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The origin of the word “Malafollá”

Today iNMSOL is going to tell you the story behind a word people in Granada widely use: “malafollá”.

Do you know its origin and what it means? It is the description of one of the most genuine aspects of these citizens’ character.

The word “follá” comes from the Latin word follis and means “to blow with the bellows”.

Origin of malafollá

It is the story of an apprentice of the blacksmith’s trade in Sacromonte, who was in charge of blowing the embers giving the bellows an adequate rhythm. Nevertheless it was difficult for him to maintain the necessary temperature. The result was that the stones did not stay incandescent and the slab was not perfect. Thus, they said the apprentice had a bad “follá”, because he did not blow well with the bellows. The master blacksmith shouted at the apprentice in an angry way: “Child, you’re doing it wrong, what a bad ‘follá’ you have. Child, don’t come anymore, you have a very bad follá “. And this is how this Grenadian term arises.




And how can we define “malafollá”, as it is known today? José García Ladrón de Guevara wrote a book entitled ‘La malafollá granaína‘. It is “a kind of gratuitous bad host that the people of Granada distribute without any reason to everyone around them and that, in no case, denotes bad character, nor bad education, nor particular animosity from the interlocutor, nor does it denote disinterest or apathy in the Granaíno, as some say.”

Thus there are people who consider the citizens of this wonderful city ill-educated or cold, especially those who come from outside.

Of course, all recognize the love of the people of Granada for the black humour in a way that transforms apparently normal situations into sarcasm, which is not always well received by the interlocutor.

But no: the Grenadians are ironic and intelligent. Well, we all should have a friend from Granada. Since there are many facets of Granada, we never stop discovering what this city offers!

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