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What Does “No Bueno” Mean?

What does “no bueno” mean when people say it?

Looking for a new way to tell someone that you don’t like something? This is exactly what No Bueno means. You might have noticed many movies, TV shows, or even conversations with normal people where they have used this term to mean that they disagree with or say something is not good.

If you want to know how to correctly use this term and where it comes from, read till the end of this article.

Where does it come from?

The origin of saying No Bueno comes from Spanish roots. The urban dictionary defines the meaning of No Bueno as “not good” or “no good.” Although it uses the Spanish word, Bueno, the phrase is Americanized.

Notice the word NO before Bueno. NO is an English word combined with the Spanish word to give it a whole new meaning. However, if you say No Bueno to a native Spanish speaker, they will say that you are grammatically incorrect as it makes no sense in Spanish.

How did it enter mainstream English?

No one knows the story of how No Bueno came to be accepted as an expression in English. But there are additional examples of slang phrases with Spanish roots even though it is a completely different language. For example, words like chica or gracias are so frequently used in conversations that everybody understands what they mean.

What is the right way to say No Bueno in native Spanish?

If you want to use the meaning of the phrase No Bueno but in a grammatically correct way, you will have to say, “no está bien.”

Something else to remember is that No Bueno has a male connotation so the female equivalent of the word would be No Buena. Despite this, it is still appropriate and meaningful even if a girl says No Bueno instead of No Buena.

How to use No Bueno correctly in a sentence?

In its essence, No Bueno has typically considered a type of casual phrase that is okay to use when conversing with a friend or an acquaintance.

Here are some examples of when you can use the phrase:

  • When someone asks you to go to a show you don’t want to go to, you can say, “No Bueno! That is never going to happen.”
  • If a friend offers you a glass of wine, but you don’t drink, you can say, “No Bueno, pal. I don’t drink.”
  • Your friend asks you for coffee, but you’re busy with college work. In this case, you can say, “I’m so sorry, that’s a no bueno. I have so much work to do.”

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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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