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15 Phrases You Heard Growing Up in New Mexico

New Mexico
by Zoe Baillargeon Apr 23, 2018

Ah, colloquialisms — they let locals know when they’re home and confuse the heck out of visitors. And New Mexico is no different. It wouldn’t be the Land of Enchantment without us calling it the Land of Entrapment, saying “orale” in front of every sentence, and always speaking in Spanglish instead of just one or the other. These sayings and words have been a part of our New Mexican identity from day one, like these 14 phrases that, if you grew up in New Mexico, you definitely heard.

1. “Meet me by the arroyo.”

The ultimate NM kid hangout (and later where you met to smoke weed). Also the place your mother warned you to stay away from in case you get swept away but you liked to live on the edge.

2. “Orale wey…”

You didn’t know what this meant but you heard it from literally every adult you knew.

3. “We’re stopping at Allsup’s.”

Getting an Allsup’s chimichanga or beef and bean burrito during a gas stop was always so much better than going to McDonald’s.

4. “You’re so flaco! Here, have some more.”

There was no such thing as being too full at family dinner.

5. “I made breakfast burritos.”

*tears of joy*

6. “Be home by sunset or La Llorona will get you.”

The fear was real.

7. “Do you want a Coke?”

*adult proceeds to hand you literally any kind of soft drink but Coke*

8. Being called “mijo” or “mija.”

9. “Mira, I told you not to go outside without shoes!”

This phrase always followed us returning to the house weeping after stepping on a goathead.

10. “Eeeeeee…”

You didn’t know why adults said this in every sentence either, but it sounded cool so you started doing it too.

11. “Drink your malk.”

That’s not a typo, that’s how it’s pronounced.

12. “It snowed like an inch so no school.”

Snow day where the snow melts by noon.

13. “Such a pretty drawleen!”

Once again, not a typo.

14. “Our field trip this week is to Explora.”

The best day of your life.

15. “It’s the land of entrapment.”

‘Cuz we never want to leave.

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