Meaning of modismo: "Hay mucho que hablar del bacalao.

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    @walen - Do you happen to have an English version of that handy for post authors who have written their question in English? Because it's hard to know how well a newcomer who writes their question in English will understand Spanish. Aug 19, 2019 at 4:07

1 Answer 1


I think it's an advertising slogan more than a modismo, as far as I can tell. Here's an explanation I found:

Hace años, en la entonces única televisión al alcance de todos los españoles, solían emitirse campañas más o menos institucionales que trataban de fomentar el consumo de ciertos productos, siempre en plan 'genérico', esto es, sin marca comercial. Uno de ellos fue el bacalao.

«Hay mucho que hablar del bacalao», repetía machaconamente la televisión. La verdad es que el pobre bacalao no gozaba, por entonces, de muy buena prensa, salvo en el País Vasco.

I think that "Hay much que hablar" is a shortened form of "Hay much de que hablar," which means, There's a lot to talk about. In this case, it's There's a lot to be said about bacalao. Which I think is cod (maybe the salted kind, which you may have heard of on Prairie Home Companion as lutefisk).

Side note: Here's a fun phrase involving bacalao: Te conozco, bacalao, aunque vengas disfrazao. (Disfrazao = disfrazado.) You get to say this to a friend in a teasing way. For example, if your friend shows up late to dinner, and you say, "Don't worry, I made a dinner that could sit warming in the oven for a while, in case you were late, because te conozco, bacalao, aunque vengas disfrazao (I know what you're like -- you can't put one over on me!).


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