I haven't been able to find dictionary definitions of two expressions I came across recently.

An online search suggests that at least one of the expressions is sometimes used in a vulgar context. Therefore I don't want to include the exact phrase in the title, as I don't want this question to become click bait. If you edit my question, please don't include the phrases in the title.

Background: There's a question that hasn't been answered definitively yet about the meaning of the phrase "me quiso dar fuerte en lugar de ponerme a llorar o gritar." Looking around online, I came across a 2015 newspaper opinion piece about Spanish politics that includes the phrase "Le dieron fuerte y flojo" that I don't understand.

One of the comments below the article says

Dar fuerte y flojo tiene unas connotaciones sexuales y dar fuerte otras.

What do these two expressions, dar fuerte y flojo, and dar fuerte, mean, and how are they used in various contexts? I'm not finding anything in dictionaries. I've tried DRAE, Collins, Linguee, etc., with different search phrases (dar, fuerte, flojo, etc.).

Here is some of the context for the expression dar fuerte y flojo in the article:

Teresa Rodríguez coincidió con Maíllo ("Quien no la conozca que la compre") y Moreno en no conceder credibilidad a la presidenta y no tragarse su anuncio de un tiempo nuevo y su pretensión inaugural. Le dieron fuerte y flojo los tres.

But I imagine it would be helpful to read the whole article.

2 Answers 2


This is a duplicated question basically. Refer to : What does "me quiso dar fuerte" mean?

Anyways, I'll post the answer while someone flags this. Note that 'flojo' can mean weak/languid (and lazy of the word is alone)

It can have various meanings depending on the context. In your example, it means that the person was about to have an emotional burst that would led to a public break down. Other context where this phrase is used are:

1- For a condition/emotion (like sickness) or an external situation.

La gripa me quiso dar fuerte / The flu was about to hit me hard

2- For the usage of force or combat.

Mi oponente me quiso dar fuerte / My opponent wanted to strike/hit me hard

3- For a description of enhancing something's qualities.

El mesero me quiso dar fuerte el café / The waiter wanted to give me a strong coffee

4- In a sexual context. In this case, giving it hard means in a vigorous way.


The original example's context of the other post is:

Someone and I were having a conversation where they told me that after one of their closest family members had died, they started experiencing something. It was something like...

Cuando falleció, me quiso dar fuerte en lugar de ponerme a llorar o gritar.

This is case number 1. An external situation or condition, the person is about to have an emotional breakdown and burst out crying. 'Me quiso dar fuerte' here means that the emotion was about to overwhelm the person.

As for the political example added in the question. This is situation number 2. A combat or confrontation.

  • Great start and thank you. Now, what's dar fuerte y flojo in general and in the opinion piece, and what's the difference with the one you explained? The commenter said they're different but didn't explain how. Also, do you happen to know whether these phrases are used the same in Spain and the Americas? Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 4:48
  • I think that you should edit this answer a bit. "In your example, it means that the person was about to have an emotional burst that would led to a public break down" doesn't make sense in this question. The example provided here is not related to an emotional burst.
    – RubioRic
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 6:28
  • There is no difference between Spain and American countries (Remember that America is singular because it's just 1 big continent) except that in general 'flojo' in America is more used as 'lazy' for a person or 'languid/ with lack of consistency' for texture or properties of materials.
    – deags
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 15:25
  • @deags In Spain we use those meanings too.
    – RubioRic
    Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 7:05
  • If they think it's a sexual reference, there does exist the usage "pene flojo," so maybe that's what they're going for.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 20:13

Well, I think that "dar fuerte y flojo" is an idiom that have got a pretty simple intepretation: the former Andalusian President, Susana Diaz, was attacked (verbally) by all the other political leaders Rodriguez, Maillo and Moreno. "fuerte y flojo" means that she received all kinds of attacks, graded from strong [fuerte] attacks to weak [flojo] attacks. But the main point of the expression is that she was attacked, it doesn't really imply such grading.


  1. tr. Hacer sufrir un golpe o daño [strike someone]


  1. adv. Con fuerza. [with strong]

There is a similar idiom with the same meaning:

recibir hostias de todos los colores [to receive hits with all the colours in the sky]

Hostia, in this context, means strike or hit and a hit doesn't have any colour at all. The expression can't be interpreted literally. In "dar fuerte y flojo" occurs the same. Both expressions mean the same: someone suffered multiple attacks. Those attacks can be physical or verbal, it depends on the context.

I haven't heard about the sexual connotations of "dar fuerte y flojo" but I'm not sure that they can't be discarded. Probably it means an intense [fuerte/strong] sexual session.

I agree with @deags about the meaning of the sentence in the linked question: it means that the person was about to have an emotional burst that would led to a public break down.

  • Fascinating, that use of gradation (fuerte-flojo) to imply multiplicity.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 13:34
  • Is it kind of like "up, down and sideways"? So, fuerte and flojo are used for their contrast? Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 21:23

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