When I first got to Granada I noticed a startling phenomenon. People were saying “tío” and “tía” in almost every sentence, which I learned in school to mean “uncle” and “aunt.” I thought to myself, what is wrong with this country? Why is everyone interrelated? I know they say Latin families tend to be large, but this is verging on ridiculous….
Turns out “tío” means dude, mate, or guy. So if you travel to Spain, keep in mind that one ten-year-old boy calling another “tío” does not necessarily imply that his father’s sister likes them young.