Add a little colour to your conversation with funny Spanish phrases and idioms! When you can use a well-known phrase like these, you sound much more natural in your everyday speech.
Ponte las pilas – “Put in your batteries”. It’s like telling someone to “look alive”, “snap out of it”, or “wake up”. You say it to a person who’s daydreaming.
Papando moscas – “Catching flies”. Speaking of daydreaming, that’s called catching flies in Spanish. Which is quite a visual: Your friend sitting there, so completely lost in thought, the flies have started to land on him or her. But he or she doesn’t even notice!
Comiendo moscas – “Eating flies”. Flies are popular in Spanish idioms for some reason. You use this phrase when the person talking to you is quite long-winded. It can be said about anyone who goes on tangents, or someone who can’t stay on point.
Buena onda – “Good wave”. This means good vibes. You can also use it to describe someone who has a positive outlook and attitude.
Me pica el bagre – “The catfish is biting me”. The catfish being your stomach, and the biting being the painful ache of hunger. In other words, “I’m starved!”
Hablando del rey de Roma – “Speaking of the king of Rome”. It has the same meaning as “speak of the devil” in English. You say this whenever you were just talking about someone, and then they appear.
Meter la pata – “To put a paw it in.” It means “to screw up”, and it’s used like how we say in English, “to put your foot in your mouth”.
Creerse la última coca-cola del desierto – “To think of yourself as the last Coca-Cola in the desert”. This is an interesting one to me. It means you think you’re better than everyone else, or you think you’re hot stuff.
Tener la cola sucia – “To have a dirty tail.” It comes from the idea of being sneaky like a fox. Doing something you know is wrong, but doing it anyway and trying to get away with it.
Se puso hasta las chanclas – “Puts on his flip-flops”. It’s like the saying “He/She put on his/her beer goggles.” He or she got hammered, too drunk, trashed.
Échale ganas – “Insert desire”. It means to try your best. “How bad do you want it?”
Mandar a alguien por un tubo – “Send someone through a tube”. You use this to tell someone to “shove it”.
Mala leche – “Bad milk”. You can say this about someone who has bad intentions.
Tirar la casa por la ventana – “Throw the house out the window”. Or as you would hear Donna from Parks & Rec say, “Treat yo’ self”. It means to splurge, spend a lot of money, or otherwise go all out for a special occasion.