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In English, if a bad situation seems imminent but is finally avoided, we might reply with an interjection like "Thank goodness!" or "Whew!". I know "Thank goodness!" has several possible translations at the beginning of a sentence, but I'm thinking of it being used as a standalone interjection. What is typically said in Spanish in situations like this?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

A usual translation for the interjection "Whew!" is


In these situations it is common to say:

¡Qué alivio!

It is also common to say

Me salvé por un pelo.

In Uruguay we say also "En el anca de un piojo" but I don't know if this is common elsewhere.

to express how close to the bad situation we had come.

"Thank goodness" might also be "Gracias a Dios", but this may have a religious component.

A common verb is "zafar". For example,

El profesor estaba interrogando alumnos al azar, pero yo zafé por estar en una esquinita, medio oculto.

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Nice answer! "En el anca de un piojo" is not known in Colombia and Ecuador. Other countries I don't know. – Joze Jan 24 '12 at 9:14

Just to add to Bruno's answer you can say these aswell:

¡Gracias al cielo!

¡Menos mal!


and for some humor we say sometimes this in Colombia:

Me salvé por un pelo de rana calva.

The translation would be I saved myself by the hair of a bald frog. Since frogs have no hair, a bald frog would have even less hair. So he saved himself by so little!

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