I have read and heard this idiomatic expression in several ways. Is there a more proper or correct idiomatic expression for this?

Which one is the correct idiomatic expression?

  • echar indirectas
  • tirar indirectas
  • lanzar indirectas
  • In Colombia you will hear almost always echar, less often tirar and never lanzar – DGaleano Feb 21 at 13:31

Looking at Meer Meer's answer, this seems to be location dependent. In the north of Spain, I am more used to "lanzar indirectas", although "tirar indirectas" is also fine. "Echar" sounds less correct.

Google and Linguee seem to have a similar amount of results for "lanzar indirectas" and "tirar indirectas".

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    I believe that might be right. Thanks for the feedback. – Meer Meer Feb 21 at 14:57
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    It will probably be "Tirar indirectas" here in informal Buenos Aires, may be "lanzar", and almost sure it won't be "echar indirectas". So +1 to location-dependent. Qué difícil es hablar el español. – mgarciaisaia Feb 21 at 17:03

It depends of the country or context, but the correct option for all cases is "lanzar indirectas", because its not ambiguous and is more propper, Here some examples:


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    In Medellin you will hear almost always echar, less often tirar and almost never lanzar. Looks like in Bogotá is the other way around. Is it? – DGaleano Feb 21 at 13:33
  • Yes, but "echar" sounds bad for international spanish, because that word means to be dismissed or fired from work – David Eduardo Feb 21 at 14:21
  • That's interesting to hear of. Thanks for the feedback! – Meer Meer Feb 21 at 14:58
  • Ok. I understand, but I don't think "international Spanish" exists. There are lots of examples of what you might think as international spanish that will get you in "trouble" in some places, i.e.: coger chaqueta, etc If you say *lanzar indirectas * in Medellín it will sound weird, however it will be understood. Anyway +1 😁 – DGaleano Feb 21 at 15:45
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    A propósito echar no solo significa despedir. En el diccionario aparecen 48 acepciones.. La definición 24 es decir, proferir y la 25 menciona echar maldiciones que es muy similar a echar indirectas ver dle.rae.es/echar – DGaleano Feb 21 at 15:51

Echar and lanzar are both correct, but I think tirar indirectas is the correct expression and the one you will hear more often.

For example, a very common phrase you will hear among students:

¿No te fijaste? ¡Esa chica te estaba tirando la onda!

Means something like

Didn't you notice? That girl was all over you

in the sense of being passively trying to catch his attention.

I hope this answers your doubt.

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  • Thanks RubioRic for the corrections. I'll try to be more mindful of my writing. – Meer Meer Feb 21 at 14:55
  • Not sure where is Meer Meer from - in Buenos Aires you say tirando onda instead of tirando LA onda. Well - tirando LA onda, with emphasis on the LA, would mean they are tirando onda REAAAAAAALY much. – mgarciaisaia Feb 21 at 17:05
  • Guess it is a matter of regionalisms. "tirando onda" doesn't feel like a complete phrase over here. "tirando la onda" makes a lot more sense for us. But then again, Argentina might be different. Thanks for the feedback. – Meer Meer Feb 21 at 19:19

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