No Manches – Translation, and Meaning in English

When learning Mexican Slang ‘No manches’ is one of the most important phrases that you need to add to your vocabulary. Depending on the context, this slang phrase could mean ‘No way’, ‘Come on’, ‘Holy cow’, ‘You are kidding’, ‘Cut it out’ or ‘Damn’.

What does ‘no manches’ mean?

  • Translation #1: Depending on the situation, no manches can be translated as ‘no way’, ‘come on’, ‘damn’, ‘you are kidding’ or ‘holy cow’.
  • Translation #2: Mexicans also use this expression as a synonym of ‘cut it out’ or ‘to stop’.  
  • Translation #3: In formal Spanish, this phrase would be translated as ‘Do not stain’ or ‘Do not get yourself dirty’.

How and When to use ‘No manches’?

To express a different range of emotions. The intention of ‘no manches’ is determined by the context, as a result, it could be translated as ‘damn’, no way’, ‘come on’, ‘you are kidding’ or ‘holy cow’.  In Mexico, people use this phrase to express different emotions such as:

  1. Surprise
  2. Disappointment
  3. Anger
  4. Frustration
  5. Skepticism
  • To ask someone to stop being annoying or to stop doing something. Another common use of this Mexican expression is as a synonym of ‘cut it out’. If you use this expression as a way to ask someone to stop doing something, ‘no manches’ will be translated as ‘to stop’.
  • As a synonym of ‘do not stain’ or ‘do not get yourself dirty’. In formal and standard Spanish, ‘no manches’ is a phrase that we use to tell someone to be careful about staining something or themselves.


Here are some useful examples that will help you understand the situations where you can use ‘no manches’. Keep in mind that the context will help you determine the meaning of this Mexican slang phrase.

To express a different range of emotions

In order to determine the meaning of ‘no manches’ in this context, you need to pay attention to the tone of voice and the situation. Here are some examples:

¡No manches! Se me olvidó mi cartera Damn! I forgot my wallet

¿En serio vas a irte a vivir a España? ¡No manches! Are you really going to live in Spain? Come on!

No manches, no voy a ir a ese restaurante, está muy caro No way! I won’t go to that restaurant, it’s too expensive

¡No manches, qué bien hablas español! Holy cow, you speak Spanish very well

To ask someone to stop being annoying

Although you may hear the phrase alone, in this context, it’s very common to find it working together with ‘ya’. Be aware that sometimes this word won’t have a direct translation. Here you can learn more about how to use ya in Spanish correctly. 

¡Ya, wey, no manches! Cut it out, buddy!

¡No manches ya deja de quejarte! Come on! Stop complaining already

As a synonym of ‘do not stain’ or ‘do not get yourself dirty’. 

Notice that in this context you need to add a compliment (the person or object that may get stained).

Ten cuidado con el vino, no manches tu camisa Be careful with the wine, don’t stain your shirt

No manches a tu hermana, por favor Don’t stain your sister, please

Who Can You Use ‘No Manches’ With?

Even though it’s slang phrase ‘no manches’ is a very popular expression among Mexicans. As a result, you can use them with people of all ages as long as you’re in an informal situation.

Other Ways to Say ‘No Manches’

Here are other synonyms that you can use to replace ‘no manches’ if needed.

  • ¡No me digas!  This is a standard phrase that we use in Spanish to show surprise.  
  • ¡Anda ya! This phrase expresses skepticism and it’s only used in Spain.
  • ¡Ay sí! Just as in ‘anda ya’, this phrase is used to express disbelief or skepticism. ¡Para!  In formal Spanish, we use ‘basta’ to ask someone to stop doing something or to stop being annoying. Here you can learn more about the different ways to say stop in Spanish.

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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