ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Piece of cake! 7 Fun Spanish Idioms

Updated on May 8, 2015

Expresiones Idiomáticas usadas en Español

Idioms exist in every language. An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative meaning, so it has a different meaning than the one you will find in the dictionary. Idioms are widely used in a colloquial communication, and they give an insight into a culture's values, principles and make the process of learning a language much more interesting!

So let's learn some common Spanish idioms!

Dar gato por liebre

This one is very intriguing. It literally means "Giving cat for (instead of) hare (rabbit)", and the real meaning is "trick and rip off someone".

Example: Yo fui al mercado a comprar mangos y me dieron peras en su lugar. Me dieron gato por liebre.

I went to the market to buy mangos and they gave me pears instead. They sold me a pig in a poke.

-Where does that expression come from?

In Spain, in times of food scarcity (XVI and XVII centuries), sometimes people would serve cat cooked like rabbit. This was called "giving cat for hare" and the expression "dar gato por liebre" was incorporated into the Spanish language with the meaning of scamming.

Tomar el pelo

The literal translation of “tomar el pelo” is “to take the hair”, and it means to trick , make fun of someone or to joke but in a mild way.

Example: ¿Me estás tomando el pelo?

"Are you kidding me?" "Are you pulling my leg?”

Ser pan comido

This idiom is definitely not self explanatory! The literal translation of “ser pan comido” is “to be bread eaten” but it actually have nothing to do with bread, and it refers to something that is very easy to do. It is the English equivalent of saying something is a piece of cake.

For example:

“Su trabajo es pan comido”.

“Your job is a piece of cake.”

Estar como agua para chocolate

Here is another idiomatic expression associated with food. The literal translation is "to be like boiling water (as) for chocolate". It actually means that one is very angry and has reached their boiling point. It's a common expression specially in Mexico, where hot chocolate is made not with milk, but with near-boiling water instead.

This phrase was the inspiration for Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel's novel title which later became a famous film.

Hablar hasta por los codos

Unless you speak Spanish or Portuguese this one will be hard to guess.

The literal translation is: He or she talks even through the elbows, which is said when a person talks a lot. It's the equivalent of the English phrase: "talk your ears off."

Example: María habla por los codos. Cuando empieza a hablar, no hay quien la pare!

Maria talks everyone’s ears off. When she starts talking no one can stop her!

There are two different versions regarding the origin of this expression. Some believe that it originates from the habit that very talkative Spanish and Latin people have in touching others with their elbows while talking.

The other version states that people who talk to much use theirs hands and gesticulate a lot.

Más vale pájaro en mano que ciento volando

Have you heard this phrase before? This is a very common expression in Spanish speaker countries. It's literally translated as: One bird in hand is worth more than a hundred flying, which means it is better to keep what you have than to risk losing it by trying to get something better or uncertain.

The English equivalent is: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".

No tener pelos en la lengua

The literal translation of “no tener pelos en la lengua” is “not to have hairs on one's tongue.” This Spanish idiom means that someone is a straight shooter and will always speak their mind.

The etymology is unknown but if we analyze it, we can get to a conclusion that if a person had hairs on her/his tongue, the communication would be very difficult. But, without them one can speak freely and without restraints.

Example: Me encantan los niños porque no tienen pelos en la lengua. Dicen las cosas tal y como piensan.

I love children because they don't mince their words. They say things just the way they think them.

Are you interested in learning more Spanish idioms, discover more facts about this rich culture and learn the language?

Check us out! http://briclanguage.com/languages/spanish/

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)