Top ten: things you’ll hear Spanish ‘mamás’ say

Whether she’s your mother or just a potential mother-in-law, if you have a Spanish ‘mamá’, you will have heard her myriad ways of expressing her deep concern for your well-being. Sometimes it’s a question of basic human needs such as food and warmth; on other occasions she seems to act on a compulsion to say what needs saying, because who else will? She is a protective layer against the ravages of this harsh world, but sometimes the danger of being fatally smothered looms large.

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