How to Speak Like a Mexicano: ¡Madre!

21 Feb

You thought “madre” just meant “mother”, didn’t you?

Here in Mexico, “madre” can be used in quite a few different ways. Some of these I learned the hard way.

Madre: mother

Qué Poca Madre: (lit: how little mother) How uncool of you! Jerk!

Estar Poca Madre: (lit: to be a little bit of mother) to be awesome

                “Wey, esta fiesta está poca madre!”

A Toda Madre: (lit: full mother) very, very, very awesome

Hasta la Madre (1): (lit: up to the mother) completely full

                  “Ya vámonos… este bar está hasta la madre de gente.”

Hasta la Madre (2): fed up

                  “Ya me tienes hasta la madre con tus sermones.”

Hasta la Madre (3): extremely drunk

                  “Wey, anoche me puse hasta la madre en la fiesta de Jorge!”

Me Vale Madres: (lit: it’s worth mothers to me) I don’t give a sh**

Madrazo: (lit: a hit by a mother) a very strong punch, hit, fall, etc.

Esa Madre: (lit: that mother) that thing over there

               “Qué es esa madre?”

Dar en la Madre/Romper la Madre: (lit: to give in the mother/to break the mother) to punch very very hard

Ni Madres: (lit: not even mother) zip, zero, squat, heck no!

A Madres: (lit: of mothers) something that is unappealing to the senses

                   “Estos tacos asquerosos saben a madres.”

                   “Tu perfume chafa huele a madres.”

Puta Madre: (lit: prostitute mother) a very bad phrase expressing alarm, like “sh*t!”

Hope this will help you avoid some of the mistakes I made!

15 Responses to “How to Speak Like a Mexicano: ¡Madre!”

  1. Babes about Town February 21, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Ah, I used to learn Spanish so this takes me back. Isn’t it crazy how the word ‘mother’ is used derogatorily in so many languages?!

    I guess it’s because in some ways ‘mother’ is the ultimate compliment, so flipping it becomes the ultimate insult. At least that’s what I’m telling myself!

    Stopping by from SITS, happy to meet you.

  2. laurencancun February 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Que padre post!

    Haha – couldn’t leave paps out, could I? LOL!!!

    I’ll never understand, but now I have this post to refer back to.

    Awesome, thanks!!

  3. Leslie Limon February 21, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    Very good! I’m sure this will help many who plan on moving to Mexico! 😀

  4. viagemafora February 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    In Portuguese, some of these meaning is quite the same.

  5. Sarah Ruth February 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    This is interesting. I never knew it was used in so many ways!

    Stopping by from SITS!

  6. Suzie February 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Love the lessons, keep them coming. They really do come in handy and are very helpful.

  7. Amy February 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Eeek! Very confusing.

  8. Sarah Ruth February 23, 2010 at 4:25 am #

    I don’t remember what Julia Roberts said in the bloopers. 😦 But Do you know what I mean about the scene that made me cry?! Because I’m a soldier’s wife and he is deploying in a few months. 😦

  9. GRRRL TRAVELER February 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    I love when you do these little translations of one word. So interesting- i didn’t realize spanish could be complex like that.

  10. Emily February 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    Those are some impressive translations! I, of course, like ‘a toda madre’ best!

  11. *K* February 23, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Love this. I’ve always wanted to be fluent in Spanish…maybe thanks to you I will finally get the motivation!

  12. elizabeth February 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    hi! I am visiting to say thanks for stopping by my blog on Monday and helping to make my SITS day special, and now I know some VERY useful Spanish! thanks 🙂

  13. Trudy March 6, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    I enjoyed this. I have been living in the area for six years (Cozumel and now Macario Gomez) and I didn’t know any of these. Que padre!… I have run into on TV. I have also heard wey used on tv…mostly by Chilangos, but the tv spells it guey. Same pronunciation. Thanks for the lesson.

  14. Magpie March 17, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    I’m half-Spanish and it’s weird how different the slang is. The only one we really have in common is puta madre, which is used like that but also used to say something is really awesome (“esta de puta madre”).

  15. Rodney April 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    In my experience, anything with madre in it is fairly strong, but I’ve never quite gotten a handle on exactly how strong/vulgar some of these are, like “hasta la madre”. Is it really “I’m fed up” or stronger like “I’m F’ing fed up”?

    If you could give us a little insight into just how strong these are, that would be great.

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