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I love the phrase mero mero, meaning top banana (e.g. "No pierdas el tiempo, pide cita de una vez con el mero mero"). I have a vague idea I know some more phrases like this, with the same word appearing twice, changing either the meaning or adding to it, but after a couple of days of letting this roll around in my mind, nothing is coming.

In addition to listing the phrase and explaining what it means, either in Spanish or English, please also include an example sentence and the country or region where you've heard it used, or the author and title if you learned it from a book.

  • Sorry it is not clear to me what mero mero means, since I don't know what top banana means either :) – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' May 26 '17 at 22:09
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    Regarding the question itself, note that you are asking for a list of terms. As per now, it is a kind of question discouraged in What topics can I ask about here?. We have been discussing this a bit lately, since good questions have emerged from it. The consensus so far is that we are having a community wiki answer where people will include terms. This way, we won't have the problem of many answers, none of them is the answer since they are not comparable. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' May 26 '17 at 22:12
  • @fedorqui - Sorry, it means the person at the very top, for example the branch manager of a bank. // Thanks for the guidance, but I didn't understand, does my question need editing? – aparente001 May 26 '17 at 22:32
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Find here some cases. Feel free to edit to add the ones you know.


  • (Spain) Este abrigo es de piel piel.
    • Meaning the coat is made of good leather.
  • (Spain) Ese restaurante es caro caro.
    • Meaning that the restaurant is very pricey.
  • (Spain) A mí esta pregunta me parece rara rara.
    • Meaning that the question is really weird.
  • (Mexico)Pide cita con el mero mero.
    • Meaning an appointment with the real, overqualified guy in charge (see mero).
  • Esto es café café.
    • Meaning it's real (non-ersatz) coffee.
  • Te he preparado un plato rico rico y con fundamento.
    • Meaning the dish tastes very good.
  • (Question): ¿Cómo te fue? (Answer): Así así.
    • Meaning 'so so', not good or bad.
  • Great start, thanks, could you say where you learned either each one, or all of them if it was the same region or country? – aparente001 May 26 '17 at 23:08
  • Yes, agreed with @walen. It is very common in Spain to repeat a word to add emphasis: -¿Te gusta el fútbol? -Sí. -¿Mucho? -Sí, mucho mucho. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' May 27 '17 at 21:34
  • Most of these go for Argentina as well. Así así seems to be a calque from Italian così così with the same meaning; in Arg. it's maso maso (maso = más o menos). – pablodf76 May 29 '17 at 1:11
  • @walen en el ejemplo de "mero mero" en lugar de unqualified creo que es todo lo contrario y significa overqualified ya que el mero mero es el más más – DGaleano May 30 '17 at 12:28
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bien bien

Ejemplo: Walen me contestó la pregunta bien bien.

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