Hey Vallarta.. Oye, Güey?

Slang and cuss words throughout Mexico can vary from state to state and should be understood wherever you go, the beach, city or small village, Puerto Vallarta being no exception. It’s good, however, to know all the implications of what you’re saying.

The above is pronounced oh-yay way and basically means hey, guy or dude but it might mean cool or awesome or bugger off!, depending on the context and manner in which it’s said. Translated literally, qüey means ox, giving you an idea of how confusing slang is in Mexico, as it is in most countries. Gaining popularity in the US and other English speaking countries is the word dope, which means what cool, groovy, rad, bad (meaning the opposite of bad… very, very good) have meant to earlier generations. Whoever would have thought…?

You want to call someone a name by way of picking a fight? Use the label cabrón. It means male goat (cabróna for a female) when translated directly, but also, in Puerto Vallarta, is means of calling someone a dick or worse. On the other hand, it may be what you call your best friend as you wrap your arms around him in a bear hug and slap his back with affection. Essentially, cabrón has a much deeper meaning and goes back to Shakespearean times when it described the guy who was cuckolded by his wife. In other words, it’s meant to emasculate. And yet, it is still often used within a circle of friends, teasingly and with good cheer. Hey, cabron … got any naked pictures of your wife? You want some? At which everyone has a good laugh, including the victim of the joke.

Órale, sometimes used in conjunction with qüey falls into the same categories as the above, in that it can mean a varied number of things and actually may be used in just about any circumstance. Smacking the forehead and exclaiming as one reaches an empty parking spot Órale, someone stole my car! or Órale, I’ve got the day off, let’s go to the beach! or Órale, you’re looking good, sweetheart, can I buy you a margarita? On the other hand, Órale can also mean wtf. It’s one of those all encompassing words, like yeehaw in English. Imagine using the word wow or the phrase oh, boy to express joy or dismay. It’s kind of like that.

At any rate, if one is inclined to use slang terms in Puerto Vallarta, it’s good to know how one might be conceived, be well advised to know with whom you are directing your speech and be ready to have fun or run.

Que es cómo es.


 Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article!


Harriet Cochran Murray, Director of Cochran Real Estate, is a seasoned Real Estate professional both here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and in the United States. Harriet has served in many capacities as a board member and President for the local Real Estate Association AMPI (AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals). She is also a member of FIABCI and NAR in the United States. Harriet’s expertise and experience in the Real Estate and especially in the Mexican market makes her Viewpoint blog articles both informational and intriguing. Harriet is a Buyer’s Agent who specializes in getting the best deal on the right property for her clients.