Archive | September, 2011

A otro perro con ese hueso.

18 Sep

Give that bone to some other dog.


This is something that Spaniards might say when they do not believe an explanation that someone has given them.


We might say ‘Come off it’, ‘Don’t give me that’ or ‘tell that to the marines’.


Monto un circo y me crecen los enanos.

17 Sep

The literal translation of this Spanish proverb sounds stupid. It is ‘Mount a circus and I grow dwarf’.

It simply means, ‘to get a lot of bad luck’. An English proverb with similar connotations is ‘it never rains but it pours’ or even ‘misfortunes usually come in large numbers’.

A muertos y a idos no hay más amigos.

17 Sep

A muertos y a idos no hay más amigos.

To the dead and gone no more friends.

It suggests that death or absence of a person can cool the friendship, to the point of forgetting their bond.

‘Long absent, soon forgotten’ would appear to be an equivalent English proverb.

Another phrase – mear fuera del tiesto.

16 Sep

Mear fuera del tiesto.

Piss off the pot.
In most Spanish regions, a ‘tiesto’ is a vessel of clay used to raise plants. In Castille the word is also a urinal. So ‘fuera del tiesto’ literally means pissing but missing (the toilet). However the Spanish use the phrase to mean ‘miss the point completely’ – in other words ‘get hold of the wrong end of the stick’ or ‘bark up the wrong tree’.

Another Spanish phrase – Vamos al grano

16 Sep

Vamos al grano.


Come to the point.


Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and cut to the chase – ‘vamos al grano’ means ‘come to the point’ – so let’s get down to brass tacks and stop beating about the bush!


A faltade pan, buenas son tortas.

11 Sep

A faltade pan, buenas son tortas.

If there’s no bread, cakes will do.

Whenever we are hungry or suffer misfortune, we should be content with whatever is offered and settle for the next best thing – ‘beggars can’t be choosers’.

Alternative versions of the proverb:

A faltade pan, galletas. If there’s no bread, have biscuits.

A falta de pan, las tortasson buenas. For lack of bread, the cakes are good.

Another Spanish proverb

11 Sep

Muchoruido y pocas nueces.
Spanish/Englishdictionaries translate this as ‘much ado about nothing’. 
The word-by-wordtranslation is ‘much noise and few nuts’. 
Anyway, the proverb meansmaking a great deal of fuss over nothing of importance.