Last updated: 09/13/2020 | 331 views | Report error


What does Mayate mean?

Mayate is a derogatory, racist slur aimed at both Mexican people and African American people.

In general, it’s an insult towards a dark skinned person – a POC; “people of colour”.

The word is originally Mexican, but was further adopted by white Americans.

It refers to a black beetle that eats shit, so calling someone Mayate means that you are calling them an insect that eats shit.

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Origin of the term

The word stems from the classical Nahuatl language spoken in Mexico.

It’s originally written mayātl, and means June bug, or figeater beetle, but is sometimes used about beetles in general.

When used to insult a person, it generally refers to the dung beetle, that eats fecal matter.

Spread of the term

Interestingly, Mayate is used by white people to insult Mexican people, while at the same time it is used by Mexican people to describe black people.

Hence, the term is used by different ethnicities, to degrade another ethnicity.

It is mainly used in Mexico, but has also spread over to the US. It is not very common in other, English speaking countries.

Further information/sources

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