Stoner Dictionary | Mota

Mota: noun 1. a Mexican slang term for marijuana

Example: “Hey paisa, you got any mota?”

The literal translation meaning “speck, dot or tiny bit,” the mota worthy of our stoner dictionary is a Spanish slang term for marijuana, predominantly used in Mexico and the United States. Though probably used in other Latin and South American Spanish speaking countries, mota is not used Spain. I made this mistake when I lived in Spain three years ago.

When I arrived in Madrid, the first mission I set out on was finding some sweet Mary Jane.

With only a very basic knowledge of conversational Spanish under my belt, I thought that the Mexican-Spanish slang I had learned from living in California would assist me. Nope! As I was making friends and meeting locals, I started asking if there was anywhere I could score some mota. They all looked at me like I was crazy. I was told that everyone just calls it marijuana, which seems so boring, unless they did not want to share their slang secrets with me. Completely unrelated but somewhat relevant, I also learned the slang term for ecstasy is pastillas.

There is much speculation behind the origins of the term mota. The literal translation which means “speck, dot or tiny bit,” and less commonly, “a hill or mound of earth,” could have started as a colloquial term used to describe the acquisition of a small portion of weed, or a speck of weed. Similar to the way we have abbreviated dime bag to simply dime, as slang terms always evolve, mota could have then become a replacement of the word marijuana altogether. Though this is truly mere speculation, whatever the history and origins are of this now common slang term, there’s no denying that todos adoramos la mota. 

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