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10/27/07

Spanish phrases and words #16

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

Here are some anatomy related idioms — specifically the hand. "Llevar el corazón en la mano" literally translates to "To carry the heart in the hand". The equivalent in English is "To wear one's heart on one's sleeve".

In English, when we're nervous we "Bite our nails". In Spanish one would "bite one's knuckles" as in "Comerse (morderse) los nudillos".

"No se chupa el dedo" means "He doesn't suck his finger". The colloquial equivalent in English is "He wasn't born yesterday" or "There are no flies on him".

When someone abuses a courtesy or an indulgence, we say "Give him an inch and he'll take a mile". The Spanish counterpart is "Dale un dedo y se tomará hasta el codo", which literally means "Give him a finger and he'll take up to the elbow".

Thanks Chris, speaking about biting one’s nails I’d say that the literal Spanish equivalent “comerse / morderse las uñas” is a bit more common in Spain at least, actually because a lot of people do bite their nails out of nervousness...

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

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