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Today on the Costa del Sol is

Some useful Spanish idioms and sayings that do not translate exactly.


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» General phrases 3

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» Ya - Already or Yet

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You're pulling my leg

A otro perro con ese hueso.

To another dog with that bone

Look before you leap.

Antes que te cases mira lo que haces.

Before you marry, look at what you do.

There's more than one way to skin a cat.

Cada quien tiene su manera de matar pulgas.

Everyone has their own way to kill fleas.

By pure luck.

Como el burro que tocó la flauta.

How the donkey plays a flute.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Salir de Guatemala y meterse en guatepeor.

To leave Guatemala and arrive in worse cornstalks.

Like father, like son.

El hijo de la gata, ratones mata.

The son of the cat kills mice.

Don't start something you can't finish

Entrada de caballo, salida de burro.

Enter on horseback, leave on a donkey.

To have money to burn.

Tener más lana que un borrego

To have more wool than a lamb.

What's that got to do with the price of tea in China?

Yo tengo una tía que toca la guitarra.

I have an aunt that plays the guitar.

To be hungry

Tener hambre

To have hunger

Next week

La semana que viene

The week that is coming


En cueros

In leathers

To drive crazy

Volver loco

To become crazy

To make eyes at

Hacer cocos

To make coconuts

Hardly ever

Casi nunca

Nearly never

To be eloquent

Tener el pico de oro

To have a golden beak

Seriously though

Fuera de broma

Away from a joke

To be cloudy(overcast)

Cerrarse el cielo

To close the sky


Al cabo de

The end of


Atrás de

Back of


Antes de que

Sooner than that

In haste

A la carrera

In the race


Salto de agua

Jump of water

In short

En concreto

In summing up

Round trip

Ida y vuelta

Going and return

Electricity socket

Toma de corriente

Tap of current

On credit

Al fiado

On trust

To draw lots

Echar suertes

To throw luck

All the time

A cada rato

At each time

Every other day

Un día sí y otro no

One day yes another no

In a jiffy

En un soplo

In a breath

It is cold

Hace frío

To make cold


Hace poco

To make little

Vvery recently

Hace muy poco

To make very little

A while ago

Hace un tiempo

To make a time

To make hay while the sun shines

Hacer su agosto

Make their August


A no ser que

To not be that

Without hat or coat

En cuerpo

In body

In the night air

Al sereno

With the watchman

Take to heart

Tomar a pecho

Take to the breast

Wholesale (in bulk)

En grueso

In thick

To have a hangover

Estar de goma

To be rubber

To get sick

Caer en cama

Fall into bed

Spare no expense

Echar la casa por la ventana

Throw the house because of the window

In the shake of a lamb's tail

En menos que canta un gallo

In less time than a cock's crow

By the skin of your teeth

Por los pelos

By the hairs

You would make a better door than a window

La carne de burro no es transparente

Donkey meat isn't transparent

I am going to spend a penny

Voy a hacer lo que nadie puede hacer por mí

I am going to to what no one can do for me.

Sharper than a pin

Es más listo que el hambre

Cleverer than hunger

Do not mince words

No tiene pelos en la lengua

No hairs on the tongue

I don't give a hoot

Me importa un pepino

I care a cucumber

Live like a king

Vive como un cura

Live like a priest

Clothes maketh not the man

El hábito no hace al monje

The habit does not make the monk

Give credit where credit is due

Al César lo que es del César y a Dios lo que es de Dios

To Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what is God's

The devil finds work for idle hand's

Cuando el diablo no tiene qué hacer, con el rabo mata moscas

When the devil has nothing to do, he kills flies with his tail

God helps those who help themselves

Quien madruga Dios le ayuda

God helps those who get up early

Mad as a hatter

Como una cabra

like a goat