Must-know Everyday Spanish Idioms

Here are the essential Spanish Idioms that you will hear on a day-to-day basis and will get you one step closer to sounding like a native speaker.

1. Dar a luz – literally translates as “to give light” meaning to bring new life into the world by giving birth. This idiom is one of the most commonly used ones and brings a poetic light to the act of giving birth.


2. Meter la pata – “To put your foot” is translated to English as “to put your foot in it”, similar to an animal caught in a trap, Spanish speakers use this expression when they’ve made a mistake by revealing something they shouldn’t have or having made a mess of things.


3. Estar hasta las narices – “Up to the nostrils” is the Spanish equivalent of “Up to the eyeballs”. When you are so fed up that you can’t stand something any longer.


4. Hacerse la boca agua – “to make your mouth water” is similar to the English expression and is something that will often occur when you smell the delicious wafting aroma of home made Spanish food.


5. No tener pelos en la lengua – “to not have hairs on your tongue” means that you are straight-talking and say things as they are, without filters.


6. Tener mucha cara – “to have a lot of face” means “to be shameless”. For example, when Rajoy was subject to accusations about the corruption of Partido Popular which later sank his political career, he stated “PP is more than just 10 or 15 isolated cases of corruption” you would say that he was pretty shameless about it.

7. Tomar el pelo – “To pull the hair” is the Spanish equivalent of “Pulling your leg” which means to make fun or tease someone.


8. Estar para chuparse los dedos – means it’s “finger licking good”! When you can’t get enough of a delicious dish that you would lick your fingers and the plate too!


9. Arrimar el hombro – Meaning literally “to bring the shoulder closer” but really means “to help”, similar to “echar una mano” or to give a hand.

Shoulder arthroscopy.jpg

10. Hacer oidos sordos – “To turn a deaf ear” means to ignore something and pretend that you haven’t heard it.


11. Más vale tarde que nunca – “Better late than never” is probably something that people live by in Spain, considering that things are not usually done in a hurry.


12. Es pan comido – “It’s bread that’s been eaten” means “it’s easy as pie” and is used to

describe something that is very simple.


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