New Mexico July 21, 2017
8 Phrases That Will Make You Swear New Mexicans Have Their Own Language
There are certain words and phrases that you’re unlikely to hear outside of the Land of Enchantment. They don’t sound weird to us because we’re used to them, but some sayings and expressions might confuse an out-of-state visitor. Here are some of the linguistic quirks that make New Mexico New Mexico.
1. Red or green?
This is obvious, but our official state question had to be included. Apparently, there are places where these colors don’t automatically refer to chile - but who wants to live there?!
Yes, everyone knows that this refers to December 25th. However, unless it’s the holiday season, if you hear this in a restaurant then chances are we’re requesting both red and green chile on our food.
3. We’re all happy today’s Friday!
We use "all" to emphasize something.
4. Do you want a breakfast burrito, or no?
In some states, questions don’t end with the phrase "or no?" Weird, or no?
5. Do you want to gas up at Allsup's or what?
Sticking "or what?" on the end leaves room for an alternative plan. Sometimes it's said in a tone of exasperation.
6. We landed up staying in and watching a movie.
People in some states might end up doing this, but in New Mexico, we "land up."
7. "The 505"
Out-of-staters might be confused when they hear people talk about the 505 or see 505 incorporated into business names. There are only two area codes in New Mexico: 505 and 575. Even though 575 is used in a wider geographical area, people tend to use "the 505" to refer to the entire state, or just as another term for home. "I love life in the 505."
8. Spanish words
Many New Mexicans are bilingual so we often intersperse English and Spanish words into our speech, switching back and forth between the two, often within the same sentence. If you're not used to the speed of that, or only speak one of the two languages, this can sound like a brand new language.
What New Mexican words and phrases have you discovered aren’t universally understood throughout the country?
You may also be interested in this past article: “
12 Weird Side Effects Everyone Experiences From Growing Up In New Mexico.”