• 19Jul

    If you’re really, really lost in Spain, you are “más perdido que Carracuca”, which means “more lost than Carracuca”. Don’t ask me who Carracuca is.

  • 08Jul

    I don’t know what the origin of this idiomatic phrase is, but it means “to be alone”. “Estar de Rodríguez”. The literal translation is “to be of Rodríguez”.  This last name does bring to mind a feature of many Spanish last names. The “ez” at the end means “son of”. Thus Rodríguez” denotes “son of Rodrigo”. Here are some more examples: Fernández, Sánchez. Hernández; Pérez (hijo de Pedro); and Martínez.

  • 24Jun

    When something surprising and positive occurs we say “hurrah!” or “I’ll be damned!”. One counterpart in Spanish is “¡Viva la Pepa!”, which means “long live Pepa!”. Pepa is a diminutive of Josefa. “Pepe”, a common name in Spain, is the diminutive of José.

  • 21May

    In a previous post we have seen a phrase using the name “Rita”. I don’t know why Spaniards have it in for poor Rita, but here’s another “¡Que lo haga Rita!”. This translates to “let Rita do it!”. The colloquial meaning is “let someone else do it!”.

  • 05Oct

    In English we describe something or someone really ugly as “as ugly as sin”. An equivalent phrase in Spain is “ser más feo que Picio”. The origin of the name is as follows. Reportedly, there was a shoemaker from Granada who was pardoned from a death sentence. His reaction caused him to lose eyelashes, eyebrows and hair; and his face became deformed and full of bumps.

  • 06Jul

    In a previous posting we have listed 50 ways to call someone “stupid” in Spanish. Here are two phrases you can use to qualify just how stupid (tonto) someone is.  “Más tonto que una mata de habas” literally means “more stupid than a patch of beans”. Another version is “más tonto que Abundio”, which translates to “more stupid than Abundio”. Anyone know who Abundion is?

  • 23May

    To describe something that is fantastic in the sense of being excellent, the Spanish might say “es de Lope”. Lope refers to the extraordinary classical playwright, Lope de Vega.

  • 07May

    We speak of a “miracle cure” or a “magical cure-all”. A phrase used in Spanish is “los polvos de la Madre Celestina”, which literally means “the powders of Mother Celestina”.

  • 02Jan

    “Juan Lanas” literally translates to “John Wools”. The colloquial meaning is a “simpleton” or a “good sort”.  Here’s a saying with the name “Juan”: “Yo soy Juan Palomo, yo me lo guiso y me lo como”. The colloquial meaning is “I’m all right, Jack”. The literal translation is “I am John Pigeon, I cook it and I eat it”.

  • 08Oct

    “Lo dijo Blas, punto redondo” literally translates to “Blas said it, round point”. The idiomatic equivalents in English are “you’re always right” or “whatever you say”.