Set words, statements or phrases with meanings other than the literal sum of their parts.

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0
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2answers
35 views

El significado idiomatico de la cal

Encontré un modismo que me interesa (inventé un ejemplo) : Nos debemos ir! La policía va a cerrar esta lugar a cal y canto. We gotta get out of here! The police are going to lock this place ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Does “Prima” have a double-meaning (in Mexico)?

I recently saw this billboard in León, Guanajuato, México: [Sorry for the awkward placement of the light pole in the photo; I was driving when I snapped it.] The sign is an advertisement for ...
-1
votes
1answer
25 views

What's the etymology of `ir de compras`?

In my little Spanish learning experience, I have often read the sentence that uses the term ir de compras. While I know the meaning of it (go to shopping), I have a trouble in getting the etymology of ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Palabras del mapuzungun en el español

El mapuzungun es el idioma de la etnia mapuche, que es la principal base nativa del mestizaje en mi país Chile. La influencia del mapuzungun en el español es baja, en comparación con la que se dio en ...
9
votes
14answers
12k views

How would you translate the word “badass” to Spanish?

I was thinking maybe of "cabrón" or "chingon" ; however I think those two sound too Mexican specific. Does anybody know a better and less region specific equivalent?
3
votes
7answers
12k views
3
votes
1answer
516 views

¿Cuál es el origen del modismo “es equis” para decir que algo no es malo ni bueno, sino “más o menos”?

Una amiga de Monterrey, México a veces dice "Ah, es equis" para decir que no le apasiona cierta cosa. Ejemplo: A: ¿Te gustan los tacos que se venden en la esquina? B: Meeh... son equis. ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

Why isn't “good morning” “buenas mañanas”?

"Good afternoon" is "buenas tardes", and "Good night/evening" is "buenas noches". Then why isn't "good morning" "buenas mañanas" instead of "buenos días"?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there an equivalent idiom for “Slow and steady wins the race”?

English has an idiom: "Slow and steady wins the race." It is used to describe situations where slow, steady progress towards a goal is better than a rushed attempt to achieve things all at once (and I ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “nano” mean in Spain?

What does "nano" mean in Spain? Is it an offense to call somebody "nano"? Somebody in Spain called me "nano" and I don't know what it means. Hola, nano, que tal todo?
0
votes
0answers
24 views

La expresión ¿ke lo ke? [duplicate]

En República Dominicana se usa la expresión ¿ke lo ke? Me gustaría saber de donde vino esta expresión. Parece que deriva del francés.
2
votes
2answers
44 views

“Con matices” meaning and usage

So I'm reading this article on El País and I bumped into a phrase which sounds a little weird (even though I can guess the meaning). A ver, con matices. The closest thing that comes to mind is ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

¿Cómo se dice “Shit happens” en castellano?

A : Lo siento. Cometo muchos errores cuando aprendo castellano. B: Shit happens Como se dice "Shit happens" en castellano?
2
votes
3answers
219 views

How to translate different English meanings of “work”

I've been struggling lately in translating the English concept of work. I am familiar with trabajar but I was told only to use that to describe a physical action. Like so: The man is working. -- ...
9
votes
6answers
11k views

Are there any differences between “de nada” and “por nada”?

Most of the time in all the Spanish speaking countries I've been in I've heard de nada as the reply to gracias or the equivalent of English you're welcome etc. But after a while I became conscious ...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

¿Qué significa la frase “Estoy más puesta que un calcetín”?

Una amiga mexicana me dijo la frase "Estoy más puesta que un calcetín." ¿Qué significa eso? El contexto es que ella me ofrece una lección de baile. Ella: Yo te doy unas clasesitas de baile. ...
4
votes
5answers
192 views

Best ways to say “on short notice”?

I'm looking for idiomatic expressions (particularly from Mexico and other parts of Latin America) to say things like "Sorry for telling you about this at/on such short notice." ... that is, how do ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

'Le faltan tamaños'

Estaba escuchando un podcast de la BBC acerca del auge en la economia industrial en Mexico y en una parte estaban haciendo entrevistas con dueños de los tianguis en el mercado Tepito. Para los que no ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

“Decir mucho o muy poco de algo”

La expresión "Eso dice mucho de él" o "Eso dice muy poco de él", son diferentes en forma, pero ¿se utilizan para el mismo significado? ¿Son expresiones sinónimas o tienen matices distintos? Si los ...
1
vote
3answers
172 views

Origen y uso de “buen provecho” en Puerto Rico - Local Use and Meaning

At a restaurant, it is customary for the waiter or waitress to say buen provecho to wish us good eating. I considered it roughly the same as bon apetit in French or English. However, I started ...
4
votes
2answers
459 views

Cómo decir “college dropout”?

Aparentemente no hay una traducción exacta del frase inglés "college dropout" ... la mejor que podria encontrar es "estudiante que abandona la universidad antes de graduarse", cual me parece ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

Does “El Buscado” make sense as a loteria card?

I am designing some variations on loteria cards, and I need one that means "The Wanted" (like an outlaw). Would "El Buscado" be understood and sound correct to a Spanish speaker? "El Hombre Buscado" ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “a la orden” mean?

A friend of mine from Argentina keeps saying to me "a la orden" and I asked her what it meant and she couldn't explain it. What does it mean? My guess it means okay?
1
vote
6answers
229 views

“Fine line between” in Spanish?

How do I say in Spanish "there's a fine line between" something and something else? As in "the difference is not clear-cut" or "it's not black & white". It feels that something like "no hay ...
5
votes
2answers
264 views

Origen de “mano” para denotar primero

Una expresión común en México es ¡pido mano! que quiere decir quiero ser el primero. De hecho, yo llegué a escuchar cutimano e incluso anticutimano para añadir énfasis. ¿De donde vienen estas tres ...
9
votes
3answers
19k views

¿Qué significa en Argentina “al pedo”?

He escuchado y leído a argentinos decir "al pedo", por ejemplo, "estoy al pedo". Es evidente que NO se refiere a "estar pedo", que significa "estar borracho" en algunos sitios. ¿Qué significa "estar ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

Is there an expression for “turn of phrase” in Spanish?

Something with a little more of the poetic flavor of "turn of phrase" than, say, "forma de hablar" (manner of speaking / figure of speech) or "expresión", that is. To clarify, I'm thinking of this ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

How to translate “speak one's piece”?

The title says it all, how do you say "speak one's piece"[1] in Spanish? [1] Speak your piece means "state your opinion or view".
0
votes
3answers
171 views

Significado y traduccion de “Dolor de pecho”, o “duele el pecho”

Que significa en español la expresion "(le) duele el pecho"? Ejemplo: "Al devoto le duele el pecho cuando su corazon sale a acariciar el infinito". Como se traduce al ingles esta expresion, sin ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Duda sobre “escuálido” en el pronunciamiento de un Ministro

Viendo este pronunciamiento del Ministro de Educación de Venezuela http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKW8nloZAqQ en el 00:18 el dice estas palabras no es que vamos a sacar la gente de la pobreza, ...
2
votes
3answers
268 views

Analogous-sounding spanish words from english to avoid using? [closed]

There was once an incident as a kid where I was acting foolish somehow at the dinner table talking with my brother, who maybe didn't care that much anyways as to what I was doing. My grandfather, ...
3
votes
6answers
524 views

Como se dice “ what's the use” en castellano?

que es el uso, si tu compras una guitarra y tu no vas a tocarla? What's the use of buying a guitar if you're not going to play it ? Es la expresión " que es el uso" correcta?
13
votes
4answers
961 views

Translation of “bug” to Spanish

What is the best way to translate "bug", as in a misfeature of a computer program or device? Google translate offers a few options, none of which quite seem to fit, except the term itself: bug ...
2
votes
4answers
514 views

¿Qué significa “nariz de bola”?

Hoy en chat, una amiga me saludó con: Hola hola nariz de bola! La pregunté que quería decir, y solo me dijo que es un saludo agredable. Pero todavía quiero saber que significa. ¿Es una frase ...
6
votes
2answers
30k views

Forma correcta de “nisiquiera”

Al escribir siempre he tenido la duda de cuál es la manera apropiada del término o frase. ¿Es "ni si quiera", "ni siquiera" o todo junto "nisiquiera"?. When writing I've always worred about which ...
4
votes
5answers
538 views

How can I translate the expression “sour grapes” to Spanish?

From the Oxford dictionary: sour grapes used to refer to an attitude in which someone adopts a negative attitude to something because they cannot have it themselves: government officials ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“A mi lado” o “Al lado mío”

Yo sé que lo más correcto es decir "a mi lado", pero en la región de donde vengo, es habitual decir "al lado mío". Ahora vivo en el extranjero y mucha gente se extraña de la expresión y me dicen que ...
1
vote
1answer
243 views

Spanish for “Of course”

As I remember from my basic Spanish class, my teacher used to use the phrase Claro que si for the English phrase Of course. But, most of the translators like Google translate and all show the ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

¿Qué significa “salir del paso?”

Estoy leyendo esta página, y tiene la frase: Es una solución para salir del paso. Da mejores resultados entre idiomas de origen indoeuropeo, como es de esperar. Pero si se necesita una traducción ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

Translation of “in a pickle” and related phrases

In English there are several idioms or phrases that describe being in the midst of a very difficult situation: in a pickle in a quandary in a predicament in between a rock and a hard place How ...
2
votes
2answers
275 views

¿Qué quiere decir “engatillado”?

Sé lo que dice el RAE sobre la palabra. Sobre los animales y sobre la chapa. Pero cuando alguien me dice: Chepe estabas engatillado! Eso ¿qué quiere decir? La expresión viene de Colombia.
1
vote
3answers
960 views

To express nothing much (versus not much) can I say “nada mucho”?

I learned "no mucho" for not much, but when I went to Spain, I heard "nada mucho" in conversational Spanish. Specifically in Granada, where many would say "graNADA mucho" to "What's up" questions. I ...
3
votes
4answers
216 views
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What is “ya va” in Venezuelan Spanish?

I heard the expression "llava" / "ya va" (?) being used in Venezuelan Spanish. It seems to have the meaning of "wait a moment", but my Mexican friend don't understand it. Does anyone who know what ...
5
votes
4answers
845 views

Why does “madre” have so many different meanings?

In Mexican spanish at least, I can think the following (I may be forgetting some): Andar hasta la madre ~ Being really drunk Estar hasta la madre ~ Being really far | Being sick/tired of ...
4
votes
1answer
111 views

¿Es ñube una forma antigua de nube?

Al sur de la Ciudad de Mexico he escuchado las palabras ñube y ñudo en lugar de nube y nudo. Debido a otros modismos escuchados de la misma persona, tiendo a pensar que las palabras citadas son ...
5
votes
1answer
724 views

Meaning of “que ni que”

What is the meaning of "que ni que?" I heard it in Mexico while conversing with a friend, when I made the comment: Solo hay una manera de saberlo, no? And the response was: Eso que ni que! ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Meaning of “Me cae gordo”

I know the meaning of the phrase "Me cae bien": I like him/her (in a strictly platonic sense), or He leaves a good impression But recently I have heard the phrase Me cae gordo (in Mexico). It's ...
4
votes
1answer
398 views

Meaning of “Eres touch?”

Saw this on Facebook today... what does it mean?
2
votes
1answer
298 views

Definition of “burris”

What is the meaning of burris? RAE and Google are no help. It seems to be a very slang term, and from context it relates to humor or sarcasm. It may be a Mexican term.