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I have heard the following sentence in the TV series Narcos:Mexico :

Usted se la ha rifado aquí, don Juan.

Context: Don Juan, an opium narco which lives in the border between US and Mexico, is telling Felix, leader of the Guadalajara cartel, that he deals opium for a long time and has a lot of "friends" in the police in the US side which back him up. Then, Felix says the sentence above.

What does "se la rifar" mean? Is it a Mexican regionalism? I couldn't find its meaning in the Word Reference and DLE dictionaries. The TV series English subtitle translates that sentence as "You've done amazing things here, don Juan", but I am not sure if that is the real meaning of the expression.

  • Before reading the body, I briefly thought this question was perhaps talking about an airplane. – Obie 2.0 Feb 14 at 7:52
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    For anyone struggling to understand @Obie2.0 's comment, "rifar" also means "to raffle" and the current president of Mexico has recently suggested to raffle the expensive presidential plane bought by the previous president. – Alan Evangelista Feb 14 at 17:47
  • Using the "Context" and the response from Felix, - Usted se la ha rifado...That means that Don Juan has had a lot of "Nerve" to do what he did. You can use (Rifar - to raffle) On many different ways in Mex. ej - Felix asks Juan, you want to fight with those two guys? Juan says, "Me la rifo" (nerve, courage, b@lls,) – PanchoVilla Feb 14 at 21:40
  • @PanchoVilla "sobresalir, destacar en algo", meaning of "rifársela" mentioned in DAMER and OnlyThenDidIReckonMyCurse's answer, matches the TV series English subtitle and IMHO makes more sense in this context. – Alan Evangelista Feb 14 at 22:20
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Word Reference isn't the most comprehensive dictionary there is. For American Spanish, a good resource is the Diccionario de americanismos. There we can find:

rifar(se). intr. Mx. Sobresalir, destacar en algo. pop + cult → espon.

By the way, it's "rifársela" rather than "se la rifar". Remember that, for non-finite forms of the verb (and also for the imperative), "se" and "la" go after the verb, with no spaces in between. They are called "pronombres enclíticos".

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    Great answer! Regarding the last part: if you find a clearly wrong question title, feel free to edit (suggest an edit to) the question title directly. Titles are the first (and many times the only) part of a question many users/visitors see, so having correct titles is important. – wimi Feb 14 at 8:24
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    In other countries we usually say "jugársela" with the same meaning. – Gustavson Feb 14 at 12:56
  • Thanks for the answer! I have added the English subtitle translation to the question: "You've done amazing things here, don Juan". I am not sure it is an accurate translation, though. – Alan Evangelista Feb 14 at 14:17
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    Re etiquette: comments are "to ask for clarification or to suggest improvements on a post". So, by definition, you should always feel free to incorporate comments to your answer in your answer. We should avoid the situtation where an "answer in a comment" prevents people from posting the correct solution in an answer. I usually ping the commenter when I do this to let them know, but doing it should be fine. – wimi Feb 15 at 11:47
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Sometimes a good example is lead you to the real answer... and I think that this is a good example.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYnVBmSQrvY

Armando said: Who will dare with me?

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  • That may be a possible meaning of the expression "rifársela", but not in the context presented in my question. – Alan Evangelista Feb 14 at 17:19
  • I insist, since Felix tells him that he has risked a lot. – Gohchi Feb 14 at 17:21

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