I am sort of weirded out by this thread!!! I am from California, but the strange nitpick on the use of ese in Mexican dialects sounds almost like it’s being answered by a bunch of folks who either did not grow up or have been exposed to common “California/Baja” Spanish usage, Idioms or slang, but are still of Mexican descent, or it is being answered by more people who never spoke Spanish in their lives, perhaps trying to find a translations to a meme or similar joke. You aren’t going to find a proper translation online for this use of the word..
It’s actually easier than all this. To answer the question alone, for this circumstance only, it can be replaced in English with any of these words:
Homie, Holmes, Bro, Dude, etc.
if an accent is heavy, it is because the person saying it has a heavy accent. A MEXICAN ACCENT, and anyone repeating it that doesen't belong to that sort of Barrio culture, is portraying what they hear from Mexicans saying it. Or, making fun of Mexicans. Not cool, homie. (Homie switched out for ese).
The use of this word, and whether it is maliciously intended or in good faith, depends on if it is being said one of those ways or not, exactly like how it is in English. if you were to use one of the equivalent words i mentioned above...
“What’s your problem, Bro?” sounds menacing, hostile in english
“Hey! Bro! How’s it going?” sounds friendly in English.
“Dude! You shoulda seen it!” sounds neutral in english too.
However, You still would not say that neutral use of ‘Dude’ while talking to your great aunt Beatrice, right?
And just like in English, these Bro, Dude etc names are slang, and you would never call grandpa “Bro” and demand a high five. It’s rude.
So, “que onda, ese?” (or the equivalent english “What’s up, yo?” ) Are phrases no one would ever use when speaking to grandma, relatives or respected community members, however this usage is OK among peers, it’s just common slang which anyone might find offensive, it just depends on who thinks that way.
I believe its like using the evil “N” word being white, no matter how good of a friend you are to an African American person, you don’t get to use it. ever.
This rule can be applied to anyone who isn’t Mexican trying to use "ese" as slang. *Not cool, Brah.* At best you'd make a fool of yourself, at worst, depending on where you are, you could get in trouble you didn't need to get in to in the first place. Always use common sense.
However you DO get a free pass using "ese" as slang if you are trying to sing along to any Cypress Hill lyrics and you HAVE to sing to "Insane in the Membrane"-
nobody cares if you can’t control yourself cuz nobody can,
also if you are paraphrasing your favorite lines from any movie portraying Barrio culture
In general, as with all slang, if you have to ask, you should probably not be using it, but if you want to know just to understand what’s going on if you hear it, there’s no reason to not be privy to the social usage of a slang word in a language that you SHOULD know if you are living in certain areas of the United States.
Summed up, any way you can think of to use “Dude” in English, aside from its proper, webster’s Dictionary use of the term in regard to horse ranches etc. is what “ese” means in the Mexican dialects of Spanish in this context only. Ignore all the other urban dictionary stuff and other proper uses.