Mexican Workplace Slang: ‘Godín’ and ‘Godínez’

In short – ‘godín‘ and ‘godínez‘ are Mexican slang words that refer to people who spend all day behind a desk in an office – albeit in a rather cheeky way!

Originally, the word ‘godínez’ was nothing more than a very common Hispanic surname, but it later became an extremely popular way to refer to anyone who has a salaried job and shares certain character traits (i.e., those of an office worker).

Cartoon of a typical "godín" with tie, shirt, glasses and briefcase


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




Uses / Meanings of ‘godínez’ in Mexican Spanish

‘Godínez’ can be used in the following ways –

  • As a surname

  • To refer to office workers


As a surname

If you see the word ‘Godínez’ written with a capital letter and preceded by a name, then you, my friend, are looking at a surname!

Godínez‘ is such a common last name that in the Latin American dubbing of an episode of The Simpsons, Homer even talks about a co-worker called Godínez (some actually point to this as the origin of the slang expression!)

Cartoon of a typical "godín" saying, "Soy Godínez"


El juez Enrique Godínez dio el caso por terminado al no encontrar pruebas suficientes para dictar una sentencia.

Judge Enrique Godínez closed the case after finding insufficient evidence to issue a sentence.


Me gusta mucho Mariana Godínez; es la más bonita de toda la escuela.

I really like Mariana Godínez; she’s the prettiest girl in the whole school.


En un episodio de Los Simpsons

Marge – Homero, no está bien llevar camisa de manga corta con corbata.

Homero – ¡Ay! Pero así le hace Godínez…

Marge – ¿Si Godínez se tira del techo tú también?

Homero – Oh, quisiera ser Godínez.



In an episode of The Simpsons

Marge – Homer, it’s not nice to wear a short-sleeved shirt with a tie.

Homer – Oh, but that’s what Godínez does!

Marge – If Godínez jumped off a roof, would you follow him?

Homer – Oh, I wish I was Godínez.



To refer to office workers

If you spend most of the day behind a desk and a computer, you’re very likely a ‘godínez’. This expression is very similar to the Japanese ‘salaryman’, or the American ‘desk jockey’.

And how do you go about being a godínez?

Well, first you have to look like one: an ID badge, shirt, tie, and a well-ironed suit are ALWAYS found in a “godínez” wardrobe.

Cartoon showing the things that every "godín" needs (gafete, corbata, tupperware, spray, maletín, vaso y traje)


Working days are usually 9 hours from Monday to Friday, so a true ‘godínez’ has a tedious job and, as a result, a somewhat monotonous existence.

QUÉ ONDA güey, ¿no te quieres inscribir al gimnasio conmigo?

No puedo. Soy godínez y trabajo todo el día.



What’s up, dude, don’t you want to join the gym with me?

I can’t. I’m a desk jockey and I work all day.


Es típico de los godínez salir a tomar CHELAS con los compañeros del trabajo todos los viernes.

It’s typical for a desk jockey to go out for drinks with their coworkers every Friday.


Esos tacos de la esquina están buenos. Ahí van a comer todos los godínez.

Those tacos on the corner are really good. That’s where all the office drones go to eat.

Expert tip – ‘godínez’ used to be a derogatory term because it was normally associated with slave-driving managers, low salaries, and few opportunities for professional growth.

However, the term’s gained popularity, and in my experience it’s no longer that offensive (although you should always tread carefully when using it!). There’s a whole ‘godínez’ culture that represents the daily way of life of millions of Mexicans, so it’s become a form of funny identification rather than a negative stereotype.

But don’t just take my word for it, we actually polled working-age Mexicans to see whether they thought the term was offensive or not –

Infographic of a poll asking whether "godín" is offensive



Godínez’ pronunciation

To correctly pronounce this word, you can break it down into three syllables: ‘goh’, ‘dee’, and ‘nehs’.

Don’t forget to emphasize that middle syllable (as indicated by the accent).

/ goh-dee-nehs /


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 👇🌵🇲🇽

Erika pointing to the word "Mexican Slang Master Guide"



Similar expressions to ‘godínez

Godín

This is the singular form of ‘godínez’.

Mexicans actually use ‘godínez’ to refer to BOTH a specific person AND a group of people. ‘Godín’, on the other hand, can ONLY be used to refer to one specific person.

¿Qué pasó con Pablo, no va a llegar a la comida?

No, es godín y sale de trabajar hasta las 7 de la noche.



What happened to Pablo, is he not gonna make it to lunch?

No, he’s a desk jockey and he leaves work at 7 at night.


Ya quítate el gafete; te ves bien godín con él puesto.

Take off your ID badge; you look like an office drone with it on.

Godinear

‘Godinear’ is a made-up verb that’s often used to describe certain activities associated with ‘godinez’.

For example, taking your lunch to the office in Tupperware, waiting for payday every two weeks, going out drinking with colleagues, and having to buy formal clothes for the office, etc.

¿Me acompañas al supermercado? Tengo que comprar unos Tupperware para llevar mi comida al nuevo trabajo.

No me digas que ya te toca godinear.



Will you come with me to the supermarket? I need to buy some Tupperware to take my lunch into work.

Don’t tell me you’re now gonna act like a regular office jockey?


Ya son las dos de la madrugada, ya me voy porque mañana me toca godinear.

It’s already 2:00 in the morning, I’d better go … I’ve got work tomorrow.


Before you go …

If you wanna find out more about Mexican office culture/slang, you NEED to check out our INTERVIEW WITH ESTAFANIA SANCHEZ, expert in international business relations and a proud, self-proclaimed ‘Godín‘ 😉

¡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.

And some cheeky vids ...

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