Expressions Typical of Madrid

8 de March de 2019 

Expressions Typical of Madrid

Apart from having comfortable accommodation in Madrid, what can really improve your travel experience is knowing a bit of Spanish language. While most helpful phrases you can learn in a language school or from a travel guide, there are a couple of phrases you aren’t likely to come across when studying the Spanish language. And some of them are expressions typical of Madrid. So it’s only natural you can’t find them in regular Spanish lesson. But they can be quite handy during your trip.



¡Pa’ arriba, pa’ bajo, pa’l centro, pa’ dentro!

Ok, we all know that Madrileños are friendly people, who like to have fun. Partying all night long, tapas, delicious wine, all that comes to mind when you think about having a great time in Madrid. That’s the situation when you can use this phrase. It literally means “Up, down, to the center, inside” and you’ll use it when you have a toast. Instead of it, you could simply say “Salud”, which means “Cheers”.


La caña

An evening out probably means you’re having la caña time. You guessed it, it means awesome. It’s often used in the phrase “es la caña”, meaning “it’s awesome”.


Ser la leche

So, here’s a phrase that can be both positive and negative. Literally, leche is milk, but in you’ll use this phrase that says that something is either cool, amazing (positive meaning), or that something is disgusting, bad, bad luck, etc. (negative meaning). The younger generations are replacing this phrase with es la polla, with basically the same meaning.


Mola  mazo tronco

The word for word, this phrase means a lot cool dude. It’s used by Madrileños when they want to say that something is cool or very cool. It shows appreciation, and it’s very typical of this region.


¡Venga, hombre!

It’s an expression often used at the end of a sentence. It’s something like “Come on.” or “Yeah, right.” Even though it isn’t a crucial part of the information it’s very much used in spoken Spanish, rather than in written language.



Here’s another expression used in spoken language. You say “Vale” when you want to say OK. Of course, you could say OK, and Madrileños would understand you just fine, but “Vale” is a more preferable version of the Spanish equivalent.


¡Qué chulo!

You’ll use this expression when you want to say that something is lovely, neat, or general to say praise. You could say that something is chulo “es chulo” or in a phrase ¡Qué chulo! Meaning how lovely.


Dar la lata

Literally, it means to “give the can”. It’s used when someone is annoying or bothering you. So, you’ll use it to describe someone’s behavior in a negative way.


Spanish words that Madrileños have unique

Here’s a list of couple useful words that you might learn in Spanish, but when you come to Madrid, expect a new world.

  • Peluco = Watch
  • Piba / pibe = Boy / Girl
  • Buga = Car
  • Keli = House
  • Garito = Bar/Club
  • Birra = Beer
  • Bule = Bus
  • Sobar = Sleep
  • Esfumarse = Run away
  • Molar = Like
  • Mazo de = a lot of
  • Cutre= tacky/low quality


Last update 08/03/2019 16:10:46

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