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Me encanta tu blog! Es lo maximo! I am moving to Spain in a month & I’ve learned so much from your blog. Can you please teach me more expressions/sayings that’s used mostly in Spain? Specifically in Madrid? Muchisimas gracias! 🙂

¡Gracias! Espero que lo pases muy bien cuando vengas ^^

It’s hard to find terms whose use is restricted to Madrid, because its influence spreads hard and fast through radio, TV and press, so words eventually become commonplace all over Spain. For example, I’ve read that the ubiquitous follar (“to fuck”, one day I should make a post about this) was originally just a Madrid thing.

That said, a word that I’ve always heard from either madrileños or people that had lived there for a long time there is rancio. So I’m going with this, though as I say, I’m not sure about the geographical distribution of use and it might be present in other regions too. Last disclaimer: don’t sweat it, people would get it anyway, as I did the first time I heard it.

Rancio in the dictionary meaning of old food gone bad is worldwide Spanish—I distinctively remember reading it on Mafalda strips, which is Argentinian. You may have also seen the expression rancio abolengo (“old lineage”). But madrileños, perhaps from an extension of this to being old-fashioned, use it for boring or rudish people. For instance:

Con lo rancio que es Jose, no creo que venga a la fiesta aunque le invite.
Given how boring Jose is, I don’t think he’ll come to the party even if I invite him.

Perdona que llegue tarde, la cajera del banco era una rancia y estuvo comprobando todos y cada uno de los papeles para el ingreso.
Sorry I’m late, the cashier at the bank was a stiff and she thoroughly checked all the papers for the deposit.

No seas rancio, déjame ver tus fotos de pequeño.
Don’t be so serious, let me see your pictures from when you were a child.

Originally published in Talk like a Spaniard.

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