Most English expressions and phrases are figurative but there are some idioms such as ‘No way José’ that refer to names of people. Others idiom examples in the English language with names include:


  • Achilles’ heel
  • Bob’s your Uncle
  • Elvis has left the building
  • Jack of all trades, master of none
  • Keeping up with the Joneses
  • Murphy’s Law
  • Peeping Tom
  • Take the Mickey
  • The life of Riley
  • The Real McCoy.


In future posts we will be looking at more English sayings with names, but today we’ll focus on adding No way Jose to your vocabulary so that you can use it straight away and therefore sound more confident in English conversation.



No way José T-Shirt

No way José Meaning


When you use the English expression No way José you are saying ‘absolutely not’.  The message you are giving is that whatever is being asked of you will never ever happen. No way José is a way of giving a very definite  NO!  as an answer.

No way Jose Pronunciation


No way José is pronounced by native English speakers as ‘no way hosay’


No way José origin

According to Chapman and Kipfers’s ‘Dictionary of American slang’ the English expression ‘No way!’ is of US origin from the 1960s. (No way!  is also used to express surprise). The first confirmed citation of No way José is from the Washington Post in 1979: «I’ve got nothing against robots. But no way, Jose, is this guy going to win»

There is nothing to suggest that José was a real person. José most likely found its way into the phrase because it rhymes with ‘no way’.

Other ways to say No way José


Here are some No way José  synonyms to mean ‘absolutely not!’

  • No way
  • Not a chance
  • Fat chance
  • Not over my dead body
  • Not in a million years
  • Not on your Nelly


No way José! Not in a million years!


Incorporating  common expressions and idioms into your English vocabulary will help you  understand native English speakers and make you sound more natural in English conversation!