2014/2015. Posted by Douglas T.

It’s true that I spend a lot of time at the school, I give ESL lessons, and I help at the youth club. But I was trying to figure out what I did with the rest of my time here, especially given that I never seem to have a spare moment. I realized that I inadvertently spend a lot of time learning Spanish expressions and sayings. It’s become a sort of hobby. The little notebook I have always carried around to learn Spanish is half filled with expressions.

learn Spanish

Spanish expressions notebook

People love to share about their language. Whenever a Spanish friend tells me an expression it’s always prefaced by “typical Eh-spahnish!” It’s a simple way to make my Spanish friends laugh; it always tickles them when a foreigner says a complicated Spanish refrain. I also love to translate the expressions literally as it makes for some pretty bizarre combinations of words in English that never fail to amuse.

One of my first favorites was the word milk (“la leche”). It seems to have an infinite number of uses! When you say someone or something is the milk, it means they’re awesome. Before your adult teeth, you have teeth of milk (“dientes de leche”). You can give “una leche” (to punch someone); bad milk (“mala leche”) means bad blood or ill-will; it can even be used as an interjection. The list goes on.

I was excited to learn the equivalent of the English “It’s raining cats and dogs” which is, literally, “It’s falling octopus.” (“Está cayendo la del pulpo.”) Another of my favorites involving octopus is “you’re more lost than an octopus in a garage” (“Estás más perdido que un pulpo en un garaje”). There are also other ways to describe someone being lost, physically or mentally. “You’re breaded” (“estás empanado”) means to be in the clouds (the expression also applies in Spanish). So does “to be in the vine” (“estar en la parra.”).

There is a multitude of expressions to tell someone that they’re great. You can use the milk, as we already mentioned. You can also say “you are more good than bread” (“eres más bueno que el pan”), “you have a face of bread” (“tienes una cara de pan”) (can you tell food is important?) You can also say that “you’re on the crest of the wave” (“estás en la cresta de la ola.”)

Not to be forgotten are rhyming expressions (literally; it’s harder to forget these). The equivalent to “see you later, alligator” is literally “until later egg face” (“hasta luego, cara huevo”.) One that makes me laugh especially is literally “I give you this advice because I’m Popeye the sailor” (“este consejo te doy, porque Popeye, El Marino soy”). And with this and a cake, until tomorrow at 8!” (“Con esto y un bizcocho hasta mañana a las ocho.”)