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.

Hacer la visita del médico

11 Sep

Hacer la visita del médico. 
Make the doctor’s visit.

This expression has nothing to do with visiting a doctor. It is usually used by mothers and grandmothers when paying a visit to someone for the minimum time possible to do what is needed – like turning up at a friend’s house to deliver something, a quick “hello” and then leaving immediately. The nearest English expression would be ‘Make a flying visit’!.

No hables de la soga en casa del ahorcado.

6 Sep
No hables dela soga en casa del ahorcado.
Don’t speak of the noose in the hanged man’s house.
This proverb advises us not to talk about people’s problems in their own home. More generally, it suggests that we beware of  speaking about touchy subjects at inappropriate times or in inappropriate places.

Desnudar a un santo para vestir a otro.

6 Sep
Desnudar a un santo para vestir a otro.
Undressing one saint to dress another.
English equivalent phrase ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’.