Mala leche

¡Qué Mala Leche Tienes! - Origin and Meaning

Mala Leche


‘Mala leche’ is a Spanish colloquial expression accepted by the Real Academia Española.

People use it to define a person’s character.

Different expressions have developed from this saying, such as ‘tener mala leche’ or ‘estar de mala leche’.

The first one means someone acts in bad faith. However, the second one means that a person is in a bad mood.

  • Este chico tiene muy mala leche, no te juntes con él. → This boy is very mean, don´t hang out with him.
  • Alfredo está de mala leche porque se le rompió el coche. → Alfredo is in a bad mood because his car broke down.


These expressions are based on an old belief, which supports that the personality is affected by the mother’s milk.

In old times, they used to use wet nurses to breastfeed the babies of mothers who could not do such a job due to any reason.

They believed that the wet nurses transmitted their habits and manners to the breastfed baby through the milk.

In this manner, when a grown baby showed any malice, they would blame the ‘the bad milk’ that the baby had nursed.

Consequently, they would also blame the person who had breastfed that baby. Such person had ‘bad milk’.

Now, I would like to hear from you. Do you know anybody who has ‘bad milk’? Have you ever ‘estado de mala leche’?

Please leave your answers in the comment section below.

Hola and hi, I am Inés and I am the author of all the posts in the ConvoSpanish blog. My goal is to offer free content for people to practice their Spanish. Creating and maintaining the blog takes a lot of my free time however, due to my love of sharing Spanish with you, I will keep adding and updating the content in the blog. If you like the content of this post and believe that it helps you, please consider donating. I need coffee to keep me going while creating the posts. Aren´t they worth at least a cup of coffee? 😛 Any amount is appreciated. Donations will be used to support the free blog.