María de Todos los Ángeles

We recently looked at a sketch by Werevertumorro about the complicated bond between mother and adult son in Mexican society. Here’s another scene exploring the same topic, this time from the popular Mexican TV comedy series, María de Todos los Ángeles.

Albertano: Yo no le había dicho pero en estos últimos seis meses he madurado. Me he vuelto un hombre independiente. Pienso irme a vivir solo al cuarto de la azotea. Ya nomás con que me lave y me planche y me suba el desayuno y me prenda el boiler, yo me las arreglo solo.

Notice that Albertano often extends the final vowel of some words before pauses, especially the final solo. This is characteristic of some working class accents. Now let’s look at some specific language from his speech.

Nomás

Nomás, short for nada más, is an informal way of saying ‘only’ or ‘just’. Estoy casi listo, nomás me falta peinarme. Almost ready, all I have to do is put gel in my hair.

Cuarto de la azotea

A cuarto de la azotea is a rooftop room found in traditional residential buildings, often intended as living quarters for a maid.

Con que

Con que followed by a subjunctive clause is used to express a conditional satisfaction. Con que no salga un león, no hay tos. As long as no lions jump out of nowhere, I’ll be happy. (telenovela dialogue)

Boiler

A boiler is a hot-water heater, also called a calentador. Hot water is not always available on demand in Mexico. A boiler is typically gas-powered and is to be lit by hand ten or fifteen minutes before taking your shower. In a later episode of María de Todos los Ángeles, the boiler explodes and takes flight, bringing María and Albertano closer together.