Notes In Spanish - Phrase of the Days

28. duben 2009 | 07.20 |

Notes In Spanish - Phrase of the Day

Me tienes frito
I'm exhausted by you
Frito means fried. You'd use this for an exhausting boyfriend or a pestering child, when you've had enough!

Ese niño da mucha guerra
That kid is a pain in the neck
For someone that requires lots of attention and gives you a real headache.

Es un cantamañanas
He's irresponsible/deceitful
Cantamañanas (literally Singmornings?!) is used for people who don't keep their promises or brag a lot without substance.

Tengo para dar y regalar
I've got plenty to spare
E.g. if someone asks you for a pencil and you have a whole boxful.


Eres un bocazas
You've got a big mouth
For those special friends that can't keep secrets...

¡Tienes más cara que espalda!
You're sooooo cheeky!
Cara (face) is often used to denote cheekiness, so if your cara is bigger than your espalda (back), things must be bad!

En el país de los ciegos, el tuerto es el rey
If you know a bit more about something than someone else, you are an expert
The literal meaning of this phrase is: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Hacer de tripas corazón
To make an effort to do something you don't like/to be brave
Literally, to make your guts into heart. E.g. No me gusta volar, pero hice de tripas corazon para ir a Tailandia en avión para la luna de miel = I don't like flying, but I made an effort to go to Thailand by plane for our honeymoon.

 Me ha dado plantón
He/she hasn't turned up
Plantón literally means a big plant! You may also hear ‘Me ha dejado plantado'

No me entero de la misa la mitad
I don't understand a thing!
Literally, I don't understand half the mass.

 Me ha salido el tiro por la culata
My plan backfired
When things just don't go the way you intend them to. Tiro = Shot, Culata = Butt of a gun.

Hay cuatro gatos
There is hardly anyone here
Cuatro is also used to denote a small amount of rain: Ha llovido cuatro gotas - literally, it has rained four drops.

Es un buen partido
He's a good catch
What you tell your best mate about their new boyfriend or girlfriend!

 Dar buen rollo
To give a good impression
Quite informal. E.g. Este chico me ha dado buen rollo, creo que le voy a contratar = That guy made a good impression on me, I think I'll hire him.

Llorar a moco tendido
To cry non-stop
Literally to cry until snot (moco) flows out of your nose!


Estar a las duras y a las maduras
To be there whenever needed, in good times and bad
E.g. Los buenos amigos estan contigo en las duras y las maduras = Good friends always stand by your side, even when times are tough.

Llorar como una magdalena
To cry non-stop
This expression refers to Santa María Magdalena, the prostitute who converted to Christianity and washed Jesus' feet with her tears.

Estas en tu salsa
You're in your element
When someone is so happy to be in their ideal situation, in their ideal place, and at the perfect time

 

No es moco de pavo
Pretty impressive
Literal meaning: it isn't turkey snot! E.g. Hoy he trabajado 12 horas seguidas, que no es moco de pavo = I've worked for 12 hours straight today, which is pretty impressive/no small thing.

Le pillamos con las manos en la masa
We caught him in the act
Literally, we caught him with his hands in the dough

Mas vale tarde que nunca
Better late than never
Often used in Spain ;)

¡Que patoso eres!
You're so clumsy
... which comes from Pato, duck. Not sure what the connection is!

 Tiene un as en la manga
He's got an ace up his sleeve
... to have a plan B.

Llueve a cántaros
It's pouring!

Cántaro = Pitcher, and when it rains this hard it feels like people are pouring them all over you!

 

Mueve el culo un poco, guapo
Move your butt! Get on with it!
Culo = bum/butt. The ‘guapo' is optional, and means more ‘mate' in this context than ‘sexy'.

Eres un chorizo
You're a thief!
Chrorizo is of course a kind of spicy sausage, but it is also used in slang for a full-blown thief or someone who just pinches little things all the time.


¡Qué jaleo!
What a racket!
E.g. Hay demasiado jaleo, mejor nos vamos a otro bar = What a racket, let's go to a different bar. Note, some people use this positively to say how great the noisy atmosphere is, e.g. at a fiesta.

¡No puedo más con ella!
I can't cope with her anymore!
...or with a situation, e.g. No puedo más con mi trabajo = I can't cope with this job any more.

Echar balones fuera
To place the blame elsewhere
E.g. Fue mi compañero el que cometió el error, pero como siempre echa balones fuera = My work mate made the mistake, but as usual he won't accept responsibility.
 

Me raya mucho
That really annoys me
Pretty slang this one! E.g. Me raya mucho este profesor.

Quien no llora no mama
If you don't ask you don't get
This is related to breast feeding! If the baby doesn't cry (llorar) it doesn't get to breast feed (mamar).

Eres un tiquis miquis
You are really fussy
Not only for people who are fussy about food and hardly eat anything, but also for people who are obsessive, e.g. about how their clothes are folded, keeping the house tidy etc.


Más majo que la mar salada
Incredibly nice
You could replace ‘majo' here with other positive personality adjectives such as bueno (good), generoso (generous) and guapo (attractive).

Dar esquinazo
To avoid someone on purpose
E.g. Mi jefe me ha dado esquinazo, teniamos una reunión a las 9h y no ha aparecido - My boss is avoiding me, we had a meeting at 9 am and he hasn't turned up.

Voy a tardar media hora larga
I'll take 30 to 45 minutes
... or considerably longer - depending on who says it!

¡No me des más la lata!
Leave me in peace!
When someone is going on and on and on... and you can't take it any more!

¡Te voy a dar!
You're going to get it!
Homer to Bart Simpson... father to moody kid... girl to difficult boyfriend... Run if you hear this one!

Tomarselo al pie de la letra
To take someone/thing literally
For example when they are pulling your leg. E.g. Es muy crédulo, siempre se toma todo al pie de la letra = He's really gullible, he always believes everything.

 Es una mentira como una catedral
That's a massive lie
Literally, a lie as big as a cathedral.

En boca cerrada no entran moscas
Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut
When you decide not to retaliate in an argument

¡Ya era hora!
It was about time!
... you showed up... you did this... you called her... etc...

Nos hemos zampado todo
We've eaten the lot!
Used at the end of a particularly good meal (when there is absolutely nothing left!)

Está como una regadera
He's totally crazy
Regadera = watering can!

Ese chico es un zumbado
That guy is crazy
Cool kids pronounce it without the last ‘d' - zumba'o

 ¡Qué mandón eres!
You are really bossy!
Wife to husband... sister to brother... you get the picture!

Me mola mogollón
That is soooo cool.
Me mola = I digg and mogollón = loads. For chatting with your mates.

¡Eres un pesado!
You are a total pain!
Best kept for family and close friends!

¡Qué piropo me has echado!
That's a hell of a compliment you have just given me!
Sometimes you might hear ‘piropazo' - an even bigger compliment!

¡Estoy que peto!
I'm totally full up!
When you can't eat another thing. Very informal phrase.

La tarta está de muerte
This cake is incredible
Not dead - just dead good. Used with all foods.

Te veo a las tres y pico
I'll see you between three and four.
Time keeping - in Spain at least - is not an exact science!

¡La moto va de escándalo!
This bike goes like a dream!
Not scandalous at all! Can be used for cars or food too - este pescado está de escándalo.

Dar en la diana
To get something right
e.g. He dado en la diana. Acerté quien era el asesino - I guessed right. I knew who the killer was!

Pegarse un chapuzón
To go for a swim.
Down at the beach or in the pool.

Nos hemos ventilado el jamón
We've finished off all the ham.
In fact you can ‘ventilate' (polish off!) any kind of food - e.g. el queso... el pan...


Eres un catacaldos
You like to try a bit of everything
From ‘catar' - to try and ‘caldos' - broth. Can be used for food and drink or someone that is constantly changing boy/girlfriends!
 

El baño me ha sabido a gloria
That swim was wonderful.
Saber a gloria - when something is delightful. Also used with la siesta... la comida... el paseo...


¡Soy la leche!
I rock. I am the coooolest thing on the block.
Pretty informal - the kind of thing you would tell your friends (if they don't know it already!)

Tengo para dar y regalar
I've got plenty to spare
E.g. if someone asks you for a pencil and you have a whole boxful.


Ese nino da mucha guerra
That kid is a pain in the neck
For someone that requires lots of attention and gives you a real headache.

Me tienes frito
I'm exhausted by you
Frito means fried. You'd use this for an exhausting boyfriend or a pestering child, when you've had enough! (Submitted by Valenciason)

No es moco de pavo
Pretty impressive
Literal meaning: it isn't turkey snot! E.g. Hoy he trabajado 12 horas seguidas, que no es moco de pavo = I've worked for 12 hours straight today, which is pretty impressive/no small thing.

No tiene ni pies ni cabeza
It doesn't make sense
E.g. Tu redacción no tiene ni pies ni cabeza, mejor que la repitas = Your essay makes no sense, you'd better repeat it.

Tener el corazón en un puno
To be super worried about something
Literally, to have your heart in a fist... in English it's usually in our mouth!

Tener enchufe
To have a useful contact that helps you get ahead of the rest
For example to help you get a job, a place on a course etc. Also ‘Estar enchufado', literally meaning ‘to be plugged in'

Estar a las duras y a las maduras
To be there whenever needed, in good times and bad
E.g. Los buenos amigos estan contigo en las duras y las maduras = Good friends always stand by your side, even when times are tough.

Estoy entre la espada y la pared
I've come to a dead end...
... there's nothing else I can do to solve this problem. Literally, I'm between the sword and the wall.

Llorar a moco tendido
To cry non-stop
Literally to cry until snot (moco) flows out of your nose!

Tiene un as en la manga
He's got an ace up his sleeve
... to have a plan B.

Ha nacido con un pan debajo del brazo
The baby has brought good fortune to the family
A typical phrase you might hear when a family has a lucky break soon after a child is born.

Dar buen rollo
To give a good impression
Quite informal. E.g. Este chico me ha dado buen rollo, creo que le voy a contratar = That guy made a good impression on me, I think I'll hire him.

!Qué listo eres!
You're a clever one!
Depending on the tone and to who you say it, this can be very ironic, i.e. you are too clever for your own good.

Esta como un pez en el agua
She's really having a great time.
She's in her element. Note: we say ‘like a fish out of water' to mean the exact opposite!


Tomarselo al pie de la letra
To take someone/thing literally
For example when they are pulling your leg. E.g. Es muy crédulo, siempre se toma todo al pie de la letra = He's really gullible, he always believes everything.

Está como una regadera
He's totally crazy
Regadera = watering can!


Es una mentira como una catedral
That's a massive lie
Literally, a lie as big as a cathedral.


!Mecachis en la mar!
Damn it!
Mild swearword - for when you need to swear in front of the in-laws!


!Qué plasta eres!
You are a nightmare!
Best reserved for family or close friends.

 

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