Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Magnificent Mexican memes to make you laugh all the way to Mictlán

It is time once again, my friends! Here’s this week’s roundup of some of the best, most magical Mexican memes currently making the rounds in Mexico.


Meme translation: “Me listening to anti-systemic music on my way to my 9-5 salaried job.”

What does it meme? There’s the part of us that wants to rebel, and there’s the part of us that needs to earn money so we can continue to feed, clothe and shelter ourselves.

Mexicans are nothing if not realists, which is why raging against the machine comes pretty far behind other priorities. With wages for most salaried positions quite low compared to ever-increasing living expenses, however, it’s easy to see why people might fantasize about it!

Meme translation: “Dude, just something chill and then we’ll be back by 11:00 p.m. at the latest.” 
What does it meme? “We” is a more phonetic spelling of the word güey, which most people – primarily young people and men when they talk informally to each other – use to mean “dude.”

Now, about “algo tranqui”: do not, I repeat, do not trust people when they assure you of this status regarding an outing or party. It’s short for “algo tranquilo” — something chill — and is absolutely not to be believed — which is the joke in the meme above!

So unless you’re willing to risk winding up looking like the animals in the second panel, beware!

Meme translation: “Me waiting for my husband to tell me that we’re millionaires and that this was all a test for me to prove my love to him.”

What does it meme? Most of us marry for love these days, but marrying for money has its obvious merits. And once the honeymoon phase dies down, it’s normal to fantasize about at least a combo of sorts!

Meme translation: “Best-seller. Kid Hamburger. 80-gram hamburger with cheddar cheese.” 

“Oh wow, now that interests me!”

What does it meme? This one is a little dark, I’ll admit. I’ll also admit that I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw it!

The above is a depiction of Tlaloc, the Mesoamerican rain god to whom children were routinely sacrificed, the idea being that this helped maintain the natural order. “Kid Hamburger” is as variably interpretable in Spanish as it is in English. Yikes!

Luckily for kids today, we’re way past the time of Tlaloc’s rule.

Meme translation: “So you die, and you make it to Mictlán. Mictlantecuhtli greets you and says: ‘What was that about, man? What do you mean you were praying to an image your conquerors used to indoctrinate you?’”

What does it meme? The above is Mictlantecuhtli, a Mesoamerican god  who rules over the dead and the underworld of Mictlán, which you might have an idea of if you’ve ever seem the popular Pixar movie “Coco.” 

And if you’ve spent much time with Mexican hippie academic types in the social sciences and humanities, you’ll certainly hear expressions of indignation at the fact that the conquerors of this country managed to get everyone to believe in their religion, instead.

Meme translation: (On sign) “Mexican Food” 

(Above text) “I’m really craving a mop.”

What does it meme? First of all, allow me to point out that I am not satisfied with my own translation of “antojitos.” It comes from the root word “antojo,” which means craving. “Snacks” is usually suggested in dictionaries, but they’re more than snacks and often even serve as dinner: empanadas, quesadillas, picadas, tostadas, taquitos fritos… that sort of thing. 

It looks like the business in the storefront above changed but, unfortunately, the new tenants forgot to change the sign. And that’s too bad, because I’d be way more excited about some delicious antojitos over cleaning supplies any day!

Meme translation: “Mexican Table of Equivalences for any Foreigner:” 

“If someone says this”  “This is what it really means.” 

“This has no chili peppers” – “It has no chili peppers.” 

“Not spicy at all” “It’s spicy.” 

“Not spicy” “It’s pretty spicy.” 

“A little spicy” “It’s extremely spicy.” 

“Super spicy” “Try at your own risk.” 

“Really damn spicy” “We will not be held responsible if you decide to eat this.”

What does it meme? If you’ve ever fallen for a Mexican telling you that something’s not spicy, you’ll understand the necessity of the above table. (I tried finding the book this is apparently in, by the way, but couldn’t. If y’all know, let us know in the comments!).

Do as you would when proposed with a plan described as “algo tranqui”:  proceed with caution!

Sarah DeVries is a writer and translator based in Xalapa, Veracruz. She can be reached through her website, sarahedevries.substack.com.


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