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Ask a teacher, lesson 20 - What are some popular Spanish idioms?
Hi everybody! Rosa here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Spanish questions.
The question for this lesson is…
What are some popular Spanish idioms?
In English, we have our fair share of idioms, like “It’s raining cats and dogs!” or even, “What’s up?” Here are some Spanish idioms you should know.
Number 10 is Estar empanado, meaning “to be spaced out." Literally it means “to be breaded.” In Spain we have a lot of breaded foods like La empanada gallega! So, every time your mind freezes and you can’t think, you’re getting empanado or empanada.
Number 9 is Dormir como un tronco, meaning "to sleep like a trunk." This means that you slept very well. For example, He dormido como un tronco, meaning "I slept like a trunk."
Number 8, Chorizo, means "sausage" and if you are carnivorous you are going to find Spanish chorizo delicious. But, don't be surprised if you hear this word in reference to a person. That means they are a "thief," "burglar," or "swindler."
Number 7 is one that doesn’t make much sense, but you’ll often hear is, Hace un tiempo de perros, literally, “It’s a dog weather,” meaning “It’s terrible weather.”
Number 6 is a phonetic challenge. ¡Qué chorrada!, chorrada... Wow, sounds difficult! We have the ch, and a double r. So, what does chorrada mean? If we say ¡Qué chorrada! we’re expressing that something "is not important," "has no sense," or "is absurd."
Number 5 is Costar un ojo de la cara, which means, “It’s ridiculously expensive.” But, it literally means, “it costs an eye out of the head!”
Number 4, Aprobar por los pelos, literally means “to pass by the hair” referring to an exam. If you say Aprobé por los pelos you’re saying that you got the lowest score or close to it, but passed the exam. Hopefully you don’t use this expression too much!
Number 3 is ¡Qué guay! meaning "Cool!" Here, we have a very useful multipurpose word. "Do you want to go to the beach? ¡Guay! "Do you like my trousers?" ¡Qué guays! "How was the party last night?" ¡Muy guay! It’s similar to "good," "okay," "perfect," or "beautiful." However, be careful! It should only be used in casual or colloquial situations.
Number 2 is Tener un cacao, literally translated, it means "to have a cacao." However the real meaning is to "have a lot of trouble" or "to be in a mess."
Lastly, number 1 is Tener el guapo subido which literally means “to have the good-looking up”. The meaning of this may be easy for you to guess. You can use this phrase when suddenly one of your friends looks stunning. ¿Te ha pasado algo bueno? Hoy tienes el guapo subido “Did anything good happen to you? Today you are looking handsome.”
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them!
¡Hasta luego! “See you later!”