Inspired by Origen de expresiones como "cada dos por tres".

I'm familiar with an expression used in, at least, Mexico: dos tres. It is a way of giving a lukewarm reaction to a question. For example:

A: ¿Cómo te va, compañera?

B: Dos tres. Casi no he dormido, al nene le está saliendo un nuevo diente y está súper inquieto ahorita.

Here's what I'm wondering:

  • Where did this expression come from?

  • Does it show up anywhere else besides Mexico?

  • Is the meaning documented in any dictionary? So far the only place I found it was in the spanishdict.com entry for Responses to "¿Cómo Estás?". I also tried I tried Así Hablamos and DLE.

2 Answers 2


Diccionario del español de México. Volumen 1 claims that "dos tres" is a variant of "dos [que] tres":

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Guatemalan Spanish: Speak like a Native! makes the (unsubstantiated) claim that this phrase comes from an American language:

dos que tres

This construction also came from Mayan languages such as Cachiquel, Kekchi, and Quiche. In these languages dos que tres means some.


As a Mexican I really don't know the answer. In Mexico we play a lot with the language and create new phrases every now and then, and sometimes we adopt them for a while, later we stop using them.

My understanding is that we are actually trying to say 2/3 or two thirds, not half bad, but not totally good, and I actually have used "dos tercios" that simplified ends up being "dos tres".

The original or most used term for this is "mas o menos" meaning more or less (good/bad).

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