I was honestly convinced that I didn’t know any Spanish when I first arrived to Murcia for my semester. However, I was also living in Murcia, a region known for its interesting (to say the least) accent. As for how the Murcian accent is interpreted, take a look at this tweet below:
¿Me has escuchado?
— Traductor Murciano (@traductormurcia) August 23, 2015
In addition to having a very difficult accent to understand, there are also a lot of words that are unique to Murcian Spanish. I am going to list a few words that I heard and learned about during my time in Murcia.
1. Acho: one word that I was told I would hear a lot of in Murcia before going abroad was this one. I honestly heard it at least once everyday.
I heard it so often walking down the streets to university, particularly paired with “tío/a” (dude).
What does acho even mean though? There really is no meaning, but I have interpreted the word as a way to call to someone’s attention.
Murcians are so associated with saying acho, that they took it upon themselves to make a “pataticas fritas” (also, a super Murcian way of saying potato chips) brand called Acho.
2. Bonico: in the Whatsapp group for my classes, I would all too often see this word surface in the chat. I had absolutely no idea what it meant for awhile, but knew that it had to have meant something positive. My classmates always used the word in response to something good happening or a picture of a cute dog.
I later came to out that this word means nice, friendly, or cute.
It actually turned out to be one of my favorite Murcian word and was one of few that I adopted into my everyday vocabulary. It seems to be used across other parts of Spain, as well. If you are interested words that are commonly used throughout Spain, check out my blog post on that here!
3. Pijo: this one is a bit confusing to explain, because there are so. many. different ways this word can be used. This word can be used for just about anything.
By itself, it can be used to emphasis something, show indifference, express quantity or speed.
When “pijo” is combined with other words, it can mean something totally different.
Confusing? I remember my mentor who had gone to Murcia the year before me, telling me about the words I heard. She had no idea how to explain this one. After hearing it for myself, I do not either.
It is just one of those words you just have to hear for yourself to understand, or at least, pretend like you do. This one is also used in other parts of Spain, but sometimes, has a way different meaning.
4. Chico: you are probably thinking, is this not already a word in Spanish? You are right. It typically means “boy,” but of course, Murcians tend to use this word a little bit differently. What else would you expect with good ol’ murciano?
Chico in this case means “pequeño,” or small. Once you think about it, saying chico to describe something small does make a lot of sense, which is unlike other Murcian words. I am looking at you, pijo.
5. Fuste: if something does not make much sense to you or is not all that funny, you use the word “fuste” to express this feeling.
Fuste is a noun, so you use it in instances such as: “¡Qué poco fuste tiene ese chiste!” At first I thought it was a tú verb in past-tense, but nope!
6. Chuminá: another way to express an annoyance, but more murciano. How else would is you would say something bothers you?
Of course, the above list is not exhaustive. There are so many “palabras murcianas,” I could not even begin to possibly list them all.
If you have ever been to Murcia, what are some of your favorite Murcian words? Or, if you have gone to other regions of Spain, what are some unique words of that region? I would love to hear your responses.