When you start learning a new language, at some point you start learning idioms and expressions -- and that is a great feeling when it happens. You feel so proud and slowly but surely you start using them in your daily conversations.
Today we are talking about usual idioms or expressions, you name it, they have a funny note as they do not mean what they are supposed to. If you were to translate the words in the sentence at its face value, it won’t make any sense, they are just fixed sentences.
But the ones in today’s post I think they are especially crazy and funny. I asked my students and they told me so many. Therefore, I made a selection of 6 funny Spanish expressions. So grab your pen and paper and let’s dive into the Spanish world.
1. “Estar hasta en la sopa” (To be even in the soup)
We use this expression when someone or something is everywhere, you know when suddenly you see someone, ages might have passed since the last time you saw them, but suddenly you start seeing them everywhere, then that is a time where you could comment:
- ¡Dios mío Martín! Ahora nos vemos en todos los sitios, ¡Estás hasta en la sopa!
- God Martin! Now I see you everywhere!
Or when you start listening to a song on the radio, and at first you think that it's a cool song but then you start to hear it all the time. Then it becomes a bit too much, you can therefore say:
- Esta canción me gustaba, pero ahora me aburre, ¡Está hasta en la sopa!
- I liked this song but now it bores me, it is everywhere.
WATCH OUT: Using this phrase can have different meanings:
- Like boring/annoying or
- Something is good or not good
- Or it can be kind of a joke.
It all depends on how you say it.
2. “Ser más pesado que una vaca en brazos” (To be heavier than a cow in your arms)
It is quite popular to talk about something, but mostly someone who is really annoying. For example, if someone is tickling you non-stop for several minutes or asking you something repeatedly in order to persuade you after having said "no" several times; for both situations, you will probably something like this (for them to stop bothering you):
- Eres más pesado que una vaca en brazos, te he dicho que no voy a ir al cine este fin de semana, tengo otros planes.
- You are a pain in the neck, I told you I am not going to the cinema this weekend, I have other plans.
Note: we can also use this phrase to talk about people who aren’t talking to us, just to reference them, like if you can’t stand someone from your office because they are always talking about kids or work etc…you could use this expression, too.
- No puedo aguantar a Manuel, siempre habla de fútbol, ¡Es más pesado que una vaca en brazos!
- I can’t stand Manuel, he always talks about soccer, he is so annoying.
3. “Se te va la olla” (Your pot goes away)
In this sentence, olla which most of the times is “pot”, means head.
For this saying, we have a few meanings here:
We use it when someone comes up with a crazy idea, or say silly things, and we feel they are losing their minds. I think the English equivalent is “to go bonkers”. If you had a crazy night thanks to your friends, you can say:
- No sé qué le pasó a Juan, pero perdió la olla y estuvo contando chistes toda la noche.
- I do not know what happened to Juan, but he was telling jokes all night.
The phrase can also can be used when it is something you will never consider doing:
- A Carla se le ha ido la olla, se ha apuntado a correr un maratón.
- Carla got crazy, she just joined a marathon.
*You can imply this sentence for yourself too, by saying: “se me va la olla”.
When you got distracted and forget to do something, or if you were supposed to meet your friend at 7:30 for dinner and she phones you at 7:35 to ask you where you are (and you totally forgot); your excuse for both can be:
- Lo siento, me he puesto a leer y se me ha ido la olla por completo, voy en media hora.
- I am sorry I started reading and I lost the sense of time, I will be there in half and hour.
Sometimes you can use this saying when you are not as focused as you should be on something. Like if your friend is talking to you about plans for the weekend and you suddenly stop listening, you will say:
- Lo siento tío, se me ha ido la olla, ¿puedes repetirlo?
- I am sorry brother, I lost the plot, can you say it again?
“tío” is a slang word we use for “friend”, kind of the English saying of “brother” to a close friend.
4. “Andar con la hora pegada al culo” (Walk with the hour stuck to your bum)
We use this phrase to express that we are running late, or that we have just enough time to do what we want/need to do -- and that if you get distracted, you will be late.
If you are getting ready for a meeting and one of your friends call you, you will quickly be saying:
- Lo siento, no puedo hablar, te llamo luego que tengo una reunión en media hora y ando con la hora pegada al culo.
- I am sorry, I can’t talk right now, I have a meeting in half an hour and I have just enough time to get there.
Or if you are one of those who is always late (ejem…ejem… guilty!). You can say:
- Necesito controlar mi tiempo mejor, siempre ando con la hora pegada al culo.
- I need to manage my time better, I am always running behind.
5. “Ser de la cofradía puño cerrado” (To be from the brotherhood of the closed fist)
It is just to say in a nicer way that someone is “stingy”.
If you are planning a trip and you are talking with your friends about a mutual friend who is a bit “cheap” and you ask if that friend is coming, your friend might answer:
- ¿Carlos? No, no creo que venga, el viaje es un poco caro y ya sabes que es de la cofradía del puño cerrado.
- Carlos? No I don’t think he will come, the trip is a bit expensive and you know he is pretty [stingy].
Note: sometimes we make it shorter by saying that someone is from the brotherhood, “es de la cofradía”, and everyone will know what you mean by that.
6. “Estar al loro” (to be to the parrot)
In English, this phrase means “be with it”, as in, a person who is always paying attention. For example:
- Si quieres estar al loro de lo que se lleva esta temporada necesitas mirar estas revistas de moda.
- If you want to be up to date with what is trending this season, you need to have a look at this fashion magazine.
Or we can use this saying to advise someone to pay attention to a specific thing or moment:
- Voy a la ducha, estate al loro por si suena el teléfono.
- I am going to take a shower, pay attention to the phone, just in case it rings.
Well…this ends another one of my articles everyone. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it, and that you smiled when reading at least one of these six funny Spanish expressions.
Now it's your turn, do you know any Spanish expressions that makes you laugh?
Let me know in the comments below, remember your comment will help someone else in their Spanish trip.
And before I say adiós...you guessed it...
Let’s make it fun and get creative today. Imagine a situation where you could use one of the expressions above from the examples that I gave you. Try to make a roleplay with one of the examples. I look forward to reading all your stories.
Hero image by Jakob Owens (CC0 1.0)