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Is it an insult to call someone 'cabrón' in Mexico?

A: Hola
B: ¡Hola, cabrón!

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please, if you tag "diferencias-regionales" specify where. – c.p. Jan 3 '14 at 7:19
Just as a "nice to know", in Chile cabrón refers to someone that is good at something (good sense) but also to someone who's arrogant about that (bad sense). You can use it even as a reflexive verb, like acabronarse, which is usually used in a negative sense. – Vladimir Nu Jul 19 at 0:37
up vote 0 down vote accepted

No, it isn't exactly an insult in Mexico. It is just for a person with not a kind personality.

According to RAE definition:

adj. Méx. Dicho de una persona: De mal carácter. U. t. c. s.

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I've heard it in Mexico it in the meaning of "dude!". Not being an expert, I think nevertheless that the answer deserves more than a line. And I wouldn't care what RAE says about regionalisms. They usually provide really poor entries. – c.p. Jan 8 '14 at 17:26

Depends on context.

If it's your friend, there's nothing wrong because you are calling as a affectionate way, more or less.

For example, in Spain we have a famous corrupt treasurer called Luis Bárcenas, and in his party, the Popular Party, her colleagues calls him "Luis, el Cabrón".

But in fact it is an insult. Also a very hard one. If you don't have a much confidence with the person you should avoid it.

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Ops, I see the Q before the edit. Note that this question is only spanish-point-of-view, not México. – Arkana Jan 3 '14 at 7:47
In the philippines, it's an insult to call someone cabron, however, in obregon mexico its ok to call someone cabron. i do not know in other parts of mexico – DerPolyglott33 Jan 3 '14 at 7:49
@DerPolyglott33, I'm curious to know from what source you got cabron as an insult in the Philippines. I am a native Filipino speaker and honestly I never heard anyone, even from the TV and movies that word used but that's just me. – Eduardo Jan 3 '14 at 17:12
Please note the very hard link between this question and… – Envite Jan 4 '14 at 0:05
@user75782131-I heard this word in an old movie in the early 1970s but nowadays it's not used anymore probably the older generation still uses it. like what Rico said below it means like "asshole". – DerPolyglott33 Jan 16 '14 at 22:35

In México, cabron has different meanings. The first one from your example:

A: Hola

B: ¡Hola, cabrón!

In this case it's just used as dude or man when it's used to refer to your friends, but it certainly sounds vulgar and you should avoid to use it in front of other people than your friends. However it can also be used as an insult, example:

  • Ese cabrón no se quita del camino! (that jerk/asshole won't move out of the way!)

There's also a third meaning, very common by the way, and it's used to refer to someone who is really good at something specific, for example:

  • Ese wey es muy cabrón jugando futbol (that guy is so good at playing soccer)

another example:

A: Mira cómo baila salsa ese chico(look how that guy dances salsa music)

B: Qué bien baila, está muy cabrón (he dances so good, he is really awesome at it)

These 3 meanings are used in México and I know them from my experience as a native Mexican.

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+1 because the answer explains all meanings I have heard 'Cabrón' used for (I'm mexican too). But please! use proper punctuation marks and capitalization! – alonso.torres Feb 7 '14 at 20:04

Also can mean "difficult; hard to do" as in:

  • "Can you fix my engine today?"

  • "La neta, amigo?... va a estar medio cabrón.. => ("Really man?.It's going to be pretty hard.")

(Mexican - Guadalajara.)

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Que curado, gracias! – DerPolyglott33 Jul 18 at 18:41
Translatio: "The truth, man?.It's going to be pretty hard." – C Soltero Jul 18 at 18:42
In English it would be like "gonna be kind of a bitch to do". – Gandalf Jul 20 at 0:05

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