10 Secret Mexican Phrases You Need To Know To Be a Secret Mexican

There are some phrases in Spanish that only we Mexicans use. Dilas y los mexicanos van a pensar que eres uno de nosotros. (Say them and Mexicans will be tricked into thinking you are one of us.)

And even if they don’t, they’ll be amazed that you know such insider Mexican Spanish!

10 SECRET SPANISH PHRASES that’ll trick people into believing you’re Mexican

This is not your typical “güey”, “neta”, and “órale” lesson! That’s very common Mexican slang; We’re interested in the chunks you won’t find in textbooks, only on the streets of Mexico! Here are 10 Mexican phrases you need to know.

1. Me tienes con el Jesús en la boca. (You have me all worried.)

Me tienes con el Jesús en la boca. You have me with Jesus in my mouth? Literal translations are hilarious!  So don’t! We say: “Estoy con el Jesús en la boca” when we’re worried about something. It’s close to “my heart sinks?”.

Amiga, ¿ya llegaste a tu casa? 
(Girlfriend, have you arrived at your house yet?)

Sí, perdón por no avisarte.
(Yes, sorry for not letting you know.)

Ay, amiga, me tienes con el Jesús en la boca. 
(Oh, girlfriend, you have me all worried.) 

Hola mamita, ¿qué pasó? 
(Hello mom, what’s up?)

¿Por qué no contestas tu teléfono, niña?
(Why aren’t you answering your phone, girl?)

Ay, mamita, perdón, estaba en modo avión.
(Oh mom, I’m sorry, it was on airplane mode.)

Me tienes con el Jesús en la boca.  
(You have me all worried.) 

Stay until the end to learn the phrase that I’ve been using a lot since I moved to Mexico City to blend in and hide the fact that I’m from Cancún! 

2. El que es perico dondequiera es verde. (He who is a parrot is green anywhere.)

We use this phrase to say that if you’re really good at something, nothing should stop you to demonstrate your skills. I thought it might be similar to “a leopard never changes its spots”, but hmm, what do you think?

mexican phrases you need to know text on blue and yellow background

Paulísima, ¿cómo te está yendo en la Ciudad de Mexico? 
(Paulisima, how are things going in Mexico City?)

¡Súper bien, amiga! 
(Really good, girlfriend!)

Y por supuesto, amiga, el que es perico dondequiera es verde.
(And of course girlfriend, he who is a parrot is green everywhere.) 

Sometimes we use this to kind of challenge someone to be better: 

¿Me ayudas con esta hoja de cálculo? ¡Sé que eres muy bueno con ellas!
(Can you help me with this spreadsheet? I know you’re great with them!)

Oh! Pero tu usas Mac…no se sí pueda.
(Oh! But you use Mac…I’m not sure I can.)

¡Ándale! El que es perico dondequiera es verde.
(Come on! He who is a parrot is green everywhere.) 

El que es perico dondequiera es verde”, as all proverbs, are great Spanish chunks, premade phrases that you can use at all times and will help you speak with confidence. 

Make sure to download our free Spanish Essential Chunking Kit, with all the most important chunks in Spanish you’ll need to sound like a native speaker! Link is in the description.

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3. ¿Qué hongo? (What mushrooms?)

¿Qué hongo? (What mushrooms?) So, this is like a variation of the Mexican “What’s up”: ¿Qué onda? So, the original is ¿qué onda?… but to make it even more barrio, say ¿qué hongo? 

¿Qué hongo, Pau? ¿Qué haces?
(What’s up, Pau? What are you up to?)

Nada, aquí amiga, echando la hueva. 
(Nothing, just here girlfriend, being lazy.) 

Did you catch that second phrase: “Echando la hueva” ? I’ve talked about this phrase in another video, where I talk about Mexican Slang. Check it out to learn the tricks that are going to help you blend in, in Mexico. Que es el país más bonito del mundo y todo el mundo lo sabe. (Which is the prettiest country in the world and everyone knows it.) 

And since you’re there using your beautiful fingers, click on that subscribe button on our Spring Spanish YouTube channel

¿Qué hongo mi gente? ¿Cómo están? (What’s up, my people? How are you all?) 

4. Perame tantito. (Wait a little bit.)

Perame tantito. (Wait a lilt bit.)

This phrase is a great example of how us, Mexicans, contract words and use diminutive.) It should be “ESpérame” but don’t say “espérame” we say “pérame”. 

Bueno, amiga, como te iba diciendo…
(Well, girlfriend, like I was saying…) 

¡Pérame tantito! Me está entrando otra llamada.
(Hold on a sec! I have another incoming call.) 

5. No te hagas como que la Virgen te habla. (You’re pretending that Virgin Mary is talking to you.)

No te hagas como que la Virgen te habla” This is like you’re pretending that Virgin Mary is talking to you. We use this to describe a situation where someone is being purposely oblivious to a situation.

You know, like when you pretend that something is not happening, when you ignore an uncomfortable question.  

Peque, ¿anoche llegaste a la casa a dormir?
(Peque, did you come home to sleep last night?)

 ¡Estuvo padrísima la fiesta mami! ¡Hubo tacos al pastor y todo! 
(The party was so cool, mom! There were pastor tacos pastor and everything!)

Te pregunté si llegaste a la casa dormir…Y oye se te oye la voz ronca, ¿estuviste fumando?
(I asked you if you came back home to sleep…And hey, I hear your hoarse voice, have you been smoking?)

¡Riquísimos los tacos al pastor mami! ¡Riquísimos!
(The pastor tacos were delicios, mommy! Delicious!)

¡No te hagas como que la Virgen te habla! 
(Don’t pretend you can’t hear me!)

Perfect! Now learn this other version: Se hizo como que la virgen le habla. This is to talk about a third person. 

¿Ya solicitaste tus vacaciones en la oficina? 
(Have you already requested days off at your office?)

Sí, pero el de recursos humanos se hizo como que la virgen le habla.
(Yes, but the person from Human Resources ignored me.) 

6. Dar el gatazo. (It looks like the real thing.)

Dar el gatazo. (To give off the cat.)

We use this phrase to talk about how something looks pretty close to something else, without ever being that other thing. Let’s say I wanted a leather jacket, but I could only afford a faux leather one.

Amiga, ¿cómo ves mi chamarra? No es de piel.
(Girlfriend, what do you think about my jacket? It is not made of leather.)

No importa amiga, da el gatazo. 
(It doesn’t matter girlfriend, “it looks like the real thing”.) 

7. Ya dio el estirón. (She went through a growth spurt.)

There’s a weird stage after puberty when kids grow really fast. In Mexico, that’s called “dar el estirón.

Normally, we would use this phrase to talk about a kid. So learn the third-person version of this. 

¡Qué grande está Alejandrito! 
(Alejandrito is so tall!)

Sí, ¡ya dio el estirón! 
(Yes, he went through a growth spurt!) 

¿Ya viste que Amandita está altisima?
(Have you seen how tall Amandita is?)

Sí, ya dio el estirón.
(Yes, she went through a growth spurt.)

8. Va, va, va, va, va. (Yeah, yeah, yeah.)

Va. va, va. It means like goes, goes, goes…. La gente joven de la Ciudad de México usa mucho esta frase. (Young people from Mexico City uses this phrase a lot.) 

It is a way to show agreement. However, they never say just one va. This is the trick to really sound Mexican. 

Paulísima, nos vemos al rato para ir a clase de salsa.
(Paulisima, see you later to go to salsa dance class.)

Va, va, va, va.
(Yeah, yeah, yeah.) 

9. Me agarraste en curva / Me agarraste de bajada. (You caught me off guard.)

Me agarraste en curva o me agarraste de bajada. They’re really close to the phrase “throw someone a curveball” or “to catch someone off guard”.

Paulísima, ¿cuál es la clave de teléfono del estado de Quintana Roo?
(Paulisima, what is the telephone area code of the state of Quintana Roo?)

Amiga, no me acuerdo, me agarraste en curva. 
(Girlfriend, I don’t remember, you caught me off guard.)

Pau, ¿cuál es la capital de Myanmar?
(Pau, what is the capital of Myanmar?)

Yangon? Mandalay? ¡Uf! Amiga, ¡me agarraste de bajada! 
(Yangon? Mandalay? Uf! Girlfriend, you caught me off guard!) 

10. La carne de burro no es transparente. (Donkey meat is not transparent.)

Oh! Esta frase es clásica de la escuela. (This is a classic phrase from school.) It means: Donkey’s meat is not transparent, and we mean exactly that! In Mexico, when we call someone burro (donkey), we mean that that person is hmm foolish? Stupid? 

So, if a peer is blocking the view, we say: ¡La carne de burro no es transparente! (Donkey’s meat is not transparent!) To playfully encourage them to move out of the way. 

Paulísima… ¡La carne de burro no es transparente!
(Paulísima… donkey meat is not transparent!) 

Use these 10 phrases, and you’re already much closer to blending in Mexico.

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