Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Naco vs Fresa



In contemporary Mexico's theater of life, nacos and fresas enact a battle of lifestyles day-in and day-out.

Naco stands for anything without taste or class, which nevertheless possesses some degree of sophistication. Vulgar yet edgy, a sort of spiced-up tackiness, naco is generally associated with low social status. It is not a derogative term for poor, but for poor or cheap taste. Nacos are often referred to as chusma, ñeros, gatos, naguales, indios, or nacuarros. Renowned for their rich slang and amusing inventiveness, naco es chido has become a popular slogan. From this ringside, fresas are the plague of society.

Fresa (lit. strawberry) is the Mexican version of a daddy’s boy: a yuppie. Wealthy and arrogant, a fresa has the lifestyle of a junior, mamón, prepo or farol. When applied to females, a niña fresa is a rather conservative or unadventurous teen engrossed in mundane and insignificant affairs. The behavior of a fresa is regulated by unwritten yet strict social norms which avoid any action that could be considered naca, like using public transport, listening to cumbias (tropical music), or buying groceries at the local market (mercado) instead of the supermarket. The basic communication workhorses for fresas are:

  • Osea (it’s like)
  • Osea hello!? (what-everrr!). It is customary for fresas to use English words like hello, cool and bye when talking in Spanish. This apparently conveys a cosmopolitan flair.
  • Qué oso! (how embarrassing!)
  • De pelos (super or cool)
  • No manches wey! (gimme a break). Notice how güey is replaced by wey.
  • Qué onda wey? (what’s up?)

In the following video, nacos and fresas discuss their movie tastes. Notice how the fresa intonation suggests that a fat and heavy tongue is obstructing a clear pronunciation.


  1. Just found this blog, please reactivate!

    For myself, if I have to take sides, I'd say pretty much every thing I love about Mexico is naco. Most of the thing I hate are naco too but that's better than the lightweight inoffensive blandness of fresadom.

  2. We have many students studying at WAL who come from Mexico. This post makes me wonder how they would self-identify. I'm guessing - based on your description of the terms - that fresa is just always considered bad, and that naco can be awesome depending on the person.

  3. I just stumbled on this blog looking for a description between naco and fresa. A few years ago while I was studying in Guadalajara I would constantly ask people the difference between the two. I did this because I thought it was funny how each person had a different explanation depending on whether they considered them selves naco or fresa. This author obviously considers themselves naco. I heard plenty of fresas describe chido more negatively and fresa in a more positive light.

  4. Obviously whoever wrote this is nacooo (obvious from the biased description of each)

  5. Hi, for the last couple of hours I've been searching about Naco vs Fresa and finally I stumble into your blog, it has great info on what I'm looking and is going to be quite useful on my paperwork for the university.
    BTW is amazing how many generic viagra blogs I manage to dodge in order to get the right site and the right information...lol
    Thanks for the post and have a nice day

  6. The irony generation of fresas going nacos deserves a post apart.