Valencian expressions

Living in Valencia is always a special experience, for both Spaniards and foreigners. The Turia’s capital, like other Spanish cities, has plenty of peculiarities and expressions that surprise both foreigner students and tourists from other Spanish provinces.

Today, we are going to go through some of the most typical Valencian expressions, some of which are well known in the rest of Spain. This means that, if you use them outside Valencia, people will immediately know that you have spent some time ‘en la terreta’.

“La terreta”

The best way to start our list of Valencian expressions is talking about the feeling that Valencians have for their home. In Valencia, when people talk about “la terreta”, they refer to a set of traditions, places, climate and feelings that are difficult to describe. For us, “la terreta” indicate the Valencian character, the gastronomy, the climate, the fallas, the bonfires or the Magdalena. Also, the horchata, the tardeo and the summer nights, San Juan and so many other things that every Valencian longs for when he or she doesn’t have them. In short, “la terreta” is all those things that make the Valencian Community different and that each one of us feels more like his/her own.

“Hace día de fallas”

It is one of the expressions that Valencians love the most and that is usually used in the months before or after the fallas. Although the weather is a bit crazy at the moment, the truth is that a “fallas day” usually refers to a sunny and warm day, when the sky is deep blue and the clouds, lifted and moved by the wind, seem to stretch out. If you ever hear this expression, observe the day and you will surely understand what it is all about.

“Ahora luego”

For Valencians, time is an ambiguous concept. That is why this expression is so typical from here, although, in Cordoba, people also use a similar expression by adding “después” to the phrase. If your idea is to procrastinate and leave something for later without knowing when you will do it, then the expression “ahora luego” will come in a handy.

“Bombón del tiempo”

If asking for a bombón is already something typically Valencian (although it has spread to other parts of the peninsula), asking for a bombón del tiempo (lit. bombón of the weather) is like make matters worse.
This expression has two basic Valencian elements: the bombón and “el tiempo”.

If you ask for a bombón in a Valencian cafeteria, you will be served a coffee with a splash of condensed milk. In the past, cafeterias had a dispensing machine for condensed milk but nowadays, it is usually served in a sachet.
Also, it should be noted that the bombón can also be prepared with a splash of Baileys in order to make it sweeter.

Sometimes, when people order a bombón or any other hot drink in Valencia, they specify they want it “del tiempo”. An expression that makes anyone from outside the Valencian Community go crazy and wonder if there is something wrong with us, because, for the Valencians, “del tiempo” means to put ice in the drink. Imagine in the middle of August, with nearly 40 degrees Celsius, asking for a “del tiempo” coffee. It is an experience that we recommend you to live.

“De categoría”

When Valencians like something or have had a fantastic “esmorçaret”, they will not say that it was good or very good, nor will they say that the place was wonderful. They will simply say “de categoría” (lit. of category). An expression which indicates that they liked it very much.

“A la marcheta”

In general, “irse de marcha” means to go partying. Nevertheless, in Valencia, “a la marcheta” means that everything is going well. That life goes on without too many ups and downs. That is, things don’t go smoothly, but it works.

“Torna-li la trompa al xic”

Now, we focus on a Valencian phrase that is almost as common as the words “nano” and “tete” (we leave it to your teachers to explain their meaning to you). The Valencian expression “torna-li la trompa al xic”, meaning “give the spinning top back to the kid”, is used when someone is insisting too much on something and we want them to stop it. In Spanish it would be like saying “no seas pelmazo” (don’t be a pain).

In future blog posts, we will talk about other very common words, some of them with a strong Valencian influence, used a lot in everyday life and that we are sure you have heard at least once in the city. Don’t forget to visit our blog entry on culinary expressions in Spanish, that are sure to surprise you as much or even more than the Valencian ones.