If your goal is to speak Spanish like a native speaker, using idioms can help you! These type of expressions are particularly useful as they give you a creative way to express yourself. Also, they are a good way of adding a bit of humour to conversations. Now, it’s time to learn these 15 Spanish idioms. Don’t expect them to make sense, though!
#1. Es pan comido (It’s eaten bread)
When a native says, “¡Es pan comido!“, they want to say that something is very easy. In English we would say that something is a piece of cake. The truth is that Spaniards are bread lovers! Apparently, this Spanish idiom has its origin in the 16th century.
#2. Partir peras (To slice pears)
Another crazy idiom. It might sound funny, but “partir peras” refers to the action of falling out with somebody. Try not to slice these delicious fruit with your people!
#3. Tener mala leche (To have bad milk)
This Spanish idiom is telling us already that implies something negative. We use Tener mala leche (to have bad milk) when we want to say that somebody is constantly in a bad mood, or for saying that someone is nasty.
#4. Dar calabazas (To give pumpkins)
Everybody loves pumpkins, right? Well, you’d better not receive them from your crush! Dar calabazas means to reject someone or make them fail (e.g. in a test).
#5. Estar como un queso (To be like a cheese)
Don’t worry if a native speaker tells you you are like a cheese because it’s actually a compliment! Estar como un queso means to be very attractive or hot.
#6. Partir el bacalao (To cut the cod)
Previously, we were talking about how to slice pears is a bad thing. But, if you are cutting cod, that’s a good thing! It means that you are the boss, the one that runs the show! Remember: Yes to cutting cod, not pears.
#7. Ser un chorizo (to be a chorizo)
Who doesn’t like chorizo?
I once showed my students this Spanish idiom and asked them to guess what it meant. They were pretty sure that it meant something positive, because “there’s no way that something as tasty as chorizo can be something bad, Miss!” They all got a bit upset when I explained that if you are a chorizo, you are a thief!
#8. Mandar a freír espárragos (to send someone to fry asparagus)
As unusual as it seems, Spaniards can easily send you to fry this vegetable. And, if they do, it’s because you’ve probably done something wrong! We say, Vete a freír espárragos (“Go and fry asparagus”) when we want someone to leave us in peace because they are being annoying.
#9. Estar hasta en la sopa (to be even in the soup)
This means that something or someone is EVERYWHERE, on the verge of being annoying!
#10. Darle la vuelta a la tortilla (to turn the omelette upside down)
Do you know the expression “turning tables”? Well, in Spain we turn the omelette. Darle la vuelta a la tortilla refers to the action of reversing a situation or changing your mind completely.
#11. Importar un pepino (to care a cucumber)
Don’t get me wrong, Spaniards love cucumbers. It’s an essential ingredient we need in our gazpacho! However, we don’t seem to appreciate them enough. When we say that “we care a cucumber”, we mean that we care very little about something! ¡Qué mala leche!
#12. Ser la media naranja de alguien (to be someone else’s half orange)
Well, this Spanish idiom is not that difficult to guess. If you want to tell someone that they are your soulmate or other half, then you say “Eres mi media naranja”. Do you want to know about the origin of this curious expression? I’ll tell you here!
#13. Comerse el coco (to eat your coconut)
Spanish speakers tend to be quite relaxed because they avoid eating their coconuts! This means to worry or think too much about something.
#14. Andar pisando huevos (to walk on eggshells)
Finally! An idiom that is almost the same in English! We use this idiom when we want to express that someone moves or does things slowly.
#15. Poner toda la carne en el asador (to put all meat on the grill)
When we put all meat in the grill, it means that we are taking a risk, making every effort to achieve our goal.
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