I’ve heard “méndigo” (used in Mexico) but I'm not sure if it's an appropriate word to use. Is it offensive, and if so, does it have this connotation in all countries?

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    Welcome to the site. Unfortunately, I must vote to close your question because it is not well posed. Please, tell us what you think the word means, and tell us how you got that idea. Also, please include a dictionary definition, with a link. This could be an interesting question -- but as it stands, it's too skeletal. Please help us help you. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 7:52
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    Yes, pleas put the word in context, specially because of the accentuation, and clarify if what you feel strange is precisely that (accentuation) or some other aspect of the word like its use for instance. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 9:42
  • The question is plain enough to me, but it’s true that offensiveness depends on context. If I call someone a méndigo in anger, that might offend them even if it’s true. But if I tell a victim that they person who hurt them is a méndigo, who would be offended?
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 17:11
  • Please use a good dictionary before posting here.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 19:12

5 Answers 5


The word "mendigo" without an accent is used commonly in Spain to refer to a person that asks for money in the street. It is a standard word and not inappropriate.

The word "méndigo", with an accent, meaning "infamous, very bad", seems to only be used in Mexico according to DLE. We do not use it in Spain.

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    @aparente001 I do not really understand the problem. This is a question about the word "méndigo", so I explained the only meaning of that word accepted by RAE. The question asks if it is used elsewhere, so I said "no, according to RAE and my experience". I also included the information about "mendigo", because other visitors of the site might confuse the two words if they are not familiar with "méndigo". I cannot think of any interpretation of the question that is not answered by this answer, so I would not see the point of not writing the answer. The question is short but not ill-posed.
    – wimi
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 8:29
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    @aparente001 But I will be happy to delete or edit the answer if it turns out to be not an answer to the question after the OP has added clarification. Feel free to ping me if this happens and I do not get notified otherwise.
    – wimi
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 8:30
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    @aparente001 I meant, feel free to ping me (by commenting here) if the question is edited (invalidating my answer) and I do not get notified. I think the question is about "méndigo" with an accent. But it might theoretically be the case that even the OP does not know about the existence of both words.
    – wimi
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 18:08
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    @aparente001 I don't see the issue. If op is asking about "méndigo", then this post answers that...if op is asking about "mendigo", then this also answers it
    – Lamak
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 18:13
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    @wimi I think it is extremely helpful to note a minimal pair based on the presence or absence of accent -- or indeed any other very small change -- and especially so if one of the words is offensive.
    – jonathanjo
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 20:26

méndigo, -a.

I. 1. adj/sust. Mx, Gu, ES. Referido a persona, infame, muy mala y vil. pop + cult → espon ^ desp.

  1. sust/adj. Mx. Cosa despreciable. pop + cult → espon.

So it appears it is used with this despective connotation in Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

  • Yes, it is heard now and then here in Guatemala. (With accent) It's like saying something matters few to nothing. An approximation could be: "shitty phone" ~= "méndigo teléfono"... Although shitty is a little bit "stronger" that méndigo, so to say. This is a word one should be careful on how and when to use
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 5:09

My husband is a Mexican from the state of Mexico. As far as they're concerned the difference is considerable and if pronounced méndigo, serious offence will be taken. There's nothing considered dishonorable about being a mendigo, but no one wants to be referred to as a méndigo.


Mendigo es el que pide y méndigo el que no da


Depends where you are, places like Mexico usually see it as a way of calling someone clever (In a bad way), or stupid. For instance, ese mendigo pero. That (Clever/stupid) dog.

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