The word naco is closely tied to Mexican society and culture. It refers to a thing, a person or their behavior that is considered low-class, without refinement, crude and uncultured. The standard for what qualifies as low-class will depend on the speaker’s background, upbringing and social milieu, naturally. Here are something media and artistic entities that may qualify.

  • Banda, a musical style
  • TV Azteca, a broadcaster whose programming is targeted at the lower classes
  • El Gráfico, a newspaper that puts bloody corpses on the front page

¡Qué naco! What a naco thing you have just mentioned, shown me, confessed to.

Un naco

Un naco is someone who displays naco traits or preferences. Some Mexicans consider anyone poor with piel morena to be a naco almost by definition.

  • Es para gente naca, papá. O sea, puro nopalizo. That’s for nacos, father. Here the insult nopalizo is derived from nopal, the cactus associated with the lower strata of Mexican society.
  • Un naco bajado del cerro. A naco who has come down from the hill. In many areas, the poorer housing is located in the hills surrounding the centro.


Guarro covers much the same territory. Es bien guarro. That guy’s really low class, de lo más bajo. Another synonym is pelado.


Una nacada is something a naco would typically do. Sus nacadas, his tacky, uncultured behavior, ways of doing things.

Nopal cactus, Tulancingo, Hidalgo State, Mexico

Nopal cactus, Tulancingo, Hidalgo State, Mexico