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Misunderstood expression of the week – Estar en el quinto pino

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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!



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