FAQ: What is “talking” Santa Fe?

FAQ: What is “talking” Santa Fe?

What is “talking” Santa Fe? Here is a short list to get you fluent in our local lingo called talking Santa Fe. Some are words like Zozobra which describe an annual September event. Others like canale are ones you frequently ask me about when we talk about our flat roofs or when I am helping you relocate to Santa Fe to make your lifestyle change. By the way, there is no test so enjoy!

Acequia – A hand-made irrigation ditch for water maintained by a local community association organized to share the water and distribute it to its members. Spring cleanings of the ditch are major community events.

Adobe – Hand-made sun-dried clay or mud in the form of bricks for use as a building material; a style of home as in pueblo adobe; a deep rich earth color.
Alameda – A road or path through cottonwood trees; the Spanish word for cottonwood trees.
Arroyo – Anarroyo means dry creek in Spanish is usually dry and quickly fills with water after a heavy rainstorm.
Banco – In Santa Fe, a banco is not a bird, a bank or a graphic font. Here it is a sculptured curved bench made of adobe and often covered with plaster around the fireplace in adobe homes to display something of value or importance; an outdoor bench for seating or as a low exterior wall of a courtyard.
Camino – The Spanish word for way and a frequent adjective in many street names.
Canale – A roof spout designed to carry water off the typical Santa Fe flat roof.(not food!)
Corbels – Sculptured or decordated wood part of a post near the top; design feature that distributes the weight of the roof beams common in portals.
Horno – A bee-hive shaped outdoor oven often blended into an exterior courtyard wall; a traditional Native American Pueblo free standing adobe bread oven.
Nicho – A small niche carved into an adobe wall or interior wall or hallways of a home used to display pieces of art or other things of wonder or value or of a spiritual nature.
Portal – Outdoor covered patio or walkway connection attached to the home supported by posts with corbels. 

Ristra – A string of red chili hung together to dry. The image above is a group of ristras!
Road-Runner – Adopted in 1949 as the State bird called Paisano (compatriot) by the Spanish is a long-tailed, long-neck bird with a crested head, olive brown body with legs built for running and is not a good flyer. The Road-Runner is the logo for our Railrunner commuter trains image in this blog.
Saltillo Tile – Ubiquitous Santa Fe fired tile with many variations of color and shape made in Saltillo, Mexico.
Trombe Wall – A solar window-box structure built against a dark painted south facing adobe wall which acts as a thermosiphoning air collector named after Felix Trombe.
Viga – A horizontal roof beam; a round timber stripped of bark.
Yucca – The State flower called by the Spanish Las Velas de Dios (the Candles of God) when in bloom bears many white cup-like blossoms hanging at the top of a solid stalk shooting from a clump of stiff and pointed green leaves.
Zozobra – A major community event during Fiesta where a large Marionette is burned to remove gloom, anxiety and worry. 

I trust these words will help you to become a Santa Fean as well as understand how we describe our homes. Are still still thinking about relocating? Are you on the move for your next or first home? 

Now if Santa Fe is on your radar today, why not start your Santa Fe property search here?  Santa Fe may be over 400 years old, yet we created a new word due to Covid – Quarantina – a true Santa Fe margarita born during the pandemic.  Call/text 505-660-4541 to connect and “talk” Santa Fe and real estate with Emily Medvec, a long time Santa Fe resident and Santa Fe specialist.