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y es por eso que si vienen palos,

yo seré el primero en dar

This is from the lyrics of a song. I do understand the meaning of the words but a literal translation doesn't make any sense ("... if sticks come ..."). Is this a metaphor or a figure of speech?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

It is kind of an expression. It could be roughly translated to "if there is going to be fighting, I will be the first to hit".

There is an expresion Te voy a moler a palos that will translate to something like "I will grind you to pieces".

Palo it is literally a stick. In that sense the full sentence would be "If people are coming with sticks to hit me, I would be the first to hit", but it does not have to be literally sticks, just an aggression either figurative or literal.

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Thank you. I suspected that it might have something to do with fighting but I wasn't sure. –  Michi Mar 27 at 8:59
    
Is this a common phrase? –  Trip Mar 27 at 20:05
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I believe the phrase "Vienen palos" or sometimes "Pintan Bastos" refers to some games played with a Spanish card deck [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baraja_%28playing_cards%29] in which one of the suits is Palos or Bastos (clubs). And that is indeed used to mean it's time for a fight, either literal of figurative. –  deStrangis Mar 28 at 11:18

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