Misunderstood expression of the week – Estar en el quinto pino
When we say that something is in ‘el quinto pino’ we are indicating that it is far away.
There is a funny part of this expression because actually the fifth pine existed in Madrid in 18th Century and it was located with four other pines in the antique Paseo del Prado.
Philip V ordered these 5 beautiful trees should be planted in one of the most important streets in Madrid, which at that time was Paseo del Prado – from Atocha to Nuevos Ministerios.
When people arranged to meet they would use one of the trees as a meeting point because there was quite a gap between them.
Usually people met at the first one, which was closest to the centre, leaving last trees ‘less wanted’.
For this reason, the fifth pine was the place that lovers chose in order to hold hands, give some cuddles and other love gestures that couldn’t shown in public.
On some occasions when young ladies met their suitors they had the company of a nun who gave some distance to them, so could tell each other nice things without a third person involved, but they couldn’t go farther away than the fifth pine.
This is why this expression continues to be used to locate something far away, ‘en el quinto pino’
And remember, you can send someone to fry asparagus to the fifth pine!
Puedes mandar a alguien a freír espárragos al quinto pino.
I hope you enjoy this misunderstood expression and you use it in your Spanish classes!
Keep on learning Spanish
Have fun learning Spanish as we upload the A1 and A2 episodes of Cava Baja, our cartoon soap in Madrid.For higher levels, we'll test your Spanish with specially written articles from topics we find of interest from the news each week.Plus we'll keep you in touch with Hispanic culture in London, our teacher blogs and social events in the school. Have fun learning with Vamos.