Spanish Lesson – Idioms
Amusing Spanish Idioms
See also Spanish Slang, Spanish Words & Phrases
An idiom is a phrase that is understood to have a meaning different from its literal meaning. For example, in English when we say “it’s raining cats and dogs” we mean it’s raining heavily, it’s a downpour.
Like the cats and dogs example, idioms are fun, colorful expressions and the direct translation of an idiom from one language to another is often hilarious.
Below are some of my favorite Spanish idioms. This is not an exhaustive list of Spanish idioms but rather a selection of amusing Spanish idioms that at one time or another caught my attention.
No tiene dos dedos de frente.
Literally means: He doesn’t have two fingers of forehead.
The English equivalent is: He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Tiene más lana que un borrego.
Literally means: He has more wool than a lamb.
The English equivalent is: He’s loaded with cash.
A otro perro con ese hueso.
Literally means: To another dog with that bone.
The English equivalent is: You’re pulling my leg.
La carne de burro no es transparente.
Literally means: The flesh of the donkey is not transparent.
The English equivalent is: I can’t see through you.
Cada quien tiene su manera de matar pulgas.
Literally means: Each has his way to kill fleas.
The English equivalent is: There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
Da un beso a la botella.
Literally means: Give the bottle a kiss.
The English equivalent is: Take a swig.
El hijo de la gato, ratones mata.
Literally means: The son of a cat kills mice.
The English equivalent is: Like father like son.
Antes que te cases mira lo que haces.
Literally means: Before you marry look what you are doing.
The English equivalent is: Look before you leap.
Más vale pájaro en mano que cien volando.
Literally means: A bird in the hand is worth more than 100 flying.
The English equivalent is: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Mientras que en mi casa estoy, rey soy.
Literally means: While in my house, I am king.
The English equivalent is: A man’s home is his castle.
Yo tengo una tía que toca la guitarra.
Literally means: I have an aunt who plays the guitar.
The English equivalent is: What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?