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

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15
votes
5answers
690 views

Is there a Spanish equivalent to “-ish”?

In English, we often add "-ish" to the end of a word to make it less exact. Here are some examples: I'll be there at 5:00ish. The shirt was a reddish color. The woman appeared to be 50ish. ...
13
votes
4answers
712 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
4k 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"?
12
votes
5answers
744 views

How to translate the idiom: “missing the point”?

What would be the correct way to translate into Spanish the idiom: "to miss the point"? I'm often tempted to write "perder el punto", but it doesn't sound quite right. For example: "To bring ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you say “I got you!” in spanish

If I threw a snowball (or dodgeball) at someone and it hit them, how would I say "I got you!" in spanish?
11
votes
2answers
515 views

Usage of “oso” to express embarrassment

I have heard the idiom ¡Que oso! ...used to express embarrassment by a former acquaintance from Colombia but have never met another Spanish speaker who uses this expression. My questions: ...
10
votes
1answer
145 views

Plug vs Socket: Interchangeable?

Many dictionaries that I have looked at online seem to use enchufe as a word that is interchangeable for the English words plug and socket, which are two related, but distinct objects. Some ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

How to translate the idiomatic expressions “I wish!” and “You wish!”

What's the best way to say "I wish!" as in... A: I hear you're a good dancer. B: Ha! I wish! Or... A: Will you help me move this piano? B: Ha! You wish! What is the best way to ...
9
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
174 views

What would be a good translation of “to go well with”?

How could one translate the expression "to go well with" in Spanish? For example: Tequila shots go well with strawberry ice cream.
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Translating “looking forward to”

In English, we often used the phrase looking forward to when we are excited about something in the future: I'm looking forward to seeing you next week! I'm really looking forward to finals ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the preferred way of saying “I have to go”?

English As far as I can tell there are two ways to say, "I have to go." Tengo que ir. Tengo ir. Is the second way even right? And if so, which one is the preferred way to say, "I have ...
9
votes
7answers
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. ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

“Desde luego” meaning and etymology

Español Esta pregunta me recuerda a una frase similar, "desde luego", que no es eso literalmente, sino que significa "por supuesto" (según el DRAE): luego. [...] desde ~. loc. adv. ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
12answers
8k 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?
8
votes
2answers
887 views

How to translate “make it count”

This evening a friend saw a poster in English that said something like: If you have only one chance at opportunity, make it count. She asked me what it meant. She knew enough English to make out ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the meaning of the expression “nada que ver”?

What's the meaning of the expression "nada que ver"? In which countries is used? Here are some examples: Lo que dices no tiene nada que ver con lo que estamos discutiendo. Conversation between ...
7
votes
2answers
963 views

¿Qué significa “de pe a pa”?

¿Cúal es el significado de la siguiente expresión "de pe a pa"? Por ejemplo: Tienes que aprenderte esto de pe a pa.
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
164 views

How to translate “open source” and “free software” and keep the distinction?

In English, when describing software you say "open source" to refer to software that's source code has been made available under a license. "Free software" refers to 'truly free' software that can be ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
201 views

¿Cuál es el origen del frase “media naranja”?

He oído la frase "media naranja" unas veces, y puedo entender el contexto, que significa una pareja o novia, por ejemplo. Pero quiero saber el origen de esa frase. A mi, ese frase me parece muy rara. ...
7
votes
3answers
464 views

Idiomatic translation of “Dame tu luz”?

In the song Pequeño Amor by the Chiquitas, there is the following chorus: Pequeño amor, por siempre tú pequeño amor, dame tu luz The song is a duet, and the above is sung by members of the ...
7
votes
2answers
300 views

¿Qué significa “la tercera edad”?

Una amiga me dijo: Estoy a cargo de mamá que es una señora de la tercera edad. ¿Qué significa "la tercera edad"?
7
votes
2answers
733 views

Origen de la expresión “tener más moral que el Alcoyano”

Cuando alguien no se da por vencido y sigue insistiendo a veces en España se dice tienes más moral que el Alcoyano. Alcoyano es el gentilicio de Alcoy (provincia de Alicante), pero ¿cúal es el origen ...
7
votes
2answers
247 views

¿Es redundante la expresión “suele ser frecuente”?

Español He oído a menudo la expresión “suele ser frecuente”. ¿Es redundante? ¿Suena bien a pesar de la redundancia? ¿O bien suena mal y sería mejor decir solo “es frecuente”? Por ejemplo: Suele ...
7
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
176 views

Is there a translation for “He thumbed his nose at them”?

In English if you "thumb your nose at someone" you are ignoring their authority.. Is there an expression in Spanish that conveys that same sort of disrespect? Edit: adding example. Many ...
7
votes
2answers
133 views

¿En qué países se utiliza la expresión “colgar el sambenito”?

Como resultado de una pregunta anterior relacionada con el concepto de culpabilidad (guilt trip), surgió la expresión (frecuente en España) "colgar el sambenito", que significa "culpar a alguien ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

¿Qué significa “pata de perro”?

Hoy una amiga me dijo "Soy pata de perro". Yo entiendo las palabras literalmente, pero ¿qué significa esa expresión?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

¿Cuál es el origen de la frase “al pan, pan, y al vino, vino”?

Creo que la expresión quiere decir que algo fue dicho con claridad, pero ¿de donde viene la expresión? Es decir: ¿a qué se refiere originalmente? ¿Por qué pan y vino, precisamente?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the meaning of the phrase “¿Cómo ves?”?

I often hear (or read in online chats) people say ¿Cómo ves?, typically after the end of an explanation of something. What does this really mean? It's phrased as a question, but rarely does it seem ...
6
votes
2answers
469 views

Origin and use of “echar de menos”

I've always found peculiar that the phrase echar de menos is synonymous of the verb extrañar. For example: Te echaré de menos. is equivalent to: Te extrañaré. Based on TV, its use is most ...
6
votes
4answers
178 views

Ironic constructions in Spanish

English As part of my masters in linguistics, I am taking a course on the subject of irony. We were given examples of sentences that are most likely ironic, as the English sentence "he is not ...
6
votes
2answers
226 views

Traduccion para “as far as I can tell” / Translation for “as far as I can tell”

Español Como hispanoparlante nativo y, yo considero, con un alto nivel en el manejo del Inglés, varias veces tengo dificultad para traducir expresiones de uso común y me acaba de pasar cuando quise ...
6
votes
2answers
235 views

Translation: “so” to begin a sentence

So in English I often start sentences with the word 'so'. Often I do this when beginning an explanation, but there are heaps of other uses too, like when telling a story or when expecting an answer ...
6
votes
2answers
28k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the “lo” in “pasarlo bien” refer to?

The phrase pasarlo bien means something like "to have a good time" in sentences like, "Lo pasamos muy bien anoche." What does the "lo" in this phrase refer to? Does it replace an actual noun, or is it ...
6
votes
2answers
415 views

How should we translate “everything but the kitchen sink” or “the whole enchilada”?

There is an idiom that is popular (and old) in English that states "everything but the kitchen sink". This is a phrase that means "everything that could be conceived". Som examples: "I realized ...
6
votes
2answers
646 views

What's the meaning of the Mexican expression “se te va el avión”?

Example: Te lo dije tres veces y de todos modos no lo hiciste. A ti ya se te va el avión. ¿No te acordaste de tu cumpleaños? La verdad es que a ti ya se te va el avión. What does it mean? ...
5
votes
3answers
395 views

Translations of 'anyway'

I spoke with a friend that I haven't spoken to in a long time. He started with a question about a test he is having. After I answered the question, I wanted to ask him: "How have you been anyway?" ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the meaning of “Y yo voy y me lo creo”?

What's the meaning of "Y yo voy y me lo creo"? I encountered it in a Spanish novel. With 146,000 Google.es hits, it seems to be a set expression. Context helps, but doesn't remove all doubts.
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Origen y uso de la frase “Para más inri”

Acabo de leer en un diario español la frase "para más inri", y según el diccionario on-line que ofrecen, significa "por si fuera poco". Yo nunca había leído ni escuchado tal frase. Mi pregunta ...
5
votes
1answer
410 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! ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Translating “Slow down!” (in informal contexts)

English WordReference translates "slow down" as disminuir la velocidad or desacelerar. But those sound pretty precise or technical to me. How would you translate "Slow down!" in other, more informal ...
5
votes
1answer
400 views

How to interpret “dar a” or “dar a conocer”?

I only know "dar" in its literal sense of "to give". And I know "conocer" in its literal sense of "to know" or "to get to know". But in reading Cien años de soledad I came to this passage: ... y ...
5
votes
1answer
410 views

Origin of the phrase “la quinta …” to denote an undesirable or faraway place

The Colombian phrase la quinta porra denotes an undesirable or faraway place. For example, ¡Váyase a la quinta porra! conveys the same meaning as Go to hell! The earliest use I could find ...
5
votes
2answers
329 views

What is the meaning of “melaza” in the song “Caras Lindas”?

This is the song. The word is translated by online lyrics, RAE and wordreference.com as molasses. But it doesn't make sense to me in the context. Somos la melaza que ríe Somos la melaza que ...
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 ...