1. andrea1701 Junior Member

    English USA
    What does buey mean? My friends say it after EVERYTHING!! Hola buey, que pasa buey, adios buey! :)
  2. toxicosmos

    toxicosmos Senior Member

    Seville - Spain
    Español - España
    It means something like mate, or dude, but just in Mexico and maybe some countries in America.
    In Spain buey just means ox.
  3. ILT

    ILT Moderando con moderación

    México - Español/Castellano
    Hi Andrea:

    Buey, with a b, is an ox.

    Güey, with a g, is a colloquial word meaning something like "dude", but güey is not to be used in front of adults or teachers.

    Warm regards

  4. andrea1701 Junior Member

    English USA
    Okay, so can you use both words to greet close friends?
  5. toxicosmos

    toxicosmos Senior Member

    Seville - Spain
    Español - España
    No, you can't. You have to use Güey.

    Buey is just for the animal.

    Un saludo.
  6. lapachis8 Senior Member

    El Defectuoso
    Weird, i´ve heard it in many contexts in all social classes, on TV by young and adults alike. I hate it, because it has substituted most words of Mexican Spanish, however, since it´s widely used it has lost it´s status of a bad curse word, so i think I Love Translating advice not to use it front of adults or teachers is a tad conservative and exagerated. Just an opinion.
  7. borgonyon

    borgonyon Modus Vivendi

    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Mexican Spanish
    I'm with you lapachis. It doesn't have any bad connotation, it's a way to greet a friend. You don't call a teacher or your dad "buey" or "güey" [you may use either one, it doesn't make any difference], but there's no taboo about saying the words in front of them.
  8. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    When I was living in central México I had an amiga who often peppered her speech with "guey," and I distinctly remember a mutual friend angrily telling her, "No me llames 'guey.'" Although it is often used among friends, it never seemed to me to be a caring expression. I chose never to use it.
  9. borgonyon

    borgonyon Modus Vivendi

    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Mexican Spanish
    Yep. Not everybody likes it. Like I didn't like my students saying: my bad. But there's nothing wrong with it. I don't think I have used it since I was a teenager.
  10. mariente Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Español, Argentina (somewhere in the planet Urban)
    es como decir en inglés "buddy" o guy, dependiendo del contexto
    Los mexicanos dicen: "hola güey como andas"?--> buddy
    o dicen
    el güey se fue a ...--> guy
  11. chanti Junior Member

    Austin, TX
    US; English/Spanish
    I'm just a gringa, but during the years that I lived and taught in Mexico (in Veracruz, to be exact), it was not acceptable to say a word like "güey" in front of elders and/or superiors. When in doubt, it's better to err on the side of caution. Just a thought! :)
  12. DCPaco Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    Spanish of Mexico/ English of the USA
    I agree to some extent with lapachis and I love translating...it just depends on the region (just like in some regions joder is heavy and in other regions it's not so heavy). In recent years, güey has become used more extensively by the young people of all social classes (as lapachis has said)--perhaps because the situation of old money has faded and there is a nouveau riche class that has emerged out of lower socioeconomic background (that, however, is possibly a topic for another thread) and therefore, it might not be used by the children of people who pride themselves well bred people (but this may not always be the case either).

    More and more after the movie Y tu mamá también, there has been a shift from güey to ca...which is short for "cabrón"...so, anywhere where you could insert "güey" you could easily use "ca."
  13. lapachis8 Senior Member

    El Defectuoso
    Very conservative people would agree then that güey should not be said in front of elders and superiors regardless of their place of origin.
  14. mariente Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Español, Argentina (somewhere in the planet Urban)
    Of course, because it is too informal and it shows familiar treatment
  15. Janis Joplin

    Janis Joplin Senior Member

    "Güey" is a deformed "buey" and in its origin meant "stupid".

    I guess some people use buey for sounding not too vulgar and yet "cool".

    It may has lost its status of a bad curse word and it may be widely used but I'm still don't like anyone to call me güey just because it's trendy.
  16. friedfysh Senior Member

    Doncaster, UK
    England, United Kingdom (English)
    Well I currently live in Mexico and to me the best translation would be to think of it as the was Jamaicans say "mon", many mexicans put Güey at the end of every sentence in the same way (no pun intended).
    e.g. What's up, mon? = ¿Qué onda, güey?
    "No seas güey" and "hacerse güey" are a little bit different. "¡No seas güey!" is something like "Don't be a twat!".
  17. tame1999 Junior Member

    South Jersey
    United States and English
    I've frequently heard the term used in a derogatory sense, por ejemplo:

    - "el es media guey"

    which i presume to mean half-stupid or half-ox.
  18. Gringa Mexicana New Member

    USA, English
    When I stayed in Aguascalientes, Mexico I stayed with a pastor(but not super conservative pastor) the general thought by all those in the church was that it was a bad word. So I do know that some people do take offense. However, my friends outside of the church stated that it was not "really" A curse word. I sort of relate it to pissed off / ticked off in english. Some people think Pissed off is cursing, while some do not.
  19. Bilma Senior Member

    Spanish Mexico

    Güey cannot be translated as buddy or guy. As stated before it is not a "caring word".
  20. eolia

    eolia Junior Member

    Spanish - Mexico
    I definitely not use it for calling any of my friends and surey I would not feel comfortable if some of them call me like this. It has a clear meaning of disdain (even though, it is used for many to show they are "really cool")...
  21. hsam

    hsam Senior Member

    Nr. London
    British English
    Personally I always think "buddy" is really insincere and it's false affection that's really just a bit of a put-down and a tad patronising.

    Just how one person sees it of course :)
  22. Logophilus

    Logophilus Senior Member

    All social implications aside, I would personally like to know the most ACCURATE translation for this word (in case I have to translate in court, for example).

    In English, we commonly use vulgar terms among very close friends (who aren't conservative or real scrupulous) to greet them or address them. Among youth you will commonly hear "Wuzup, mutha*****!", "W'sup, b**ch!", or "Wassup dawg." An example of this can be found in the movie The 40-Year Old Virgin when Andy greets his black friend in the bar towards the end with my first example. Indeed, one would not talk this way in any formal setting. However, I'm more interested in the accuracy of how to interpret it in case it comes up, not when or where to use it.

    So how would you precisely translate "Que pasò, guey!" into English?

  23. tame1999 Junior Member

    South Jersey
    United States and English
    what's goin on dude/man is the most accurate from what i personally know.

    -all the best
  24. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    I agree the colloquial (not literal ) translation is "dude" for the youngsters.

    grandpa would say> pal, partner,champ, chum, fella
    dad would say> pal, buddy, brother, neighboor pl The gang
    son would say> dude, bro, homie ,guys

    grandma would say> singular: friend, dear. plural: ladies, girls
    mom would say> singular: sweetie, honey, toots. plural: gals, girls
    grandaughter would say> girl, girlfriend, dudes, dudette (now passé)sister
    pl: the group,"guys"
  25. Jeromed Banned

    USA, English

    I'd like to add that güey is still not (fully) accepted by the older generation in Mexico, and is not OK to use in formal conversation. Whoever intends to use the term should take this into consideration.
  26. Oklaz-City-405 New Member

    In Mexican culture Wuey came from the Spanish word Buey, meaning Ox/Bullock. The way it was supposed to be used for was to call people stupid and/or that they had no balls. There is two ways to use it, one friendly and one offensive.

    The Friendly way to say it is in such phrases like "Que Paso Wuey" which is kind of like "What's Up Dude"
    The Offensive way to say it is in such phrases like "Como Estas Tan Wuey" which is "You Really Are Stupid"

    Remember that these two words HAVE DIFRENT MEANINGS and DO NOT sound the same.
    Buey: Ox/Bullock (Informal and very disrespectful to call somebody that, Why? because your calling them an animal, and not only that but the definition for a Bullock (Which is English for the word Buey) is: a castrated domestic bull. Some people will even kick your ass over it)
    Wuey: Dude, Homie, Guy, Brother, Buddy such things like that. (Formal, only to be used in people you know, other people might kick your ass)

    Also remember that Wuey and especially Buey, being used for friendly use or not, it is strongly advised not to be used on people you don't know or in front of elders because it's very disrespectful to do so, and once again, they might kick your ass over it.
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  27. incaprincess

    incaprincess Senior Member

    USA, English & Spanish
    "Guey" is usually used among Mexican guys. It is a vulgar term, but when it's used between friends in a positive conversation, they can get away w/ using it. If you're arguing w/ someone (guy to guy) and one guy calls the other one "guey", it's viewed as an insult. It's like saying "bastard". YOu know when AMerican guys talk, they can use the word "bastard" as just a vulgar-friendly term, like saying, "The little bas***rd really married a great girl" (vulgar-friendly) or they could say "You bas***rd!!!!" (vulgar-insulting).

    So, when Mexican guys are talking, just apply the "bastard" rule to "guey" and you'll understand what I'm saying.

    Personally, the word "guey" is stupid because it's not even a real word, and it's used and used and used like 15 times in just one sentence...it gets old after a while.
  28. lamamichelle New Member

    The way it was explained to me:

    Buey: dumbass

    Güey: man, dude, bro, etc.

    So be nice, use güey ;)
  29. incaprincess

    incaprincess Senior Member

    USA, English & Spanish
    I heard that it's really "GUEY" when they use it in casual conversation, perhaps calling someone that. BUEY is actually an animal used for farmwork, and nobody really calls anybody a BUEY. So, GUEY is the actual term (a derivative from BUEY) and yes it is very offensive and vulgar.

    So, be nice and don't use it at all.
  30. friedfysh Senior Member

    Doncaster, UK
    England, United Kingdom (English)
  31. Janis Joplin

    Janis Joplin Senior Member

    Estuve de acuerdo casi en todo hasta que llegué a este punto:

    "...Lo que sí es que hoy en día, más que insulto o camaradería, resulta bastante gracioso escucharlo, sobre todo en las conversaciones cotidianas o en la publicidad culta que se burla de las expresiones de este tipo..."

    Maldita la gracia que me hace saber que en el extranjero nos identifican a los mexicanos con esta palabra.
  32. meddler

    meddler New Member

    A mi nunca me ha gustado usar esa palabra, yo recomiendo a las personas que estan aprendiendo spanish que no la utilicen, sobre todo con personas que no conocen bien.

  33. StarlaJane Junior Member

    US of A
    As far as I have been informed by my male Spanish-speaking friends, "guey" is not offensive and simply means "dude," especially among younger, Mexican men. However, it sounds very similar to the word "buey," which has all sorts of negative connotations, including "stupid" like "stupid like an ox" or "cuckold" b/c of the horns of an ox. Thus, a lot of male Spanish-speakers don't like the term b/c they can't tell if someone is calling them a "dude" or a "cuckold." This is especially true among the older generation, who tend to understand it as "buey" meaning "cuckold."
  34. huastec New Member

    USA english
    "wey" has become an accepted part of Mexico's lexicon, just as "bit**" and "ni**a" has become part of the American lexicon. The "b" and "ni**a" word can be heard everywhere. TV shows, movies, college educated, GED'ers . . . everybody uses it. Both words describe animals (wey a de-testicled ox/bull and "b" a female dog). It is a demonstration on how a word that 50-60 years ago was considered vulgar (low-class) has now become accepted speak. It's almost impossible to talk to a young Mexican that does not use that term, just like its almost impossible to talk to an American teen that does not use the term "bit**" or "ni**a" or "gangsta" in everyday speak.

    From my standpoint "wey" cannot be compared to buddy, dude, guy or man. These Americanisms (from what I know) did not originate in a vulgar context. "Wey" originated as a vulgarism for a fact. I would compare "wey" to "g" or "gangsta" or even "ni**a". These words definetly originated in a street/urban context. They are now used by Americans in social settings and in many subcultures are accepted as "hip and cool" speech.

    Another great point of comparison would be the word "pimp" which undoubtedly originated from a vulgar/low-class context. Now everybody in the US is enamored with the word "pimp" (ie pimp my computer, pimp my house, pimp my shoes, pimp my cereal, pimp my dentures, pimp my little toenail etc etc). Everyone uses "pimp", just like everyone uses "wey". Independently of that, you probably wouldnt say in your next job interview: "I recently pimped out my resume, so here is a new copy", just like you wouldnt say "my last boss, that WEY was really great in communicating our objective." "Wey" is definetly a term you would want to adopt if you feel you need to "gutterize/streetwise" your informal speak with close acquaintances.

    Interestingly I've seen Anglos were shirts that show a black and white road sign with an arrow that says "ONE GUEY" playing off the "ONE WAY" sign. Notice the similarity between the words.

    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  35. Basil Ganglia

    Basil Ganglia Senior Member

    Bellevue, WA
    English - USA
    For what it's worth - in the Roberto Rodriguez film "El Mariachi", one of the characters (Azul, who is a drug dealer) walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a beer. The bartender opens a bottle, and begins to pour the beer into a glass. Azul says to the bartender, "En botella, güey". The English language subtitles render this as "In a bottle, asshole".

    From the information in this thread it's seems to me that this this is a word that can easily be misunderstood even among people who are native speakers of Spanish. As a non-native speaker, güey is in my list of words to never use under any circumstances and be alert for when it is used in my presence.
  36. ketal New Member

    ok, I actually live in Mexico and I use the word (when needed) the comments here are all OK but I will like to add that güey should only be use with people you know, if you tell it to someone you don't know it is offensive, it's like telling then ASS ... like dum-ass , so use it wisely.
  37. incaprincess

    incaprincess Senior Member

    USA, English & Spanish
    I agree

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