No seas malito

Here’s one expression you shouldn’t interpret too literally. No seas malito doesn’t sound as rude as its English counterpart, Don’t be bad. It’s simply a polite way to ask someone for a favor, no matter how small.

  • ¿No tienes cambio? No seas malito. Could you pay with a smaller bill?
  • No seas malita. Espérame tantito, ¿sí? Please wait for me a sec.
  • No seas malo. Work with me here. Said when I asked if a rush job was possible. He followed this up by offering a slightly later date than I had requested.
  • No seas malito. Said when I was asked to call back the following week, since the document I was waiting for hadn’t arrived.
  • No sea malito, no cierre la puerta. Said by a vecino as I approached the front door he had left ajar so someone else could enter easily after him.

Sometimes no seas malito is a plea to bend the rules a bit, cut someone a break, cut someone some slack. Pretty please (do what I’m asking). It’s worth repeating that this expression doesn’t sound brusque or rude.