Mexi-Vocabulario: ¡Madre!

So this week’s Mexi-Vocabulario is completely the creative work of one of my readers.  This individual asked to be identified only as JTO, and a couple of weeks ago had sent me this very comprehensive list of all the things the the word Madre means to us Mexicans.  Sure, the immediate translation is mother… but there is so much more to this palabra!  I had not posted the list until now because I was awaiting my reader’s approval to do so.  I have only altered the list by simplifying the formatting and adding the English references on the left.  If you have any more usages for the word ¡Madre! please leave them in the comments below, or send me your word of choice.  I’d love to share it in a future post! And JTO, thank you once again!

the many meanings of the word madre in Spanish
The many meanings of the word "madre" in Spanish. Some good. Some bad.


Happiness:  ¡Qué a toda Madre!

Geographic location:  ¿Dónde queda esa Madre?

Physical location:  ¿Dónde está esa Madre?

Dietary reference:  ¡¡Trágate esa Madre ya!!

Criticism:  ¡Qué poca Madre tienes…!

Skepticism:  No te creo ni Madres.

Vengeance:  ¡Vámos a darle en la Madre!

Accident:  Se dío en la Madre.

Visual reference:  ¡No se ve ni madres!

Sense of Smell:  ¡Huele a Madres!

Speculation:  ¿Qué madres es eso?

Superlative:  ¡A todísima Madre!

Expression of joy:  ¡¡¡Está Poca Madre!!!

Surprise:  ¡¡¡Madresss!!!

Speeding reference:  ¡Va hecho Madres!

Ego reference:  No me dío ni Madres…

Sense of Taste:  ¡Eso sabe a Madres! (not good)

Past reference:  No tuviste Madre (could be “you had no shame”)

Action:  ¡Vámos hacer esa Madre!

Violent action:  ¡¡Le rompiste toditita su Madre!!!

Motivating/Rushing:  ¡¡Andale con esa Madre!!

Disorder reference:  ¿¡Qué desmadre te traes!?

Insult:  ¡Vales para pura Madre!

When swearing:  Por mi Madre.

Operational reference:  ¿Y esta Madre cómo funciona??

Failure:  ¡¡Ya valió Madres…!!

Confrontational:  ¡Qué poca Madre tienes!

Negative, as in NO:  ¡¡¡Ni Madres!!!

I’m always on the hunt for new mexi-vocabulario.
What other words would you like me to include in the mexi-vocabulario?  If you have one that you would recommend please share it with me here.

Writer’s Disclaimer: When I say mexi-vocabulario I don’t necessarily mean these words are exclusively Mexican, or only used by Mexicans.  This is simply an expression of how they were introduced to me in our Mexican Spanish.

More Mexi-Vocabulario 

10 thoughts on “Mexi-Vocabulario: ¡Madre!

  1. I was so happy when I saw the title of this post. Expressions with ‘madre’ in them can be so confusing (and are so frequent) – it drives me crazy sometimes!

    After reading it though, I’m still a little confused. Is ‘poca madre’ a BAD thing?

    Por ejemplo:

    “Criticism: ¡Qué poca Madre tienes…!”

    Or a GOOD thing?


    “Expression of joy: ¡¡¡Está Poca Madre!!!”

    So, my reaction after reading this post is:

    ¿Y esta Madre cómo funciona??


    1. jajaja, Shannon… I’m sorry! The usage of the word can be quite tricky… you’re right! It just depends on the context and the tone in which you employ madre, but to answer your question here… the criticism would be a negative usage, while the expression of joy is a positive usage 😛 Not sure if that helps any??

  2. Great madrazo list here! I love desmadre, i try to use that one as much as possible. People either laugh or they have no clue what it means and give a rather confused laugh. I have a friend who continuously throws out ‘Puta madre!’ much like “oh shit!”.

    Also, regarding Shannon’s question- madre can be used as the ultimate negative cut at someone. Step 2 is coming to blows with the person who said it. This is known as madrazos as well.

  3. My favorite madre word is Madriza. Le pusierion una Madriza. They gave him a good licking.

    How bout doing Santa, Santa as in por mi Santa madre?

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