No Mames Wey, also encountered as No Mames Guey or No Mames Güey is a colloquial expression in Mexican Spanish.
The phrase could be roughly translated to English as “No Way Dude”.
“No Mames” is a phrase that can be used to express surprise, excitement, fear as well as anger, while “Wey” or “Guey” is a way to refer to a person (usually male) without calling out their name, similar to the English “dude”.
The expression is a popular phrase in the southern states of the US, due to a significant Spanish-speaking population. It also serves as the name of an up-and-coming taco brand, “No Mames Wey” which has been on the rise since the mid 2010s.
While the exact origin of “No Mames Wey” is debated, it is mostly agreed upon by Spanish speakers in the US that it was coined in Mexico.
The phrase roughly translates to “No Sucking, Dude”, and thus it contains a certain vulgar flavor too.
An early example of “No Mames Wey” emerged in a post on a Spanish language forum as early as 1992.
Since then, it has been more and more frequent online, while in everyday conversations, it has been around possibly for even longer.
“No Mames Wey” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2009.
The phrase, however, started getting popular after Diego Luna taught the expression to Conan O’Brien on his late night show in 2015.
Since then, the phrase emerged in numerous contexts online, although it is mostly used by Spanish-speakers on Spanish-speaking sites, although Twitter and Facebook both have several examples of the phrase turning up in an English language post.
Also in 2015, a Spanish taco brand began its rise to prominence, also donning the name “No Mames Wey.” Since then, the taquería has opened several restaurants in Spain and Portugal and spread to the United States as well, aiming to disrupt the established taco brands.