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

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2
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5answers
1k views

Translation of “Hoy hace mucho calor” in another way

Hoy hace mucho calor. I see that the translation for it is Today is very hot. But I think that sentence is very complex and difficult to language learners like me. So can we simply write ...
2
votes
3answers
325 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. -- ...
2
votes
1answer
225 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
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2answers
5k views

Translation of “What goes around comes around”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English idiom, What goes around comes around?
2
votes
4answers
882 views

Equivalent of the idiom “feel free (to do something)”

For instance, If I wanted to say: Feel free to contact me Could I say the following? Por favor, contáctame cuando quieras Does this capture the essence of the idiom, or do any preferable ...
2
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
210 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 ...
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
2answers
2k views

El significado de la expresión “fuera de foco”

Tengo aquí una canción, Persiana Americana, que fue cantada por uno de los grupos más importantes de la música latina Soda Stereo. Aquí está la letra de la rola : Yo te prefiero fuera de foco ...
2
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2answers
198 views

Como decir “for a while”

Let's say I want to say "On a typical day I read for a while, and then I go to bed." Would the best way to see this be: "En un día típico, yo leo un rato y después me acuesto". More specifically, ...
2
votes
1answer
267 views

Translation of “contra viento y marea”

What is the most idiomatic English translation of the Spanish phrase contra viento y marea?
2
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3answers
422 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, ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
702 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

What is meant by the (apparent) diminuitive “cani?”

There's "Espana Cani," and Ana Cani, the Mexican-American singer on the Lawrence Welk show. Google translate gives me "gypsy." Somehow, that seems too literal, because it seems like a ...
2
votes
1answer
285 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
116 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".
2
votes
1answer
556 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.
2
votes
1answer
697 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
220 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
4answers
106 views

Is there a Spanish equivalent for “a trickle or a torrent”?

Is there an equivalent Spanish idiom to the effect of something being "either a trickle or a torrent"? My (feeble) attempt to translate it to Spanish would be: Cuando hablo español con la gente en ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

El significado de la palabra “flaca”

Sé que hay muchos significados para la palabra en cada pais hispanohablante. ¿Qué significa la palabra flaca en este contexto? : Flaca no me claves tus puñales por la espalda tan profundo ...
2
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
577 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.
2
votes
1answer
200 views

What does the idiom “venir de maleta” mean?

While in Chile I heard the idiom venir de maleta. I was told that it means something along the lines of "to be angry," but I'm not seeing any evidence of this online. It's theoretically possible ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

What phrases use the word “en” like in the sentence, “Pienso en ti mucho.” [duplicate]

I was corrected by a friend when I told her that I think about her a lot. She said: No, no. Diga Pienso EN ti, no DE ti. How many other phrases make use of the word "en" like this?
2
votes
1answer
377 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

El significado de la palabra “picnic”

Tengo aquí la letra de la canción, Picnic en el 4b, que fue compuesta por el mismo grupo Soda Stereo. La letra de la rola va así: Picnic en el 4ºB Es una cuestión de voltaje Picnic en el ...
1
vote
6answers
382 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
296 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

¿Qué signfica y de dónde viene la expresión “romperse los cascos”?

Oigo de vez en cuando la expresión "romperse los cascos" para referirse a "pensar mucho algo". En general se usa para denominar algo que no deberías hacer: No te rompas los cascos: tu novia te ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

¿De dónde viene la expresión “dar caña”?

Se usa con frecuencia la expresión "dar caña" para cualquiera de estos casos: caña (Del lat. canna). (...) dar ~. loc. verb. coloq. Provocar o recriminar a alguien. loc. ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

El origen de la expresión “10 puntos”

En el modismo mexicano se dice "5 estrellas", pero en argentino es " 10 puntos". A: ¡Hola, che! ¿Cómo estas? B: ¡Joya, che, re bien! ¿Y vos? A: ¡10 puntos, chamigo, gracias totales! Me gustaría ...
1
vote
2answers
105 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
177 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)?
1
vote
1answer
121 views

What does “alimentarse del viento” mean?

If someone puts the phrase "Alimentarse del viento" as their status on a social site, what does it mean?
1
vote
1answer
122 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

¿Cuál es el significado de la expresión “Juana la Beltraneja”?

En la siguiente noticia se encuentra la siguiente línea: "...su estudiada simpatía la convirtió en la Juana la Beltraneja de Hollywood.". Al parecer, Juana la Beltraneja fue un personaje ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Como decir “have (o have not) heard from him” en español

Let's say I want to say "as of today, I have not heard from him". As of today would be "desde hoy", but how would i translate "heard from him". It's a bit of a "modismo" or idiomatic expression I feel ...
1
vote
1answer
323 views

¿Cuál es el origen de la expresión “liarse la manta a la cabeza”?

Hay una expresión en castellano que dice: Liarse / echarse la manta a la cabeza Para mí, se refiere a animarse a hacer algo de un modo algo irreflexivo, del tipo: Juan siempre quiso ver ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Origen de la expresión “cinco estrellas”

A: ¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás, compa? B: Todo de perlas y tú? A: ¡5 estrellas, gracias! Me gustaría saber de dónde viene la expresión "cinco estrellas ". ¿Se usa mucho en el norte o el sur del ...
1
vote
2answers
190 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
105 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" ...
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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 ...
0
votes
3answers
277 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

¿En qué parte de México se usa expresión “a wi wi”?

A: ¡Hola, amiwoo! Kiuvas? B: ¡De perlas! ¿Qué haciendo? B: Viendo una peli y ¿tú? A: ¡A wi wi! Escuchando a Maná. Me gustaría saber en que parte de México se usa la expresión a wi ...
0
votes
1answer
212 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 ...
0
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3answers
799 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 ...