Mexi-Vocabulario: ¡Pipirisnais!

De la high… o sea de la alta sociedad.

The word pipirisnais is not in the dictionary.  That’s what you’ll get if you search the Real Academia Española’s website for a definition of this Mexican term.  Like many of our palabras, which one way or another have somehow gained popularity and an unofficial universal acceptance within our cultura for what they mean, pipirisnais is one of those words that cannot be very easily defined.

Therefore, probably the best way to express what pipirisnais means is to explain how or when it would likely be used.

Who better than Paris Hilton to demonstrate for us?

If you’re attempting to say something is a bit much, extra lavish, exaggeratedly expensive, or simply over the top, you might say ¡hay que pipirisnais! 

The Kardashians are pros at turning on the 'pipirisnais'.

If a certain somebody is acting extra snobbish or showing off more than they should, rubbing in your face how fancy or expensive their material possessions  might be, you might say no pues La Chela ya anda bien pipirisnais.  

From rags to riches. Marimar goes 'pipirisnais.'

Or in the case of telenovelas, when the dirt poor protagonist moves from the vecindad to the mansión, completely changes their wardrobe, and takes on a fleet of staff to do everything for them from now on, then all of the sudden the vecinos at the vecindario might simply refer to them as being pipirisnais.

Anything can be pipirisnais!  Yourself, your belongings, your parties, your pets, your thoughts, etc., etc., etc.  It’s quite the versatile adjective!

Though, sadly to be pipirisnais is not necessarily a compliment.

16 thoughts on “Mexi-Vocabulario: ¡Pipirisnais!

    1. You’re right, Victory! See, it’s such a natural word for my vocabulary that I just assume everyone knows how to pronounce it. Here’s my version of the pronunciation: pee-pee-ri-s-nice!

    2. This term comes from the phrase: People is nice.
      They used to say “Lets go to that new place where people is nice” So the place was reffered to pipirisnais (fancy). Hope this helps with pronounciation, its pretty similar to saying fast “peopleisnice” but with an “r” thrown into the mix LOL

    1. I haven’t really noticed if it is regional? I do hear it all of the time here in Texas and remember it from television shows and movies… though it just is not as popular in Mexico where we are from either, San Luis Potosi??

  1. Juan, I just found your blog while looking for a spanish word that I wasn’t sure how to spell. Dude!! I love this Mexi-vocabulario you have here. I’ve been thinking of doing the same thing on my blog because there are so many words that I have forgotten and am now trying to (re)learn. My words however will be more like the vocabulary of a 6-year-old sadly, but I’m trying to change that. I’ll be coming back here often to learn some more grown-up words:)

  2. Aqui en los Estados decimos “nouveau riche”… pero decirlo en Frances tal vez sea un poco… pipirisnais. Ademas creo que pipirisnais es mas naco que “nouveau riche”, no crees?

  3. Great post! I think the best english slang equivalent to pipirisnais would be “foofoo.” And sorry to quibble, but I’m pretty sure that Maria above is la del barrio, no del mar.

  4. I’m in Texas as well, and I never hear this word. You’ve got a lot of good stuff up here though! I’m glad I found this website. Keep up the good work.

  5. The true origin of the word “pipirisnais” is not Mexican; it comes from Basque language (Euskera). Immigrants from Euskadi (Basque country in Spain) brought their language to Mexico; therefore, the expression found its way into Mexican Spanish dialect.

    In Euskera, “pinpirin” means “beautiful”, “elegant”, “polished”. It also means “butterfly”. The word “nais” means “I am”.

  6. La palabra proviene de
    People is nice , aunque lo correcto es people are nice.
    Como diciendo es de gente fina.
    Tomando en cuenta que nice de asocia a una persona de alto status o pudiente.

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