Frases hechas / Idioms | Forum

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sigma Feb 20 '12
Message #1
Todos nos manejamos mejor o peor con lo estándar de un idioma, pero hay ciertas cosas que cuesta más aprender, como las expresiones hechas y el argot. Por eso he creado esta entrada de foro, porque me gustaría aprender esas cosas que no te enseñan en una academia de idiomas.

Y para muestra, voy a dejar una expresión hecha muy apropiada para empezar:


We all manage better or worse with the standard of a language but there are some things that take more to learn, such as idioms and slang. That's why I created this forum topic, because I'd like to learn those things you're not taught at a language school.

And as an example, I'll write a very appropriate idiom to start with:


¡Leña al mono! = Go for it!


Espero que os guste la idea / Hope you like the idea :)

John Feb 20 '12
Message #2
leña al mono que es de goma

In internet someone said

"en españa se suele usar para decir que hagas algo. Por ejemplo, no tienes ganas de hacer los deberes pues leña al mono que es de goma es una forma de decir adelante, hazlos de una vez y asi te los quitas del medio. En definitiva una forma de animar a realizar acciones"

It is more common to say dale caña which is what you say when you want someone to turn up the volume of the music or go faster.

Leña is firewood.
There are some other expressions with leña.

 echar leña al fuego  = to add fuel to the fire

llevar leña al monte to take coals to Newcastle - take tea to China -
take ice to the eskimos etc.
sigma Feb 21 '12
Message #3
I should feel ashamed that I didn't even know some of your Spanish idioms, jugz.  I'm talking about the 1st and 3rd.  But I do know some equivalents for them, perhaps yours aren't said in Spain? 


Hacer de carabina = to play gooseberry

Se me fue la olla / se me fue el santo al cielo = I lost the plot


I'd also like to add some funny expressions. All of them are well-known in Spain. Unfortunately, I don't know their equivalents for most of them. Hope somebody helps me out. Also, I'd like to encourage American Spanish speakers to add their own.


1. Ser más vago que la chaqueta de un guardia = (literally) to be lazier than a policeman's jacket -> This is ironic, as policemen in Spain don't usually wear a jacket

2. Ser más corto que las mangas de un chaleco = not to be the sharpest tool in the box. Literally, it means: be shorter (of intelligence) than the sleeves of a waistcoat. There's no need to explain it, is it?

3. Los he visto más rápidos en el cementerio = (literally) I've seen faster at the cemetery. Talking about the dead, obviously.

4. Ser más lento que el caballo del malo = (literally) Be slower than the bad guy's horse. It's similar to nº 3, but it needs an explanation. It refers to classic Westerns, in which the bad guy was always caught by the hero of the film, whose horse was (not) surprisingly faster than the bad guy's.


Thanks John and juggy for your contribution!


Message #4
The one I learnt last week:
Se acepta pulpo como animal de compañía - we say it when we want to end a pointless discussion. It comes from a game in which the players are supposed to name things starting with a given letter and means "ok, ok, I accept your point of view, even though I don´t agree with you, let´s change the subject".
sigma Feb 21 '12
Message #5
That game is called Scattergorix. The expression appeared on one of its commercials. There's also this one:


Se acepta barco como animal acuático :D

Laura Andrea Aug 23 '12
Message #6
Hello, I'm spanish and these are some expressions we use here day a day.


Eres mas lento que una tortuga = You are slower than a tortoise

Estas como una cabra = You are a right looney

No lo pillo = I don't get it

Hacerle la pelota a alguien = To suck up to someone

Tener mucha cara = Got some nerve

Más vale tarde que nunca = Better late than never

No me estraña = No wonder

Meter la pata = To mess up (I messed up, now everybody knows my secret)


These are just some expressions, there are hundreds of them, I hope I have helped you.

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