Language Guide
Vocabulary
What Does "Ese" Mean?

What Does "Ese" Mean?

Quick Answer

ese  = dude, bro, homie

Ese  is also the singular masculine form of the Spanish demonstrative pronoun meaning this, as well as a letter in the Spanish alphabet.

As a term of address, this term was popularized in Spanish-speaking regions of the United States. The word on the street is that it came about as a shorthand way for speakers of Mexican Spanish to say ese vato  or ese güey  (that dude).

While not commonly used in Mexico, you're quite likely to hear it in California, for example. But, ¡aguas!  (be careful!) In some parts of California ese is used by members of certain gangs to self-identify. Most of the time, though, it just means dude or bro.

Check out these examples of ese.

¿Qué onda, ese?
What's up, bro?
 
No manches, ese, ¿dónde conseguiste esa carcacha?
Jeez, dude, where'd you get that old wreck?
 
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