Hola amigo/a, ¿Cómo va tu vida en general y tu estudio de español en partidular?
How is your life going in general, and your Spanish studies in particular?


The Spanish language is known partly because of its many slang words, but it is not just words, we have a few sentences and expressions that are also deemed as slang as they are quite informal.


If you have a Spanish friend or you have lived in Spain, then I bet (and I probably will win this bet) that you have heard at least one of the following expressions. Because, as the article title suggests, today we have six slang expressions every Spaniard will likely use, and I mean everyone, maybe not all of them but at least one out of the six.


Funny enough, the expressions today are all related to the topic of food & drinks, so keep reading and learn them all.



1) COMER POR LA PATILLA – Eat because of your sideburn


First off, I never said that these expressions will make sense when translated in English. This first expression (as you might already guess so) does not have anything to do with sideburns, we use this saying when we eat for free.


In this way, if you come across a scenario at a birthday party when you didn’t expect someone to show up, the conversation might go something like this:


  • No sabía que ibas a venir, pensaba que no te gustaban las fiestas
  • I did not know you were coming, I thought you did not like parties.
  • Tienes razón, no me gustan, solo estoy aquí para comer por la patilla.
  • You are right, I do not like them, I’m just here to eat for free.


Overall this is quite a common expression. I even intentionally choose the verb to eat (comer) to explain it - just because of it relating to food - this might be used for everything even without a verb, we will just say “por la patilla” to express “for free”.



2) NI HARTO DE VINO - Not even full of wine


Another interesting saying talks about our intent or interesting in doing a certain thing. So if you ever hear in a conversation someone saying “ni harto de vino”, that means something is a no-no, as in no way it’s going to happen: not even if you were to drink a lot of wine which makes your brain hazzy.


For instance, if one of your friends is talking about his bungee jumping last weekend and how he enjoyed it, probably at some point during the conversation another one of your friends will say:


  • !Estás loco tío, yo no salto de un puente ni harto de vino!
  • You are crazy man, no way I would not jump from a bridge!


Note: in Spain we use tío to express the similar saying of “brother or man” in English.


WATCH OUT: Depending on which area of Spain you are in, instead of wine you can use grifá (or other words) but they all are different words meant to imply wine or other kinds of alcoholic drinks.



3) NO ESTÁ EL HORNO PARA BOLLOS - The oven is not ready for buns


This is probably my favourite expression in this entire article. I think this saying is a really great way to express it is not a good moment.

If you are having trouble grasping this saying, then maybe consider it this way if it makes more sense for you: the oven is not ready yet, so just wait for the perfect moment to get a better result.


For instance, your friend is asking you to go to a party next Friday night but you are tired and stressed out from work, so of course you want to say no to your friend, but she keeps on insisting, you then could say:


  • No seas pesada, he dicho que no y no me aburras que no está/tengo el horno para bollos.
  • Do not be annoying, I said no, and do not insist since it is not a good moment.


Note: As you can see, we can use the verb estar and tener, we used tener if the situation is more personal and it applies directly to you.



4) LA DOLOROSA - The painful one


This is just another way to refer the bill, so usually when you go out for lunch with friends and then comes time to pay, one of your friends might say:


  • Bueno chicos creo que toca pedir la dolorosa ¿no?
  • Well guys I think it’s time to ask for the bill, isn’t it?


I guess this saying makes sense as sometimes the bill does hurt.



5) MALA LECHE - Bad milk


This saying is one of the most common too, and it means to be in a bad mood.


For instance, if you want to ask for holidays and you are just about to go to your boss’ office but you bump into one of your colleagues first, he might warn you by saying:


  • Yo que tú no lo haría hoy, acaba de recibir un informe y está de mala leche.
  • If I were you I would not do it today, he just got a report and he is in a bad mood.


Note: There are so many ways to express bad mood (mala uva, mala ostia, humor de perros) so choose as you wil.



6) ECHARLE HUEVOS - Throw eggs to it


In this life you just need to do it, to be courageous. You cannot be scared, life is to live it up. So if you’re contemplating about starting your own business but are scared, some of your Spanish friends will encourage you by saying:


  • !Claro que sí! Hazlo, en esta vida tienes que echarle huevos.
  • Of course! Do it!In this life you need to be courageous.


Ok these last two they might not be as relate to the “meal word” as the previous one….but they still say egg (huevos) and milk (leche) so I guess that they are close enough.


Now it is your turn. Remember when I wrote at the beginning of this article that you may have heard one or all of these expressions? So tell me, if we would have bet at the beginning of the article, would I have lost?




As I always say (and you are probably tired of me saying it) practice makes perfect. The things you practice sticks with you longer. So write a comment below with one (or more) of the expressions above.


And if you know any other expressions which your Spanish friends say all the time, please feel free to comment as well, I would love to hear from you.


That is all from my side (for now).
Write to you soon!


Hero image by Héctor Martínez (CC0 1.0)