Gacho – Translation and Meaning in English

‘Gacho’ is the opposite of the Mexican slang word ‘chido‘. As a result, depending on the context, this word could mean ‘awful’, ‘bad’, ‘ugly’ or ‘mean’.

What does ‘Gacho’ mean?

  • Translation #1: In Mexican slang, this word is an adjective that we use to express that a person or object is ‘awful’, ‘ugly’, ‘bad’ or ‘mean’.

How and When to use ‘Gacho’?

  • As a synonym of ‘mean’. One of the most common uses of the word ‘gacho’ is to say that a person is ‘mean’ or ‘not nice’. When you want to use ‘gacho’ as a synonym of ‘mean’, you always need to use it with the verb ‘ser’.
  • As a synonym of ‘ugly’. We also use this slang word to say that a person or an object is ugly. However, in this situation, this slang word has to work with the verb ‘estar’.
  • As a synonym of ‘bad’. Mexican people use the word ‘gacho’ to express that something is bad or has bad quality. As a result, you could use it to describe food, songs, movies, clothes, etc.


Here are some common examples that are going to help understand how and when to use ‘gacho’.

As a synonym of ‘mean’/’not nice’

¡No seas gacha, necesito tu ayuda Don’t be mean! I need your help

Andrés es muy gacho con sus amigos Andrés is not nice with his friends

La maestra de matemáticas es muy gacha, ten cuidado en su clase The maths teacher is very mean, be careful in her class

As any other adjective, ‘gacho’ has to agree with the person’s gender, so be careful to make the proper changes.

As a synonym of ‘ugly’

Esa playa está muy gacha That beach is so ugly

Los zapatos de Ramón están muy gachos Ramon’s shoes are very ugly

As a synonym of ‘bad’

Esos tacos saben muy gacho Those tacos taste very bad

No vayas a ese restarante, la comida está muy gacha Don’t go to that restaurant, the food is pretty bad

La película que vimos el fin de semana pasado está muy gacha The movie that we saw last weekend was too bad

Who Can You Use This Word With?

‘Gacho’ is a very slang word. As a result, you can use it in informal situations and with your friends or family. However, if you are in a formal situation or with people that you are not very familiar with, you should try to avoid this word.

Other Ways to Say ‘Gacho’

Here are other words that you can use to say ‘gacho’.

  • Mala onda This expression is especially useful when you want to use ‘gacho’ as a synonym of ‘mean’ or ‘not nice’. As a result, it’s only appropiated when talking about people.
  • Feo This is the direct translation of ‘ugly’, so you can use it both in formal and informal situations.
  • Mal/Malo These two words are the direct translation of ‘bad’, as a result, you can use them instead of ‘gacho’.

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I've been studying Spanish professionally as well as teaching it in Mexico and online for over 10 years. I’ve taught Spanish to a wide array of foreigners from many backgrounds. Over the years, I've made it my mission to work hard on refining many challenging to understand grammar topics to make my students' learning experiences easier, faster and more enjoyable. Read More About Me

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