish slang phrase commonly used by Mexicans. Geuy means a jerk (other translations for guey are dude, bro, punk, and more), but young Mexican people use it to adress their friends in a teasing manner. The whole phrase "no mames guey" translates as "You must be kidding, man!" but most people use it refering to its other definitions, such as "Don't fuck with me!" or "Don't give me shit!"
1. Non agressive example ("you must be kidding"):
"Yea, so I just bought a new TV which is flatscreen and HD!"
"No mames guey! Thats awsome."
2. Agessive example ("don't fuck with me"):
"Hey, will you ask your mom how much I owe her for last night?"
"No mames guey!"
by maxicanjew June 28, 2009
Get a no mames guey mug for your mate Manafort.
The Spanish verb mamar literally translates as “to suck,” so no mames can be said to mean “don’t suck (it).” There is some implication that the phrase is referring to fellatio, as mamazo is a term for that. There’s also some speculation that mames comes from the word mamadas, which loosely means “lies” or “BS.”
No mames is sometimes extended to no mames güey (no-mah-mess-goo-ee) and no mames wey (no-mah-mess-way), which both roughly mean “No way, dude!” Wey and güey are both Spanish slang words meaning “dude” or “guy,” though wey can also connote “idiot.”
No mames comes from the Latinx community and specifically from the Mexican and Mexican-American communities. There’s some debate about whether it was originally coined in Mexico, but many native users insist that it was. One of the earliest records of the phrase’s usage online is from a Spanish-language forum post on July 27, 1992. The term came to some prominence much later when actor Diego Luna taught it to comedian Conan O’Brien on his late-night talk show in 2015.
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Which are in all cities. Where people are buried without clan and tribe. Far outside the city of Krasnoyarsk. At the cemetery, where no one comes, at least once to remember the dead. The Angel Voilenefour sat on a large gold and heavy throne in a huge stone hall with high ceilings.