Speak like a local with these expressions from Malaga

 Tags: idiomatic

If you’ve ever been to the province of Malaga or are lucky enough to have friends from the area, you might have noticed that locals use some words and expressions that you haven’t heard anywhere else. To make sure you can mix with the malagueños and sound just like them on your next getaway to the Costa del Sol, in this post we’re going to list the most popular local expressions and tell you what they mean.

malaga words


The most popular expressions from Malaga:  

¡Muerde el rollo!: how strange, how bizarre.

To’ perita / estar to’ perita: when something is cool, the best of the best or you liked it.

Es canela en rama / canelita en rama: an expression used to mean that something is very good. 

Quedarse pajarito: to be very cold. 

¡No ni ná!: an abbreviation of “no ni nada”. It is used when you are saying that something must be done and that’s the end of that. 

Hacer la pirula: to commit a driving offence. 

Quedarse nique/nike/niquelao/nikelao: that something has come out clean or perfect. 

Ser un encogío’: to be mean, stingy, tight. 

¡(No ve) qué calina!: it’s hot, isn’t it!

¡Nove qué terral!: it’s hot, isn’t it!

¡Fó, vieo, que pelúa hace!: it’s very cold. 

Ser un paco/un papafrita: used to describe somebody who is silly. 

¿Te alargo?: Shall I take you (somewhere)?

Hacer el gato/la bacalá: to tell a lie. 

Hacer una piarda: to miss classes, to skive. 


Other words from Malaga: 

Canío/compadre and niña/rubia: these words are used to refer to men (canío/compadre) and women (niña/rubia) regardless of their age or hair colour. 

Maharón: crazy.

Chorraera: slide.

Canina: hunger.

Potaero: something that has been badly done. 

Portañica: flies (when they’re undone). 

Bascoso: uncomfortable (due to the heat).  

Bulla: haste, rush. 

Cusha: listen. 

Guarrito: drill. 

Pechá: very, a lot.

Moraga: beach party at night. 

Merdellón: said of somebody who isn’t very polite and draws a lot of attention to themself. 

Percal: an uncomfortable situation.

Campero: a sandwich filled with ham, lettuce, tomato, cheese, ketchup and mayonnaise. 


Express your mood like a malagueño

typical words from malaga


Alinquidoi: to be attentive.

Alobao / cuajao: to be absent minded. 

Apalancao: to be comfortable somewhere and not want to move. 

Aplatanao: to not want to do anything. 

Arrecío: to be very cold. 

Empanao: to be half-asleep or distracted, to not understand anything that’s going on. 

Esmallao: to be very hungry.

Lacio: to feel weak, not interested in doing anything.

Guarnío: to be very tired or hurt.


There you are. You now know the most popular words and expressions from Malaga so you can fit right in with the Costa del Sol locals. After all, there’s no better way to get to know a destination than to do as the locals. So what are you waiting for? Come and experience all the joys of the province of Malaga and meet the people who call it home. A trip that promises to be an unforgettable experience. 

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