How to ‘dar el avión’: Essential Mexican Spanish!

In short – ‘Dar el avión’ is an extremely common Mexican idiomatic expression. It literally translates as ‘to give the plane’ (huh?!), but it really means ‘to ignore’ or ‘to blow (someone) off’.

Cartoon of a plane winking

It’s EXTREMELY common and you’ll 100% hear Mexicans using it when they want to ignore or dismiss someone (or vice versa!), so, yeah, in my humble opinion it’s a must-know phrase if you’re gonna be spending any time in Mexico!

Read on if you wanna learn how to use it like a pro!

Uses / Meaning of ‘dar el avión’ in Mexican Spanish

Dar el avión’ can be used in the following ways –

  • As a synonym of ‘to blow someone off’
  • As a synonym of ‘to ignore

As a synonym of ‘to blow someone off

Dar el avión’ is often used in much the same way as the English expression ‘to blow someone off’.

¡Ojo! (Watch out!) –dar el avión’ is ALWAYS used with an indirect object pronoun (‘me’, ‘te’, ‘le’, ‘nos’, ‘les’) either before or after the conjugated verb.

This is to indicate who exactly is being blown off!

Karen – El vecino siempre me invita a salir pero no me gusta nada.

Paulina – Pues mejor sé honesta y no le* des el avión.

Karen – The neighbor is always asking me out, but I don’t fancy him at all.

Paulina – Well, you should be honest with him instead of just blowing him off.

Juan – Ayer le pedí a mi profesora una sesión privada pero solo me escribió “ok”.

Teresa – Creo que te dio el avión.

Juan – Yesterday I asked my teacher for a private session, but she just texted back “ok”.

Teresa – I think she blew you off.

*Rupert’s pro tip – remember that ‘le’ is the indirect object pronoun for 3rd person singular.


As a synonym of ‘to ignore

Have you ever said ‘right’, ‘uh-huh’, or ‘yeah’ because you had absolutely no clue what else to say?

Or maybe you just couldn’t be bothered to elaborate?

A taco adjusting it's lettuce and another taco saying "...oye, me estás dando el avión".

If so, you were probably ‘dándole el avión’ to the person you were speaking to …

Marco – ¡Oye, qué bonita es esa pirámide! Qué lugar tan CHÉVERE, ¿no crees?

Fernanda – Sí…

Marco – ¡No me des el avión!

Marco – What a beautiful pyramid! This is such an incredible place, don’t you think?

Fernanda – Yeah …

Marco – Don’t ignore me!

Eduardo – ¿Sabías que Gabriel García Márquez escribió ‘Cien años de soledad’?

Helena – Uh-huh.

Eduardo – Mmmm, ¿en serio o sólo me das el avión?

Eduardo – Did you know that Gabriel García Márquez wrote “One hundred years of solitude”?

Helena – Uh-huh.

Eduardo – Umm, really, or are you just ignoring me?

Rupert’s note – this is actually a phrase that Erika uses with me pretty regularly, so it’s either SUPER common in Mexican Spanish or I’ve got the attention span of a goldfish!

By the way, if you wanna top up on your Mexican slang, you NEED to check out our “Master Guide” … it’s everything you need to know all in one place 👇🌵🇲🇽

Dar el avión’ pronunciation

‘Dar’ is said like dahr, and ‘el’ like ehl.

‘Avión’ is said like ‘ah-byohn’

/ dahr ehl  ah-byohn /

Before you go …

Now you know what to do to your Pinnochio-esque friend, roomie, or colleague the next time they tell you a rather “tall” tale 😉

And if you wanna know what to SAY to them too, you 100% need to check out our article on ‘TE PASAS’!

¡Hasta pronto!

Rupert's lived in Mexico for nearly a decade and has been working as a Spanish teacher for even longer (over 10 years now, wow!). He specializes in simple (yet effective) explanations and is a veritable grammar-whizz.

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