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15 Andalucían Expressions to Know Before You Go to Spain

Andalusia Languages
by Patrick McGurran Jun 27, 2017

In Andalucía, each province of Sevilla, Jaén, Huelva, Cádiz, Granada, Málaga, Córdoba and Almería that you venture to, will use some type of local slang. It can get tricky to follow the conversation — even if you think your Spanish is fluent. And with the heavy Andalucían accent, i.e, the use of the “th” sound, and each province’s different accents, it makes communication even harder. If you ever have the pleasure of visiting visit la Andalucía profunda here are the basic expressions to help you follow conversations with a little more ease.

1. Mi arma

“My soul”

Arma, meaning “weapon”, is actually meant to be alma – meaning soul. The “L” is replaced with an “R” with their accent. Mi arma is an expression used in everyday conversation and is a term of endearment. Used mostly in the city of Sevilla.

Ex. “Gracias, mi arma” (Thank you, my soul).

2. Del tirón

“All at once”

Ex. “Venga, ya. ¡Toma el chupito del tirón! (C’mon already. Take the shot!”

3. ¡Ponme una caña!

“Give me a beer”

Translating this in the literal does no good. Ponme is synonymous with dame or “give me”. Una caña means “cane” or “sugar cane.” So, saying: “Give me sugarcane,” doesn’t make sense. Specifically, una caña denotes a size of the beer (it’s small — about 6 oz.) You use this to order a normal size beer. Now if you said ¡Ponme una jarra! (a jug) then now we’re onto something.

Ex. Waiter: “What do you want?”
You: “¡Ponme una caña!”

4. No ni ná (no ni nada)

“Yeah, right!”

This is my favorite Andalucían expressions. It’s a triple negative that is complicated to understand but once you get it, and use it correctly, your Andalucían friends will be roaring with laughter. The at the end is a shortened version of nada. You use this when someone says something that is clearly untrue and you are calling them out on it.

Ex. Friend: “I’m not going to drink tonight, in fact, I’m thinking about stopping going out all-together.”
You: “¡No ni ná! You go out eight days a week!”

5. Pischa/Boquerón/Choquero

“Local ways to identify oneself.”

In Andalucía almost every major area has a word to describe where you are from. In Cádiz, they use the word pischa/chocha, which literally means “penis/vagina” (don’t ask me why, no one knows). In Málaga, they use the word boquerón/boquerona, which means “anchovy”. In Huelva they use choquero/choquera, meaning “squid”. All the other inhabitants of the provinces use the name of their communities

Ex. “¿Eres Pischa?”
“¿Pischa? Soy de Sevilla, tío. Pero mi padre es boquerón.”

6. La que tú me haces

“It’s you that makes me this way.” or “I cannot help but be this way around you.”

If you’re going to visit Andalucía, get used to people flirting with you, or in the very least telling you how attractive they find you. And it can be a breath of a fresh air if it’s done with charm. La que tú me haces is a piropo (a compliment) that is meant to reverse something neutral or negative previously said, to turn it into a compliment.

Ex. “Ay, Pepe. Me haces gracia.” (Oh, Pepe. You make me laugh.)
“Pues, es la que tú me haces, Carmen.” (Well, it’s you that makes me act this way, Carmen.”)

7. ¡Estoy flipando en colores!

“I’m flipping in colors.”

This is also a great expression that is particular to Sevilla. It’s an expression to denote extreme excitement.

Ex. “Are you excited for the concert this weekend?”
“¡Estoy flipando en colores, tío! ¡Vamos!” (I’m flipping out in colors, dude. Let’s go!)

8. Si no sabes torear, para que te metes.

“If you don’t know how to bullfight, you’re going to get gored.”

It means that if you don’t know how to do something, be aware that you might fail.

9. Canelita en rama

“That is perfect.”

This is typically used to convey agreement with a suggestion. When something is a prime choice you use this phrase.

Ex. “I was thinking we could go to Plaza El Salvador for drinks at 10.”
“Canelita en rama. I’ll see you then.”

10. Me mola

“I like that.”

It is a synonym of me gusta, but cooler.

11. Ser muy salado/salada

“To be salty.”

This is used to describe someone’s personality as vibrant, and full of life. Pronounced: Salao

12. Ser un soso/una sosa

“To be saltless.”

The opposite of Salado: lacking salt, boring, life-less.
Ex. “Juan is coming? But he is soso!”

13. Darle caña

“To scold someone. To beat someone figuratively.”

This expression is used when someone is telling you what’s-what. They are “giving you the cane”.

14. La malafollá

Used to describe a rude comment/situation from a granaína.

Literally meaning “the bad sex”. La malafollá is the phrase used to describe a rude exchange someone from Granada.

15. Hacer la mona

“To have no class.”

Means: to make the monkey. To be rude and act trashy.

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