Spanish Language Blog

05 Funny Spanish Idioms Posted by on Feb 22, 2015 in Spanish Vocabulary


¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás?

Spanish has several funny idioms and today we’re going to learn some of them. You’re going to love this!


1. Ask the elm tree for pears?

Yes, this is what we express when we ask someone for the impossible. The expressions is pedir peras al olmo.

Pedir a Juan, que recién empieza su curso, que sea fluido en inglês, es pedirle peras al olmo.
Asking Juan, who’s just started his course, to be fluent in English, is asking for the impossible.

Querer que ella llegue a tiempo es pedir peras al olmo.
Wanting her to be on time is asking for the impossible.


2. You don’t even know the j about it?

Yeah, if you don’t know even the J letter about something, you don’t know anything about it. The expression is no saber ni jota de algo.

Cuando llegué a los Estados Unidos no sabía ni jota de inglês.
When I arrived in the States I didn’t know any English.

Pobrecita, no sabe ni jota de lo que está pasando.
Poor thing, she doesn’t know anything about what’s going on.


3. Do dwarves always have a good time?

In the 17th century dwarves lead one hell of a good life, so in Spanish we say disfrutar or pasársela como un enano. A very jolly time indeed!

Disfrutamos como un enano en la playa.
We had a blast on the beach.

Me la pasé como un enano anoche.
I had a very good time last night.


4. Is your son at the age of the turkey?

In Spain la edad del pavo means that you’re going through puberty, which is not always a smooth ride. So your son can be en la edad del pavo.

No sé qué hacer con mi hijo, está imposible en la edad del pavo.
I don’t know what to do with my son, he’s impossible going through puberty.

No te preocupes mucho por él, está en la edad del pavo.
Don’t worry too much about him, he’s at that difficult age.


5. Can’t talk about ropes at the house of a hanged man…

If you mentas la soga en casa del ahorcado you basically put your foot in it, screw it all up good!

Realmente debiste mentar la soga en casa del ahorcado. Ahora, ¿qué le vamos a hacer?
You really had to put your foot in it. Now, what are we going to do?

No vayas a mentar la soga en casa del ahorcado hablándole de su ex.
Don’t put your foot in it by mentioning her ex.


This is it for today! See you next time!

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.