Funny Spanish idioms

Dear Grammar Party readers,


Next week I will be sunning myself on the beaches of Cabo San Lucas. And while I will probably still be thinking about grammar, since I am a nerd, there will be a one-week hiatus of new posts.


To get in the Mexicana state of mind, I am sharing with you some fun Spanish idioms.


Idioms are phrases, sometimes unique to particular cultures, that have a different meaning than the literal phrase. English idioms you may recognize are, “It’s raining like cats and dogs,” and “mad as a hatter.”

Here is a list of entertaining Spanish idioms and their English equivalents.

La carne de burro no es transparente.
Literal translation: The flesh of the donkey is not transparent.
English equivalent: You make a better door than a window.

Sacarse el gordo.
Literal translation: To draw the fat one.
English equivalent: To hit the jackpot.


Gato escaldado del agua fria huye.
Literal translation: The scalded cat flees cold water.
English equivalent: Once bitten twice shy.


Cada perico a su estaca, cada changa a su mecate.
Literal translation: Each parrot on its perch, each monkey on its rope.
English equivalent: To each his own.


Comer frijoles y repetir pollo
Literal translation: To eat beans and belch chicken.
English equivalent: His bark is mightier than his bite.


Da un beso a la botella.
Literal translation: Give the bottle a kiss.
English equivalent: Take a swig.

Claro como el agua de Xochimilco
Literal translation: Clear as the water of Xochimilco
English equivalent: Clear as mud.

Está pensando en las musarañas.
Literal translation: He or she is thinking about the creepy-crawlies.
English equivalent: He or she is daydreaming.


3 thoughts on “Funny Spanish idioms

  1. Since one of your interests is etymology, and since this entry deals with Spanish, you may be interested in my Spanish-English Word Connections blog. Mientras tanto, !buenas vacaciones!

  2. Pingback: Why Would Someone Eat a “Hot Dog?” | tech-ucation reformation

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