Funny Spanish expressions…and swear words

A few days ago Mihaela, Cult’s Romanian correspondent, posted an article about Funny Romanian expressions. As I think many people love learning “weird” foreign expressions, I now present you a few we Spaniards consider totally normal… although maybe you don’t.

  • Ser pan comido translates literally as “to be bread eaten” and means something is very easy to do.
  • Estar como una cabra translates literally as “to be like a goat”. If someone está como una cabra, it means that person is crazy.
  • No tener pelos en la lengua translates literally as “not to have hair on the tongue”. If someone no tiene pelos en la lengua, it means that person always speaks his/her mind.
  • Tirar la casa por la ventana translates literally as “to throw the house through the window”. If someone tira la casa por la ventana for something, that person is going to spend as much money as necessary for that.
  • Quedarse de piedra translates literally as “to stay like a stone” and it means to be amazed or stunned.
  • When something no es moco de pavo (it’s not turkey mucus), it means that thing is remarkable and shouldn’t be ignored. Let’s say I can run 20 kilometres in one hour (I wish); definitely no es moco de pavo!
  • Por si las moscas translates literally as “for if the flies” and it means “just in case”.
  • When you tell someone vete a freir espárragos you’re telling that person to f*** off, although it’s not that rude.
Photo credit: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BzvRUBSHdec/U1qvTBMRMWI/AAAAAAAAMq8/Ls9t0zoeFPY/s1600/miniventana.png

Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BzvRUBSHdec/U1qvTBMRMWI/AAAAAAAAMq8/Ls9t0zoeFPY/s1600/miniventana.png

We are real poets when it comes to swearing

Ok, if you’ve been patient enough to read those expressions, this is your reward: we arrive at the funny part now, the one with swearwords. We Spaniards are pretty creative and we often create our own, but here are a few well known ones.

First of all, when a Spanish person is angry, he/she will crap on absolutely everything. A few examples of this are me cago en la leche (I crap in the milk), me cago en todo lo que se menea (I crap on everything that moves), me cago en diez (I crap on ten). You can also crap on more serious things: me cago en tu madre (I crap on your mother) or me cago en Dios (I crap on God). I apologize if there’s anyone who is offended by this, but please understand we use these expressions so much they don’t really sound offensive for many Spanish people. It also depends on the situation, I guess.

Then we have qué coñazo, which translates literally as “what a big vagina”. You use it when something is extremely boring, difficult to the point of annoyance, etc. And no, it’s informal but when you’re with friends it’s not rude at all, even if it sounds horrible in English.

There’s more: farting is not only farting in Spanish. Estar pedo (to be fart) or “llevar un pedo” (to carry a fart) means to be very drunk. Also, when you don’t give a damn about something, you can say me importa tres cojones (it matters three testicles to me).

Some of you may know de puta madre, which means “great” or “awesome”. If you used the literal translation to English, you’d have to say “of bitch mother”. Finally, when a Spaniard is really nervous about something or he’s just afraid, he tiene los huevos de corbata, that is, he “has his balls as a tie”.

Credit: http://www.melocom.es/uploads/img/79f67eab03a6b0a4f9f984b1ed5c6994.jpg

Source: http://www.melocom.es/uploads/img/79f67eab03a6b0a4f9f984b1ed5c6994.jpg

I’d like to finish with Spanish people’s favourite expression when it comes to literal translation: de perdidos al río (from lost to the river). Don’t ask me why, but I, and I think quite a lot of Spaniards, love saying it in English. You use that expression when you decide to do something because you’re in a pretty bad situation already and you have nothing to lose.

I could go on, and on, and on, and on… but this is not too bad for a start, is it? Now go say these expressions to your Spanish friends!

  1. Haha, we also have this: de perdidos al río (from lost to the river) in Romanian. It’s translated here : din lac in put, meaning (from lake to well – if I translate it word by word). Anyway, great article ! I really enjoyed it.

  2. For a second before to scroll down, I was thinking ‘oh well he’s been really polite and didn’t put some of the worst (in terms of literal translation) and funniest. Then I scrolled down. I really laugh when hearing one of my Spanish friends swearing at everything with no break, it is a unique style I think 😀

    • I couldn’t miss the chance to explain a few of our funniest expressions to the world! Of course there are quite a few that are much worse, but it would have been too much 😀

      And yes, I also love swearing like a machine fun from time to time haha

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Juan - Madrid

Born and raised in beautiful Sevilla, I now live in Madrid. I'm a huge music lover (I started writing a music blog in January 2014). Travelling, learning about different cultures, walking around (and getting lost), reading and having meaningful conversations are some of ...

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