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

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1
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1answer
298 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
4k 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
245 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
660 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
2k 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
323 views

How do you translate the idiom “sound off” in Spanish?

How do you translate the idiom "sound off" in Spanish?
6
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
151 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
2k 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
1answer
755 views

Meaning of “Eres touch?”

Saw this on Facebook today... what does it mean?
2
votes
1answer
617 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.
7
votes
2answers
763 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
226 views

On the fly / sobre la marcha

Still with software science translations.. Now I'm coming to you with this expression that have always bothered me: "on the fly" How the hood would you translate that elegantly to spanish? It feels ...
3
votes
4answers
783 views

Stir the pot, in American Spanish

What is the correct way to express this idiomatic expression? -- Stir the pot -- My goal is to say something like "she stirs the pot even more by inviting this person to her house." I would imagine ...
3
votes
4answers
610 views

What does “alma sucia” mean?

What does it mean? I've checked the literal meaning with Google: dirty soul I was looking for something more elegant, that shows its tone. Is it an idiom?
6
votes
2answers
685 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

¿De dónde viene la expresión “en capilla ardiente”?

Soy de Guatemala y he escuchado muchas veces la expresión "en capilla ardiente" principalmente cuando una persona está a punto de contraer nupcias se le dice "estas en capilla ardiente". Me parece ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Translation of “guilt trip”

How can I translate the concept of a "guilt trip" into Spanish? The Free Dictionary provides this definition: guilt trip n. Informal A usually prolonged feeling of guilt or culpability. ...
7
votes
2answers
223 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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.
17
votes
5answers
1k 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. ...
0
votes
3answers
818 views

Interpretation of quotes or famous sayings [closed]

I know you can't translate everything directly, sometimes it doesn't make sense, specially when it comes from quotes. What would be the best intepretation of the following quotes?: What goes ...
9
votes
2answers
340 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.
4
votes
2answers
266 views

Is there an idiomatic equivalent in Spanish for “to have other fish to fry”

Is there an idiomatic equivalent in Spanish for “to have other fish to fry”? have other fish to fry: "To have more important things to do" In the two romance languages I am familiar with, this ...
9
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
586 views

Comer y beber como animales

En todos los idiomas se producen comparaciones con animales para expresar que una persona come o bebe mucho. En inglés, conozco las expresiones to drink like a fish y to eat like a horse. En España ...
6
votes
2answers
597 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
4answers
195 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
4k 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
2answers
494 views

Translation of “Under Pressure” — Queen song title

Today I heard Under Pressure by Queen on the radio. After the song, the DJ announced the song as Alta Presión. That sounds more to me like "High Pressure" than "Under Pressure." I would have ...
5
votes
2answers
468 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
257 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Translation of “contra viento y marea”

What is the most idiomatic English translation of the Spanish phrase contra viento y marea?
6
votes
3answers
754 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
2k 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.
6
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Translation of “I rest my case”

In English, the phrase "I rest my case" can be used in a conversation by one person whose point has just been proven by the other person. In a legal sense, it would mean that a lawyer has concluded ...
2
votes
1answer
757 views

Translation of the idiom: “To wind (somebody) up”

My question is similar to that of jrdioko's "to wind up (doing something)" However the expression I'm looking for is: "To wind (somebody) up" I know this is an idiomatic expression so there may or ...
7
votes
4answers
271 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Translating “Me la paso pensándote”

In Wisin y Yandel's "Estoy Enamorado," the chorus contains the following line: Me la paso pensándote, nunca voy a soltarte What does "Me la paso pensándote" mean? Is "me" a reflexive or indirect ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

Translation of “to play favorites”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English idiom "to play favorites" (as in favoring individuals in a group instead of treating everyone equally)?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Translation of “to talk behind someone's back”

What is the typical Spanish translation of the English idiom "to talk behind someone's back" (as in saying something bad about another person to others instead of to them directly)?
2
votes
1answer
419 views

Translating “paying one's (final) respects”

In English, if someone visits a grave or goes to a funeral of someone who has died, we can say he is going "to pay his respects" or "to pay his last respects." While it's hard to explain what this ...
7
votes
3answers
709 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
758 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 ...