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How to use Spanish street slang words?(vato, esé, wey)

 
 
Sam560
 
Reply Fri 15 May, 2020 08:31 pm
Hi! I'm American but living in Mexico City right now. I was wondering how exactly to use slang words, particularly "dude" in Spanish?

I've heard you can say "wey/güey" and "ese" or "vato" for dude, but I'm wondering if I can use these words with my female friends? And is it as socially acceptable to call my friends "ese" or "vato"?

Also can I use "vata" to refer to my girlfriends? Like, is it not unusual to call female friends "ese" and "vata"? I have a roommate in my dorm and I'm wondering if I could call her "ese", "wey", or "vata (vato)"?

Can I come in and say "hey vata!! ¿Que pasa?" Or "hey ese! ¿Que tal?" How does it work?

Thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 377 • Replies: 15
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maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2020 09:18 pm
@Sam560,
If you live in Mexico city, why don't you ask someone there?

I have never heard "vato" used in Mexico. I have always associated the word with Mexican-American culture. I have heard Guey used... but only for men with men and mainly in the North. I have friends that use the word "cabrón" alot in an informal friendly way (the word seems to be flexible and can be used in anger too). For the record, I have spent time on Coahuila, Nuevo León, DF and Jalisco.

But this is a question you should be asking a Mexican.
Sam560
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 01:13 pm
@maxdancona,
Yes, sorry, my Spanish isn't the best right now. I'm enrolled at a university but we're stuck in our dorms due to covid 19 unfortunately.

I'm not quite sure how to ask someone how to use these words.

I have a female roommate, and I'm bisexual, and so is she, I'm learning how to talk casually and also romantically so as to make things comfortable so maybe we could start dating because I love her. The language barrier is a problem so I wanted to get familiar with street slang and how to use cool phrases for my friends.

So is it cool to call her "ese"? I like that word, and also the feminine version of vato, "vata". But I like ese a lot. Is that ok in Mexico? Or should I only use it w/ the Latino/Latina community in America? I think Vata, and Ese are awesome lol

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 01:23 pm
@Sam560,
I have never heard anyone use the word "vata" (I have heard Mexican-Americans use the word "vato", but only to refer to a man).

As far as your roommate, could you ask her?

I spend a lot of time in Mexico and have Mexico friends. With people that I just meet, I am generally formal. I have friends that call me "Guey" and "Cabron"... and I feel comfortable using those words (even so, I don't use them very often... I am the foreigner).

In general political correctness is much less of a thing in Mexico. Americans worry about everything, since it might take offense. In other countries it is not so much.

There are women I know who are called "gorda (fat)" as an affectionate nickname. I know someone who is called "Negro" because of his dark skin, and someone else who is called "China" (she is not Asian at all) because of her appearance. These things would offend many Americans. Mexicans.... not so much.

That being said, as a foreigner you should be extra careful. There are some things that might offend someone... you just have to learn them. It also varies from State to State, in the North of Mexico it is far more common to hear "cabron" used affectionately. In some places I think it would be considered offensive.

As far as your roommate, if you have a level of friendship you can ask her in a respectful way.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 01:45 pm
@maxdancona,
I'm not sure I would appreciate being called "Cabron". It may be a very nuanced word, but I certainly wouldn't use it myself.
Sam560
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 03:02 pm
@maxdancona,
I hear you. Cabron would be offensive from what I gather. I wouldn't say that. I like esé a lot. I don't have the language skills to ask her unfortunately. My Spanish is bad to say the least. Have you heard Mexicans in Mexico using esé? I just want to sound cool and call people dude a lot lol. Also, how'd you use wey, or güey with someone? Can I just go up to my friend and say "what's up güey?" Or "¡hey güey! ¿Que pasa?" Is it cool to use it frequently like 'dude' in English? I have heard peopl say esé here, is it cool to use esé frequently when talking to my friend? Kind of like "dude"?


¡Gracias!
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 03:58 pm
@Sam560,
I've never been in Mexico, nor have lots of Latino neighbors, but 'ese' sounds respectful - kind of like The Guy. Don't trust my understanding, though. It's just a feeling.

I've never seen or heard a feminine version of ese.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 05:24 pm
@roger,
Really,

So if you are with a group of friends, and one of them says "Andele cabrón, come with us for a beer!", or if a friend said "look at you cabrón, that shirt is cool!"

You woudn't appreciate that usage?

Particularly in the North of Mexico (in my experience) these usages are pretty common among male friends. I have heard "cabrona" used (directed toward women) in a similar way... however it seems to be slightly different. "Cabrona" often means "badass" where as "Cabron" is more like "jackass". Either can be used in a joking way with friends in certain social situations. Of course as a foreigner, I would be damn sure of my friends before I tried this.


maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 05:31 pm
@Sam560,
If your Spanish isn't good enough to have a basic conversation with your roommate, you might want to wait before you start throwing around slang. Sorry, you aren't going to sound cool until you get some mastery of the language.

Hopefully you will learn quickly.
Sam560
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 05:34 pm
@roger,
Yeah thanks amigo! I don't think 'ese' has a female counterpart. I love the way it sounds and I also like "vato" but I'm not sure if it has a female version but I think you can call a girl 'ese'. I think I've heard "vata" before but I'm unsure. I just wonder if I can say it regularly in a conversation with my roommate. Like I wonder if I can say "hey ese! How are you? I just got back from my 9:00am class ese, and dang was it hard ese!" Or "wanna walk with me to class vata? I like your hair today too! It's totally cool vata!"

I guess I could call her "guapa" which means a good looking girl, because like I said I'm in love with my roommate, but I haven't told her yet. I want to know how to ask for a date or a kiss and make it comfortable like ask "hey vata/ese, can I have a beso?" Or "¡hey ese! Te amo mucho mucho querida!"

I definitely won't be using cabron. I know what it means lol. I thought maybe I could call her "puta" but I learnt that's kind of vulgar too. My roommate says "hija de puta" a lot though. So maybe she'd be okay with it. I learned hijo/hija de puta early on, so I use it a lot too.
Sam560
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 05:36 pm
@maxdancona,
Also I do have decent conversation skills. Just not a pro
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 05:38 pm
@Sam560,
You should absolutely not call a woman in Mexico. That would have the same effect as calling a woman in the US a "whore".

"Guapa" is safe to use if you want to flirt. I will probably not offend her. If she responds with "hijo de puta", though... sorry, but that means it is over.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 07:09 pm
@maxdancona,
Yeah, but don't forget, some people use ************ in the same sense you are using 'cabron'. I would advise caution till I had a really confident sense of how it would be received.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 07:13 pm
@roger,
Quote:
I would advise caution till I had a really confident sense of how it would be received.


I agree, but I have that. Cabron (at least in Northern Mexico) is nothing like "************".
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 May, 2020 10:25 am
@Sam560,
when I id a lot of xploration work in West Mexico Sierras , the drillers were all from like Oaxaca or Chiapas .They used 'cavron' as a respectful term for us all. I was told that amigo was almost a setupfor a fight so I should be careful where I used it .(My "industrial Spanish" was not very good anyway)
0 Replies
 
Sam560
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 May, 2020 07:15 pm
@maxdancona,
Yeah thanks. I know, she says hijo de puta a lot but not at me.
0 Replies
 
 

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