In short – ‘Qué hueva’ is a very popular Mexican slang term similar to the English phrase ‘what a drag’. Although it’s informal, it’s not considered to be a rude expression.
The word ‘hueva’ literally means ‘bunch of eggs’ (of the fish variety) … think caviar, NOT a chicken egg which is a actually a ‘huevo’.
But ‘qué hueva’ has absolutely nothing to do with eggs …
… it’s actually a phrase commonly used by young people in Mexico when they “can’t be bothered” to do something.
Uses / Meanings of ‘qué hueva’ in Mexican Spanish
‘Qué hueva’ can be used in the following ways –
- As a synonym of ‘what a drag’
- To say that something / someone is boring
- To say that someone is being negligent with their work
As a synonym of ‘what a drag’
‘Qué hueva’ is normally used to convey the fact that you’re not in the mood to do a specific task.
In this sense it’s pretty similar to the English expression ‘what a drag’.
Mañana es lunes, ¡qué hueva! Tengo que ir a trabajar.
Tomorrow is Monday, what a drag! I have to go to work.
Juan – ¡Qué hueva! Nuestra maestra de matemáticas nos dejó mucha tarea.
Miguel – Sí, está cañón.
Juan – What a drag! Our math teacher gave us a lot of homework.
Miguel – Yeah, it’s a pain.
You’ll likely also hear the variations ‘tengo una hueva’ or ‘tengo mucha hueva’, which basically mean ‘I’m feeling lazy’ or ‘I can’t be bothered’.
Tengo una hueva de lavar los trastes…¡hazme el paro*, wey!
I can’t be bothered to wash the dishes … help me out, man!
*Erika´s note – ‘hacer el paro’ is the Mexican equivalent of ‘to do a favor’.
To say that something / someone is boring
In a boring situation?
Well, if you feel like sharing exactly how you feel (and you’re with close friends!), a simple ‘qué hueva’ will do the trick!
¿Acompañarte al concierto de los Jonas Brothers? No, qué hueva.
You want me to go with you to the Jonas Brothers concert? No, how boring.
It can even be used to describe people –
Qué hueva me da Samuel…no sé cómo te gusta.
Samuel is so boring … I don’t know why you like him.
To say that someone is being negligent with their work
‘Con una hueva’ or ‘con qué hueva’ are the perfect phrases for when someone’s doing their job in such a blatantly lazy fashion that it basically equates to negligence.
You’d normally whack ‘con una hueva’ after the verb and ‘con qué hueva’ before!
Mi hamburguesa tardó 30 minutos, ¡el cocinero se veía con una hueva!
My burger took 30 minutes to arrive, the cook looked so lazy!
Pasé dos horas en el banco antes de que resolvieran mi problema. ¡Con qué hueva me atendió la cajera!
I spent two hours at the bank before they solved my problem. The teller looked like he’d rather be somewhere else!
‘Qué hueva’ pronunciation
‘Qué hueva’ is pronounced as follows –
/ keh weh-bah /
Don’t forget that in Spanish you don’t pronounce the letter ‘h’ if it’s the first letter of a word.
Other expressions with ‘hueva‘
Echar la hueva
‘Echar la hueva’ is a popular way of saying ‘to laze around’.
It basically means to doing nothing much for a period of time.
¿Saliste el fin de semana?
No, me quedé en la casa a echar la hueva.
Did you go out over the weekend?
No, I stayed at home and lazed around.
Hay que lavar el coche, está* muy sucio.
Luego, vamos a echar la hueva un rato.
The car needs to be washed; it’s very dirty.
Later, let’s chill for a bit first.
*Erika’s top tip – we use ‘está’ here because being dirty is a “temporary” quality (or at least we hope as much!).
Make sure to check out our article on ‘es’ vs ‘está’ if you’d like to know more about the two!
If you say that something is ‘de hueva’, you’re basically saying that it’s ‘boring’.
It’s normally used with the verb ‘estar’.
estar + de hueva
¿Vas a ir al cumpleaños de Alfredo?
No, seguro va a estar de hueva.
Are you going to Alfredo’s party?
No, I’m sure it’s going to be boring.
If you feel too much ‘hueva’ to go to work one day, now you know exactly what to say to your boss (just joking!).
Although this expression may not be considered rude amongst friends, it IS very informal, so definitely DON’T use it when talking to your Mexican boss.
You’ve been warned!
Oh, and if you’re in the mood for more Mexican slang, then be sure to check out my article on ‘a toda madre‘ (it’s another SUPER useful phrase!).