What does "vato" mean

1
vote

I am listening a book set in San Antonio, TX. Spanish or Tex/Mex is used through out the book Most I have been able to figure out. I haven't figured out "Hey Vato!" Since I am listening and not reading I can't give a spelling. It sounds like v - short a - t - long o. It seems a little derisive. Any help will be appreciated.

55730 views
updated ENE 17, 2011
posted by xotlaughing

12 Answers

3
votes

In the Tex/Mex area it means "dude" or "guy".

updated ENE 17, 2011
edited by Deanski
posted by Mark-W
2
votes

in my area hayward califrnia vato means like homie or dude

updated FEB 3, 2010
posted by pinpin33
along these lines, also means - brother, bro, or as kids say now bra. It is said with respect to someone that is group/gang related and close.
2
votes

But I know is mainly used by mexican gang members to talk to each other kind of how some gang members here say what's up dog! or Hey hommie !!!or something like that they mess up all the languages and you can barely now what they are saying so I guess it depends on what you where lisening to.

updated DIC 18, 2009
posted by Erika-Barrera
2
votes

Excellent - makes sense in the text of the book.

xotlaughing said:

Erika Barrera-Whitney said:

But I know is mainly used by mexican gang members to talk to each other kind of how some gang members here say what's up dog! or Hey hommie !!!or something like that they mess up all the languages and you can barely now what they are saying so I guess it depends on what you where lisening to.

>

updated DIC 18, 2009
posted by xotlaughing
2
votes

Thank you - makes sense.

Mark W said:

In the Tex/Mex arena it means "dude" or "guy".

>

updated DIC 18, 2009
posted by xotlaughing
1
vote

Erika Barrera-Whitney said:

But I know is mainly used by mexican gang members to talk to each other kind of how some gang members here say what's up dog! or Hey hommie !!!or something like that they mess up all the languages and you can barely now what they are saying so I guess it depends on what you where lisening to.

>

updated AGO 11, 2009
posted by xotlaughing
0
votes

This is a matter of pride.

Many poor people I knew in the old days ate cactus or tripe soup. Roadkill, worms and a lot of various kinds of stuffing you'd see on The Travel Channel with Andrew Zimmern-->It's so bizarre. I remember this mostly as a California/Central America thing. Insects are really big as a food, too in Central and South America. So as I recall it occurs to me again,...As a form of reference that VATO means basically, a billy goat. These are animals that will chew on cans, bite thru wire, and have a tenacity for survival that is both ridiculed and honored--Like the turkey a goat can be pretty adapted at getting along in rough environments.

Common expression in the U.S. 30-10 yrs. ago used: "Don't let 'em get your goat!" What I know from the animal, those that raise them are as tough as one's eating like it--But this thing, as in "!Oye' vat-OH! It means more or less where pride's hurt, or machismo must be proven. Just to be called that or call someone else that. VATO = A KID, (offspring), A GOAT.

                                          A CHALLENGE!

         VATO**Something that will eat just about anything!**VATO

This WAS 30 years ago. A VERY DERISIVE term, when applied between an anglo and a lowrider, or a blood and a crip, always a terrible fight commenced. A cholo (lowrider) speaking to a cholo is one thing but said to an anglo/etc. is with the most bitter contempt,...For the Anglo, he better have a lot of his "Homies" with him is all I'm saying, if he's in another's territory, he better have a fast plan.

But like lot of swears have lost or changed meanings. A lot of slang just doesn't seem worth it to get upset about it, or so bad anymore. So this definition is now in mothballs except if you like to explore where you're not likely to fit in obviously. A similar word is Mutha-Ferguson: Used to be a real bad thing to say! After 30 what does a hetero male usually date, a woman with child/ren and what IS HE IF HE DOES HER?

Just my 2 cents.

Con Carino, --Michelito

updated FEB 3, 2010
posted by Michelito
0
votes

xotlaughing,

Since this site is against us posting anything "questionable", if I need information on a slang word I depend on Urban Dictionary. Here is a link:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=vato

Please keep in mind this site has LOTS of questionable information on it, but I do find it helpful when looking up words that we can't discuss here.

roja

updated DIC 18, 2009
edited by PulgaRoja
posted by PulgaRoja
0
votes

Not helpful - but thanks.

Natasha said:

Try bato. You can look that up in the dictionary.

>

updated SEP 19, 2008
posted by xotlaughing
0
votes

See this:

[url=http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A229712&page=1&commentId=1710195%3AComment%3A230012&x=1#1710195Comment230012]http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A229712&page=1&commentId=1710195%3AComment%3A230012&x=1#1710195Comment230012[/url]

updated SEP 18, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

Thank you - Gracias

updated SEP 18, 2008
posted by xotlaughing
0
votes

Try bato. You can look that up in the dictionary.

updated SEP 18, 2008
posted by Natasha