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
    Commented Feb 14, 2020 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. Commented Feb 14, 2020 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,) Commented Feb 14, 2020 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. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 22:20

2 Answers 2


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".

  • 2
    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
    Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 8:24
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    In other countries we usually say "jugársela" with the same meaning.
    – Gustavson
    Commented Feb 14, 2020 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. Commented Feb 14, 2020 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
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 11:47

Sometimes a good example is lead you to the real answer... and I think that this is a good example.


Armando said: Who will dare with me?

  • That may be a possible meaning of the expression "rifársela", but not in the context presented in my question. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 17:19
  • I insist, since Felix tells him that he has risked a lot.
    – Gohchi
    Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 17:21

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