Here you’ll find our encyclopedia of Spanish idioms.
Spanish idioms by category: Life | Love | Money | Food | Animals | Body | Colors | Numbers | Mexican
No hay tu tía. Literally means ‘there isn’t your aunt’ and is used to mean no way or not a chance.
Me la suda. Literally means ‘I sweat it’ and is used to mean ‘I couldn’t care less’.
Tener enchufe Literally means ‘To have a plug’ and is used to mean to be well connected.
Entre broma y broma, la verdad se asoma Literally means ‘Between joke and joke, the truth peeps out’.
Disfrutar como un enano Literally means ‘to enjoy yourself like a dwarf’ and is used to mean to have a great time, similar to the expressions ‘to have a ball’ or ‘to have a whale of a time’ in English.
Spanish Idioms about Life
Así es la vida Literally means ‘Such is life’ and has the same meaning as ‘that’s life’ in English.
Al mal tiempo, buena cara. Literally means ‘to bad weather, put on a good face’.
Spanish Idioms About Love
Te tira los tejos Literally means ‘to throw the roof tiles’ and is used to mean to flirt with someone.
Aqua que no has de beber, déjala correr. Literally means ‘water that you shouldn’t drink, let it run’ and is used to mean if your relationship is badly tainted, let it go.
Eres mi media naranja. Literally means you are my my half orange. It means you are the other you are the other half of their orange – that you complete them.
Spanish Idioms About Money
Hace su agosto Literally means to ‘make your August’ and is used to mean ‘make a lot of money’ or to ‘make a killing’. Can also be used to mean to get a lot of pleasure from or ‘have a field day’.
Tirar la casa por la ventana. Literally means “to throw the house through the window” and is used to mean that no expense has been spared. A comparable idiom in English is ‘to push the boat out’.
Spanish Idioms with Food
Dar la vuelta a la tortilla Literally means ‘To turn the omelette around’ and is used to mean to reverse the situation, similar to ‘turning the tables’ in English.
Es pan comido. Literally means it’s eaten bread and is used to mean something easy, similar to ‘It’s a piece of cake’ in English.
Ponerse de mala leche Literally means ‘To put on bad milk’ and is used to mean to become grumpy similar to getting ‘bent out of shape’ in English.
No saber ni papa Literally means to ‘know not even a potato’ about something. Means to have no idea about something, or to not ‘have a clue’.
Hacer buenas migas. Literally means to ‘make good crumbs’ and is used to mean to get along with someone well.
Ser un bombón. Literally means ‘to be a chocolate’ and is used to mean someone attractive or ‘eye candy’.
Spanish Idioms with Animals
Estar como una cabra. Literally means to be like a goat and is used to mean acting strange or crazy.
Ser cuatro gatos Literally means ‘To be four cats’ and is used to mean a small group of people.
Tener memoria de pez Literally means to have the memory of a fish and is used to mean to have a bad memory or a memory ‘like a sieve’.
Más vale pájaro en mano, que cien volando Literally means ‘a bird in the hand is better than a hundred flying’ and is used to mean appreciate what you have rather than what is out there. Similar to the English idiom ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.
Spanish Idioms with the Body
Hablar sin pelos en la lengua. Literally means to speak without hairs on the tongue and is used to mean speaking directly or without ‘mincing words’.
Dormir a pierna suelta. Literally means ‘to sleep with a loose leg’. It is used to mean to sleep deeply. A comparable idiom in English is to ‘sleep like a log’.
No pegar ojo. Literally means ‘to not strike an eye’. It is used to mean to be unable to sleep – to not ‘sleep a wink’.
Lo dijo de labios para fuera. Literally means to say something ‘from the lips outward’ and is used to mean saying something you didn’t intend.
Andar con pies de plomo. Literally means ‘to walk with lead feet’ and is used to mean to be very carefully or ‘to tread carefully’.
Spanish Idioms with Colors
Tener sangre azul. Literally means ‘to have blue blood’ and is used to describe someone who is royal, or an aristocrat.
Ponerse morado. Literally means ‘to become purple’ and is used to mean to eat a lot. A comparable idiom in English is ‘to eat like a horse’.
Estar sin blanca. Literally means ‘to be without white’ and is used to mean to be broke, to be penniless.
Pasar la noche en blanco. Literally means ‘to spend a night in white’ and is used to mean to have a sleepless night, to not ‘sleep a wink’.
Spanish Idioms with Numbers
Cada dos por tres. Literally means ‘every two in three’ and is used to mean all the time.
Estar a dos velas. Literally means ‘to be at two candles’ and means to be broken.
Ser un cero a la izquierda. Literally means ‘To be a zero on the left side’ and is used to mean to be useless.
Dar igual ocho que ochenta. Literally means to ‘give the same eight to eighty’ and is used to mean to not care a fig or to not give an damn.
Estar en el quinto pino. Literally means to be in the 5th pine and is used to mean to be far away, somewhere remote. Comparable to ‘in the boondocks’ in English.
Mexican Spanish Idioms
Ya salió el peine. Literally means ‘the comb already came out’ and is used to mean the truth has already been revealed.
Estar crudo. Literally means ‘to be raw’ and is used to mean to be hungover.
Ves burro y se te antoja viaje. Literally means ‘you see a donkey and you fancy a trip’. Describes a situation where some discovers they want something only after seeing that someone else has it.
Poca madre. Literally means ‘little mother’ and is used to describe something cool.
Buena onda. Literally means ‘good waves’ and is used to mean good vibes or positive energy.
No mames. Literally means ‘don’t suck’ and is used to mean ‘no way’ or ‘seriously?’
Qué padre! Literally means ‘what father’ and is used to mean cool, or awesome.
No hay tos. Literally means ‘there is no cough’ and is used to mean ‘no problem’.
Armar pacho. This idiom has no literal translation. It means to throw a tantrum or to ‘have a fit’.
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