Catalan Idiomatic Expressions 〜 Speak Like a Local

Déu n’hi do This literally means ‘God forbid’, but it used as an exclamation like ‘wow’.

Aneu a escampar la boira Literally means ‘go scatter the fog’ and is used to say ‘go away’ or ‘get lost’ to someone.

Quatre Gats Literally means four cats, but is used to describe a small group of people.

He begut oli Literally means ‘I drank oil’ and is used to say ‘I failed’, comparable to ‘I choked’ in English slang.

Fotem un café? Literally means ‘f**ck a coffee?’ and is used to mean ‘let’s go for a coffee’.

S’ha acabat el bròquil Literally means ‘the broccoli is over’ and is used to say to someone that their deception is over.

Salut i força al canut! Literally means ‘health and strength to the purse’ and is used as a toast meaning ‘to good health and virility’. A canut was originally a purse made from a bulls scrotum.

Bon vent i barca nova Literally means ‘good wind and new boat’ and is used to mean ‘good riddance’.

A la quinta forca Literally means ‘in the fifth pitchfork’ and is used to mean ‘in the middle of nowhere’, like the English expression ‘in the sticks’.

Bufar i fer ampolles Literally means ‘blow and make bottles’ and is used to describe something easy. Comparable to ‘a piece of cake’ or ‘a walk in the park’ in English.

Com l’anell al dit Literally means ‘like the ring on your finger’. The idiom is used to describe something that is fitting or going well. Comparable to the English expression ‘swimmingly’.

Fer passar bou per bèstia grossa Literally means ‘Passing an ox off as a fat beast’. Used to describe trying to make something look better than it is. Similar to the English idiom ‘passing off mutton as lamb’.