Spanish Idioms

An idiom is an expression used to illustrate an idea or reflection on life.

They are commonly used in all languages but can not be translated literally from one to another, making them impossible to understand if you mearly look them up word for word, for example if you tried to look up ` me estas tomando el pelo´ you would get `you are taking my hair´ which wouldn’t mean a lot to most people, but if it’s true translation `your pulling my leg´ be known you’d understand straight away what someone was trying to say.

Here are some amusing idiomatic expressions for you to learn and use whenever you may want to. The head word has been translated to the English equivalent and i´ve also translated the idiom literally in brackets as well, just for the laugh.

el garbanzo – chickpea

ser el garbanzo negro de la familia ( to be the black chickpea of the family)

to be the black sheep of the family.

la naranja – orange

naranjas de la china ( oranges from china)


la rueda – the wheel

todo marcha sodre ruedas ( everything going on wheels)

everythings going smoothly

gallina – hen

matar la gallina de los huevos de oro ( to kill the hen that lays eggs of gold)

to kill the golden goose

la lechuga – lettuce

estar como una lechuga ( to be like a lettuce)

to look a picture of health

la mano – hand

una mano lava la otra ( one hand washes the other)

you scratch my back, i´ll scratch yours

la morcilla – black sausage

¡ que te den morcilla! ( may they  give you black sausage)

get stuffed!

la patata – potato

ser una patata ( to be a potato)

to be a lemon

la pulga – the flea

hacer de una pulga un elefante ( to make an elephant out of a flea)

to make a mountain out of a mole hill

la ropa – clothes

hay ropa tendida ( there are clothes on the line)

walls have ears

la tierra – earth

besar la tierra ( kiss of earth)

to fall flat

la vida – life

tener siete vidas ( to have seven lives)

to have nine lives

el sabañón – chilblain

comer como un sabañón ( eat like a chilblain)

to eat like a horse

el zapato – shoe

saber donde aprieta el zapato ( know where the shoe pinches)

know where the problem lies

el infierno – hell

vivir en el quinto infierno ( to live in fifth hell )

to live at the end of beyond

el montón – heap / pile

ser del montón ( to be of the pile )

to be an ordinary person


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