In short – ‘Mero mole’ is a fun Mexican expression that’s used to describe a person´s area of expertise or a situation in which they feel very comfortable.
And where (on earth!) does this expression come from?
Well, ‘mole’ is actually a traditional Mexican dish … it’s basically a thick sauce prepared with different chilies and a variety of other ingredients, such as chocolate, peanuts, almonds, and a variety of spices.
If you haven’t tried it yet, I strongly suggest that you give it a whirl. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
The word ‘mero’ can be either an adjective or adverb and *normally* (in Mexico at least) means something along the lines of ‘right’ or ‘just’ (‘ahí mero’ = ‘right / just there’).
The English expressions ‘in one’s element’ and ‘(it´s) my jam’ are often good translations.
Uses / Meanings of ‘mero mole’ in Mexican Spanish
‘Mero mole’ can be used in the following ways –
- When someone performs an activity in which they’re a specialist OR that they enjoy
- As a way of acknowledging that somebody is very good at something
When someone performs an activity in which they’re a specialist OR that they enjoy very much
I imagine there’s something that you’re really good at, maybe even to the level of mastery.
Well, in Mexican Spanish that “something” is your ‘mero mole’!
Paco – Chale*, mañana tenemos examen de matemáticas y no sé nada.
Rodrigo – Yo te ayudo; las matemáticas son mi mero mole.
Paco – Damn, tomorrow we have a math test, and I don’t know anything.
Rodrigo – I’ll help you; math is my jam.
*Erika´s note – ´Chale’ is Mexican slang, and, in this context, it’s used to express a mixture of surprise and disappointment.
Adriana – ¿No estás nervioso por la obra de mañana?
Emilio – Para nada … el escenario es mi mero mole.
Adriana – Aren’t you nervous about tomorrow’s play?
Emilio– Not at all … I´m in my element when on stage.
Viajar a la Ciudad de México y comer taquitos de pastor es mi mero mole.
Traveling to Mexico City and eating taquitos de pastor is my jam.
Brenda quiso discutir conmigo de política, sin saber que ese tema es mi mero mole.
Brenda wanted to discuss politics with me, without knowing that it´s my forte.
As a way of acknowledging that somebody is very good at something
You can use ‘mero mole’ to tell someone that they´re really good at something.
It´s almost always a complement (well, duh!).
Te vi bailando en la boda, se nota que es tu mero mole.
I saw you dancing at the wedding, I can tell that you´re really good at it.
Eres muy bueno dando consejos, se ve que ayudar a las personas es tu mero mole.
You’re very good at giving advice, I can tell that you love helping people.
‘Mero mole’ pronunciation
‘Mero mole’ is really easy to pronounce, it sounds as follows –
/ meh-roh moh-leh /
Similar expressions to ‘mero mole’
Como pez en el agua
The expression ‘como pez en el agua’ is used when you feel particularly comfortable in a place / situation, it literally means ‘like a fish in the water’.
It´s a bit like saying that ‘you feel at home’ or ‘are in your element’.
A María le gusta mucho Oaxaca, ahí está como pez en el agua.
María really likes Oaxaca; she really feels at home.
Cuando juega futbol es como pez en el agua.
She´s really in her element when she plays football.
Erika’s top tip – did you notice that we used ‘está’ in the first example and ‘es’ in the second?
This is because the first example refers to a temporary state (being in Oaxaca) and the second to a permanent characteristic (what the girl is like when playing football).
If you wanna find out more, be sure to head on over to our article on ‘es’ vs ‘está’.
That´s all for today, folks!
‘Mero mole’ is an expression with real Mexican flavor.
Even though it’s colloquial, it’s not at all offensive or vulgar. In fact, it’s often used in a profoundly friendly way!
If you want to learn more fun phrases just dripping with Mexican spice, you can check out my article on ‘te la rifas’.