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08/15/07

Spanish phrases and words #10

From Chris Royston, weekly collaborator here at Into Spanish Translation Blog:

Animal related idioms

"Haberle visto las orejas al lobo" literally translates as "To have seen the wolf's ears". The idiomatic meaning is "To have had a narrow escape" or "To have had a close shave".

"Ser el gallito del lugar" literally means "To be the little rooster of the place". In English we refer to another animal: "To be top dog".

"Tener pájaros en la cabeza" or "Tener la cabeza llena de pájaros" means "To have birds in the head" and "To have the head full of birds". In English we would call such a person a "Scatterbrain" or someone who "Has bats in the belfry".

Thanks Chris! I won’t add any this time...

Want more? Don't hesitate to visit Colloquial Spanish blog!

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08/04/07

Spanish phrases and words #9

From Chris Royston, weekly collaborator here at Into Spanish Translation Blog:

Here are two sayings that are similar in Spanish and English, but not quite the same:

— "No ser ni carne ni pescado" literally means "To be neither meat nor fish". In English the saying goes "To be neither fish nor fowl".

— Ser de carne y hueso" translates to "To be of flesh and bone". In English we phrase this as "To be flesh and blood".

— The first saying brings to mind the two versions of "fish" in Spanish. When you go to buy fish in the market you purchase "pescado". A single fish is a "pez". "Pez" comes up in colloquial speech when you refer to someone as a "pez gordo" or "fat fish". In English we'd describe this person as a "big shot".

Thanks Chris! And here are a couple more “meaty” sayings that I can think of:

— "Es un cacho de carne con ojos” —literally, “He/she is a piece of meat with eyes”— may be translated as "He/she is a drip".

— “Está pez” —literally, “He/she is fish”— may be translated as “He/she has no clue” (about something in particular like geography, politics, etc.)

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