Humorous Spanish Phrases: Because Learning Spanish Is Fun

Are you ready to move your Spanish to the next level?

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, and if you’re a high school student or an adult learner, these amusing Spanish words will tickle your mind and encourage you to speak with more colloquial understanding.

Plus, some fun Spanish idioms to add to your conversational skills as a bonus.

Let’s begin:

Amusing Spanish Phrases

Tirar La Casa Por La Ventana

If you’ve come across the English expression “To spare no expense,” this is the Spanish counterpart.

Let’s begin with a straightforward interpretation. “Tirar” is a verb that implies “to throw.”

La casa means “the house,” and la ventana means “the window.” Frankly, this means: To throw the house through the window.

Criticism in Spanish is wholly typical, and this is no different. So when someone is consuming so much money without even contemplating about it, go on a binge-spending, splurge like crazy, and all that, that individual is tirando la casa por la ventana.

Estar En La Edad Del Pavo

This phrase is just one of the tons of amusing things to say in Spanish, and being an idiom implies being a teenager. Turkeys are awkward creatures, just like the challenging yet, awkward stage that every teenager had to go through.

Let’s try to give this expression a breakdown in order to get to a straightforward translation. The word “Estar” is a verb that means “to be.” While “La edad” means “the age.” Pavo, on the other hand means “turkey.”

Therefore, in essence, this line, when translated in English, means: To be in the age of the turkey.

Ponte Las Pilas

Essentially, we know that people don’t need batteries. In fact, you should never take it or put it in your body in the first place!

The word “Ponte” is derived from the verb “poner”, which means “to put.” It is a form of a command conjugation.

The words “Las lase” are “the batteries.” So in English, “Ponte las pilas” means: Put in your batteries.

But in the idiom context, ponte las pilas means “wake up” or “look alive.” Another way to express this idom is: “Ponte pilas.”

Ser Pan Comido

It is commonly constructed as “es pan comido” because it implies something that is easy, and when translated in English, it would mean “it is eaten bread.”

In reality, what it means is that everything was simple. In English, it can be expressed in a way as everything was a piece of cake.

“Ser” is a form of a verb that means “to be.” Therefore, whether or not you decided to use “ser” or “estar” in your sentence does not matter because it will totally depend on how you’re using it.

Since “Pan” means “bread” and “comido” means “eaten.” This phrase directly translates: To be bread eaten.

Tomar El Pelo

It’s the equivalent of saying, “To pull one’s leg” in English. It means that someone’s making fun of it.

“Tomar” is also a verb that means “to take.” Whereas “El pelo” means “the hair” in English.

Can you speculate what that expression actually means: To take hold of your hair.

It can also mean that someone is a fool, so the future doesn’t concern him or her.

Sin Pelos En La Lengua

The word “sin” means “without” in Spanish. You might note from above that pelo means “hair;” here, “pelos” become its plural form.

It really means someone who doesn’t divide their words, someone who doesn’t fret when saying the truth, even though the fact sounds very serious. It explains as “Someone who doesn’t hold their tongue.”

La lengua signifies “tongue.” Essentially, this word means: Without the hair on your tongue.

Tener Mala Leche

This term is used by native Spanish speakers when they wish to refer to bad luck, and “tener mala leche” is “to have bad luck.”

Have you ever had any sour milk or even tasted one? It surely does not encourage a good feeling, mood, nor taste.

“Tener” is a verb that means “to have,” “mala” is an adjective that means “bad,” and “Leche” means “milk.” 

Basically, this is what the expression means in English: To have bad milk.

Dame Pan Y Dime Tonto

This representation we have here next is composed of two phrases in the letter “y,” which means “and in Spanish. Let’s take a look at each half of this idiom separately.

The first half, “dame pan,” uses the word “dar,” which means to give.” “Me” means the word “to me.”

“Dime” comes from the verb “decir,” which means “to say.” It means to tell me” or to tell me” because of “me.”

“Tonto” means stupid,” “dumb,” or “idiot.” Literally, the second part of this idiom means: “Tell me that I’m stupid.” So all this means, “Give me some bread and call me stupid.”

“Pan,” if you remember, means “bread.” So the first half of this idiom means “Give me bread.”

What this phrase refers to is someone willing to do whatever it takes to succeed or someone who’s thinking, “I don’t care about other people’s opinions as long as I get what I want.”

This line is used in situations where someone doesn’t mind putting up with something annoying (to be called a stupid guy) if he’s going to get something in return (the bread).

Me Pica El Bagre

So this literally means, “The catfish is pecking me.

“Picar” is a verb that means “to sting/to itch.” It also means “to peck at,” like how birds peck at something.

“El bagre” means “Catfish.”

We just don’t want them to eat a whole goat, just like no one wants to see people walking around with catfish eating them. But all of them mean, “I’m really famished.”

The real message to you by someone who says this is that they are seriously starving. In English, you may have heard someone say, “They’re so hungry that they could eat a bear.

Estar Como Una Cabra

“Una cabra” means “a goat.” So this phrase means: To be like a goat.

There’s “estar” again, which means “to be.” Como means “like.”

Have you ever analyze the behavior of a goat? It actually makes a lot of sense.

Comiendo moscas

“Comiendo moscas” means “eating flies.” Needless to say, your colleague who can’t point out his thoughts well doesn’t literally “eat flies.” A person who is “comiendo moscas” is a person who hits around the bush or speaks meaninglessly.”

You can also hear this term when you travel around Latin America and Spain. Each and every society has people who speak purposely to listen to their own voices.

Buena onda

“Buena onda” means “good wave” or “good vibes” is the easiest way to translate this into English.

Typically, this phrase is used when you are referring to a specific person. He gives me good vibes, me da buena onda. It’s also likely that he’s de bon onda, he’s coming from a place with a positive vibe, or he’s got a good onda, he’s got a good vibe. The latter two are more prevalent in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. You can even say “cool” in Mexico! “By tossing out a que buena onda!”.

Buena onda is heard more frequently in Spain than in Latin America, although it is not surprising to listen to it.

Es el mismo perro con diferente collar

“Es el mismo perro con diferente collar” actually means, “It’s the same dog with another collar.”

This phrase means that people don’t change, or a situation doesn’t change.” You’ll always hear this phrase as the elections take place. There is a newly elected person in the office, but es el mismo perro.

This expression is used a lot in Latin America, which is cynical because things are continually changing there.

Más se perdió en Cuba

In English, this term directly means, “more was lost in Cuba.” This expression means, “there are worse things that can happen.” Often in English, we say things like “it’s not the end of the world” to make the same point.

There’s no big surprise compared to the loss of Cuba than in any other Spanish-speaking country.

HUGE BONUS!

Here are some hilarious idiomatic expressions that will not only improve your Spanish skills, but can totally take your knowledge about the language a notch higher.

The BestAmusing” Spanish Idioms and Expressions

Sharing entertaining traditional phrases is also the perfect way to develop your Spanish vocab and your talking skills.

Any helpful and popular Spanish phrases that will help you develop your fluency and understand this beautiful language.

A friendly reminder, though, there are some terms and expressions that you can use depending on the circumstances, although some can be avoided to avert any possible misinterpretations.

Vamos a empezar! Lets’ begin!

Not to know even a potato about something

Translation: No saber ni papa de algo

Meaning: To have no idea about something

English Equivalent: Not to have a clue

More face than back

Translation: Mas cara que espalda

Meaning: To behave or speak rudely,  show no respect

English Equivalent: Have a lot of cheek

Throw disks at you

Translation: Te tira los tejos

Meaning: To flirt

English Equivalent: To pick up, to hit on someone

Eating flies

Translation: Comiendo moscas

Meaning: To go off-topic

English Equivalent: Go off on a tangent

To enjoy yourself like a dwarf.

Translation: Disfrutar como un enano

Meaning: To have a great time

English Equivalent: Have a whale of a time

Throw the house through the window

Translation: Tirar la casa por la ventana

Meaning: Pay any amount of money to achieve something

English Equivalent: Spare no expense, pull out all the stops.

The catfish is biting me

Translation: Me pica el bagre

Meaning: I’m very hungry

English Equivalent: I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!

Good wave!

Translation: Buena onda!

Meaning: Very good

English Equivalent: Good vibes! Cool!

Put in your batteries!

Translation: Ponte las pilas

Meaning: Pay attention

English Equivalent: Wake up, look alive, put some energy into it

Eye!

Translation: Ojo!

Meaning: To be careful

English Equivalent: Watch yourself, I’m watching you

The catfish is biting me

Translation: Me pica el bagre

Meaning: I’m very hungry

English Equivalent: I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!

To be bread eaten

Translation: Ser pan comido

Meaning: Be easy to do

English Equivalent: A piece of cake

Short of lights

Translation: Corto de luces

Meaning: To be stupid or ditsy

English Equivalent: The lights are on but nobody’s home, not the brightest bulb in the shed, not the the sharpest tool in the shed

You think you’re the last coke in the desert

Translation: Creerse la última coca-cola en el desierto

Meaning: To believe that you are better than everyone else

English Equivalent: The bee’s knees, to think that you’re the bomb, the best thing since sliced bread

To be like a goat

Translation: Estar como una cabra

Meaning: To be crazy

English Equivalent: Be off your rocker, be a fruitcake, be off your head

Short of lights

Translation: Corto de luces

Meaning: To be stupid or ditsy

English Equivalent: The lights are on but nobody’s home, not the brightest bulb in the shed, not the the sharpest tool in the shed

He goes fart

Translation: Va pedo

Meaning: To be drunk

English Equivalent: He’s plastered, smashed

Give the can

Translation: Dar la lata

Meaning: To pester

English Equivalent: Be a nuisance, be a pain

Speaking of the king of Rome

Translation: Hablando del rey de Roma

Meaning: To be talking about someone as they appear

English Equivalent: Speak of the devil, to have itchy ears

Make his August

Translation: Hace su agosto

Meaning: To make a lot of money

English Equivalent: To make a killing

To take hold of the hair

Translation: Tomar el pelo

Meaning: Cheerfully unconcerned about the future

English Equivalent: To pull one’s leg, make fun of

To be healthier than a pear

Translation: Estar más sano que una pera

Meaning: To be and feel healthy

English Equivalent: To be as fit as a fiddle

To be made a chili

Translation: Estar hecho un ají

Meaning: To be very angry

English Equivalent: To be hopping mad

Spanish Idioms Involving Food And Drinks

No importar un pepino / un rábano / un pimiento

Translation: Not to matter a cucumber / radish / pepper

Meaning: To be irrelevant

English Equivalent:To not give a monkey about it

Ponerse de mala leche

Translation:To get in bad milk

Meaning:To get in a bad mood

English Equivalent: To get bent out of shape

Temblar como un flan

  • Translation: To be shaky like a pudding
  • Meaning: To be very nervous
  • English Equivalent: To be a cat on hot bricks

Ser pan comido

  • Translation: To be eaten bread
  • Meaning: To be very easy
  • English Equivalent: To be a piece of cake

Dar calabazas a alguien

  • Translation: To give pumpkins to someone
  • Meaning: To reject someone
  • English Equivalent: To give somebody the brush off

Ser un bombón

  • Translation: To be a bonbon
  • Meaning: To be very good looking
  • English Equivalent: To be eye candy

Ser del año de la pera

  • Translation: To be from the year of the pear
  • Meaning: To be very old
  • English Equivalent: To be from another era

Ponerse como un tomate

  • Translation: To turn into a tomato
  • Meaning: To blush
  • English Equivalent: To turn as red as a beetroot

Dar la vuelta a la tortilla

  • Translation: To turn the omelet around
  • Meaning: To turn the situation around
  • English Equivalent: To turn the tables

Ser un melón

  • Translation: To be a melon
  • Meaning: To be not very intelligent
  • English Equivalent: To be a blockhead

Catching flies

  • Translation: Papando moscas
  • Meaning: To daydream
  • English Equivalent: Twiddle one’s thumbs

Be like a stone

  • Translation: Quedarse de piedra
  • Meaning: To be shocked
  • English Equivalent: To be flabbergasted, gob-smacked

Spanish idioms involving animals

Tener memoria de pez

  • Translation: To have the memory of a fish
  • Meaning: To have a bad memor
  • English Equivalent: To have a memory like a sieve

Tener vista de lince

  • Translation: To have the eyesight of a lynx
  • Meaning: Having an excellent vision
  • English Equivalent: Have an eagle eye

Verle las orejas al lobo

Ser un gallina   

  • Translation: To be a hen
  • Meaning: To be a coward
  • English Equivalent: To be a chicken

Ser un rata

Translation: To be a rat

Meaning: To be stingy

English Equivalent: To be a tightwad

Estar en la edad del pavo

  • Translation: To be in the turkey’s age
  • Meaning: To be a teenager, to be in puberty
  • English Equivalent:  To go through teenage angst

Dar gato por liebre

  • Translation: To give cat for hare
  • Meaning: To trick / rip off someone
  • English Equivalent: To take for a ride

Ser la oveja negra

  • Translation: To be the black sheep
  • Meaning: To be good for nothing, to be the unsuccessful one
  • English Equivalent: To go off the rails

No ver tres en un burro

  • Translation: Not being able to see three on a donkey
  • Meaning: Having a really bad vision
  • English Equivalent: To be blind as a bat

Estar como una cabra

  • Translation: To be like a goat
  • Meaning: To be crazy
  • English Equivalent: To be mad as a hornet, to be crazy as a bat

CONCLUSION:

It’s hard to trace exactly where all these funny Spanish phrases come from.

But these phrases developed over time, just like idioms in other languages, which may account for why their direct translations differ so much from their actual meanings.

When studying a new language, it is necessary not only to learn a formal register but also to be able to understand the informal expression. It is the vocabulary we hear on the streets, in group interactions, TV programs, etc. The easiest way to learn Spanish is through a native speaker, since they have a strong understanding of their language and how to use it in everyday life.

There’s no reason not to have fun while learning Spanish.

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