Tomarle el pelo a alguien

This wonderful Spanish colloquial expression means to “to fool someone” or “to kid someone”, probably with the intention of teasing them. In English, we might say “to pull someone’s leg”. The origen of the expression “tomarle el pelo a alguien” is uncertain. Some say it has to do with pulling someone’s beard, but others contend […]

Spanish Idiom: “Ver las estrellas”

WHACK!! OUCH!!  *&!*%$!! It’s happened to all of us. The culprit might have been contact sports, a low-hanging branch, a rough-housing sibling or a telephone pole that leaped into your path as you wandered along the sidewalk, staring intently at your smartphone and minding your own business.  That´s right. I am talking about receiving a […]

What does “Poner el dedo en la llaga” mean in English?

This useful expression is most closely translated to “Put your finger on it”, or in other words, to stress the precision of something being pointed out. [esplayer url=” el dedo en la llaga_mezcla.mp3″ width=”200″ height=”25″]

Spanish Idioms: “Tener agallas”

Spanish Idiom

I was reminded of this Spanish idiomatic expression today as I watched women’s volleyball being played at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. These young women were jumping up to block balls speeding at 120 kilometers an hour! The balls weigh 280 grams, and they must feel much heavier still when they smack against […]

Spanish Idiom: “Ser pan comido”

Like most idioms, “Ser pan comido” cannot be deciphered intuitively. Literally translated it means “To be eaten bread” What the heck!  Well, what this expression really means is that something that is being discussed is super easy to do. In English, we’d say “It’s a piece of cake”, or, “It’s easy as pie”. Listen to […]

Spanish Idiom: “Estirar la pata”

Spanish speakers are as prone as English speakers to use euphamisms when referring to something that is uncomfortable to talk about, and “estirar la pata” slips right into this category. So, false friend alert: “Estirar la pata” does not mean “go stretch your legs”; quite on the contrary, it is a subtle way to refer to someone’s […]

Spanish Idiom: “No tener un pelo de tonto”

The Spanish expression “No tener un pelo de tonto” is this weeks’ addition to our list of easy-to-remember, useful Spanish idioms. In short, if someone “no tiene un pelo de tonto” it means that they are not easy to trick or fool. They may be shy or quiet, but naïve? Not a chance!  In fact, […]

Spanish Idioms: “Tirar la casa por la ventana”

Have you ever heard the expression “Tirar la casa por la ventana”? Taken literally, it would mean “Throw the house out the window” but the expression is used to describe when a lot of money is spent to throw a celebration. So how did this relationship come about? Well, first listen to how the expression […]

Spanish Idioms: “Ser uña y carne”

Not only is this a useful expression, it’s easy to understand and easy to remember. Just take a look at the back of your hand. See your finger nails? Great!  Now, try to bend one back slightly. Can’t do it, can you? That’s because the finger nail, the “uña” is really stuck to the flesh […]