Here comes a new post on typical Spanish expressions! In Spanish idioms: Montar un pollo, we will explain the origin of this funny phrase and its meaning. Our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem is happy to help you master Spanish as you were a native Spanish speaker 😊

The literal meaning of the Spanish idiom: montar un pollo is quite unusual and funny. In fact, it can be translated as “to ride a chicken” or “to assembly a chicken”. Both ideas are quite unlikely, not to say impossible…

The real meaning of this phrase is “make a fuss, “make a scene”.

Actually, the word pollo stands for “poyo”. Poyo is the name of a stone bench, placed next to the front door and against the wall of a house. This kind of seat is very common in the villages and people use to sit on it and chat, especially in the hot summer nights “para tomar la fresca”…..

Ooooops! We have just used another Spanish idiom… but let’s talk about it in a next post 😉

The word poyo, in turn, comes from the Latin word “podium”. The podio or pedestal was a platform from where orators used to give speech and sermons in crowdy spaces, like squares, during XIX century.

The speeches used to be about hot and sensitive issues. Hence, in many occasions, they use to trigger strong reactions in the audience and sparked off a storm of controversy.

That is the reason why montar un pollo (over the time the word “pollo” has replaced “poyo”) describes a situation where a person or more people make a scene because are very angry or upset.

Everybody has “montado un pollo” at least once in his/her life…Do you remember why and when you did last time? 😊

In order to better understand when is appropriate to use this phrase, let’s look at these examples:

  • Alfredo montó un pollo en la tienda de zapatos porque el dependiente no quiso aceptarle la devolución de su compra = Alfredo made a fuss in the shoe shop because the shop assistant wouldn’t accept the refund of his purchase
  • María y Luís empezaron a discutir animadamente sobre política y montaron un pollo en la fiesta de Juan = Maria and Luis started to discuss politics and made a big fuss at Juan’s party.
  • Mi hermana montó un pollo porque cogí prestada su bicicleta sin permiso = My sister made a scene because I borrowed her bike without permission
  • Esta mañana Fabián montó un pollo porque no quería ir al colegio = This morning Fabian made a fuss because he didn’t want to go to school
  • Ana montó un pollo porque me olvidé de su cumpleaños = Ana made a fuss because I forgot about her birthday
  • Pablo es muy irascible. Monta un pollo cada vez que no está de acuerdo con algo = Pablo is bad tempered. He makes a scene any time he disagrees with something

IMPORTANT: Montar un pollo is a widely-used expression in colloquial language and. Therefore, remember not to use it in formal context, like work meeting or job interview 😉

If your goal for this summer is learning Spanish from scratch or improve your level, El Rincón del Tándem, is happy to offer you dynamic Spanish lessons here in Valencia.

If you want to attend classes every day, you might be interested in our Spanish Intensive Course or Spanish Standard Course.

¡Hasta pronto!