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THE

BIG RED BOOK OF


SPANISH IDIOMS
Also available:

Gordon & Stillman/The Big Red Book of Spanish Verbs


Gordon & Stillman/The Red Pocket Book of Spanish Verbs
THE

BIG RED BOOK OF


SPANISH IDIOMS

12,000
SPANISH AND ENGLISH EXPRESSIONS

Peter Weibel
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Contents
Acknowledgments vi

Introduction vii

Spanish-English Idiomatic Dictionary 1

English-Spanish Dictionary and Index 209

v
Acknowledgments
I wish to convey my special thanks to Kim, my wife, and Ron Nagel. Their
help and support made it possible to finish this project.
My appreciation also goes to Christopher Brown, the editor of this
book, for his advice and suggestions. Last but not least, I would like to
thank Susan R. Moore for her meticulous review of the book.

vi
Copyright © 2004 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. Click here for terms of use.
Introduction
In the early 1970s I went on vacation to Galicia, Spain. On the thirty-four-
hour train journey from Bern, Switzerland, to La Coruña I got into con-
versation with a Spaniard. He was very knowledgeable about Spanish
literature and recommended to me the writings of Cela; this was the first
time that I had heard of this author.
Many years later, in late 1989, a headline in the arts pages of a news-
paper caught my attention: “The Nobel Prize for Literature goes to
Camilo José Cela.” This prompted me, finally, to acquaint myself with
his works. Typical of his style is La Colmena, a novel peppered with col-
loquial and slang expressions. As I read it, I felt the need for a reference
for English speakers that dealt comprehensively with such Spanish
terms, so I began to jot down words. From these beginnings I developed
this dictionary of commonly used Spanish expressions that are often
difficult to find in standard dictionaries. My sources have been as diverse
as the expressions themselves: Nobel Prize–winning authors and Juan
Pérez (the man in the street), professors and students, contemporary
and classical literature, dictionaries, movies, and newspapers from
across the Spanish-speaking world.
The Big Red Book of Spanish Idioms is a comprehensive reference
designed to open up the world of idiomatic Spanish to English-speaking
learners, including students, travelers, and language-lovers, who have
an intermediate or advanced level of understanding of Spanish. The dic-
tionary contains a broad collection of over 4,000 commonly used
idiomatic and colloquial expressions in Spanish and almost 8,000
English translations. Particular care has been taken to match like with
like, so that Spanish idioms are matched with idiomatic English expres-
sions of a similar tone or register. This feature also makes the diction-
ary a particularly helpful reference for Spanish-speaking learners of
English.

vii
Copyright © 2004 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. Click here for terms of use.
Introduction

Using the Dictionary


1. Location of a Spanish Expression
To look up a particular Spanish phrase or expression in order to find its
English equivalent, turn to the main Spanish-English dictionary. Each
expression is listed under one particular Spanish headword, and the head-
words appear in alphabetical order, though initial articles (el, la, el/la, las,
los) are not alphabetized. The idiomatic expressions (preceded by i) are
listed below the headword:

la nueva piece of news


i coger a alg. de nuevas (fig.) to take s.o. by
surprise
i hacerse de nuevas (fig.) to act surprised,
to pretend to be surprised, to pretend not to
have heard/known anything [about it]

To allow for useful groupings by sense, the idiomatic expressions are not
necessarily listed in alphabetical order.
In some instances, your selection of a key word within an expres-
sion may not match the chosen headword in this dictionary. To allow
for this, numerous cross-references are included, indicated by ]. The
correct location of the expression in the dictionary is indicated by the
boldfacing of the headword:

] aburrido (ser algo ~ a más no poder)


] adornar (quedarse para ~ altares)
] confianza (ganarse la ~ de alg.)

These cross-references are integrated alphabetically within the dictionary.


Whenever a Spanish word is both a headword and a cross-reference, its
cross-references are listed below the idiomatic expressions in alphabetical
order.
Some entries and English equivalents are also followed by cross-
references (indicated by ]) to idiomatic expressions where a more exten-
sive list of English equivalents is provided. These further expressions are
equally appropriate but for the purposes of saving space were not dupli-
cated for every appropriate idiomatic expression.

viii
Introduction

palmarla (pop.) to cash/hand in one’s chips


(fam., hum.) ]cascar[la]
la nana grandma/granny (fam.)
i del año de/en el año de la nana (fam.)
donkey’s years ago ]año de Maricastaña

2. English Meanings
The English meaning of every headword is provided, except where no
equivalent exists and the word is only comprehensible within an idiomatic
expression.
Every Spanish idiomatic expression is followed by at least one
English equivalent. As far as is possible, the English expression has been
selected to match the tone or register of the Spanish phrase. Note that
in many instances the literal meaning of the headword will not match
the English equivalent of following idiomatic expressions.
Some Spanish entry phrases have more than one sense in English.
These senses are numbered (a), (b), etc.

el cerro hill
i irse por los cerros de Úbeda (fig.) (a) to talk
[a lot of] nonsense or rubbish (fam.) or rot
(fam., Br.E.), to give silly or ridiculous or
absurd answers (b) to wander from the sub-
ject/point, to go off at a tangent (fig.)

For clarity, some English entries are prefaced by explanatory tags that may
indicate the context or provide the neutral term in English:

i la lana (fam., Méjico) (money): dough (sl.,


Am.E.), bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/
lolly (sl., Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.)

3. Example Sentences
Example sentences and phrases that incorporate the idiomatic expression
are indicated by  and are followed by their English translation. Over 1,800
examples are included in instances where it is judged particularly helpful
to see the context in which an expression is used:

ix
Introduction

la sarta series
i una sarta de (fig., fam.) [whole] series of,
[whole] string or catalogue of (fig.)  una
sarta de mentiras a string/pack of lies  una
sarta de disparates a load/pack of nonsense
or rubbish (Br.E.) (fam.)  Nos soltaron una
sarta de insultos. They hurled a string of
insults at us.

4. English-Spanish Dictionary and Index


If you are looking for a Spanish equivalent of an English expression, con-
sult the English-Spanish Dictionary and Index. The English expressions are
listed alphabetically by key word. The words to (as part of the infinitive)
and to be (before an adjectival expression) are not alphabetized. Wherever
the key word is not the first term in the expression, the full expression usu-
ally appears in parentheses with the key word represented by a tilde ~.
The English expression is followed by one or more equivalent Span-
ish idiomatic expressions. This may serve your immediate requirements,
but for a more complete treatment of these Spanish expressions, locate
them in the Spanish-English dictionary under their respective head-
words. The headword is always indicated in bold text:
buttocks las cachas
canard el cuento chino
come what may salga lo que salga/saliere
(]salir)
to be dead tired estar muerto [de cansancio]
luck (trusting to ~) a la buena de Dios
(]bueno)
to see (oh, I ~!) ¡acabáramos! (]acabar)
to talk turkey [with s.o.] cantarlas claras [a alg.]
to vamoose largarse

Exceptions
Bold type is not used when the headword is the first word in the expression:

to be dead on one’s feet caerse de


cansancio/sueño

Or when the Spanish entry is an article + noun in the singular:

chatterbox la cotorra
crowd una nube

x
Introduction

Abbreviations
] see véase
adj. adjective adjectivo
adv. adverb adverbio
alg. alguien (someone)
Am.E. American English inglés norteamericano
Br.E. British English inglés británico
Esp. Spain España
euph. euphemism eufemismo
fam. familiar/colloquial familiar/coloquial
fig. figurative [en sentido] figurado
hum. humorous humoristico
iron. ironical irónico
o.s. oneself
pej. pejorative pejorativo
pop. popular lenguaje popular
prov. proverb proverbio
sl. slang argot/jerga
s.o. someone (alguien)
s.th. something (algo)
vulg. vulgar vulgar

xi
This page intentionally left blank.
Spanish-English
Idiomatic Dictionary
Over 4,000 Spanish idiomatic phrases and expressions (indicated by i) are
presented under Spanish headwords that appear in alphabetical order. Many
expressions are followed by example sentences (marked  ). Also included
are numerous cross-references (preceded by ]) that indicate in bold the
appropriate headword under which that expression can be found. For a
more complete explanation of conventions and abbreviations used in this
dictionary, consult the Introduction.

1
Copyright © 2004 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. Click here for terms of use.
abarcar to include
A la abuela grandmother
i Quien mucho abarca, poco aprieta. (prov.) i ¡... mi abuela! (fam.) . . . my foot! (fam.)
You can bite off more than you can chew.  ¡Cansado, mi abuela! Tired, my foot! 
(prov.) Don’t bite off more than you can ¡Tarea difícil, mi abuela! Difficult task, my
chew. (prov.) foot!
i ¡Cuénteselo a su o cuéntaselo a tu abuela!
la abeja bee (fam.) Tell that to the marines! (fam.,
i estar como abeja en flor (fig.) to feel really Am.E.) Pull the other one! (fam., Br.E.)
great, to feel on top of the world (fam.), to i no necesitar abuela (pop., hum., Esp.) to
feel completely at home (fam.), to be in one’s blow one’s own horn (Am.E.) or trumpet
element  Los niños salieron corriendo a re- (fig., fam.), to be full of o.s. (fig.)  No nece-
tozar en la piscina. Allí están como abeja en sita abuela. He doesn’t need anyone else to
flor. The children dashed off for a romp in the blow his trumpet for him. He’s always blow-
swimming pool. There they are in their ele- ing his own horn. He is modest! (iron.)
ment[s]. i ... éramos pocos y parió la abuela (fam.,
hum.) . . . and that was all we needed! . . .
el/la ablandabrevas (fam.) good-for- and that was the last straw! (fam.) . . . as if
nothing, washout (sl.), dead loss (fig., fam.) we didn’t have enough problems! (fam.) 
Perdió todo el dinero en el juego—éramos
abocar a (fig.)
pocos y parió la abuela He gambled all the
i estar abocado al fracaso to be doomed to
money away, and that was all we needed! 
fail/failure (plan/etc.) ... y encima dejó el coche hecho chatarra—
i estar abocado a un desastre to be heading éramos pocos y parió la abuela. . . . and on
for a disaster top of everything he totaled the car. That was
i verse abocado a un peligro to be facing the last straw!
danger, to see danger looming ahead (fig.) ] abuela (estar más muerto que mi ~)
el aborto miscarriage la abundancia abundance, wealth
i ser un aborto del diablo (fig.) to be as ugly i De la abundancia del corazón habla la
as sin/hell (fam.), to be incredibly ugly boca. (prov.) When the heart is full, it’s the
mouth that overflows.
abrasarse to burn [up], to burn to the i nadar en la abundancia (fig.) to be rolling
ground in money (fig., fam.)
i abrasarse de sed (fig.) to have a raging
thirst, to be dying of thirst (fig.), to be Abundio (fam.)
parched (fam.) i ser más tonto que Abundio (fam.) to be as
i abrasarse de calor (fig.) to nearly die in the daft as a brush (fam., Br.E.) ]ser más tonto
que Carracuca
heat (fig.), to be dying of the heat (fig.)
i abrasarse de amores (fig.) to be burning ] aburrido (ser algo ~ a más no poder)
with love (fig.), to be madly in love ] aburrimiento (pudrirse de ~)
i abrasarse en deseo (fig.) to be ablaze/ aburrirse to be bored
aflame with desire (fig.) i aburrirse como una ostra o una almeja o
el abrigo coat, shelter un mono (fam.) to be bored to death or to
i Este niño es de abrigo. (fig., fam., Esp.) tears (fam.)
This child is a real handful. (fig., fam.) acabar to end, to finish, to conclude, to com-
i Ese tío es de abrigo. (fig., fam., Esp.) You’ve plete
got to watch [out for] that guy. i ¡Se acabó! (fam.) That’s the end of that!

2
el agua

i ¡Acabáramos! (fam.) Oh, I see! Now I get (hum.), in the raw (fam.), in the nude, in
it! Now I understand! You could have said the buff (fam., hum., Br.E.), starkers (fam.,
that right away!  Vivieron diez años en Es- hum., Br.E.), stark naked (fam.), naked 
paña. ¡Acabáramos! Por eso hablan tan bien Cuando era joven iba a nadar en traje de
español. They lived in Spain for ten years. Oh, Adán. When he was young, he [often] went
I see!/Now I understand! That’s why they swimming in his birthday suit.
speak Spanish so well. ] adornar (quedarse para ~ altares)
i ¡[Esto] es el acabóse! (fam.) This is the ab- ] adornar la frente a alg.
solute limit! (fam.) This is the last straw! ] adornarse con plumas ajenas
(fam.) This beats the Dutch! (fam.)
i Como presidente/etc. es el acabóse. (fam.) ] aflojar la cuerda/las riendas
As a president/etc. he’s a complete disaster. ] afuera (de boca/dientes [para] ~)
(fig.) ] agarrarse a los faldones de alg. ( ]faldón)
i ser el acabóse de feo (fam.) to be as ugly ] agarrarse a un clavo ardiendo/a un pelo
as sin/hell (fam.), to be incredibly ugly ] agente de la porra
acaparar to hoard ] agigantado (a pasos ~s)
i acaparar la palabra (fig.) not to let anybody
get a word in edgewise (Am.E.) or edgeways el agosto August
(fig.) i hacer su agosto (fig., fam.) to make a killing
i acaparar la atención [de todos] (fig.) to oc- (fam.), to make a packet (fam.), to make a
cupy everybody’s attention, to hog the lime- haul (fam.), to make a bomb (fam.), to hit
light (fig., fam.) the jackpot (fig., fam.), to make one’s pile
i acaparar todas las miradas (fig.) all eyes are (fam.), to feather one’s nest (fam.)  Con ese
on s.o.  Ella acaparó todas las miradas. All contrato hizo su agosto. He made his pile
eyes were on her. with that contract. He made a packet with that
contract.
] acaso (más vale un “por si ~” que un
“¿quién pensara?”) ] agrio (tener el vino ~)
] aceite (apagar el fuego con ~) el agua water
] aceite (balsa de ~) i Agua pasada no mueve molino. (prov.) It’s
] aceite (extenderse/etc. como una mancha no use crying over spilt milk. (prov.)
de ~) i Del agua mansa líbreme Dios que de la
] aceituna (cambiar el agua/caldo a las ~s) brava me libro yo. Still waters run deep.
] aceituno (olivo y ~, todo es uno) (prov.)
i estar más claro que el agua (fig., fam.) to
la acera sidewalk be as clear as vodka (fig.), to be as clear as
i ser de la otra acera (fig., fam.) (a) to be a crystal (fig.), to be crystal-clear (fig.), to be
member of the other party, to be a com- as plain as the nose on your face, to be as
petitor (b) to be gay (fam.), to be homosex- plain as a pikestaff (Br.E.)  Lo que dice
ual está más claro que el agua. What he says is
] acero (tener nervios de ~) as clear as vodka or is crystal-clear.
i echar agua en el mar (fig.) to carry coals
aclarar to clarify
i aclarar las cosas (fig.) to clear the air/atmo- to Newcastle (fig.)  Llevarle hielo a un es-
quimal es como echar agua en el mar. Tak-
sphere (fig.)  Al principio hubo muchas
tensiones entre ellos, pero finalmente acla-
ing ice to an Eskimo is like carrying coals to
raron las cosas. At first there were a lot of ten- Newcastle.
sions between them, but finally they cleared i coger agua en cesto (fig.) to waste one’s
the air. time, to labor in vain
i estar con el agua al cuello (fig.) to be up
] acostarse con las gallinas to one’s neck in debt or in problems (fam.),
Adán Adam to be over a barrel (fig., fam.)
i en traje de Adán o como Adán en el i tener a alg. con el agua al cuello (fig.) to
paraíso (fig., hum.) in one’s birthday suit have s.o. over a barrel (fig., fam.)

3
la aguja

i hacérsele a alg. la boca agua to make s.o.’s ] agua (cambiar el ~ al canario)


mouth water  Se me hacía la boca agua ] agua (de perdidos, al ~)
mirando los dulces. Looking at the sweets ] agua (nadar entre dos ~s)
made my mouth water. ] agua dulce (el marinero de ~)
i venir como agua de mayo (fam., Esp.) to ] agua fría (caer/sentar como un jarro de ~)
come at just the right time, to be a [real] ] agua fría (echar un jarro de ~ a alg.)
godsend (fig.), to be just what s.o. needs/ ] agua fría (el gato escaldado del ~ huye)
needed, to be just what the doctor ordered ] agua turbia (pescar en ~s ~s)
(fig., fam.), s.th. couldn’t have come at a bet-
] aguantar (el papel todo lo aguanta)
ter time  El dinero me vino como agua de
] aguantar carros y carretas
mayo. The money was just what I needed or
] aguantar el chaparrón/[la] mecha/lo suyo
was a real godsend.
i cambiar el agua a las aceitunas (fam., ] aguar la fiesta
hum.) (men): to have a slash (sl., Br.E.), to ] aguijón ( ]coz: dar coces contra el ~)
take or have (Br.E.) a leak (sl., hum.), to have ] águila (tener ojos de ~)
a pee/piddle (fam., Br.E.), to spend a penny
(euph., fam., Br.E.) la aguja needle
i bailar el agua a alg. (fig.) to dance atten- i buscar una aguja en un pajar (fig.) to look
dance on s.o. (fig.) for a needle in a haystack (fig.)
i llevar el agua a su molino (fig.) to carry i meter aguja para sacar reja (fig.) to set/
grist to one’s own mill (fig.), to turn things throw a sprat to catch a mackerel or a whale
to one’s advantage (fig., Br.E.)
i sacar agua de las piedras o de un palo seco i entender/conocer la aguja de marear (fig.,
(fig.)  Sacarle la información a él es como fam.) to have got the hang of it (fam.), to
sacar agua de las piedras. Trying to get in- know one’s way around
formation from him is like trying to get blood ] aguja (meterse por el ojo de una ~)
out of a stone. (fig.)
i ser agua pasada to be water under the ahogarse to drown
bridge (fam.), to be a thing of the past  El i ahogarse en un vaso de agua (fig.) to
lío con ella es agua pasada. The affair with cause/start a tempest in a teapot (Am.E.) or
her is a thing of the past. a storm in a teacup (Br.E.) (fig.), to get
i ha corrido/pasado mucha agua bajo el worked up about nothing [at all], to get all
puente a lot of water has flowed under the upset over nothing
bridge  Ha corrido mucha agua bajo el ] ahuecar el ala
puente desde entonces. A lot of water has
flowed under the bridge since then.
el aire air
i Nunca digas de esta agua no beberé. Never i ser libre como el aire (fig.) to be [as] free
say never. Never be or don’t be too sure. as [the] air (fam.), to be footloose and fancy-
i sin decir agua va (fam.) without so much free (fam.)  No creo que mi hermano se
as a by-your-leave or as a word of goodby[e] case. Le gusta ser libre como el aire. I don’t
or as an explanation/etc., without [any] think that my brother will get married. He
warning  Se fue sin decir agua va. He left likes being footloose and fancy-free.
without so much as a by-your-leave. i estar en el aire (fig.) to be up in the air (fig.)
i las aguas vuelven a su cauce (fig.) things  Todo está todavía en el aire. It’s still all up
are settling down, things return to normal  in the air.
Una vez que las aguas vuelvan a su cauce i azotar el aire (fig.) to waste one’s time, to la-
te hablaré del asunto. I’ll talk to you about bor in vain, to flog a dead horse (fig., fam.),
the matter once things settle down.  Las to be a waste of time, to be a wasted effort
aguas han vuelto a su cauce después de los  Hablarle de aumentar los sueldos es
disturbios. Things have returned to normal como azotar el aire. Talking to him about in-
after the disturbances. creasing the salaries is like flogging a dead
i estar entre dos aguas (fig.) to sit on the horse or is a complete waste of time.
fence (fig.), to be undecided i darse aires de valiente to [try to] act tough

4
el alfiler

i darse aires de grandeza to play lord of the la albarda packsaddle


manor (Br.E.), to give o.s. grand airs, to act i poner dos albardas a un burro (fig.) to re-
high and mighty (fam.), to act big (fam.), peat o.s. unnecessarily, to use pleonasm
to act the big shot (fam.)
la albondiguilla little meatball
i beber los aires (poético) to run like the
i la albondiguilla (pop.) (dry nasal mucus):
wind (fig.)
bogey (sl., Br.E.), booger (fam., Am.E.)
i beber los aires por algo/alg. to long/yearn
i hacer albondiguillas (pop.) to pick one’s
for s.th., to be crazy about s.th./s.o. (fam.).
nose
to be madly in love with s.o. (fam.)
] aire (sustentarse del ~) ] alcachofa (tener corazón de ~)
] alcohol (quitarse del ~)
el ajo garlic
i echar ajos [y cebollas] (fam.) to swear [hor- el alcornoque cork oak
ribly], to rant and rave (fam.), to eff and i un [pedazo de] alcornoque (fig., fam.) id-
blind (fam., Br.E.), to let fly (fig.), to let rip iot, nincompoop (fam.), blockhead (fam.),
(fam.) dope (fam.), clod (fam.), numskull/dumbo
i andar/estar en el ajo (fam.) (a) to be mixed (fam., Am.E.), twit (fam., Br.E.), dolt
up in it (fig.), to be involved (b) to be in the
know, to be in on the secret, to be in on it la aldaba doorknocker
(fam.) i tener buenas aldabas (fig., fam.) to have
i Quien o el que se pica, ajos come. (fam., [powerful/influential] friends in the right
Esp.) If the cap/shoe fits, wear it. (fig.)
places, to have [a lot of] influence/pull
] ajo (tieso como un ~) i las aldabas (fam.) (breasts): knockers (sl.),
tits (fam.), boobs (fam.), hooters (sl., Am.E.)
el ala wing ] alegre (estar ~ como unas castañuelas)
i ahuecar el ala (fam.) to beat it (sl.), to do a ] alegre (ser ~ de cascos)
bunk (sl., Br.E.), to make off ] alegre (tener el vino ~)
i caérsele a alg. las alas [del corazón] s.o.’s
heart falls/sinks, to lose heart  Se me la alegría joy, cheerfulness
cayeron las alas del corazón. My heart fell. i las alegrías (pop., Esp.) male genitals,
I lost heart. naughty bits (fam., Br.E.)
i cortar las alas a alg. to clip s.o.’s wings  ] alegría (no caber en el pellejo de ~)
José se tomaba muchas libertades. Su jefe ] alegría (no caber en sí de ~)
tuvo que cortarle las alas. José was taking a ] alegría (rebosar de ~)
lot of liberties. His boss had to clip his wings. ] alegría (vestir el rostro de ~)
i arrastrar el ala (fig.) to be down in the el aleluya hallelujah
dumps/mouth (fam.), to be depressed i el aleluya (fam.) (person): beanpole (fig.,
i arrastrar el ala a alg. (fam.) to court/woo fam., hum.)
s.o.  Hace mucho que le arrastra el ala a
ella. He’s been courting her for a long time. el alfiler pin
i dar alas a alg. to encourage or embolden s.o. i estar prendido con alfileres (fig.) to be un-
 Basta darle alas y lo conseguirá. Just en- reliable, to be insufficient, to be shaky (fig.)
courage him and he’ll make it.  ¡Qué  Esta teoría está prendida con alfileres.
apuesta más estúpida! ¡Y tú le diste alas! This theory is shaky. This is a shaky theory.
What a stupid bet! And you even encouraged i estar de veinticinco alfileres (fig.) to be
him to make it. dressed up to the nines (fam.), to be dressed
] ala (esconder/meter la cabeza bajo el ~) to kill (fam.), to be all spruced up, to be all
dolled up (fam.), to be all decked out (fam.),
el alacrán scorpion
to be in one’s glad rags (fam., Br.E.), to be
i ser un alacrán (fig.) to have a vicious/wicked
in one’s Sunday best (fam.)
tongue
i ponerse de veinticinco alfileres (fig.) to get
la alafia verbosity, wordiness dressed up to the nines (fam.), to get all
i pedir alafia (fam.) to eat humble pie (fig.), spruced up, to get all dolled up (fam.), to
to eat crow (fam., Am.E.), to beg for mercy spruce or doll (fam.) o.s. up, to put on one’s

5
el algodón

glad rags (fam., Br.E.), to put on one’s fin- el alma soul


ery i arrancarle a alg. el alma (fig.) to deeply
i no caber ni un alfiler (fig.) (hall/train/cin- hurt/wound s.o. (fig.), to shock s.o. (fig.) 
ema/etc.): to be absolutely packed, to be Lo que dijo nos arrancó el alma. We were
packed out, to be jam-packed (fam.), to be deeply wounded by what he said.
jam-full (fam.), to be crowded out, to be i partírsele a alg. el alma (fig.) to break s.o.’s
chock-a-block (fam.), there’s no room to heart, to be heartbroken  Se le partió el
swing a cat (fam.)  No cabía ni un alfiler alma a ella. It broke her heart.
en el tren. The train was packed out. You i llegarle algo a alg. al alma (fig.) to be deeply
couldn’t have squeezed anyone else into the affected or shaken by s.th., to be shocked by
train. There was no room to swing a cat in the s.th. (fig.), to be deeply touched or moved by
train.  No cabe ni un alfiler en esta caja. s.th. (fig.)  Su muerte nos llegó al alma.
You can’t squeeze/get another thing into this We were deeply affected by her death.  Sus
box. palabras me llegaron al alma. I was deeply
] alforja (sacar los pies de las ~s) moved by his words.
i caérsele a alg. el alma a los pies (fig.) s.o.’s
el algodón cotton heart sinks into his boots, to become [very]
i guardar/tener a alg. entre algodones (fig.) disheartened  Se me cayó el alma a los
to wrap s.o. [up] in cotton wool (fig.), to pies. My heart sank into my boots.
pamper/coddle s.o., to mollycoddle s.o. i no poder con su alma (Esp.) s.o. can’t
(fam., pej.), to spoil s.o. (pej.), to handle/ stand/take it any more or any longer  No
treat s.o. with kid gloves (fig.), to bring s.o. puedo con mi alma. I can’t stand it any
up as mommy’s (Am.E.)/mummy’s (Br.E.) longer.
boy or darling (fam.) i tener el alma en un hilo (fig.) (a) to be on
i criar a alg. entre algodones (fig.) to wrap tenterhooks (fig.), to be/sit on pins and nee-
s.o. [up] in cotton wool (fig.), to bring s.o. dles (fig., Am.E.) (b) to be scared stiff
up as mommy’s (Am.E.)/mummy’s (Br.E.) (fam.), to be scared to death (fam.), to have
boy or darling, to pamper/coddle s.o. [in his one’s heart in one’s mouth (fam.), to be wor-
childhood], to mollycoddle s.o. [in his child- ried to death (fam.)  Mientras esperá-
hood] (fam., pej.)  Juan fue criado entre bamos las noticias teníamos el alma en un
algodones. Juan was brought up as mummy’s hilo. We were sitting on pins and needles while
boy. Juan had a pampered childhood. [we were] waiting for the news.  En aquel
el alguacil bailiff momento tuvo el alma en un hilo. He was
i comer más que un alguacil (pop.) to eat scared to death at that moment.
like a horse (fig., fam.), to feed/stuff one’s i írsele a alg. el alma tras algo (fig.) to
face (fam.), to stuff o.s. (fam.), to make a long/yearn for s.th., to fall for s.th.
[real] pig of o.s. (fam.) i vender el alma al diablo (fig.) to sell one’s
soul [to the devil] (fig.)  Hubiera vendido
la alhaja jewel, gem su alma al diablo para obtener ese abrigo
i ¡Menuda/buena alhaja! (fam., iron.) He’s/
de pieles. She would have sold her soul to the
she’s a real gem! (iron.) He’s/she’s a fine one!
devil for that fur coat. She would have done
(iron.)
anything to get that fur coat.
la alharaca fuss i mojarse hasta el alma (fam.) to get soaked
i hacer [muchas] alharacas to make a [lot of] to the skin, to get wet through, to get soak-
fuss [about/over s.th.], to make a [great] ing/dripping wet, to get drenched
song and dance [about s.th.] (fig., fam.)  i ir como alma que se lleva el diablo (fam.)
¡No hagas tantas alharacas! Don’t make such to run like mad/hell (fam.), to run like a bat
a fuss!  Los padres hicieron muchas al- out of hell (fam.), to run hell for leather
haracas cuando su chiquillo empezó a ca- (fam.), to go like the clappers (fam., Br.E.) 
minar. The parents made a great song and Fueron como alma que se lleva el diablo.
dance when their child started walking. They ran like mad.
i sin alharacas ni bambollas (fam.) without ] alma ( ]negro: tener el ~ negra)
any fuss, without much ado, quietly ] alma (estar con el ~ en un puño)

6
el amor

] alma (pedazo del ~)  ¡Qué alucine! It’s brill! It’s far out!  Las
] alma de cántaro vacaciones en España fueron de alucine.
The vacation in Spain was super or absolutely
la almeja shellfish, clam. (Am.E.)
wonderful.  La vista es de alucine. The
i la almeja (vulg., Esp.) (vagina) ]el conejo
view is splendid/glorious.  Este vino es de
] almeja (aburrirse como una ~)
alucine. This is a heavenly wine.
la almendra almond ] alzar cabeza
i almendras (fam.) bullets  Cosieron al ] alzar cabeza (no ~)
traidor a almendras. They riddled the trai- ] alzar el codo/vuelo
tor with bullets.
la amapola poppy
la almohada pillow i ponerse como una o más rojo que una
i consultar algo con la almohada (fig.) to amapola to turn as red as a poppy (fam.),
sleep on s.th. (fig.)  No puedo tomar una to turn as red as a beet (fam., Am.E.), to
decisión así, de buenas a primeras. Primero blush like a or go as red as a beetroot (fam.,
tengo que consultarlo con la almohada. I Br.E.), to go bright red  Se puso más rojo
can’t make a decision just like that. First, I que una amapola. He went bright red.
have to sleep on it.
i dar vueltas a la almohada (fig.) s.o. can’t ] amargura (apurar el cáliz de [la] ~ hasta
las heces)
sleep, s.o. can’t fall asleep, to toss and turn
(in bed) ] amargura (llevar/traer a alg. por la calle de
i La mejor almohada es una conciencia tran- la ~)
quila. (prov.) With a clear conscience you ] amarillo (el periódico ~)
sleep well. ] amarillo (la prensa amarilla)
la alpargata canvas sandal el amén amen
i no tener ni para unas alpargatas (fig.) not i en un decir amén (fig.) in next to no time,
to have a penny or a red cent to one’s name, in a flash, in a trice, in a jiffy (fam.), in a tick
not to have two [brass] farthings to rub to- (fam., Br.E.), before you can say Jack Robin-
gether (fam., Br.E.), to be as poor as a church son (fam.)  Estoy allí en un decir amén. I’ll
mouse (fig.) be there before you can say Jack Robinson. 
i ir/venir a golpe de alpargata to go/come on Todo pasó en un decir amén. It was all over
Shank’s pony (Br.E.) or on Shank’s mare in a flash.  Lo hizo en un decir amén. He
(Am.E.) (hum.), to walk, to hoof it (fam.) did it in a jiffy.
] alpargata (vivir/estar donde Cristo perdió i decir amén a todo (fig.) to say yes to every-
la ~) thing, to agree to everything
i llegar a los amenes (fig.) to show up at the
el altar altar end (of an event/etc.) (fam.)
i quedarse para adornar altares (fig.) to
be/become an old maid (fam.), to be left on ] amigo (tener cara de pocos ~s)
the shelf (fig.) ] amo (ser el ~ del cotarro)
i tener a alg. en los altares (fig.) to have the
el amor love
greatest respect for s.o.
i hacer algo por amor de/a alg. to do s.th. for
i llevar a una al altar (fig.) to lead a girl or a
s.o.’s sake or for s.o.  Lo hizo por amor a
woman to the altar  Finalmente la llevó al
ella. He did it for her.
altar. Finally he led her to the altar.
i hacer el amor a/con alg. (fam.) to make
alucine (fam.) love to/with s.o., to sleep with s.o. (euph.)
i ser un/de alucine to be great/super (fam.), i ¿Qué tal andas/etc. de amores? (fam.)
to be far out (sl.), to be fantastic (fam.), to How’s your/etc. love life?
be terrific (fam.), to be brilliant/brill (fam., i estar al amor de la lumbre (fig.) to be/sit by
Br.E.), to be wonderful, to be amazing the fireside/fireplace
(fam.), to be incredible (fam.), to be glori- ] amor (abrasarse de ~es)
ous, to be divine (fig., fam.), to be heavenly ] amor (de malas en el juego, de buenas
(fam.)  Es un alucine. It’s great/fantastic. en ~es)

7
la andanada

] amor (desgraciado en el juego, afortunado (fig., Am.E.)  Simplemente no vee que


en ~es) este plan dará [buen] resultado. Debe de
] amor (¡Salud, ~ y pesetas!) llevar o parece llevar las anteojeras pues-
tas. He just doesn’t see that this plan will prove
la andanada broadside
i soltar la/una andanada a alg. (fig., fam.) to
a success. He must have blinders on.
give s.o. a [good] telling-off (fam.) ]zurrar i ver las cosas con anteojeras (fig., fam.) to
la badana a alg. (b)
be narrow-minded, to suffer from tunnel vi-
i soltar una andanada de insultos a alg. (fig., sion (fig.)
fam.) to unleash a volley/stream of abuse at la antigualla (pej.) old thing, [piece of] old
s.o. (fig.) junk (pej.)  Quiero deshacerme de esas
] andar por las nubes antiguallas. I want to get rid of that old junk.
 ¿A esa antigualla le llamas coche? (fig.)
la andorga (fam.) paunch
Do you call that old heap of metal (fam.) or
i llenarse la andorga to stuff o.s. (fam.), to
that old banger (fam.) or that old crock (fam.,
feed/stuff one’s face (fam.), to make a [real]
Br.E.) or that old relic (fam.) or that old wreck
pig of o.s. (fam.), to eat like a horse (fig.,
(fig., fam.) a car?  una antigualla (libro)
fam.)
(fig.) out-of-date [and worthless] book, old
el anillo ring tome  una antigualla (costumbre o cuen-
i [no] caérsele a alg. los anillos (fig., fam.) to/chiste/etc.) (fig.) (custom/story/joke/etc.):
s.th. isn’t going to or won’t kill s.o., [not] to old chestnuts (fam.), old hat (fam.), it’s out
be beneath s.o., [not] to be beneath s.o.’s dig- of the Ark (fig.), it went out with the Ark (fig.)
nity.  No se te caerán los anillos por fre-  una antigualla (persona) (fig.) (person):
gar los platos. Washing the dishes isn’t going has-been (fam., pej.), back number (fam.,
to kill you or won’t kill you.  No creo que pej.), old crock (fam., Br.E.), old relic (fam.),
se me caigan los anillos por disculparme walking antique (fig., hum.)
ante ella. I don’t feel it’s in any way beneath
my dignity to apologize to her.  No se me el año year
cayeron los anillos por eso. It didn’t kill me. i ¡Tal día hará un año! (fig., fam.) A fat lot I
 ¿Se lo pido a ella? ¡No lo dices en serio! care! (fam., iron.) I don’t care/give a damn!
Se le caerán los anillos. Shall I ask her to do (fam.)
it? You must be joking! That sort of thing is be- i quitarse/restarse años (fig.) to lie about
neath her [dignity]. one’s age, to be older than one says/admits 
i venir/sentar [a alg.] como anillo al dedo Las mujeres siempre se quitan años. Women
(fam.) (a) to come at just the right time, to always lie about their ages. Women are always
be a [real] godsend (fig.), to be just what the older than they admit.
doctor ordered (fig., fam.), to be just what i Dentro de cien años todos calvos. (prov.)
s.o. needs/needed, s.th. couldn’t have come Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we
at a better time (b) to fit/suit [s.o.] to a T, die. (fig.) It will all be the same in a hun-
to fit [s.o.] like a glove  El dinero me vino dred years.
como anillo al dedo. The money was just ] año (llevar a alg. un/etc. ~)
what I needed. The money was a real godsend. ] año (no hay bien ni mal que cien ~s dure)
 Este vestido te sienta como anillo al dedo. ] año (una tostada de ~s)
This dress fits you like a glove or fits you per- ] año de la nana/pera/polca (del ~/en el ~)
fectly.  Esa fecha nos viene como anillo al ] año de Maricastaña
dedo. That date suits us to a T. That date’s
el apagabroncas (pop.) bouncer (fam.)
perfect for us.
] anís (no ser grano de ~) la apaña (pop.) lover

las anteojeras blinkers (Br.E.)/blinders el apaño (pop.) (a) fiddle (fam., Br.E.), put-
(Am.E.) up job (fam.), piece of juggling (with fig-
i llevar las anteojeras puestas (fig., fam.) to ures/etc.) (fig.) (b) [love] affair (c) lover
be blinkered (fig., Br.E.), to have blinders on ] aparecer por [el] escotillón

8
arriba

apiparse (fam.) (a) to stuff o.s. (fam.), to ] arma (ser un ~ de dos filos)
feed/stuff one’s face (fam.), to guzzle (b) to ] armar camorra/[un] cisco/[un] jaleo
get tanked up (sl.), to guzzle ] armar la de Dios es Cristo/la de San Quin-
] apostar[se] la cabeza/el cuello a que ... tín
] apretar la cuerda ] armar la gorda ( ]gordo)
] apretar las calzaderas ] arrancar algo de raíz
] apretar las clavijas/los tornillos/las tuer- ] arrancarle a alg. el alma
cas a alg. ] arrancarle a alg. lágrimas
] apuro (sacar a alg. de un ~) ] arrastrar algo/a alg. por el fango/por los
suelos
la araña spider
] arrastrar el ala
i matar la araña (fig.) to waste one’s time
] arrastrar el ala a alg.
arder to burn ] arrastrar los pies
i estar alg. que arde (fig.) to be fuming/ el arrastre dragging
seething (fig., fam.)  Tu amigo está que i estar alg./algo para el arrastre (fam.) (a)
arde. Your friend’s fuming. (s.o.): to have had one’s day, to be over the
i arder de entusiasmo [con/por algo] (fig.) hill (fam.), to be [a bit] long in the tooth (b)
to be as keen as mustard [on s.th.] (fam.) (s.th.): to have had it (fam.), to be ready for
el ardite (histórico) coin of little value the breaker’s yard or scrapyard or scrapheap
i no valer un ardite (fig.) not to be worth a  Mi coche está para el arrastre. My car has
bean (fam.), not to be worth a [brass] far- had it. My car’s ready for the scrapheap.
thing (Br.E.) or a red cent (Am.E.) (fig.), not arrear to hurry along
to be worth a [tinker’s] damn/cuss (fam.), i ¡Arrea! Get moving! Make it snappy! (fam.)
not to be worth anything  Este coche no Sharp’s the word! (fam.)
vale un ardite. This car isn’t worth anything. i ¡El que venga detrás, que arree! (fig.) Devil
i no importar a alg. un ardite (fig.) s.o. take the hindmost. (prov.) Every man for
couldn’t care less (fam., Br.E.), not to give/ himself [and the devil take the hindmost].
care two hoots (fam.), not to give/care a [tin- arreglar to arrange
ker’s] damn/cuss (fam.), not to give/care a i arreglárselas (fam.) to manage, to get along/
monkey’s (sl., Br.E.), not to give/care a rap by, not to be at a loss as to what to do, to find
(fig., fam.)  No me importa un ardite lo a way (fig.)  ¿Cómo te las arreglas? How
que digan/piensen. I don’t give a damn what do you manage?  Se las arregla siempre.
they say/think.  No me importa un ardite He’s never at a loss as to what to do.  Sabe
lo que hagas. I couldn’t care less what you do. arreglárselas. He can take care of himself. He
 No le importan un ardite tus problemas. can look after himself.  ¡Allá se las arregle
He doesn’t care a rap for your problems. [él]! He has to sort that out himself! (fig.)
] arena (aportar/poner su grano/granito That’s his problem! That’s his funeral! (sl.)
de ~) That’s his look-out! (fam.) On his [own] head
] arena (sembrar en la ~) be it!
i arreglárselas para + infinitivo to manage/
el arma weapon contrive to + infinitive  No sé cómo se las
i el arma (vulg.) (penis) ]el calvo arregló para convencer a su jefe. I don’t
i pasar a una por las armas (fig., pop.) to know how she managed to convince her boss.
screw a woman (vulg.) ]calzar[se] a alg.
arriba above, up
i ser de armas tomar (fam.) to be a tough
i codearse con los de arriba (fam.) to belong
customer (fam.), you’ve got to watch [out
to the upper crust (fam., hum.), to belong
for] s.o.  Es de armas tomar. He’s a tough
to the upper class[es], to move in high cir-
customer.  Esos tíos son de armas tomar.
cles (fig.), to rub shoulders (fig.) or hobnob
You’ve got to watch out for those guys.
with upper-crust people (fam., hum.)
i una mujer de armas tomar (fam.) battle-
ax[e] (fam.), shrew, butch (sl.), virago, ter- ] arrojar hasta los huesos
magant, Xanthippe (fig.) ] arroyo (huir del toro y caer en el ~)

9
el arroz

el arroz rice el asidero handle, grip


i haber arroz y gallo muerto (fig., fam.) to i tener buenos asideros (fam.) to have [pow-
be a real feast/a slap-up (sl.) meal, to be a erful/influential] friends in the right places,
slap-up do (sl., Br.E.)  Hubo arroz y gallo to have [a lot of] influence/pull (fig.)
muerto. It was a real feast. It was a slap-up
el asiento seat
do.
i calentar el asiento o pegársele a alg. el
arrugarse to get wrinkled asiento (fig., fam.) to stay [too] long (on a
i arrugarse (fig., fam.) to get scared, to get the visit), to overstay one’s welcome  Anoche
wind up (sl.) se le pegó el asiento. He stayed too long last
el arte art, skill night.
i no tener arte ni parte en algo (fam.) to ] asiento (ser [un] culo de mal ~)
have nothing whatsoever to do with a mat- el asno donkey
ter  No tuvimos arte ni parte en el asunto. i asno muerto, la cebada al rabo (fig.) to lock
We had nothing whatsoever to do with it. the barn door after the horse is stolen (fig.,
] arte de birlibirloque Am.E.), to lock/shut the stable door after the
el asa handle, grip horse has bolted/gone (fig., Br.E.)
i el asa (fig., fam.) (nose): beak/hooter (fam., el asperges sprinkling with holy water
hum.), conk (sl., Br.E.), snout (fam.), i quedarse asperges (fam.) to come away or
schnozzle (fam., Am.E.) be left empty-handed, to end up with noth-
i tener a alg. por el asa (fig., fam.) to have ing
s.o. in one’s grip (fig.)
el asta horn, antler
] asador (poner toda la carne en el ~)
i dejar a alg. en las astas del toro (fig.) to
asar to roast leave s.o. in the lurch (fig.), to leave s.o. high
i asar a alg. a preguntas (fig., fam.) to pester and dry (fig.), to leave s.o. in a jam/fix
or plague (fam.) s.o. with questions (fam.), to leave s.o. in a tight spot (fam.)
i asarse vivo (fam.) to be roasting (fig.), be i poner a alg. en las astas del toro (fig.) to
dying of the heat (fig.) get s.o. into a [hell of a (sl.) or into a real or
el ascua ember, live coal into a right] mess (fig.), to get s.o. into a
i arrimar el ascua a su sardina (fig., fam.) to [real] jam/fix (fam.), to get s.o. into a [very]
work things to one’s own advantage, to put tight spot (fam.)
one’s own interests first, to look after Num- ] astilla (de tal costilla/palo, tal ~)
ber One (fam.)  Siempre arrima el ascua el asunto business, matter, affair
a su sardina. He always puts his own inter-
i el asunto (pop.) (penis) ]el calvo
ests first.
i estar en/sobre ascuas (fig., fam.) to be on el atajo shortcut
tenterhooks (fig.), to be/sit on pins and nee- i echar/tirar por el atajo (fig.) to take the eas-
dles (fig., Am.E.), to be like a cat on hot iest way out, to seek a quick solution
bricks or on a hot tin roof (fig.), to cool/kick i No hay atajo sin trabajo. (prov.) No pains,
one’s heels (fam.)  Mientras esperábamos no gains. (prov.)
las noticias estábamos sobre ascuas. We
atar to tie [up]
were sitting on pins and needles while [we
i atar corto a alg. (fig.) to keep s.o. on a tight
were] waiting for the news.
rein (fig.), to keep s.o. on a short leash (fig.,
i tener a alg. en/sobre ascuas (fig.) to keep
Am.E.)
s.o. on tenterhooks (fig.), to have s.o. on the
] atar (estar/ser loco de ~)
hook (fam.), to keep s.o. in suspense 
¡Dímelo ahora! ¡No me tengas en ascuas ] atención (acaparar la ~ [de todos])
más tiempo! Tell me now. Don’t keep me on ] atención (prestar ~ a alg./algo)
tenterhooks any longer! ] atender a alg. a cuerpo de rey

10
la azotea

el atolladero puddle, mire one’s cake and eat it [too] (fig.), to want to
i meterse en un atolladero (fig.) to get o.s. kill two birds with one stone (fig.)
into a [fine/nice] mess (fig.), to get o.s. into ] aurora (acabar como el rosario de la ~)
a fix/jam (fam.)
i sacar a alg. del atolladero (fig.) to get s.o. la ausencia absence
out of a jam/fix (fam.), to get s.o. off the i brillar alg./algo por su ausencia (fam.) (a)
hook (fam.) (person): to be conspicuous by one’s absence
i haber salido del atolladero (fig.) to be off (b) s.th.: there’s a distinct lack of  Brilla por
the hook (fam.), to be out of the wood su ausencia. He’s conspicuous by his absence.
(Br.E.) or woods (Am.E.)  El orden brilló por su ausencia. There was
a distinct lack of order.
el atranco (fig.) jam (fam.), fix (fam.), tight
spot (fam.), awkward situation ausente absent
i no saber como salir del atranco to be at a i Ausente sin culpa, ni presente sin disculpa.
loss as to what to do [next], to be at one’s (prov.) The absentee is always [in the]
wits’ end, to be at the end of one’s rope or wrong.
one’s tether (Br.E.) (fig.) el avispero wasp’s nest
i No hay barranco sin atranco. (prov.) No i meterse en un avispero (fig.) to stir up a
pains, no gains. (prov.) hornet’s nest (fig.), to get o.s. into trouble
atravesado crossed, oblique ] ayer ( ]nacer: no nació alg. ~)
i tener algo o a alg. atravesado (fig., fam.) ] ayer (ser periódico de ~)
s.o. can’t stand s.th./s.o. (fam.), s.o. can’t ] ayuda (costar Dios y ~ a alg.)
stomach s.th./s.o. (fam.), s.th./s.o. sticks in ] ayuda (necesitar Dios y [su] ~)
s.o.’s gullet (fig.)  Tengo atravesado tu
] azotar el aire
comportamiento. I can’t stomach your be-
havior.  Lo tengo atravesado. I can’t stand el azote whip
him. He sticks in my gullet. i azotes y galeras (fam.) monotonous fare,
same old muck or same old rotten food (fig.,
el atún tuna
fam., pej.)
i un [pedazo de] atún (fig.) idiot ]un
[pedazo de] alcornoque la azotea flat roof, terrace roof
i querer ir por atún y a ver al duque (fam.) i estar mal de la azotea (fam.) to be crazy
to want to have it both ways, to want to have ]no estar bueno de la cabeza

11
la baba slobber, dribble
B bailar to dance
i caérsele a alg. la baba con/por alg./algo i ¡Que me/nos quiten lo bailado! (fam.) No-
(fig., fam.) to be drooling over s.o./s.th. body can take away the good times I’ve/
(fig.), to be/go soft on s.o. (fam.), to dote on we’ve had.
a child, to be crazy/wild about s.o./s.th. ] bailar ( ]feo: tocarle a alg. ~ con la más
(fam.), to be besotted or infatuated with fea)
s.o./s.th., to be thrilled to bits or delighted ] bailar ( ]pelar: bailan que se las pelan)
with s.th. (plan/idea/etc.)  Se les cae la ] bailar al compás de la música de alg.
baba con sus nietas. They dote on their ] bailar al son que le tocan a alg.
granddaughters.  Se le cae la baba por ] bailar el agua a alg.
ella. He’s soft on her. He’s crazy about her. ] bailar en la cuerda floja
 Se nos cae la baba por ese coche. ] balazo (coser/freír a alg. a ~s)
We’re drooling over that car. We’re wild about
that car.  Se me cae la baba por esta la balsa pool, pond
idea. I’m thrilled to bits or infatuated with this i balsa de aceite (fig.)  El mar/lago está
idea. como una balsa de aceite. The sea/lake is as
i cambiar babas (pop.) to have a good old smooth as a millpond/as smooth as glass. 
snog (sl., Br.E.), to kiss Este pueblo es una balsa de aceite. This vil-
] baba (llorar a moco y ~) lage is [as] quiet as the grave or is [as] quiet
as a Sunday-school party. This is a very sleepy
Babia village. (fig.)  Todo iba como una balsa de
i estar en Babia to have one’s head in the aceite. Everything was going swimmingly
clouds, to be away with the fairies (fam.), to (fig.) or very smoothly.  La asamblea fue
be remote from it all (fig.), to be miles away una balsa de aceite. The meeting went off
(fig.), to have one’s mind on other things, to very smoothly.
be out to lunch (fam., Am.E.), to be day-
dreaming, to be woolgathering (fam.) ] bambolla (sin alharacas ni ~s)

el bacalao codfish bañar to bathe


i el bacalao (pop., Esp.) (vagina) ]el conejo i ¡Anda a bañarte! (pop.) Go jump in a lake!
i cortar el bacalao (fig., fam., Esp.) to call the (fam.) Go take a running jump! (fam.) Go
tune/shots ]llevar la batuta fly a kite! (fam., Am.E.) Go fry an egg! (fam.)
Go climb a tree! (fam.) Take a hike! (fam.,
] bachiller Trapazas ( ]el trapaza)
Am.E.) Go to hell! (fam.) Get lost! (fam.)
la badana tanned sheepskin Piss off ! (sl., Br.E.)
i zurrar la badana a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to tan
el baquetazo lash (with a switch)
s.o.’s hide (fig., fam.), to beat s.o. up (fam.),
i echar a alg. a baquetazo limpio (fig., fam.)
to give s.o. a [good] tanning or hiding or
to throw s.o. out, to kick s.o. out (sl.), to boot
thrashing or clobbering (fam.), to let s.o.
s.o. out (fam.)
have it (fam.) (b) to give s.o. a [good] dress-
i tratar a alg. a baquetazo limpio (fig., fam.)
ing-down or wigging (Br.E.) or telling-off or
to be tough with s.o. (fam.), to give s.o. a
ticking-off (Br.E.) or tongue-lashing or
hard time (fam.), to treat s.o. harshly
roasting (fam.), to give s.o. a piece of one’s
mind, to read the riot act to s.o. (fig., hum.), el bar (americano) bar
to haul s.o. over the coals (fig.), to give s.o. i el bar de ligue o de alterne (fam.) singles
a rocket (fig., fam., Br.E.), to come down on bar, a joint (sl.) where people go to pick s.o.
s.o. like a ton of bricks (fam.) up (fam.)

12
el barrio

la baraja deck, pack of cards (Br.E.) i sin pararse en barras (fig.) inconsiderately,
i jugar con/a dos barajas (fig.) to play a dou- unscrupulously, regardless  El gobierno ac-
ble game tuó sin pararse en barras. The government
i O jugamos todos o se rompe la baraja. Ei- took drastic action or measures.
ther we all do it/we all go/etc. or nobody
el barranco ravine
does.
i No hay barranco sin atranco. (prov.) No
la barba beard, chin pains, no gains. (prov.)
i barba a barba (fam.) face to face  Ayer nos
encontramos barba a barba por primera
barrer to sweep
vez. We met face to face for the first time yes-
i barrer hacia/para dentro (fig., fam.) to look
terday. after Number One (fam.), to put o.s. first
i hacer la barba a alg. (fig.) (a) to get on s.o.’s i barrer en su propia casa (fig.) to put one’s
nerves (fam.), to get on s.o.’s wick (fam., own house in order [first] (fig.)  Siempre
Br.E.) (b) to flatter s.o., to butter s.o. up se queja de otra gente. Dile que barra en su
(fam.), to suck up to s.o. (fam.), to fawn on propia casa. He’s always complaining about
s.o. (fig.), to soft-soap s.o. (sl.) other people. Tell him to put his own house in
i con toda la barba (fam.)  ser un hombre order first.
con toda la barba to be a real man  ser un i barrer con algo (fig.) to make a clean sweep
líder con toda la barba to be a real/true of s.th. (fig.)
leader  mentir con toda la barba to tell a i barrer con todo (fig.) to wipe the slate clean
barefaced lie, to lie through one’s teeth (fam.) (fig.)
 un coche/etc. con toda la barba a car/etc. la barrera barrier
with all the trimmings i El pensamiento no tiene/conoce barreras.
i en mis/etc. propias o mismísimas barbas (prov.) You can think what you like.
(fam.) from right under my/etc. nose, from i ver los toros desde la barrera (fig.) to watch
under my/etc. very nose, from right in front from the sidelines, to sit on the fence, not [to
of me/etc.  Le robaron el coche en sus mis- want] to have anything to do with it or with
mísimas barbas. They stole his car from un- the matter
der his very nose.  Nos robaron el coche en
nuestras propias barbas. They stole our car el barrido sweeping
from right in front of us or from right under i servir lo mismo para un barrido que para
our noses. un fregado (fam.) to be a/the [general]
i subirse a las barbas de alg. (fam.) to take dogsbody (sl.), to be a jack-of-all trades, to
liberties with s.o., to be disrespectful to s.o., be a/the handyman, s.o. who can turn his
to get cheeky (Br.E.) or fresh (Am.E.) with hand to anything  Aquí sirve lo mismo
s.o. (fam.), to get too familiar with s.o. para un barrido que para un fregado. He’s
(fam.) the general dogsbody [around] here.  Sirve
i decir algo en las barbas de alg. (fam.) to lo mismo para un barrido que para un fre-
say s.th. to s.o.’s face gado. He can turn his hand to anything.
i Cuando las barbas de tu vecino veas arder, la barriga belly
pon las tuyas a remojar. You should learn i llenarse la barriga (fam.) to stuff o.s. (fam.),
from other people’s mistakes. to make a [real] pig of o.s. (fam.)
] barbaridad (gastar una ~ en trapos) i Barriga llena, corazón contento. (prov.) A
el barbas (fam.) bloke/guy with the beard full stomach makes for a happy heart. (prov.)
(fam.), [old] hairy face (fam.)  ¿Quién te barrigón (fam.) potbellied
lo dijo? Ese barbas allí. Who told you that? i Al que nace barrigón es al ñudo que lo fa-
That guy with the beard over there. jen. (prov., Cono Sur). A leopard never
] barquero (decirle a alg. las verdades del ~) changes or cannot change its spots. (prov.)
la barra bar (legal system) el barrio area or part of a town, district
i no pararse en barras (fig.) to stop at noth- i irse al otro barrio (fam., hum.) to kick the
ing bucket (fam.) ]cascar[la]

13
el barro

i mandar a alg. al otro barrio (fam.) to send las Batuecas backward region of Extrema-
s.o. to glory (fam.), to do s.o. in (fam.) dura
i estar en las Batuecas (fig., fam.) to have
el barro clay, mud
one’s head in the clouds, to be away with the
i el barro (fam.) (money): dough (sl., Am.E.),
fairies (fam.), to be remote from it all (fig.),
bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/lolly (sl.,
to be miles away (fig.), to have one’s mind on
Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.)
other things, to be daydreaming
i tener barro a mano (fam.) to have money
to burn (fig.) la batuta baton
i llevar la batuta (fig.) to call the tune/shots
la bartola (fam.) (fig.), to play first fiddle (fig.), to wear the
i echarse/tenderse/tumbarse a la bartola to pants (Am.E.)/the trousers (Br.E.) (fig.), to
take it easy, to have an easy/a lazy time of it, carry the ball (fig., Am.E.), to rule the roost
to do nothing (fig.), to be the boss (fig.), to run the show
los bártulos (fam.) belongings, things, stuff (sl.), to be firmly in command  Su esposa
(fam.), gear (fam.), goods and chattels (fam., lleva la batuta. His wife calls the tune/plays
Br.E.) first fiddle.
i liar los bártulos (a) to pack one’s bags/things el baúl trunk (travel), chest
(b) to die, to peg out (fam.), to kick the i cargar el baúl a alg. (pop.) to pass the buck
bucket (fam.) to s.o. (fig., fam.), to pin the blame on s.o.,
el basilisco (mitología) basilisk (mythology) to leave s.o. holding the baby (Br.E.) or the
i estar hecho un basilisco (fig., fam.) to be bag (Am.E.) (fam.)
hopping mad (fam.), to be terribly angry, to i el baúl (fig., fam.) belly, paunch
be [really] fuming (fig., fam.), to be livid i henchir el baúl (pop.) to stuff o.s. (fam.), to
(fam., Br.E.), to be seething [with rage] (fig., feed/stuff one’s face (fam.), to make a [real]
fam.), to be wild with rage (fam.) pig of o.s. (fam.), to eat like a horse (fig.,
i ponerse como un basilisco (fig., fam.) to get fam.)
terribly angry, to blow/flare up (fig.), to el bautismo baptism
blow/pop one’s cork (sl.), to go ape (fam., i romper el bautismo a alg. (fam.) to smash
Am.E.) ]salirse de sus casillas  Cuando s.o.’s head/face in (fam.), to knock s.o.’s
se entere se pondrá como un basilisco. block off (fam.), to brain s.o. (fam.)
When he finds out he’ll get terribly angry.
la baza (playing cards): trick
el bastón baton, stick i la baza maestra (fig.) masterstroke
i empuñar el bastón (fig.) to take command, i meter baza [en] (fig., fam.) to interfere (in
to take charge the conversation/etc.), to butt in [on] (fam.),
i meter el bastón (fig.) to intervene, to inter- to shove/put/stick one’s oar in (fam.), to put
cede in one’s [own] two bits (fam.), to put in one’s
i meter un bastón en la rueda o bastones en [two] pennyworth (fam., Br.E.), to put in
las ruedas [de alg.] (fig.) to put a spoke in one’s two cents[’ worth] (fam., Am.E.) 
s.o.’s wheel (fig., fam., Br.E.), to throw a Siempre quiere meter baza. He always wants
spanner (Br.E.) or a monkey wrench (Am.E.) to put in his own two bits or his two cents’
in[to] the works (fam.)  Me metió un worth.
bastón en la rueda. He put a spoke in my i no dejar meter baza a nadie (fig., fam.) not
wheel.  Casi echó nuestros planes por el to let anybody get a word in edgewise
suelo cuando de repente se rajó. Él sí que (Am.E.) or edgeways (fig.)
metió bastones en las ruedas. He almost i no dejar meter baza a alg. (fig., fam.) not
ruined our plans when he suddenly backed to let s.o. get a word in edgewise (Am.E.) or
out. He really threw a monkey wrench into the edgeways (fig.)  No nos dejó meter baza.
works. He didn’t let us get a word in edgeways.
] batalla (ganar la ~) la beata lay sister
] batalla (ganarle la ~ a alg.) i la beata (pop.) peseta

14
bestial

i la beata (fam., pej.) sanctimonious woman, el bendito (fig.) good/simple soul (fam.)
churchy type (pej.), pious Annie (iron.), ex- i dormir como un bendito to sleep like a baby
cessively pious woman, goody-goody (fam., (fig.), to sleep like a log (fam.)
pej.) ] benedictino (tener una paciencia de ~)
i De día beata, de noche gata. (pop.) Dur-
ing the day pious Annie, during the night a ] beneficio (sin oficio ni ~)
bit of all right (sl., Br.E.) or hot stuff (fig.) el beo (pop., Esp.) (vagina) ]el conejo
or mistress.
el berenjenal aubergine field (Br.E.), egg-
] beber (a ~ y a tragar, que el mundo se va
plant field (Am.E.)
a acabar)
i meterse en un berenjenal (fig., fam.) to get
] beber (sin comerlo ni ~lo)
] beber a morro/a palo seco/a pote/a todo o.s. into a pickle (fam.), to get o.s. into a
pasto jam/fix (fam.), to get o.s. into a tight spot
] beber como un descosido/una esponja (fam.), to get o.s. into a mess (fig.)  ¡En
] beber hasta tumbar a alg. buen berenjenal nos hemos metido! We’ve
] beber los aires got ourselves into a real pickle! This is a pretty
] beber los aires por algo/alg. kettle of fish! (fam., iron.) We’ve got ourselves
] beber los vientos into a fine mess! (fig.)
] beber los vientos por algo/alg. ] berenjenal (huir del perejil y dar en el ~)
] beber más que siete
] beberle a alg. las palabras la berza cabbage
] beberse las lágrimas i el/la berzas (fam.) washout (sl.), dead loss
(fig., fam.), idiot, imbecile, dummy (fam.),
el becerro bull calf moron (fam.) (all pej.)
i adorar el becerro de oro (fig.) to worship i mezclar berzas con capachos (fig.) to jum-
the golden calf (fig.)  Me parece que le in-
ble things up, to get things in a complete
teresa sólo el dinero. Diste en el clavo.
mess (fig.), s.o.’s place/etc. is in a complete
Siempre ha adorado el becerro de oro. It
mess (fig.) or is a[n absolute] shambles (fig.),
seems to me that he’s only interested in money.
everything’s topsy-turvy (fam.) in s.o.’s
You hit the nail on the head. He’s always wor-
shipped the golden calf. place/etc.  No le digas a ese berzas que
vaya por el documento. Mezclará berzas con
el Belén Bethlehem capachos en el archivador. Don’t tell that id-
i estar en Belén (fig., fam.) to have one’s head iot to get the document. He’ll jumble things up
in the clouds, to be away with the fairies or things will be all jumbled up in the filing
(fam.), to be remote from it all (fig.), to be cabinet.  Mezcló berzas con capachos en
miles away (fig.), to have one’s mind on other el/su cajón. He jumbled things up in the
things, to be daydreaming
drawer. Things were all jumbled up in his
la bellota acorn, bud (carnation) drawer.  Mezclaron berzas con capachos
i si le/etc. menean, da bellotas (fig.) he’s/etc. en su casa. They got things in a complete mess
as thick as they come (fam.) ]ser más tonto in their house. Everything was topsy-turvy in
que Carracuca  Si les menean, dan bello- their house. Their house was a shambles.
tas. They’re as thick as they come.
] besar la cruz/tierra
la bendición blessing, benediction
bestial bestial, brutal
i echar la bendición a algo/alg. (fig.) to say
i bestial (fig., fam.) great (fam.), fantastic
goodby[e] to s.th. (fig.), to give s.th./s.o. up
(fam.), (to be) the business (sl., Br.E.), huge
for lost, not to want to have anything more
to do with s.th./s.o.  Puedes echar la ben- ]cojonudo (a), (b)  Es bestial. It’s fan-
dición a tu cartera. You can say goodbye to tastic. It’s the business.  Tenemos un ham-
your wallet.  Será mejor echar la bendición bre bestial. We’re famished. (fam.) We’re in-
a él. It will be best to have nothing more to credibly hungry.
do with him. ] besugo (tener ojos de ~)

15
la Biblia

la Biblia Bible i de bigote (pop., Esp.)  una cochinada de


i ser la biblia (fig., fam.) to be the tops (fam.), bigote s.th. that’s incredibly disgusting/rot-
to be [really] super/great/magic (fam.) ten  Cometieron una falta de bigote. They
i saber la biblia en verso (fam.) to know made a huge mistake.  hacer un calor de
everything, to know about [absolutely] bigote to be sweltering, to be sizzling/scorch-
everything ing hot  Esta idea está de bigote. This is a
i contar la biblia en verso (fam.) to tell in fantastic/great idea.
minute or in great detail, to tell down to the
la bilis bile
last detail, to give a blow-by-blow account
i exaltársele a alg. la bilis (fig., fam.) to get
 Nos contó la biblia en verso. He told us
very cross (fam.) ]ponerse como un
about it in minute detail.
basilisco  Se le exaltó la bilis. He got very
] biblioteca (la rata/el ratón de ~) cross.
el bicho [wild] animal i descargar la bilis contra/en alg. (fig., fam.)
i No hay/había bicho viviente. (fig., fam.) to vent one’s anger/spleen on s.o. (fig.), to
There isn’t/wasn’t a living soul here/there. take it out on s.o. (fam.)
There isn’t/wasn’t a sod here/there. (sl., i [tener que] tragar bilis (fig.) to suppress/sti-
Br.E.)  No hay bicho viviente en la calle. fle one’s anger, to force o.s. not to get angry,
There isn’t a living soul in/on the street. [to have] to put up with it, [to have] to take
i todo bicho viviente (fig., fam.) everyone, it, [to have] to lump it (fam.)  Me insul-
everybody, each and every one of them; taron y tuve que tragar bilis. They insulted
every Tom, Dick and Harry (fam.); every me and I had to take it.
man jack [of them] (fam.), every living soul, birlibirloque (fam.)
[all] the world and his wife (fam., Br.E.), i [como] por arte de birlibirloque by magic,
every mother’s son [of them], everyone and as if by magic  hacer desaparecer algo
his brother (fam., Am.E.), all the odds and como por arte de birlibirloque to magic s.th.
sods (sl., Br.E.)  Vino todo bicho viviente. away
Everyone came. The world and his wife came.
i ser un mal bicho (fig., fam.) to be a nasty bizantino Byzantine
piece of work (fig., fam.), to be a nasty (fig.) i discusiones bizantinas (fig.) protracted and
character, to be a mean son of a bitch (sl., pointless/unresolvable/idle discussions or ar-
Am.E.), to be a rotter (sl., Br.E.) guments, hair-splitting  Fue una discusión
bizantina. It was a protracted and idle dis-
el bien good cussion.  Siempre se meten en discusiones
i hacer [el] bien sin mirar a quién to do good bizantinas. They always get involved in pro-
to all alike, to cast one’s bread [up]on the wa- tracted and pointless/etc. discussions. They’re
ters always splitting hairs.
i Haz bien y no mires a quién. (prov.) Do
good to all alike. bizco cross-eyed
i quedarse bizco (fig., fam.) to be very im-
i No hay bien ni mal que cien años dure.
pressed, to be amazed, to be dumbfounded,
(prov.) Nothing lasts forever. Nothing goes
to be astounded, to be stunned (fig.), to be
on forever. There’s an end to everything.
flabbergasted, to be lost for words  Cuando
] bien (no hay mal que por ~ no venga)
abrió el regalo se quedó bizco. When he
el bigote mustache (Am.E.), moustache opened the present he was lost for words.
(Br.E.) i dejar bizco a alg. (fig., fam.) to impress s.o.
i menear el bigote (fam.) to scoff (fam., strongly, to amaze s.o., to stun s.o. (fig.), to
Br.E.), to feed/stuff one’s face (fam.) leave s.o. open-mouthed (with wonder or
i tener bigote o tres pares de bigotes (fam.) amazement)
(a) to stick to one’s guns (fig.), to stick to
la blanca (pop.) (cocaine/heroin): snow (sl.);
one’s decision (b) to be [very] difficult or
(cocaine): coke (sl.)
complicated or tricky  Este problema tiene
tres pares de bigotes. This is a very difficult la blanca old Spanish copper coin
problem. i la blanca (fig., Esp.) money

16
la boca

i estar sin blanca o no tener blanca (fam.) to el bledo


be broke (fam.) ]estar sin un cuarto o no i [no] importar a alg. un bledo (fig.) not to
tener [ni] un cuarto give/care two hoots (fam.) ]no importar a
alg. un ardite
blanco white
i no distinguir lo blanco de lo negro (fam.) ] bobo (la caja boba)
not to have the foggiest [idea] (fam.), not to la boca mouth
have the faintest idea (fam.), not to have a i andar algo/alg. de boca en boca (fig.) to
clue (fam.), not to know left from right be going/doing the rounds, to be the subject
(fam.) of gossip, to set [a lot of] tongues wagging
i estar tan lejos como lo blanco de lo negro  El rumor anda de boca en boca. The ru-
(fam.), no parecerse ni en el blanco de los mor is going the rounds.  En aquel mo-
ojos (fam.) (persons; views/etc.): to be to- mento la noticia ya anduvo de boca en
tally different personalities, to be poles apart boca. The news was already common knowl-
(fig.), to be as different as night and day edge at that [point in] time.  Ella anda de
(Am.E.)/as chalk and cheese (Br.E.) (fam.), boca en boca. She’s the subject of gossip. 
not to look in the least bit alike  Aunque Desde ese incidente anda de boca en boca.
son gemelos, están tan lejos como lo blanco Since that incident he’s set a lot of tongues
de lo negro. Although they are twins, they are wagging.
as different as chalk and cheese.  Sus her- i andar algo en boca de todos (fig.) every-
manos no se parecen ni en el blanco de los body is talking about s.th., to be on every-
ojos. Her brothers don’t look in the least bit body’s lips, to be the talk of the town  Su
alike. nombre anda en boca de todos. His/her
i hacer de lo blanco negro (fam.), volver en name is on everybody’s lips.  El escándalo
blanco lo negro (fam.) to make out that anda en boca de todos. Everybody is talk-
white is black, to distort/twist things (truth/ ing about the scandal. The scandal is the talk
facts) (fig.) of the town.
i quedarse en blanco s.o.’s mind goes blank i traer en bocas a alg. (fam.) to gossip about
or is a blank (fig.), to fail to see the point s.o., to run s.o. down (fam.)
i blanco y en botella, leche truism, trivial- i mentir con toda la boca to tell a barefaced
ity, triteness, platitude (fig.) lie
] blanco (la noche blanca) i Pide por esa boca. (fam.) Just ask. All you
] blanco (ponerse más ~ que la pared/que have to do is ask.
una sábana) i írsele la boca a alg. to blurt out s.th., to talk
el blanco target thoughtlessly  Se le fue la boca. He blurted
i dar en el blanco (fig.) to hit the mark (fig.), it out.
to score a bull’s-eye (fig.), to be right on i coserse la boca (fig.) to keep one’s mouth
(fam., Am.E.), to be spot-on (fam., Br.E.), to shut, to keep mum (fam.), to keep quiet, not
strike/hit home (fig.)  Dio en el blanco con to say/breathe a word, s.o.’s lips are sealed
ese regalo. He was spot-on or right on with (fig.), to keep s.th. under one’s hat (fam.) or
that gift/present.  Tu observación dio en el to o.s.
blanco. Your remark struck home. i no descoser la boca (fam.) not to open
i cargar el blanco a alg. (fig.) to pass the buck one’s mouth, not to say/breathe a word
to s.o. (fig., fam.), to pin the blame on s.o., i no decir esta boca es mía (fam.) not to
to leave s.o. holding the baby (Br.E.) or the open one’s mouth, not to say/breathe a word
bag (Am.E.) (fam.)  No dijo esta boca es mía. He didn’t say a
] blanco (tirar más allá del ~) word.
i sin decir esta boca es mía (fam.) without
blandengue weak, soft saying a word  Se fue sin decir esta boca
i ser un blandengue (fam.) to be a weakling es mía. She left without saying a word.
(fig.), to be a softy (fam.), to be a wimp i decir algo con la boca chica to say s.th. just
(fam.) (pej.) to be polite, to say s.th. without really mean-
] blasfemar como un carretero ing it, to say s.th. insincerely

17
el bocado

i decir lo que se le viene a la boca a alg. not ] boca (del plato a la ~ se pierde la sopa)
to mince one’s words (fig.), to speak one’s ] boca (echar candado a la ~)
mind  Digo lo que se me viene a la boca. ] boca (hacérsele a alg. la ~ agua)
¡Ahora sí que la has cagado! I won’t mince ] boca (írsele a alg. la fuerza por la ~)
my words. You’ve really screwed things up ] boca (sacar el hígado por la ~)
now! ] boca (tapar la ~ a alg.)
i hablar con boca de ganso to repeat s.th.
el bocado morsel, bite, mouthful
(other people’s opinions/ideas/etc.) parrot
i un buen bocado (fam.) (woman/girl): [real]
fashion
smasher (Br.E.), [real] looker (fam.), real
i de boca [para] afuera lip service, (to sup-
beauty
port s.th./s.o.) in name only, not to be sin-
i el bocado sin hueso sinecure, cushy job (sl.,
cere [in what one says]  Apoyaron nuestra
Br.E.), soft job
idea de boca para afuera. They were [only]
paying lip service to our idea.  Habló o lo el/la bocazas (fig., fam.) gasbag (fam.),
dijo de boca afuera. He said one thing and windbag (fam.), blabbermouth (fam.), big-
meant another. He didn’t mean what he said. mouth (fam.)
He wasn’t sincere in what he said.
la boda wedding
i a pedir de boca to one’s heart’s content, for
i No hay boda sin tornaboda. (prov.) There’s
the asking, (to come up) roses, as much as
no rose without a thorn. (prov.)
one wishes, just the way you want it to, just
] boda (ser la vaca de la ~)
fine, perfectly  Ayer cenamos a pedir de
boca. We dined to our heart’s content yester- el bofia (fam.) cop (fam.), copper (fam.), pig
day.  Todo salió a pedir de boca. Every- (sl.)
thing or it all turned out perfectly or just fine
la bofia (fam.) cops (fam.), fuzz (sl.), pigs
or just the way we/etc. wanted it to. Everything
(sl.), filth (sl., Br.E.), heat (sl., Am.E.)
came up roses.
i estar en la boca del lobo (fig.) to be in great la bola ball
danger i dejar que ruede la bola to let things take
i meterse en la boca del lobo (fig.) to put their course
one’s head in the lion’s mouth (fig.), to i estar como [una] bola de billar (fig.) to be
go/venture into the lion’s den (fig.) as bald as a coot (fam., Br.E.), to be as bald
i quitarse algo de la boca (fig.) to go/do as a cue ball (Am.E.) or as a billiard ball
without, to scrimp and save  El padre se (Br.E.)
lo quita todo de la boca para que su hijo es- i dorar la bola a alg. (fig., fam.) to sweet-talk
tudie. The father does without in order to pay s.o. (fam.), to soft-soap s.o. (fam.)
for his son’s [higher] education. i no rascar bola (fam./vulg.) not to do a
i no tener qué llevarse a la boca to be on the stroke of work
breadline (fig., fam.), not to have a penny or i las bolas (pop.) (testicles) ]las canicas
a red cent to one’s name, not to have two i estar/ir en bolas (fam./vulg.) to be stark-
[brass] farthings to rub together (Br.E.), to ers (fam., hum., Br.E.), to be stark naked
be as poor as a church mouse (fig.) (fam.)  Fue a bañarse en bolas. He went
i Quien o el que tiene boca, se equivoca. skinny-dipping. (fam.)
(prov.) To err is human. (prov.) i estar hasta las bolas (fam./vulg.) to be
i En boca cerrada no entran moscas. (prov.) pissed off (sl.)
If you keep your mouth shut, you won’t put i darle por o romper las bolas a alg. (fig.,
your foot in it. (fam.) Mum’s the word. fam./vulg.) to piss s.o. off (sl.), to get on
(fam.) Silence is golden. (prov.) s.o.’s tits (vulg.) or wick (fam.) (Br.E.), to get
i Por la boca muere el pez. (prov.) Talking on s.o.’s nerves (fam.)
too much can be dangerous. Silence is i pillar a alg. en bolas (fam./vulg.) to catch
golden. (prov.) s.o. with his pants (Am.E.) or with his
] boca (de la abundancia del corazón habla trousers (Br.E.) down (fam.), to catch s.o. on
la ~) the hop (fam.), to catch s.o. red-handed 
] boca (dejar a alg. [con] mal sabor de ~) Estaba robando el contenido de la hucha de

18
la bota

su hermano cuando la madre entró en el s.th.] (fig., fam.)  El pacto se firmó a


cuarto. Lo pilló en bolas. He was plundering bombo y platillo. A great song and dance was
his brother’s piggy bank when the mother en- made about the signing of the treaty.  Lo
tered the room. She caught him red-handed. anunciaron a bombo y platillo. It was an-
] bola (no dar pie con ~) nounced with great fanfare. It was ballyhooed.
(fam.)
la bolichada casting of the net
i la bolichada (fig., fam.) stroke of luck, lucky el bonete cap, biretta
break i un gran bonete (fam.) bigwig (fam.), big
shot (fam.), big noise (sl.), big cheese (sl.),
la bolina lead, bowline
big wheel (fam.), top nob (sl., Br.E.)
i echar de bolina (fig., fam.) to talk/act big
(fam.), to puff o.s. up (fig.), to act the big la boquilla mouthpiece
shot (fam.) i de boquilla (fig., fam.) (to [only] pay) lip
la bollera (pop.) lesbian, dyke (sl.), dike (sl.) service ]de boca para afuera  Lo prome-
tieron de boquilla. They made a promise they
el bollo bread roll didn’t intend to keep.
i el bollo (pop., Esp.) (vagina) ]el conejo
] bollo (¡no está el horno para ~s!) el borbollón ]borbotón

el bolo skittle el borbotón welling up, bubbling


i el bolo (pop., Esp.) (penis) ]el calvo i hablar a borbotones o a borbollones (fam.)
i echar a rodar los bolos (fig., fam.) to kick the words come tumbling or spluttering or
up a row (fam.), to create a disturbance gushing out, to talk in a torrent (fig.)
] borracho (ser un ~ perdido)
el bolsillo pocket, purse
i meterse a alg. en el bolsillo (fig.) to twist el borrego lamb, yearling ram
s.o. [a]round one’s little finger i No hay tales borregos. (fig., fam.) There
i consultar con el bolsillo (fam.) to count isn’t any such thing. There’s no such thing.
one’s cash, to do one’s sums (fam.), to con- It’s nothing of the sort. It’s enough to make
sider one’s financial circumstances a cat laugh. (fam.)
i rascar[se] el bolsillo (fig., fam.) to cough up el borrón blot, smudge
(fam.), to fork out (fam.), to stump up (fam., i Borrón y cuenta nueva. (fig.) [Let’s] forget
Br.E.) it. Let’s make a fresh start. Let bygones be by-
el bombero fireman, firefighter gones.
i un bombero (fam., Esp.) idiot, blockhead i hacer borrón y cuenta nueva (fig.) to make
(fam.) a clean break with s.th. [and start again]
i el golpe de bombero (fam., Esp.) real boo- (fig.), to wipe the slate clean [and start again]
boo (sl., Am.E.), nonsense, crazy idea (fig.), to let bygones be bygones
el bombo big drum la bota boot
i darse bombo (fig., fam.) to blow one’s own i morir con las botas puestas (fig.) to die
horn (Am.E.) or trumpet (fig.), to shoot a with one’s boots on (fig.), to die in harness
line (fam.), to puff o.s. up (fig.), to swank (fig.)  Dice que prefiere morir con las bo-
(fam.), to brag tas puestas a morir en la cama. He says he
i dar bombo a alg. (fig., fam.) to give s.o. ex- prefers dying with his boots on to dying in bed.
aggerated praise, to praise s.o. to the skies i ponerse las botas (fig., fam.) (a) to line
(fam.), to write s.o. up in a big way one’s pockets, to feather one’s nest (fig.), to
i dar bombo a algo (fig., fam.) to [heavily] make one’s pile (fam.), to make a haul or a
beat the drum for s.th. (fig.), to hype s.th. up killing (fam.), to hit the jackpot (fig., fam.),
(sl.), to crack s.th. up (fam.), to give s.th. a to strike it rich (fig.), to rake it in (fig., fam.)
lot of hype (sl.), to ballyhoo s.th. (fam.) (b) to enjoy o.s. immensely, to enjoy s.th. to
i a bombo y platillo (fig., fam.) with great/ the full (c) to make a pig of o.s. (fam.), to
much fanfare (fig.), with a lot of hype (sl.), stuff o.s. (fam.), to have a blow-out (sl.) (d)
(to make) a great song and dance [about to shamelessly take advantage of s.th.  Con

19
el bote

ese contrato se puso las botas. He made a la botica (fam.) pharmacy, fly/flies (on pants/
killing with that contract.  Cuando es- trousers)
tábamos de vacaciones, nos poníamos las i tener la botica abierta (fam., hum.) to have
botas. We always enjoyed the vacation one’s fly/flies undone
(Am.E.) or the holidays (Br.E.) to the full.  ] boticario (encajar/caer como pedrada en
Como pagaba otra persona se pusieron las ojo de ~)
botas. Somebody else was paying so they really ] boticario (venir como pedrada en ojo
stuffed themselves. de ~)
] bota (gota a gota se llena la ~)
la botija bulbous, earthenware jug
el bote thrust, jump, can, boat i estar hecho una botija (fam.) to be as fat
i dar el bote a alg. (fig., pop.) (to dismiss): as a pig/sow (fam., pej.), to be as round as a
to chuck/boot s.o. out (fam.), to fire s.o. barrel (fam.), to be a tub of lard (fam.), to
(fam.), to sack s.o. (fam.), to give s.o. the be a fatso (sl., pej.)
chuck/boot/sack (fam.), to give s.o. the kiss-
off (sl., Am.E.), to send s.o. packing (fig.), to las bragas panties (Am.E.), knickers (Br.E.)
give s.o. the pink slip (Am.E.), to give s.o. his i pillar a alg. en bragas (fam.) to catch s.o.
marching orders (fam.) with his pants (Am.E.) or with his trousers
i darse el bote (pop.) to beat it (sl.), to split (Br.E.) down (fam.), to catch s.o. on the hop
(sl.) (fam.)  ¡Será posible! Trató de mangar un
i tener a alg. en el bote (fam.) to carry/have collar de perlas. El joyero la pilló en bragas.
s.o. in one’s pocket (fig.)  Don Corleone Would you believe it! She tried to walk off with
tiene muchos jueces y políticos en el bote. a pearl necklace. The jewel[l]er caught her
Don Corleone carries/has many judges and with her pants down.
politicians in his pocket. i estar hecho una braga (fam.) to be com-
i tener algo en el bote (fam.) s.th. (con- pletely exhausted, to be knackered (sl., Br.E.)
tract/etc.) is in the bag (fig., fam.), s.th. is ]estar hecho cisco
buttoned up (fig., fam.), to have s.th. all ] bragas (no se pescan truchas a ~ enjutas)
sewn up (fam.) la bragueta fly/flies (on pants/trousers)
i chupar del bote (fig., fam.) (a) to scrounge i tener braguetas (vulg.) to be a real man
(fam.), to sponge (fam.) (b) to line one’s
pockets, to feather one’s nest (fig.), to look el braguetazo (pop.) marriage for money
after Number One (fam.) (c) to curry favor i dar un/el braguetazo to marry for money,
[with s.o.], to creep [into s.o.’s favor] (fig.) to marry a rich woman
i estar de bote en bote (sala/tren/cine/etc.) la brasa live coal, ember
(hall/train/cinema/etc.): to be absolutely i estar [como] en brasas (fig.) to be on ten-
packed, to be packed out, to be jam-packed terhooks (fig.), to be/sit on pins and needles
(fam.), to be jam-full (fam.), to be crowded (fig., Am.E.), to cool/kick one’s heels (fam.)
out, to be chock-a-block (fam.), there’s no  Mientras esperábamos las noticias es-
room to swing a cat (fam.)  El restaurante tábamos como en brasas. We were sitting on
estaba de bote en bote. The restaurant was pins and needles while [we were] waiting for
chock-a-block. the news.
] bote (ser tonto del ~) ] brasa (huir de la[s] ceniza[s] y caer/dar en
la botella bottle la[s] ~[s])
i la media botella (fig., fam., hum.) nipper ] brasa (huir del fuego y caer en las ~s)
(fam., Br.E.), little lad ] brasa (salir de las llamas y caer en las ~s)
i darle a la botella (fam.) to drink, to hit the el brazo arm
bottle (fam.) i no dar su brazo a torcer (fig.) not to let s.o.
] botella ( ]temblar: dejar una ~ tem- twist one’s arm (fig.), to stand fast (fig.), to
blando) hold/stand one’s ground (fig.), not to give in
] botella ( ]temblar: una ~ está temblando) i estar/quedarse con los brazos cruzados
] botella (gafas de culo de ~) (fig.) to sit back and do nothing, to sit on
] Botero (las calderas de Pe[d]ro ~) one’s hands (fig., fam., Am.E.), to twiddle

20
bueno

one’s thumbs (fig.), to watch with one’s arms i entre bromas y veras half-joking[ly], half-
crossed, to stand/sit around doing nothing serious[ly]  Lo dijeron entre bromas y ve-
i luchar a brazo partido (fig.) to fight bitterly ras. They said it kind of half-jokingly, half-se-
(fig.), to fight tooth and nail (fig.), to go at riously.
it hammer and tongs (fam.) i mezclar bromas con veras (fig.) to apply a
i estar hecho un brazo de mar (fam.) to be carrot-and-stick policy or a policy of the car-
immaculately dressed, to be dressed up to rot and the stick (fig.)  El gobierno mez-
the nines (fam.), to be dressed to kill (fam.) cló bromas con veras para cambiar la
] brazo (darle a alg. la/una mano y se toma opinión del pueblo. The government applied
el ~) a policy of the carrot and the stick in order to
change the people’s opinion.
la breva early fig
i la breva (fig., fam.) (a) luck, stroke of luck, la bronca (fam.) (a) row (fam.), set-to
lucky break, chance piece of good luck (b) (fam.), racket (fam.), scrap (sl.) (b) ticking-
plum job (fig., fam.) off/telling-off (fam., Br.E.), scolding 
i No caerá esa breva. There’s no such luck. Anoche se armó una bronca bestial. There
That’s an illusion. A fat chance you’ve/etc. was an almighty row last night.  buscar
got. (sl., iron.) bronca to look for trouble, to look for a fight
i Está madura la breva. (fig.) The time is ripe.  echar la gran bronca a alg. to give s.o. a
 Estuvo madura la breva para un cambio. terrific telling-off/ticking-off or bollocking (sl.,
The time was ripe for change.  Actuaré Br.E.), to come down on s.o. like a ton of bricks
cuando esté madura la breva. I will act (fam.), to really bite s.o.’s head off (fam.)
when the time is ripe. bruto brute
i ser una breva (fam.) to be child’s play (fig.), i estar bruto (pop.) to be randy (fam.), to be
to be a cinch (sl.), to be a pushover (sl.), to horny (sl., vulg.)
be a piece of cake (fam.), to be a snap or a i ponerse bruto (pop.) to get randy (fam.), to
breeze (fam., Am.E.), to be a doddle (fam., get horny (sl., vulg.)
Br.E.), to be as easy as pie (sl.)  El examen ] bruto (ser más ~ que la pila de un pozo)
fue una breva. The exam/test was child’s play.
i chuparse [una] buena breva (fam.) to el buche crop (bird), maw (cow/etc.)
cream off the best (fig., fam., Br.E.), to skim i llenarse el buche (fam.) to stuff o.s. (fam.),
the cream off (fig.) to make a [real] pig of o.s. (fam.)
i pescar una buena breva (fam.) to do [very] i sacar el buche a alg. (fig.) to get s.th. out
well, to come off [very] well of s.o., to make s.o. talk
] breva (de higos a ~s) i no caberle algo a alg. en el buche (fig.) s.o.
can’t keep s.th. to himself, s.o. can’t keep his
] breve (lo bueno, si ~, dos veces bueno) mouth shut (fam.)  No le cabe nada en el
Briján buche a él. He can’t keep anything to him-
i saber más que Briján (fam.) to be very self. He can never keep his mouth shut.
smart, to know every trick in the book bueno good
(fam.), to know the lot (fam.) i Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno.
] brillar alg./algo por su ausencia (prov.) Brevity is the soul of wit. (prov.)
i Bueno está lo bueno [pero no lo dema-
brincar to jump up and down, to hop
siado]. (fam.) Leave well enough alone. You
i estar alg. que brinca (fig., fam.) to be hop-
can have too much of a good thing. You can
ping mad (fam.) ]estar hecho un basilisco
take things too far.
 Tu amigo está que brinca. Your friend’s
i Lo que es bueno para uno es bueno para
hopping mad.
el otro. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce
la broma joke, fun for the gander.
i no estar para bromas to be in no mood for i ser bueno como el oro (negocio o método
jokes/laughter o éxito/etc.) to be a sure-fire . . . (fam.)
i estar de bromas to be in a joking mood (business or method or success/etc.)

21
el buey

i a la buena de Dios (fam.) trusting to luck, i menear/sacudir el bulto a alg. (fam.) to


on the off-chance, on a wing and a prayer, thrash s.o. (fig.), to give s.o. a thrashing
at random  Fuimos a Sevilla a la buena ]arrimar candela a alg.
de Dios. We went to Seville on the off-chance i escurrir/escapar/huir el bulto (fam.) to
[of finding good weather/a hotel room/etc.]. dodge (fig.), to duck out [of it] (fam.), to cop
i por las buenas o por las malas willy-nilly, out [of it] (sl.), to skive off (fam., Br.E.), to
by hook or by crook, like it or not, whether make o.s. scarce (fam.), to sneak away  De
one likes it or not, by fair means or foul  nuevo escurrió el bulto. He skived off again.
Tienes que hacerlo por las buenas o por las  Cada vez que teníamos mucho que hacer,
malas. You have to do it willy-nilly. You have ese tío escurría el bulto. Whenever we had
to do it whether you like it or not. a lot to do, that guy ducked out.
i de buenas a primeras just like that, sud- i sacar el bulto (pop.) to beat it (sl.), to clear
denly, all of a sudden, without [any] warn- off (fam.), to skin out (sl., Am.E.)
ing, right off the bat (Am.E.), out of the blue
 No puedo tomar una decisión así, de bue- el buñuelo (Spain): fritter, doughnut
nas a primeras. I can’t make/take (Br.E.) a i el buñuelo (fig., fam.) bad or botched (fam.)
decision just like that. job, botch (fam.), botch-up (fam.)
i de los buenos (fam.) tremendous, terrific, i mandar a alg. a freír buñuelos (fam.) to tell
good, real, decent, sound, severe (all: fam.) s.o. to go fry an egg (fam.) ]mandar a alg.
 Nos echó un sermón de los buenos. He a freír espárragos
gave us a terrific/severe wigging or lecture.  i ¡Vete a freír buñuelos! (fam.) Go fry an egg!
Es una mentira de las buenas. It’s a great big (fam.) ]¡Véte a freír espárragos!
lie. (fam.) It’s a whopping great lie. (fam.) la burra she-donkey
] bueno (no estar ~ de la cabeza) i la burra (fam., Esp.) bicycle, bike, pushbike
el buey ox (Br.E.)
i trabajar como un buey (fig.) to work very i írsele a alg. la burra (fam.) to tell tales [out
hard, to work like an ox or like a bull (fig.) of school] (fig.), blab [it out] (fam.), not to
]echar/sudar la hiel keep it to o.s., not to keep one’s mouth shut
i Habló el buey y dijo mu. (un dicho; hum.) (fam.)  Se le fue la burra a ella. She didn’t
What did you/etc. expect of him/etc.? (iron.) keep her mouth shut.
 Disparataron de lo lindo. Habló el buey ] burra (la panza de ~)
y dijó mu. They talked utter nonsense. What
la burrada drove of donkeys
did you expect of them?
i la burrada (fig.) silly/stupid thing [to do],
i a paso de buey (fig.) at a snail’s pace (fig.),
stupid act/saying/etc.
[as] slow as or slower than molasses [in Jan-
i costar una burrada (fig., fam.) to cost a tidy
uary] (fig., Am.E.)  Allí hay una cola de
sum, to cost a pretty penny (fam.), to cost a
coches que se extiende hasta 10 millas. Se
packet (sl.), to cost a bomb (fam., Br.E.), to
puede ir sólo a paso de buey. There’s a 10-
cost an arm and a leg (fam.), to cost a for-
mile traffic jam. You can only drive at a snail’s
pace. The traffic is as slow as molasses in Jan- tune, to be shockingly expensive (fam.)
uary.  Estoy impaciente esperando las ] burral (la edad ~)
noticias. El tiempo parece pasar a paso de el burro donkey
buey. I’m anxiously awaiting the news. Time i apearse de su burro (fig., fam.) to climb
seems to be moving at a snail’s pace. down (fig., fam.), to back down (fam.), to
el bulto vague/indistinct shape recognize one’s error/mistake, to think bet-
i buscar el bulto a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to ter of it
crowd s.o. (fam., Am.E.), to push s.o. (fig.) i no apearse de su burro (fig., fam.) to per-
(b) to have it in for s.o. (fam.), to be out for sist in one’s error, to remain stubborn 
s.o.’s blood (fig.) Aunque le aconsejaron que no lo hiciese, no
i coger/pescar el bulto a alg. (fam.) to col- se apeó de su burro. Even though they ad-
lar s.o., to nab s.o. (fam.) vised him not to do it, he persisted in his error.

22
el busilis

i no ver tres en un burro (fam.) (a) to be [as] i Quien nace [para] burro muere rebuz-
blind as a bat (fam.) (b) (due to darkness/ nando. (prov.) A leopard never changes or
fog/etc.): s.o. can’t see his hand in front of cannot change its spots. (prov.)
his face, s.o. can’t see a thing  Su abuelo no ] burro (la panza de ~)
ve tres en un burro. His grandfather is blind ] burro (no morir de cornada de ~)
as a bat.  Está tan oscuro que no veo tres ] burro (poner dos albardas a un ~)
en un burro. It’s so dark that I can’t see my
hand in front of my face.  La niebla estuvo ] buscar bronca/camorra
tan densa que no vimos tres en un burro. ] buscar el bulto a alg.
The fog was so thick that we couldn’t see a el busilis (fam., Esp.)
thing.
i Ahí está el busilis. There’s or that’s the
i como un burro en una cacharrería (fig.,
fam.) like a bull in a china-shop (fig.)  Se
rub/snag. (fig.) That’s where the problem
comportó como un burro en una cacharre- is/lies. That’s why [it doesn’t work/etc.].
ría. He was like a bull in a china-shop. i dar en el busilis to hit the mark (fig.), to hit
i [Una vez] puesto en el burro. (fam.) In for the nail on the head (fig.)  Diste en el
a penny, in for a pound. (Br.E.) In for a dime, busilis con esa observación. You hit the mark
in for a dollar. (Am.E.) with that remark.

23
caballero riding
C diente de un cabello. His/her life was hang-
i estar caballero en su opinión (fig.) to stick ing by a thread.
firmly to one’s opinion ] cabello (coger/asir la ocasión por los ~s)
el caballero rider, knight, gentleman caber to go or fit in/into
i Poderoso caballero es don Dinero. (prov.) i no caber en sí de alegría (fig.) to be beside
Money talks. Money makes the world go o.s. with joy, to be overwhelmed or wild
round. (fam.) with joy
] caber (no ~ en el pellejo)
el caballo horse ] caber (no ~ en el pellejo de alegría/
i ir/venir en el caballo de San Francisco
orgullo)
(fam., hum.) to go/come on Shank’s pony
] caber (no ~ ni un alfiler)
(Br.E.) or on Shank’s mare (Am.E.) (hum.), ] caber (no ~le a alg. en la cabeza)
to walk, to hoof it (fam.)
i como un caballo en una cacharrería (fig., el cabestro halter
fam.) like a bull in a china-shop (fig.)  Se i llevar a alg. del cabestro (fig.) to lead s.o.
comportó como un caballo en una cacha- by the nose (fam.)
rrería. He was like a bull in a china-shop. la cabeza head
i A caballo regalado no hay que mirarle o no i un[a] cabeza de corcho (fam.) numskull
le mires el diente. (prov.) Don’t look a gift (fam.), blockhead (fam.) ]un [pedazo de]
horse in the mouth. (prov.) alcornoque
] caballo (dar un gallo para recibir un ~) i un[a] cabeza torcida (fam.) hypocrite
] caballo (sota, ~ y rey) i un[a] cabeza de turco (fig., fam.) scapegoat,
el cabe stroke (refers to argolla, a game like fall guy (fam., Am.E.), whipping boy (fig.)
croquet) i un[a] cabeza de chorlito (fig., fam.) scat-
i el cabe de pala (fig., fam.) unexpected op- terbrain
portunity/chance, lucky break, stroke of i tener la cabeza a pájaros to be a scatter-
luck, chance piece of good luck brain, to be scatty (fam., Br.E.), to be scat-
terbrained or featherbrained
el cabello hair i tener la cabeza llena de pájaros (fig., fam.)
i partir/hender un cabello en el aire (fig.) to to be living in cloud-cuckoo-land, to be liv-
split hairs ing in never-never land, to be living in a
i no faltar un cabello a algo (fig.) to be [as dream/fantasy world
good as] finished/complete/done i La cabeza blanca y el seso por venir. There’s
i traer algo por los cabellos (fig.) to be far- no fool like an old fool. (prov.)
fetched (fig.)  Me parece traído por los ca- i no estar bueno de la cabeza (fam.), estar
bellos. I think it’s far-fetched.  Lo has traído ido/mal/tocado de la cabeza (fam.), tener
por los cabellos. It (what you’ve said) is far- pájaros en la cabeza (fig., fam.) to be crazy
fetched. (fam.), to be nuts (fam.), to be off one’s nut
i llevar a alg. de un cabello (fig.) to twist s.o. (fam., Br.E.), to be off one’s rocker (fam.), to
[a]round one’s little finger be as nutty as a fruitcake (fam., hum.), to
i colgar/pender o estar colgado/pendiente be off one’s head (fam.), to be soft in the
de un cabello (fig.) to hang or be hanging head (fam.), to be round the bend (fam.,
by a hair/thread (fig.)  El futuro de la firma Br.E.), to have lost one’s marbles (fam.,
cuelga de un cabello. The firm’s future hangs hum., Br.E.), to have bats in one’s/the bel-
by a hair.  Su vida pendía o estaba pen- fry

24
la cabeza

i apostar[se] la cabeza a que ... (fam.) to bet going, to have an awful lot on one’s plate
s.o. anything he likes [that] . . . , you can bet (fam.) or on one’s mind  Estoy hasta aquí
your life (fam.) or your bottom dollar (fam., de trabajo. ¡Ya no sé dónde volver la ca-
Am.E.) [that] . . . , it’s dollars to doughnuts beza! I’m up to my neck/eyeballs in work. I
[that] . . . (fam., Am.E.)  Me apuesto la don’t know any more whether I’m coming or
cabeza a que no lo hacen. I bet you anything going.
you like they don’t do it. You can bet your life i andar/ir de cabeza con algo (fam.) to be up
they won’t do it. to one’s eyeballs or eyes or ears or neck in
i Apostaría la cabeza. (fam.) You can bet your s.th. (work/debt/etc.), to be snowed under
life on that. (fam.) You can bet your bottom with s.th. (fig.)  Ando de cabeza con tanto
dollar on that. (fam.) trabajo. I’m up to my eyes in work. I’m
i afirmar con la cabeza to nod [yes] snowed under with work.
i negar con la cabeza to shake one’s head i levantar/alzar cabeza (fig., fam.) to get on
i dar con la cabeza en las paredes (fig.) (a) one’s feet again (after a business failure/etc.)
to get furious, to get mad (fam.), to tear one’s (fig.), to recover (from s.th.), to pick o.s. up
hair [out] (fig.), to go spare (fam., Br.E.), (fig.), to get back on one’s feet (after an ill-
(s.th. is enough) to drive s.o. spare or up the ness) (fig.), to recover one’s health  Ha
wall (fam.), s.o. could kick himself or feels sufrido varios fracasos profesionales. Pasará
like kicking himself (fam.) (b) to be pig- algún tiempo antes de que levante cabeza.
headed, to be as stubborn as a mule (fig.)  He’s had several failures in his work. It will
... y encima he perdido el tren. ¡Podría dar take him some time to recover from them or to
con la cabeza en las paredes! . . . and on get on his feet again.
top of everything I’ve missed the train. It’s i no levantar/alzar cabeza (fig., fam.) (a) not
enough to drive me spare! I feel like kicking to get on one’s feet again (after a business
myself! I could tear my hair out! failure/a setback/etc.) (fig.), not to recover
i calentar la cabeza a alg. (fig., fam.) to fill (from a business failure/a setback/etc.) (b)
s.o.’s head (with s.th.), (s.th.) makes s.o.’s to be totally depressed or dejected, to be
head spin (fig.)  Esas fórmulas mate- down in the dumps/mouth (fam.) (c) to be
máticas nos calentaron la cabeza. These very ill/sick (d) to keep one’s head down, to
mathematical formulas made our heads have one’s head buried in one’s work, to be
spin.  El profesor nos calentó la cabeza con totally engrossed in or wrapped up in (fam.)
esas fórmulas matemáticas. The teacher one’s work
filled our heads with these mathematical for- i no caberle a alg. en la cabeza (fig., fam.)
mulas. s.o. [just] doesn’t/can’t understand  No me
i calentarse la cabeza (fig., fam.) s.o.’s head cabe en la cabeza que no le guste ir a Es-
is/starts spinning (fig.), to get tired out, to paña. I just can’t understand that he doesn’t
get fagged out (fam., Br.E.)  Me calenté la feel like going to Spain.
cabeza con tanto estudiar. I studied so hard i subírsele algo a alg. a la cabeza (fig.) s.th.
that my head started spinning or that I got (wine/success/etc.) goes to s.o.’s head  El
fagged out. éxito se le ha subido a la cabeza. His/her
i quebrarse/romperse la cabeza (fig., fam.) success has gone to his/her head.
to rack one’s brains (fig.) i vestirse por la cabeza (fam., hum.) to be a
i esconder/meter la cabeza bajo el ala (fig.) female, to be a cleric, to be a clergyman 
to bury one’s head in the sand (fig.)  Acepta ¿Quién es? Se viste por la cabeza. Who is
la realidad. No metas la cabeza bajo el ala. it? It’s a woman.
Face [up to] the facts. Don’t bury your head i tener la cabeza en su sitio o bien puesta
in the sand. (fam.) to have one’s head screwed on (Br.E.)
i meterse de cabeza en algo (fig., fam.) to or screwed on tight (Am.E.) (fam.), to be no
throw o.s. or plunge into s.th. (work/etc.) fool
(fig.) i llevarse las manos a la cabeza to throw
i no saber dónde volver la cabeza not to one’s hands in the air, to throw up one’s
know any more whether one is coming or hands (in dismay/shock/etc.)

25
la cabezada

i llevar de cabeza a alg. (fig., fam.) to drive mando. I know exactly what they’re up to. 
s.o. crazy/mad (fam.), to drive s.o. round the Estamos al cabo de la calle. We know what
bend (fam., Br.E.)  Lleva de cabeza a todo the score is. We’ve got to the bottom of it.
el mundo. He drives everybody crazy. i no tener cabo ni cuerda to make no sense
i bailarle algo a alg. por la cabeza (fig.) s.th. whatsoever, there’s no rhyme or reason [to
goes round and round in s.o.’s head  La s.th.], s.o. can’t make head[s] or tail[s] of
idea me baila todavía por la cabeza. The s.th. (fam.), to be absurd, to be ridiculous
idea is still going round and round in my  Para mi/nosotros esto no tiene cabo ni
head. cuerda. I/we can’t make head or tail of it. 
i Más vale ser cabeza de ratón que cola de Este plan no tiene cabo ni cuerda. This plan
león. (prov.) It’s better to be a big fish/frog makes no sense whatsoever. This is an absurd
in a small pond than a small fish/frog in a plan.
big pond. (prov.) It’s better to be the head i atar/unir cabos (fam.) to put two and two
of a dog than the tail of a lion. (prov.) together (fig.), to tie up loose ends (fig.), to
] cabeza ( ]nacer: nació alg. de ~) draw conclusions, to make sense, to make
] cabeza (llevar a alg. la ~) head[s] or tail[s] of it (fam.)  ¿Puedes atar
] cabeza (no tener pies ni ~) cabos? Can you make head or tail of it?
] cabeza (tener la ~ como una olla de gri- i al fin y al cabo (fam.) at long last, in the end,
llos) after all, when all is said and done, at the end
] cabeza (tener la ~ llena de serrín) of the day (fig.)  Al fin y al cabo no se di-
] cabeza (tener la ~ más dura que un pica- vorciaron. They didn’t get divorced after all.
dor)
 Es inútil darles consejos. Al fin y al cabo
] cabeza (tirarse los trastos a la ~)
hacen siempre lo que quieren. It is point-
] cabeza ajena ( ]escarmentar: nadie es-
less/useless to give them advice. In the end they
carmienta en ~)
always do as they please.
] cabeza ajena (escarmentar en ~)
i de cabo a cabo, de cabo a rabo (fam.), de
la cabezada butt (with the head), nod[ding], punta a cabo from A to Z, from beginning
nodding off to end, from start to finish, from cover to
i darse de cabezadas (fam.) to rack one’s cover, inside out (to know), like the back of
brains (fig.) one’s hand (to know)  Leí ese libro de cabo
i echar una cabezada o cabezadita (fam.) to a cabo. I read that book from cover to cover.
have/take a nap, to have a snooze (fam.), to  Conoce la ciudad de cabo a rabo. He
get a bit of or some shut-eye (fam.), to knows the city like the back of his hand.
have/get forty winks (fam.), to catch some
Zs (sl., Am.E.) la cabra goat
i la cabra (fam.) motorbike, motorcycle
] cabezadita (echar una cabezada o ~)
i estar como una cabra (fam.) to be crazy
el/la cabezota (fam.) pig-headed person, ]no estar bueno de la cabeza
mule (fig.) i estar más loco que una cabra (fam.) to be
completely crazy/nuts (fam.), to be as mad
el cable cable, hawser
as a hatter (Br.E.), to be as mad as a March
i echar un cable a alg. (fam.) to give s.o. a
helping hand, to help s.o. out of a jam/fix hare (fam.)
(fam.), to help s.o. out of a tight spot (fam.), i meter las cabras en el corral a alg. (fam.)
to get s.o. off the hook (fam.), to bail s.o. out to intimidate s.o., to cow s.o.
(fig.) i La cabra siempre tira al monte. (prov.) A
leopard never changes or cannot change its
el cabo end, point spots. (prov.)
i estar al cabo de algo o de la calle (fig.,
fam.) to know all about s.th., to know what cabrillas (a) fleecy or cotton-wool clouds, cir-
the score is (fam.), to know what’s going on, rocumuli (b) (waves): white horses
to have got/gotten (Am.E.) to the bottom of ] cabrillas (pedir leche a las ~)
s.th.  Estoy al cabo de lo que están tra- ] cabrito (apartar las ovejas de los ~s)

26
la cafetera

el cabrón billy goat el cadáver corpse


i el cabrón (vulg.) (abuse): swine (fam.), bas- i tener un cadáver en el armario (fig.) to have
tard (sl.), son of a bitch (vulg., Am.E.)  El a skeleton in the cupboard (Br.E.) or in the
muy cabrón me robó el coche. The bastard closet (Am.E.) (fig.)
stole my car. ] caer (llegar como caído del cielo)
la caca (fam., en lengua infantil) poop caerse to fall [over]
(Am.E.) or pooh (Br.E.) (used to or by chil- i caerse redondo (fam.) to collapse/fall in a
dren), excrement heap, to keel over (fig.)
i la caca (fig.) filth (fig.) i caerse de cansancio/sueño (fam.) to be
i ocultar/tapar la caca (fig., fam.) to cover ready to drop (fam.), to be dead on one’s feet
s.th. up (fig.), to hush s.th. up (fig., fam.), to be dog-tired (fam.)
i caerse de tonto/etc. (fam.) to be very stu-
cacarear to cackle, to crow pid/etc.
i cacarear algo (fig., fam.) to [boastfully] i caerse [muerto] de miedo (fam.) to be
broadcast s.th. (fig., fam.), to crow about scared to death (fam.), to be terrified
s.th., to boast about s.th., to brag about s.th. i no tener donde caerse muerto not to have
 La estrella de la pantalla cacareó su a penny or a red cent to one’s name, not to
propia fama. The movie star (Am.E.)/film have two [brass] farthings to rub together
star broadcasted her own fame or crowed (Br.E.), to be as poor as a church mouse (fig.)
about her own fame.  Fue un triunfo muy i caerse de/por su propio peso to be obvi-
cacareado. It was a much-vaunted or much- ous, to be self-evident, to go without saying
trumpeted triumph. There was a lot of boast- i caerse [a/en pedazos] de viejo (fam.)  Se
ing or crowing about the triumph.  La tan cae de viejo. He’s very old and frail. He’s so
cacareada hospitalidad dejó mucho que de- old he can hardly walk.  Su bicicleta se cae
sear. The much-praised or much-ballyhooed a pedazos de vieja. His bicycle is so old it is
(fam.) hospitality left much to be desired.  falling to pieces or it is falling apart.
Siempre cacareaban. They were always brag- ] caérsele a alg. el alma a los pies
ging. ] caérsele a alg. la baba con/por alg./algo
i cacarear y no poner huevos (fig., fam.) to ] caérsele a alg. la cara de vergüenza
] caérsele a alg. la casa encima/a cuestas
be nothing but or just empty boasting, to be
] caérsele a alg. la venda de los ojos
nothing but or just braggadocio, to be all
] caérsele a alg. las alas [del corazón]
mouth and no trousers (fam., Br.E.), to be all
] caérsele a alg. los anillos ([no] ~)
talk and no action  Su hermano siempre
cacarea y no pone huevos. Everything that el café coffee
comes out of his brother’s mouth is just empty i estar de mal café (fig., fam.) to be in a bad
boasting. His brother is all mouth and no mood
trousers. i tener mal café (fig., fam.) to have bad/evil
intentions, to have a nasty temper, to have a
la cacha haunch (small game), hilt, handle spiteful/nasty nature or disposition, to be a
i las cachas (pop.) buttocks nasty piece of work (fam.), to be a bastard
i meter el cuchillo hasta las cachas en algo (fam.)
to stab the knife up to the hilt into s.th.
la cafetera coffee pot
i estar metido hasta las cachas en algo (fig.,
i la cafetera [rusa] (fam.) (car): jalop[p]y, old
fam.) to be up to one’s eyeballs/eyes/ears in
heap of metal (fam.), old crock (fam., Br.E.),
s.th. (work/debt/etc.)
old banger (fam.)  ¿A esa cafetera rusa le
i meterse hasta las cachas en algo (fig.,
llamas coche? Do you call that old heap of
fam.) to be totally wrapped up in s.th. metal a car?
(work/etc.) (fam.) i estar como una cafetera (fam.) to be crazy,
] cacharrería (como un burro/caballo/ele- to be nuts (fam.) ]no estar bueno de la
fante en una ~) cabeza

27
el cagachín

el cagachín (fig., pop.) swine (fam.), bastard podge (fam., Am.E.), jumble, mess (fig.) 
(fam.), son of a bitch (vulg., Am.E.) El informe anual es un cajón de sastre. The
la cagalera (pop., vulg.) (diarrhea): trots annual report is a hotchpotch or is a jumble
(fam.), runs (fam., Br.E.), shits (sl., vulg.), of different things.  Su oficina está como
[un] cajón de sastre. His office is in utter dis-
Montezuma’s revenge (hum.)
order or is in a terrible mess or is an absolute
cagar (pop., vulg.) to shit (vulg.), to take or shambles. (fig.)
have (Br.E.) a shit/crap (vulg.)
i cagar algo (pop., vulg.) to make a botch of la cal lime
s.th. (fig.), to mess s.th. up (fig., fam.), to i cerrar algo a cal y canto (fig.) to shut or
cock s.th. up (sl., Br.E.), to ball or balls close s.th. firmly/tight/securely
(Br.E.) s.th. up (sl.) i de cal y canto (fig.) durable/lasting/solid
i cagarla (pop., vulg.) to drop a clanger (sl.), (peace or building or basis/etc.), unshakable
to screw or cock (Br.E.) it/things up (sl.), to (conviction/etc.), firm, as solid as a rock
ball or balls (Br.E.) it/things up (sl.), to mess (fig.)
it/things up (fig., fam.), to blow it (sl.)  i dar una de cal y otra de arena (fam.) (a)
¡Ahora sí que la hemos cagado! Now we’ve to be a weathercock (fig.), to blow hot and
really cocked things up! cold (fig.), to chop and change (fam., Br.E.)
i cagarse (pop., vulg.) to shit o.s. (vulg.) (b) to apply a policy of the carrot and the
i cagarse de miedo (fig., pop., vulg.) to shit stick or a carrot-and-stick policy (fig.)  El
o.s. [for fear] (fig., vulg.)  Nos cagamos de gobierno dio una de cal y otra de arena
miedo. We shit/shat ourselves. We were scared para cambiar la opinión del pueblo. The
shitless. (vulg.) We were in a blue funk. (fam., government applied a policy of the carrot and
Br.E.) the stick in order to change the people’s opin-
i cagarse en algo/alg. (fig., pop., vulg.) not to ion.
give a shit (vulg.) or a damn (fam.) about la calabaza pumpkin
s.th./s.o.  ¡Me cago en el gobierno! To hell
i la calabaza (fig.) nut (sl.) ]la cebolla
with the government! (fam.) Screw the gov-
i una calabaza (fig., fam.) dope (fam.), idiot
ernment! (vulg.)
]un [pedazo de] alcornoque
i ¡Me cago en diez o en la mar! (pop., vulg.)
i dar calabazas a alg. (fam.) (a) (student/can-
Shit! (vulg.) Damn [it]! (fam.)
didate): to fail, to flunk (fam., Am.E.), to
el cagatintas (pej.) ink-shitter (pej.), hack plough (sl., Br.E.) (b) (suitor): to give the
writer (pej.), penpusher (fam., pej.), petty brush-off (fam.); (lover): to jilt  Le dieron
clerk (pej.) calabazas en español. They ploughed him or
he was ploughed or he was flunked in Span-
Caín Cain
ish.  Ella le dio calabazas. She gave him the
i pasar las de Caín (fam.) to have a ghastly
time, to go through hell (fam.), to die a thou- brush-off.  Ella le dio calabazas a su
amante. She jilted her lover.
sand deaths (fam.)
i venir con las de Caín (fam.) to have evil in- la calada soaking
tentions i dar una calada a alg. (fig., fam.) to give s.o.
la caja box a [good] dressing-down or ticking-off
i la caja boba/idiota/tonta (fam.) (TV): box (Br.E.) (fam.), to haul s.o. over the coals
(fam.), goggle box (fam., Br.E.), [boob] tube (fig.) ]zurrar la badana a alg. (b)
(fam., Am.E.) ] calado (estar ~ hasta los huesos)
i echar/despedir a alg. con cajas destem-
la calamidad disaster, calamity
pladas (fig., fam.) to kick s.o. out (fam.), to
i ser alg. una calamidad (fam.) s.o.: to be ut-
send s.o. packing (fig.) ]dar el bote a alg.
terly useless, to be a dead loss (fig., fam.), to
el cajón big box be a washout (sl.), to be a [complete] disas-
i el cajón de sastre (fig., fam.) motley col- ter (fig., fam.)  Como presidente es una
lection, hotchpotch (fig., Br.E.) or hodge- calamidad. As a president he’s a disaster.

28
el callo

el calcetín sock caliente warm, hot


i el calcetín (pop.) (condom): rubber (fam., i Ande yo caliente y ríase la gente. I don’t
Am.E.), johnny (fam., Br.E.), French letter give a damn what other people say/think
(fam., Br.E.) (fam.) I couldn’t care less what other peo-
i ir/venir a golpe de calcetín to go/come on ple say/think. I dress for comfort, not for
Shank’s pony (Br.E.) or on Shank’s mare other people.
(Am.E.) (hum.), to hoof it (fam.), to walk ] caliente de cascos

la caldera ca[u]ldron, kettle el cáliz chalice


i las calderas de Pe[d]ro Botero (fig., fam.) i apurar el cáliz de cicuta o de [la] amargura
o de dolor hasta las heces (fig.) to drain/
hell
drink the cup of sorrow or the cup of bit-
el caldo broth terness [down] to the last drop (fig.)
i revolver el caldo (fig.) to stir it/s.th. up
callar to be quiet
again (fig.)
i callar[se] como un muerto o como una
i amargar el caldo a alg. (fig.) to spoil s.o.’s
piedra (fam.) to shut up like a clam (fam.),
fun, to spoil all the fun, to spoil s.th./things s.o.’s lips are sealed (fig.), to keep absolutely
for s.o., to cause s.o. trouble quiet, not to breathe a word
i hacer el caldo gordo a alg. (fig.) to play into i Quien calla otorga. Silence gives/implies
s.o.’s hands, to make it/things easy for s.o. consent.
i cambiar el caldo a las aceitunas (fam., ] callar ( ]el sabio: es de sabios el ~)
hum.) (men): to have a slash (sl., Br.E.), to
take or have (Br.E.) a leak (sl., hum.), to have la calle street
i echarse a la calle (fig.) to take to the streets,
a pee/piddle (fam., Br.E.), to spend a penny
to demonstrate, to riot, to express one’s out-
(euph., fam., Br.E.)
rage
i poner a alg. a caldo (fam.) to give s.o. a
i hacer la calle (fam.) (prostitute): to walk/
dressing-down (fam.), to tell s.o. what you work the streets (fam.), to be on the game
think of him (fam.)
el calé o calés (pop.) (money): dough (sl., i llevar/traer a alg. por la calle de la amar-
Am.E.), bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/ gura (fam.) to give s.o. a [very] difficult
lolly (sl., Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.) time, to make s.o.’s life a misery (fam.), to
make life hell for s.o. (fam.)
las calendas calends i desempedrar la calle (fig., fam.) to dash
i en las Calendas griegas (fam., hum.) on the along/through the street, to shoot off
Greek calends (hum.), in a month of Sun- i echar a alg. a la calle (fam.), poner a alg.
days (fam.), in a coon’s age (sl., Am.E.), de patitas en la calle (fam.) to kick s.o. out
never  Pagarán en las Calendas griegas. (fam.), to boot s.o. out (fam.), to fire s.o.
They’ll pay on the Greek calends. They’ll never (fam.) ]dar el bote a alg.
pay.  Siguiendo así, terminarán el trabajo i plantar a alg. en la calle (fig., fam.) to pitch
en las Calendas griegas. Continuing like s.o. into the street (fig.) ]dar el bote a alg.
that, they won’t finish the job in a month of ] calle (estar al cabo de la ~)
Sundays. el callo callus
] calentar el asiento i dar el callo (fig., fam., Esp.) to keep one’s
] calentar la cabeza/los cascos a alg. nose to the grindstone (fig.) ]echar/sudar
] calentarse la cabeza la hiel
] calentura de pollo i criar callos (fig.) to develop a thick skin
(fig.), to become inured, to become hard-
la calientapollas (vulg., Esp.) sexually pro- ened (fig.), to toughen [o.s.] up (make phys-
vocative woman, prick-teaser (vulg.), cock- ically or emotionally resilient)  Tiene la
teaser (vulg.) sensibilidad a flor de piel. Debería criar ca-

29
el Calvario

llos. She’s very easily hurt. She should develop los calzaron. The boss gave them a terrific
a thick skin. ticking-off. They deserved it. It served them
] calor ( ]cojón: hacer un ~ de cojones) right.
] calor ( ]traer/traérselas: hace un ~ que se el calzón trousers (Br.E.), pants (Am.E.)
las trae) i meterse en sus calzones (fig.) to mind one’s
] calor (abrasarse de ~) own business  ¡Métete en tus calzones!
el Calvario Calvary, Stations of the Cross Mind your own business!
i ser un calvario (fig.) to be an ordeal (fig.), i llevar o ponerse los calzones (mujer) (fig.)
to be a misery (fam.), to be torture (fig.), to (woman): to wear the pants (Am.E.)/
be hell (fam.)  Vivir allí fue un calvario. Life trousers (Br.E.) (fig.) ]llevar la batuta  Su
was hell there.  La oveja negra de la familia esposa lleva los calzones. His wife wears the
hizo de la vida de sus padres un verdadero pants.
calvario. The black sheep of the family made los calzoncillos underpants (Am.E.), pants
his parents’ life a real misery. (Br.E.)
calvo bald, baldheaded i dejar a alg. en calzoncillos (fig., fam.) to
i el calvo (pop.) (penis): prick (vulg.), cock fleece s.o. [of everything] (fig.), to milk s.o.
(vulg.), dick (vulg.), pecker (vulg., Am.E.), [dry] (fig.), to bleed s.o. [white/dry] (fam.)
dong (vulg., Am.E.) la camada litter (animals)
i Ni tanto ni tan calvo. (fig.) Don’t exagger-
i la camada (fig., pej.) band/gang [of thieves],
ate. It’s not that bad.  Casi morimos. ¡Ni
bunch of no-gooders (fam., pej.)
tanto ni tan calvo! We almost died. Don’t ex-
i ser lobos de una misma camada (fig., pej.)
aggerate! It was not that bad.
to be tarred with the same brush (fam., pej.),
] calvo (dentro de cien años todos ~s)
to be birds of a feather  Son lobos de una
la calzadera lace for abarcas (sandals) misma camada. They’re tarred with the same
i apretar las calzaderas (fig., fam.) to take to brush.
one’s heels, to beat it (sl.)
la camándula (fig., fam.) smartness,
calzar (shoes/etc.): to put on, to wear shrewdness, cunning
i calzar algo (fig., fam.) to get s.th. (fam.), to i tener muchas camándulas to be very
twig s.th. (fam., Br.E.), to catch on to s.th. shrewd/crafty, to be as sly as they come
(fam.), to grasp s.th. (fig.), to understand (fam.), to know every trick in the book
s.th. (fam.)
i calzar poco (fig., fam.) to be slow on the up-
take, to be pretty dim (fam.), to be a bit el camarón shrimp, prawn
i Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la co-
dense (fig.)
rriente. (prov.) Time and tide wait for no
i calzar[se] a alg. (pop., Esp.) to screw s.o.
(vulg.), to fuck s.o. (vulg.), to bang s.o. man. (prov.) Don’t miss the boat. (fig.)
(vulg.), to bonk s.o. (vulg.), to have it off/ Board the boat before it sails or before it has
away with s.o. (sl., Br.E.), to lay s.o. (sl.), to set sail. (fig.)
ball s.o. (sl., Am.E.), to shag s.o. (vulg., Br.E.) el cambiazo (fam.) dishonest switch (fig.)
i calzarse a alg. (fig., fam.) to have/keep s.o. i dar el cambiazo a alg. to dishonestly switch
under one’s thumb (fig., fam.)  Hace un s.th.  No es el diamante auténtico. Me han
año que esa mujer de armas tomar se calza dado el cambiazo. It isn’t the real diamond.
a él. That Xanthippe has been keeping him They have switched it for a fake one.
under her thumb for a year. ] camello (hacer de una pulga un ~)
i calzarse algo (fig., fam.) to get s.th., to man-
age to get s.th., to succeed in getting s.th.  el camelo (fam.) blarney (fam.), leg-pulling
Me calzé el empleo. I succeeded in getting the (fam.), joke, hoax, lie, bull (sl., Am.E.), con
job. I got the job. (sl.), swindle  Esto es un camelo. It’s all a
i calzárselos (fam.) (punishment/ticking- swindle.  Lo que dijo fue puro camelo.
off/etc.): to deserve it, to serve s.o. right  What he said was a pack of lies or a load of
El jefe les echó una bronca fenomenal. Se bull.

30
campante

i dar [el] camelo a alg. (a) to make fun of s.o., i echar las campanas al vuelo (fig.) to rejoice,
to pull s.o.’s leg (fam.), to kid s.o. (fam.), to to be all excited, to jump for joy, to celebrate
have s.o. on (fam.) (b) to take s.o. for a ride [prematurely], to shout about s.th., to pro-
(fam.), to fool s.o., to put one/it over on s.o. claim or shout s.th. from the rooftops (fig.)
(fam.), to con s.o. (sl.)  No eches las campanas al vuelo antes de
i oler a camelo there’s s.th. fishy about it tiempo. Don’t rejoice too soon. Don’t celebrate
(fam.), to smell/sound fishy (fam.)  Aquí prematurely.  No queremos echar las cam-
huele a camelo. There’s s.th. fishy here.  Eso panas al vuelo hasta no estar seguro. We
me huele a camelo. That smells fishy to me. don’t want to start shouting about it or shout-
There’s s.th. fishy about that.  Esta noticia ing from the rooftops until we know for sure.
me huele a camelo. This piece of news sounds i oír campanas y no saber dónde (fam.) (a)
fishy to me. to have heard s.th. or noises to that effect,
] camino (con pan y vino se anda el ~) not to know exactly (b) to grope in the dark
] camino (tirar por un ~) (fig.), to be [totally] in the dark (fig.), not
to have a clue (c) to get hold of the wrong
el camión truck (Am.E.), lorry (Br.E.) end of the stick (fig.)  ¿Sabes qué ocurrió?
i estar como un camión (fam., Esp.) He oído campanas y no sé dónde. Do you
(woman): to have a great/fantastic figure or know what happened? I’ve heard s.th. about
build, to look smashing (fam.), to be a real it, but I don’t know exactly. I only have a vague
knock-out (sl.)  Su novia está como un idea.  Oigo campanas y no sé dónde. I’m
camión. His girlfriend has a great figure. totally in the dark. I’m groping in the dark.
la camisa shirt i querer tocar las campanas y asistir a la pro-
i no llegarle a uno la camisa al cuerpo (fig.) cesión to want to be in two places at once
to jump out of one’s skin, to be scared stiff i tocar la campana (pop., Esp.) (to mastur-
(fam.), to be scared to death (fam.), to be bate): to jerk off (vulg.), to jack off (vulg.),
terrified, to be frightened or scared out of to toss off (vulg., Br.E.), to wank or have a
one’s wits, to get the fright of one’s life  En wank (vulg., Br.E.)
aquel momento no me llegó la camisa al
el campanario belfry, bell tower
cuerpo. I was scared stiff at that moment. I
i subirse al campanario (fig., fam.) to go up
was frightened out of my wits at that moment. the wall (fig.), to go spare (fam., Br.E.), to go
i casarse con una mujer en camisa (fig.) to off at the deep end (fam.) ]salirse de sus
marry a woman without a dowry casillas
i jugar hasta la camisa to lose one’s shirt
(fig.), to gamble away everything [one owns] el campaneo pealing, bell ringing
i dar hasta la camisa (fig., fam.) to give the i el campaneo (fam.) (esp. women): swing-
shirt off one’s back (fig.)  Ella te daría ing/swaying of the hips, hip-swinging
hasta la camisa. She’d give you the shirt off
la campanilla small bell
her back. i tener muchas campanillas (fam.) to be a
i meterse en camisa de once varas (fam.) (a)
bigwig (fam.), to be a big noise (sl.), to be a
to bite off more than one can chew (fam.)
big shot (fam.), to be a big cheese (sl.), to
(b) to interfere in or poke one’s nose into
be a big wheel (fam.), to be a fat cat (fam.,
(fam.) other people’s affairs (c) to get o.s.
Am.E.), to be a top nob (sl., Br.E.)
into a pickle (fam.), to get o.s. into a jam/fix
i de muchas campanillas (fam.) important,
(fam.), to get o.s. into a tight spot (fam.), to
distinguished, high-class, big (fam.), grand
get o.s. into a mess (fig.)
 Es una dama de muchas campanillas.
la camorra (fam.) row (fam.), fight, set-to She’s a grand lady.
(fam.), scrap (sl.)  armar camorra to kick
campante (fam.) self-satisfied, smug
up a row (fam.), to start/pick a fight  bus-
i quedarse/estar tan campante (fam.) to act
car camorra to look for trouble or for a fight
as if nothing had happened, not to bat an
la campana bell eyelid (Br.E.) or eyelash (Am.E.) (fig.), not
i echar las campanas al vuelo to set the bells to turn a hair (fig.), . . . as cool as a cucum-
ringing, to peal the bells ber (fig.)  Fue declarado culpable por los

31
campar

jurados y allí estaba tan campante. He was el candado padlock


found guilty by the jury and he acted as if i echar candado a la boca/a los labios (fig.)
nothing had happened/and he didn’t bat an to keep a secret to o.s., not to breathe/say a
eyelid/and there he sat as cool as a cucumber. word, to keep mum (fam.), to keep one’s
mouth shut (fam.)
campar to camp
i campar con su estrella (fig.) to be lucky, to la candela candle
be in luck, to be successful i estar con la candela en la mano (fig., fam.)
i campar por sus respetos (fig.) to act inde- to be dying, to be at death’s door
pendently, to act on one’s own hook (fam.), i acabársele a alg. la candela (fam.) to snuff
to do as one pleases, to strike out on one’s it (fam., Br.E.)  Se le acabó la candela. He
own (fig.) snuffed it.
i arrimar candela a alg. (fam.) to give s.o. a
la cana white hair [good] clobbering or hiding or tanning or
i peinar canas (fig.) to be old thrashing (fam.), to beat s.o. up (fam.), to
i echar una cana al aire (fam.) (a) to have tan s.o.’s hide (fig., fam.), to let s.o. have it
an easy day of it, to cut loose (sl.), to go on (fam.)
a fling (fam.), to have a fling (fam.), to
whoop it up (fam.), to let one’s hair down el candelero candlestick
(fig.) (b) to be unfaithful (to one’s hus- i estar algo/alg. en [el] candelero (fig.)
band/wife/etc.), to two-time (one’s hus- (s.th.): to be of keen current interest, (s.th./
band/wife) (fam., Am.E.), to have an affair s.o.): to be rated highly, to be in the limelight
or a fling (fam.) (with another man/woman) (fig.), to be the center or focus of attention;
(s.o.): to be high up (fig.), to be in a posi-
 Ayer echamos una cana al aire. We cut
tion of authority
loose yesterday.  Cada vez que su marido
i poner algo/a alg. en [el] candelero (fig.) to
estaba en viaje de negocios echaba una
bring s.th./s.o. into the limelight (fig.) or into
cana al aire. Every time her husband was
the center of attention, to give/get s.o. a high
away on business she was unfaithful to him.
post, to build s.o. up (fam.)
She always two-timed her husband when he
was away on business. la candelilla small candle, glowlight
i hacérsele a alg. candelillas los ojos (fig.)
el canario canary to be tipsy, to be tiddly (fam.), to have had
i el canario (pop., Esp.) (penis) ]el calvo one too many (fam.)  Se te hacen can-
i cambiar el agua al canario (pop., hum., delillas los ojos. You’re tipsy.
Esp.) (men): to have a slash (sl., Br.E.), to
take or have (Br.E.) a leak (sl., hum.), to have el candil oil lamp
a pee/piddle (fam., Br.E.), to spend a penny i pescar al candil (fig.) to fish in troubled wa-
(euph., fam., Br.E.) ters (fig.)
i arder en un candil (fig., fam.) (a) (wine):
la canción song to be very strong (b) to be pretty strong stuff
i ¡[Siempre] la misma canción! (fig., fam.) (fig., fam.)  Este vino arde en un candil.
The same old story [every time]! Here he/etc. This wine is very strong.  Lo que dijo ardió
goes again! Can’t he/etc. change the record!? en un candil. What he said was pretty strong
(fig., fam.) stuff.
i Ha vuelto a la misma canción. (fig., fam.) i buscar con un candil (fam.) to search high
He’s/she’s riding his/her hobby-horse again. and low
(fig.) He’s/she’s on his/her hobby-horse i Ni buscando con [un] candil. (fam.) There
again. (fig.) He’s/she’s onto his/her favorite aren’t many of that sort around. You won’t
or pet subject/topic again. see the likes of that again in a hurry. (fam.)
el canco (pop., Esp.) (gay): queer/fairy/fag- la canela cinnamon
got (sl., pej.), pansy (fam., pej.), queen (sl.), i ser canela fina (fig.) to be wonderful, to be
poof[ter] (sl., pej., Br.E.), fag (sl., pej., splendid, to be exquisite, to be fantastic
Am.E.), arse bandit (vulg., Br.E.) (fam.), to be heavenly (fam.), to be divine

32
el cántaro

(fig., fam.), to be pure nectar (fig.), to be i cantar algo a alg. (fam.) to rave to s.o. about
very special, to be exceptional  Esa mujer s.th.  Siempre me cantan ese restaurante.
es canela fina. That woman is wonderful. She They’re always raving to me about that restau-
is an exceptional woman.  Este jarrón de rant.
porcelana es canela fina. This is a very ex- i cantar las cuarenta a alg. (fam.) to give s.o.
quisite porcelain vase.  Este vino es canela a piece of one’s mind, to tell s.o. a few home
fina. This wine is divine or is pure nectar. truths
i ser la flor de la canela (fig.) to be the very i cantarlas claras [a alg.] (fam.) not to mince
best, to be the crème de la crème (fig.), to one’s words (fig.), to speak frankly/out, to
be the best that money can buy (pop.) talk turkey [with s.o.] (sl., Am.E.), to tell s.o.
straight, to give it to s.o. straight  Las canté
el canelo cinnamon tree claras. I didn’t mince my words.  Se las
i hacer el canelo (pop., Esp.) to be exploited canté claras a ellos. I told them straight. I
(fig.), to be taken for a ride (fam.), to be gave it to them straight. I talked turkey with
taken in (fam.) them.
el cangrejo crab i cantar victoria (fig.)  Gracias a Dios se han
i ponerse rojo como un cangrejo, ponerse ido. No cantes victoria. Thank God they’re
como un cangrejo asado to blush like a lob- gone. Don’t speak too soon.  No cantes vic-
ster (fig.), to blush like a or go as red as a toria antes de tiempo. Don’t count your
beetroot (fam., Br.E.), to turn as red as a beet chickens before they are hatched. (fig.)  Es
pronto para cantar victoria. I’m/we’re not out
(fam., Am.E.), to go bright red
of the wood (Br.E.) or woods (Am.E.) yet.
el canguro kangaroo (fam.)
i el/la canguro/cangura (fig., Esp.) baby-sitter ] cantar (canta la chicharra)
 Hace de cangura dos veces por semana. ] cantar (carta[s] canta[n])
She baby-sits twice a week. ] cantar (otro gallo cantaría si ...)
] cantar (quien nace chicharra muere can-
la canica marble (little ball)
tando)
i las canicas (pop., Esp.) (testicles): balls
] cantar (ser coser y ~)
(pop., vulg.), nuts (vulg., Am.E.), marbles
] cantar el kirie
(vulg., Br.E.), bollocks (vulg. Br.E.), goolies ] cantar la cartilla a alg.
(sl.) ] cantar la gallina/palinodia
el canónigo canon el cantar song
i vivir como un canónigo (fig., fam.) to live i Eso es otro cantar. (fig., fam.) That’s [quite]
an easy life another story or matter or kettle of fish.
] cansado ( ]nacer: nació alg. ~) That’s [quite] a different story or matter or
] cansado (estar ~ del plantón) kettle of fish. That’s a different ball game.
] cansancio (caerse de ~) (fig., fam.)
] cansancio (estar muerto [de ~]) el cántaro pitcher, jug
el/la cantamañanas (fam., pej.) unreliable i los cántaros (fam.) (breasts): knockers (sl.),
person, person who is all talk and no action tits (fam.), boobs (fam.), hooters (sl., Am.E.)
(fam.)  Es un cantamañanas. He’s all talk i un alma de cántaro (fig., fam.) nincompoop
and no action. He’s an unreliable bloke. You (fam.), numskull (fam.) ]un [pedazo de]
can’t believe a word he says. alcornoque
i Tanto va el cántaro a la fuente, que al fin
cantar to sing se rompe. (prov.) There’s a limit to every-
i cantar (fam.) to sing (sl.), to squeal (sl.), to thing. You/etc. shouldn’t push your/etc. luck.
talk (fam.), to blab (fam.), to spill the beans (fam.) You/etc. won’t get away with it/that
(sl.) forever.
i cantar de plano (fam.) to make a full con- i a cántaros (fig.) in plenty, plenty of, pots/
fession, to tell all one knows, to come clean piles/heaps of (fam.)  llover a cántaros to
(fam.) rain in torrents, to come down in buckets/

33
la cantilena

sheets, to rain cats and dogs, to be pouring dieron caña a la prensa. They [really] at-
[down or with rain], to be bucketing down tacked the press.  Los críticos le dieron caña
(Br.E.), the floodgates of heaven open (fig.)  a la novela. The critics panned the novel.
Gana dinero a cántaros. He makes pots of i dar/meter caña (fam.) to step on it (fam.),
money. He’s raking it in. to step on the gas (fam.)  ¡Dale caña! Step
on it!
la cantilena chant, song, ballad
i Las cañas se vuelven lanzas. A joke can eas-
i ¡[Siempre] la misma cantilena! (fig., fam.)
The same old story [every time]! Here he/etc. ily turn into s.th. unpleasant. A joke can eas-
goes again! Can’t he/etc. change the record!? ily turn serious.
(fig., fam.) ] caña (hay toros y ~s)
i Ha vuelto a la misma cantilena. (fig., fam.) cañón (adj. inv., adv., fam., Esp.) fabulous[ly]
He’s/she’s riding his/her hobby-horse again. (fig., fam.), marvellous[ly] (fam.), great
(fig.) He’s/she’s on his/her hobby-horse (fam.), wonderful[ly], fantastic[ally] (fam.),
again. (fig.) He’s/she’s onto his/her favorite gorgeous (fam.), stunning[ly], staggering[ly]
or pet subject/topic again. (fig.), brillant[ly] (fam., Br.E.)  Ella está
el canto song, singing cañón. She’s gorgeous.  una idea cañón a
i al canto del gallo (literal/fig.) at daybreak, fantastic idea  Lo has hecho cañón. You’ve
at the crack of dawn (fam.), at cockcrow (lit- done it brillantly. You’ve done a great job. 
eral/fig.)  Ayer nos levantamos al canto del Me lo pasé cañón. I had a wonderful or a
gallo. We got up at the crack of dawn yester- great time.
day. ] cañón (estar/morir al pie del ~)
] cañonazo (matar moscas a ~s)
el canto stone, pebble, edge, border
i darse con un canto en los dientes o en los la capa cape, cloak
pechos (fam.) to be well pleased, to count i la capa [de ladrones] (fig.) receiver [of
o.s. lucky  Puedes darte con un canto en stolen goods], fence (fam.), uncle (sl.)
los dientes. You can count yourself lucky. i dar la capa (fam.) to give the shirt off one’s
i [por] el canto de un duro (fig.) almost, back (fig.)  Ella te daría la capa. She’d give
[very] nearly, (to come) very close to, (to you the shirt off her back.
come) within a whisker of (fam.), (to be/ i hacer de su capa un sayo (fig.) to do what
come) within an ace of (fig.), by the skin of one likes with one’s own things, to do as one
one’s teeth (fam.), (to be/have) a close/nar- pleases, to make one’s own decisions, to act
row shave (fig., fam.) or a close call (fam.) freely
 Me faltó el canto de un duro para ganar. i tirar a alg. de la capa (fig.) to drop a hint
I came within an ace of winning. I came to s.o.
within a whisker of winning.  Le faltó el i defender algo a capa y espada (fig.) to fight
canto de un duro para perder el tren. He tooth and nail to defend s.th. (fig.), to put
very nearly missed the train.  Me salvé por everything one has into the defense of s.th.,
el canto de un duro. I had a narrow shave/ to defend s.th. to the last ditch (fig.), to take
escape. It was a close shave/call.  Por el up the cudgels for s.th. (fig.)
canto de un duro nos atropellan. We just i una película/etc. de capa y espada cloak-
missed being run over by the skin of our teeth. and-dagger film/etc.
] canto (cerrar algo a cal y ~) ] capa (si Dios de ésta me escapa, nunca me
] canto (de cal y ~) cubrirá de tal ~)
la caña reed ] capacho (mezclar berzas con ~s)
i la caña (fig., fam.) (person): beanpole (fig., ] capar moscas (mandar a alg. a ~)
fam., hum.)
] capirote (hacer mangas y ~s de algo/alg.)
i dar caña a alg./algo (fam.) (a) to give s.o.
] capirote (ser tonto de ~)
a beating ]arrimar candela a alg. (b) to at-
tack s.th. (fig.), to slam s.th. (fam.), to slag ] capítulo (tener voz en ~)
s.th. off (sl., Br.E.), to pan s.th. (fam.)  Le ] capricho (ser juguete de los ~s de alg.)

34
cargar

el capuchón (clothing): big hood el caracol snail, spiral (form)


i ponerse el capuchón (pop.) to be put be- i ¡Caracoles! (fam., euph.). (amazement/sur-
hind bars (fig.), to be put in clink (sl.), to prise): Good heavens! (fam.) Blow me!
be put in the can (sl., Am.E.), to be put in (fam., Br.E.) (anger): Damn it! (fam.)
the jug (sl.), to be put in the slammer (sl.), i hacer caracoles (fig., fam.) (drunk): to reel,
to be locked up to stagger, to weave about
la cara face el carajillo (Esp.) black coffee with a dash
i tener cara de nalgas (fig., pop.) to have of brandy
chubby cheeks, to be chubby-cheeked
la carantoña (fam.) (a) grotesque mask (b)
i tener cara de pan (fam.) to have a round
face, to be moon-faced grotesque or ugly face, ugly mug (sl.) (c)
i tener cara de pocos amigos to look black painted hag (pej.), mutton dressed up as
(fig.), to look like or as black as thunder, to lamb (fam., Br.E.)
look grumpy, to look surly, to have a sour i hacer carantoñas a alg. (a) to make sheep’s
(fig.) or cross (fam.) look on one’s face eyes at s.o. (b) to flatter s.o., to butter s.o.
i tener más cara que espalda (pop.) to be up (fam.), to soft-soap s.o. (fam.)
very impertinent/impudent, to be a cheeky la carcajada guffaw, peal of laughter
devil (fam., Br.E.), to be as bold as brass i soltar la carcajada to burst out laughing
(fam.), to have such a nerve (fam.) i reír[se] a carcajadas to roar with laughter,
i dar/sacar la cara por alg. to stand up for s.o., to guffaw
to stick up for s.o.
i plantar cara a alg. to confront s.o., to defy el carcamal (fam., pej.) (person): old crock
s.o., to stand up to s.o. (fam., Br.E.), [old] wreck (fig., pej.)
i saltar a la cara a alg. (fig., fam.) to jump ] cárcel (dar con los/sus huesos en la ~)
down s.o.’s throat (fam.), to snap at s.o. ] cárcel (pudrirse en la ~)
i lavar la cara a alg. (fig.) to suck up to s.o. ] cárcel (zambullir a alg. en la ~)
(fam.), to toady to s.o., to lick s.o.’s boots
(fig.), to adulate s.o. la careta mask
i se le ve/nota/conoce a alg. en la cara one i quitarse la careta (fig.) to drop the mask
can tell just by looking at s.o., one can tell (fig.), to show [o.s. in] one’s true colors 
just by the look on s.o.’s face  Se te ve en Nunca se sabe qué piensa ese tío. No se
la cara que no dices la verdad. One can tell quita la careta. You can never tell what that
just by looking at you or just by the look on guy is thinking. He doesn’t show his true col-
your face that you don’t tell the truth. ors.
] cara ( ]escribir: tener algo escrito en la ~) i quitarle la careta a alg. (fig.) to unmask s.o.
] cara ( ]nuevo: ponerle a alg. la ~ nueva) (fig.), to expose s.o.
] cara (caérsele a alg. la ~ de vergüenza)
la carga load, burden
] cara (dar a alg. con la puerta en la ~)
i dar con la carga en tierra o en el suelo
] cara (tener la ~ como el cemento)
(fig.), echarse con la carga (fig.) to chuck
] cara (tener monos en la ~)
] cara de pascuas (tener ~) it all in/up (fam., Br.E.), to chuck the whole
] cara de rallo thing (fam.), to throw in the sponge/towel
] cara de vinagre (poner ~) (fig.), to give up  Probemos al menos una
vez más. Es demasiado prematuro echarse
la carabina carbine con la carga. Let’s try at least one more time.
i ser [como o lo mismo que] la carabina de It’s too early/soon to throw in the towel.
Ambrosio (fam.) to be utterly useless, to be
a dead loss (fig., fam.) cargar to load
i la carabina (fam.) chaperon[e]  hacer/ir i cargarse a alg. (fam.) (a) to kill s.o., to
de carabina to go [along] as or play chaperon, bump s.o. off (sl.), to finish s.o. off (fam.),
to play gooseberry (fam., Br.E.)  sentirse de to do s.o. in (fam.), to croak s.o. (sl.), to
carabina to feel like a fifth wheel (fig., fam.) deep-six s.o. (sl., Am.E.) (b) to have it off

35
el cariz

with s.o. (sl., Br.E.) ]calzar[se] a alg.  ¡Me i en carnes [vivas] (fig.) naked, stark naked
lo cargaré! I’ll bump him off! (fam.), starkers (fam., hum., Br.E.), in
the buff (fam., hum., Br.E.)  Fuimos a
el cariz weather situation
bañarnos en carnes. We went skinny-
i ir tomando algo mal cariz (fig.) s.th. (situ-
dipping. (fam.)
ation/etc.): to be beginning to look bad, to
] carne (ser uña y ~)
be getting serious, not to like the look of s.th.
 Esto o esta cosa va tomando mal cariz. I el carnero wether, ram
don’t like the look of this. This business is be- i No hay tales carneros. (fig., fam.) There isn’t
ginning to look bad.  La situación política any such thing. There’s no such thing. It’s
va tomando mal cariz. The political situation nothing of the sort. It’s enough to make a cat
is beginning to look bad. laugh. (fam.)
la carlanca (fig., fam.) shrewdness, cunning ] caro (salirle algo a alg. ~)
i tener muchas carlancas to be very shrewd/ carpetazo (fam.)
crafty, to be as sly as they come (fam.), to i dar carpetazo a algo (plan/proyecto/etc.)
know every trick in the book (fam.) s.th. (plan/project/etc.): to shelve (fig.), to
la carne flesh, meat leave on the shelf (fig.), to put on ice (fig.),
i herir a alg. en carne viva (fig.) to hurt/ to put on one side, to do nothing about
wound s.o. deeply (fig.), to cut s.o. to the Carracuca (fam.)
quick (fig.) i estar más perdido que Carracuca to be
i poner toda la carne en el asador (fig.) (a) really in the soup (fam.), to be in a fine/real
to put all one’s eggs in one basket (fig., pop.), mess (fig.), to be in a real jam/fix (fam.), to
to go the whole hog (fam.), to stake one’s all be in a very awkward or difficult situation
(fig.), to shoot the works (fam.) (b) to do i ser más viejo que Carracuca to be as old as
everything in one’s power, to move heaven the hills (fig., fam.), to be as old as Methuse-
and earth, to leave no stone unturned (fig.) lah (fig.)
i ponerle o ponérsele a alg. [la] carne de ga- i ser más feo que Carracuca to be as ugly as
llina (fig.) to give s.o. or get gooseflesh/goose
sin/hell (fam.), to be incredibly ugly
pimples/goose bumps (Am.E.) (fig.), to give i ser más tonto que Carracuca to be as thick
s.o. or get the creeps (fam.), to give s.o. or as they come (fam.), to be as thick as two
get the heebie-jeebies (fam.), to send shiv- short planks (fam.), to be as thick as a brick
ers down s.o.’s spine (fig.)  Nos pone la (fam.), to be a real thicko (sl., Br.E.), not to
carne de gallina. It gives us gooseflesh.  Esa
be exactly an Einstein (fam.), s.o. must have
escena me puso la carne de gallina. That
been at the back of the queue when they
scene gave me goose pimples. That scene sent
were handing brains out (fam., hum.)
shivers down my spine.  Se me puso carne
de gallina. I got the creeps/heebie-jeebies. ] carrera (plantar la ~)
i tener carne de perro (fig., fam.) to have an ] carreta (aguantar carros y ~s)
iron (fig.) constitution
el carretero cart driver
i ser de carne y hueso to be only human, to
i blasfemar/jurar como un carretero (fam.)
have feelings too, to have the same feelings
to swear like a trooper (fam.), to swear hor-
as other people  ¿Él cree que no sufrimos?
ribly
Nosotros también somos de carne y hueso.
i fumar como un carretero (fam.) to smoke
He thinks we don’t suffer? We’re only human.
like a chimney (fig.)
We have feelings too.
i no ser carne ni pescado (fig.) to be neither el carrillo cheek
fish nor fowl (fig.), to be neither one thing i comer o mascar a dos carrillos (fam.) to
nor the other. gobble (fam.), to scoff (fam., Br.E.) (fam.),
i temblarle a alg. las carnes (fig.) to tremble to tuck in (fam.), to tuck it away (fam.), to
from head to foot, to tremble all over eat greedily, to stuff o.s. (fam.), to feed/stuff
i perder carnes (fam.) to go thin, to lose one’s face (fam.), to make a [real] pig of o.s.
weight (fam.), to eat like a horse (fig.)

36
la casa

i comer a dos carrillos (fig.) (a) to have more la carta letter


than one iron in the fire or string to one’s i echar una carta al correo (fig., fam.) to do
bow (fig., fam.), to have more than one one’s business (fig., fam.), to relieve o.s. 
[well-paid] job, to moonlight (sl.), to have Está echando una carta al correo. He’s do-
the best of both worlds (b) to run with the ing his business.  Tengo que echar una
hare and hunt with the hounds (fig., Br.E.) carta al correo. I must just pay a visit. (euph.,
 Ten cuidado al negociar con él. Come a Br.E.) I have to go to the loo (Br.E.) or to the
dos carrillos. Be careful negotiating with him. john (Am.E.). (fam.) Nature calls. (fam.)
He runs with the hare and hunts with the la cartilla primer, elementary treatise
hounds. i cantar/leer la cartilla a alg. (fam.) to give
el carro cart, wagon s.o. a [severe] ticking-off (fam., Br.E.), to
i untar el carro a alg. (fig., fam.) to grease read the riot act to s.o. (fig., hum.), to take
s.o.’s palm (fig., fam.), to bribe s.o. s.o. to task (fig.), to give s.o. a good talking-
i aguantar carros y carretas (fig.) to put up to (fam.)
with anything i no saber [ni] la cartilla (fam.) not to know
i ¡Para el carro! (fig., fam.) Hold your horses! a single thing, not to have the foggiest [idea]
(fam.) Cool it! (fam.) Keep your shirt on! (fam.), not to have the faintest idea (fam.),
(fam.) Keep your hair on! (fam., Br.E.) not to have a clue (fam.)

el carroza (fam., Esp.) (a) old fogey (fam., el cartucho cartridge


pej.), old geezer (fam.), a man who has an- i quemar el último cartucho (fig.) to play
tiquated ideas, square (sl.) (b) old gay lecher, one’s last card (fig.)
i haber quemado su último cartucho (fig.) to
old queen (sl.)
have shot one’s bolt (fig.)  No sabe a qué
la carta card, playing card santo encomendarse. Ha quemado su úl-
i jugar la última carta (fig.) to play one’s last timo cartucho. He’s at the end of his tether.
[trump] card (fig.) He’s shot his bolt.
i jugárselo todo a una [sola] carta (fig.) to i luchar hasta quemar el último cartucho
put all one’s eggs in one basket (fig.), to risk (literal/fig.) to fight on to the last ditch (lit-
everything on one throw eral/fig.), to die in the last ditch (literal/fig.)
i jugar a cartas vistas (fig.) to put one’s cards  En la batalla de Álamo lucharon hasta
on the table (fig.) quemar el último cartucho. At the Álamo
i poner las cartas boca arriba (fig.) to put/lay they died in the last ditch.  El sindicato
one’s cards on the table (fig.)  Pon las car- [obrero] luchó hasta quemar el último car-
tas boca arriba y dime qué verdaderamente tucho. The [labor/trade] union fought on to
piensas. Put your cards on the table and tell the last ditch.
me what you really think. la casa house
i no saber a qué carta quedarse (fig.) not to i caérsele a alg. la casa encima o a cuestas
know what to think/believe, to be in a (fig.) the bottom falls out of s.o.’s world 
dilemma, to be undecided Cuando se entere de eso se le caerá la casa
i tomar cartas en un asunto (fig.) to take a encima. The bottom will fall out of her world
hand in a matter, to come in on an affair, to when she finds out about that.
intervene in a matter, to step in (fig.)  Te- i echar/tirar la casa por la ventana to go to
nemos que tomar cartas en el asunto. We enormous expense, to spare no expense, to
have to intervene [in the matter]. We have to push the boat out (fig.), to roll out the red
step in. carpet (for s.o.) (fig.), to give s.o. the red-
i Carta[s] canta[n]. (prov.) To have it in carpet treatment (fig.)  Para la boda de su
black and white. To have it in cold print. hija echó la casa por la ventana. He spared
(fig.)  ¿Y no hay la menor duda? Cartas no expense or he [really] pushed the boat out
cantan. And there’s no doubt whatsoever? I/we for his daughter’s wedding.
have it in black and white. Here it is in cold ] casa (barrer en su propia ~)
print. ] casa (en ~ de herrero, cuchillo de palo)

37
casar[se]

] casa (en ~ del gaitero/tamborilero todos el casco helmet


son danzantes) i el casco (fig.) head, nut (sl.)
i caliente de cascos (fig.) hot-headed
casar[se] to marry, to get married
i romper los cascos a alg. to smash/bash s.o.’s
i casarse por detrás de la iglesia (fam.) to
head in (fam.)
move in with each other, to set up house to- i romperse los cascos (fig.) (a) to rack one’s
gether, to shack up together (sl.), to live to- brains (fig.) (b) to kill o.s. with brainwork
gether, to cohabit  Se casaron por detrás (fam.)
de la iglesia. They moved in with each other. i romper/calentar los cascos a alg. (fig.) to
They set up house together.  Viven casados get on s.o.’s nerves (fam.), to get on s.o.’s
[por] detrás de la iglesia. They’re shacked wick (fam., Br.E.), to get s.o. worked up 
up together. They live together. Me rompe los cascos con sus lamentaciones.
] casarse con una mujer en camisa Sus lamentaciones me calientan los cascos.
] casarse de penalty He gets on my nerves with his whining. His
el cascabel little bell whining gets me worked up.
i poner el cascabel al gato (fig.) to bell the i ser ligero/alegre de cascos (fam.) to be
cat (fig.), to stick one’s neck out (fam.), to frivolous, to be flighty
take on a risky or dangerous assignment/job casi almost
i De casi no se muere nadie. (prov.) A miss
cascar to crack, to break
is as good as a mile. (prov.)
i cascar (fam.) to chat, to shoot the breeze/
bull (fam., Am.E.), to chatter, to talk a lot la casilla small house, hut
i cascar[la] (pop.) (to die): to snuff it (fam., i salirse de sus casillas (fig., fam.) to go
Br.E.), to kick the bucket (fam.), to peg out through the roof (fig., fam.), to hit the roof
(fam.), to pop off (fam.), to pop one’s clogs (fig., fam.), to get one’s monkey up (hum.),
(fam.), to croak (sl.) to fly off the handle (fam.), to blow/lose
i cascar a alg. (pop.) (a) to bump s.o. off (sl.) one’s cool (sl.), to blow one’s top (sl.), to
]cargarse a alg. (a). (b) (sport/etc.): to blow one’s stack (sl.), to blow/pop one’s cork
beat s.o. hollow (fam.), to slaughter s.o. (fig., (sl.), to get [very] cross (fam.)
fam.) i sacar a alg. de sus casillas (fig., fam.) to get
i cascársela (vulg.) (to masturbate) ]tocar la s.o.’s goat (sl.), to get s.o.’s monkey up
campana  Ese viejo verde se la casca cada (hum.), to make s.o. cross (fam.), to get s.o.
día. That dirty old man or randy old goat jerks worked up, to get up s.o.’s nose (fam.), to
off every day. drive s.o. crazy (fam.), to drive s.o. round the
bend (sl.), to drive s.o. spare (fam., Br.E.)
la cáscara shell (egg/nut/etc.)
i No hay más cáscaras. (fig.) There’s no el casquete skullcap
i echar un casquete (pop., Esp.) to have a
choice. There’s no alternative. There’s no
screw (vulg.), to screw (vulg), to fuck (vulg),
other way.
to bang (vulg), to bonk (vulg), to shag (vulg.,
i ¡Cáscara[s]! (fam.) (amazement/surprise):
Br.E.), to ball (sl., Am.E.), to have it off/away
Blow me! (fam., Br.E.) Well I’m blowed!
(sl., Br.E.), to get a/one’s leg over (sl., Br.E.),
(fam., Br.E.)
to have a shag (vulg., Br.E.), to get one’s
el cascarón [broken] eggshell rocks off (sl., Am.E.)
i llevar todavía el cascarón pegado al culo ] casta (de ~ le viene al galgo ser rabilargo)
(pop.) to be still wet behind the ears (fig.,
fam.) la castaña chestnut
i sacar las castañas del fuego a alg. (fig.) to
el/la cascarrabias (fam.) cantankerous or pull s.o.’s chestnuts out of the fire for him
quick-tempered man/woman or person, ir- (fig.), to do s.o.’s dirty work for him
ritable sort; (woman): battle-ax[e] (fam.), i ser algo/alg. una castaña (fam.) (s.th./s.o.):
shrew, virago, termagant, Xanthippe (fig.) to be a drag (fam.)

38
cebar

i dar la castaña a alg. (fam.) to cheat s.o., to (fig., fam.); (woman): sexually provocative
swindle s.o., to con s.o. (fam.), to make a fool woman, seductress, Circe (fig.)
out of s.o.
el castillo castle
i dar a alg. para castañas (fam.) to punish
i hacer castillos en el aire (fig.) to build cas-
s.o.  Hay que darle para castañas. He has
tles in the air or in Spain (fig.)
to be punished.
i hacer castillos de arena (fig.) to build on
i cogerse una castaña (fam.) to get drunk, to
sand (fig.)  Esta inversión es demasiado
get canned/pissed (sl., Br.E.)  Ayer nos
insegura. No hago castillas de arena. This
cogimos una castaña. We got drunk/canned
investment is too insecure. I don’t build on
yesterday.
sand.
i conducir a toda castaña (fam.) to drive flat
i hacer un castillo de un grano de arena
out (fam.)
(fig.) to make a mountain out of a molehill
] castaña (parecerse como un huevo a una
(fig.)
~)
i derrumbarse como un castillo de naipes
el castaño chestnut tree (fig.) to fold up or collapse like a house of
i pasar de castaño oscuro (fam.) to be really cards (fig.)  Su ambicioso proyecto se de-
too much, to be really out of line (fam.), to rrumbó como un castillo de naipes. His am-
be really the limit, to be pretty strong stuff bitious project collapsed like a house of
(fam.), to be a bit thick (sl.), to be beyond a cards.
joke, to be close to the bone (fam.), to take los cataplines (pop.) (testicles) ]las cani-
the biscuit (fam., Br.E.), to be the height of cas
cheek (fam., Br.E.)  Esto pasa de castaño
oscuro. This is beyond a joke.  Lo que di- el catarro catarrh, cold
jeron pasó de castaño oscuro. What they i Al catarro, con el jarro. (fam.) When you
said was really too much or was really out of have a cold, drink some booze or have a
line. toddy.
la castañuela castanet ] cauce (las aguas vuelven a su ~)
i estar [alegre] como unas castañuelas (fig.) el caucho rubber
to be very merry, to be very chipper (Am.E.) i quemar el caucho (fam.) to tear [along]
or chirpy (Br.E.) (fam.), to be as happy as a (fam.), to race/speed [along], to drive/go flat
clam/lark (fam., Am.E.), to be as happy as a out or [at] full lick (fam.)
sandboy/as Larry (fam., Br.E.), to be in high
spirits caudino (histórico)
i pasar por las horcas caudinas (fig.) to suf-
el castellano Castilian, Spanish fer a humiliating defeat, to be humiliatingly
i hablar en castellano [puro y llano] (fig.) to defeated
speak openly/freely or straightforwardly, to i ser pasar por las horcas caudinas (fig.) to
say s.th. in plain English (fig.)  Hablaron be a terrible experience, to be a terrible or-
en castellano. They spoke openly.  Lo dijo deal (fig.), to be torture (fig.)  Fue pasar
en castellano puro y llano. He said it in plain por las horcas caudinas tener que discul-
English. parme ante él. It was a terrible ordeal hav-
ing to apologize to him.
Castellón de la Plana
i ser de Castellón de la Plana (hum.) ] cazar (~las al vuelo)
(woman): to be flat-chested, to be [as] flat as ] cebada (asno muerto, la ~ al rabo)
a board (fam.), to be as flat as a pancake
cebar to feed, to fatten
(fam.), not to be exactly well stacked (sl.,
i cebarse en algo (fig.) (a) to become ab-
iron.)
sorbed or engrossed or immersed in s.th. (b)
castigador punitive to revel in s.th. (fig.), to gloat over s.th. 
i el/[la] castigador[a] (fam.) (man): woman- Se cebó en un estudio. He became absorbed
izer, philanderer, lady-killer (fam.), wolf in a study.  cebarse en la matanza o en la

39
el cebo

sangre to revel in or gloat over the bloodshed, shameless about asking that price. He had the
to be bloodthirsty nerve to ask that price.
i cebarse en alg. (fig.) to take one’s anger/fury
el cencerro cowbell
out on s.o. (sl.), to vent one’s anger/fury on
i estar [loco] como un cencerro (fig.) to be
s.o. (fig.)
[completely] crazy (fam.) or crackers (sl.,
i Se ceba la peste/el fuego. (fig.) The plague/
Br.E.) ]no estar bueno de la cabeza
fire is raging.
la ceniza ash[es]
el cebo feed, bait
i escribir algo en la ceniza (fig.) to write s.th.
i morder el cebo (fig.) to swallow/take the
off
bait (fig.)
i huir de la[s] ceniza[s] y caer/dar en la[s]
la cebolla onion brasa[s] (fig.) to jump out of the frying pan
i la cebolla (pop.) (head): onion (sl.), nut into the fire.  Atracó un banco para pagar
(sl.), bean/conk (sl., Am.), bonce/noddle (sl., sus deudas. Huyó de las cenizas y dio en las
Br.E.) brasas. He held up a bank to pay [off] his
] cebolla (echar ajos y ~s) debts. He jumped out of the frying pan into
the fire.
Ceca
i andar de la Ceca a la Meca to run/chase ] centella (echar rayos y ~s)
from pillar to post (fig.)  Había tantas for- ] céntimo (pellizcar los ~s)
malidades burocráticas. Tuve que andar de
cepillar to brush
la Ceca a la Meca para obtener los papeles.
i cepillar[se] a una (pop.) to screw a woman
It was red tape all the way. I had to run from
(vulg) ]calzar[se] a alg.
pillar to post to get the [identity] papers.
i cepillar[se] a alg. (pop.) to kill s.o. ]car-
la ceja eyebrow garse a alg. (a)
i tener a alg. entre ceja y ceja (fam.) to have
el ceporro old vine stock
a grudge against s.o. ]tener a alg. atrave-
i un ceporro (fig.) idiot, oaf ]un [pedazo
sado
de] alcornoque
i tener algo metido entre ceja y ceja (fam.)
i dormir como un ceporro (fam.) to sleep like
to have a bee in one’s bonnet [about s.th.]
a log (fam.)
(fam.), to be set on s.th.
i dormirse o quedarse dormido como un ce-
i quemarse las cejas (fig., fam.) to study/
porro (fam.) to go out like a light (fig., fam.)
work far into the night, to burn the midnight
 Estuve tan cansado que me dormí como
oil, to cram (fam.), to swot (fam., Br.E.), to
un ceporro. I was so tired [that] I went out
bone up (fam.)
like a light.
i estar hasta las cejas de algo/alg. (fig.) to be
fed up to the back teeth with s.th./s.o. (fam.), la cera wax
to be utterly fed up with s.th./s.o. (fam.), to i No hay más cera que la que arde. (fam.)
be sick and tired of s.th./s.o. (fam.), to be That’s all there is. What you see is what you
cheesed off with s.th./s.o. (fam., Br.E.) ]es- get. That’s the best I/we can do.
tar hasta [más allá de] la coronilla de algo ] cera (alzarse/salirse con el santo y la ~)
cejijunto having eyebrows that meet ] cerdo (a cada ~ le llega su San Martín)
i cejijunto (adj., fig.) frowning, scowling el cero zero
] celemín (meter/poner la luz bajo el ~) i ser un cero a la izquierda (fam.) to be a
walking/real zero (fam., Am.E.), to be a real
el cemento cement
zilch (sl., Am.E.), to be a nobody (pej.), to
i tener la cara como el cemento (fig., fam.)
be a dead loss (fig., fam.), to be a [complete]
to stick it on (fam.), to be quite shameless
washout (fam.), to be utterly useless
[about making outrageous demands or ask-
ing an outrageous price], to feel no shame cerrado closed, shut
[about . . .]  Cuando pidió ese precio tuvo i ser más cerrado que un cerrojo (fam.) to
la cara como el cemento. He was quite be as thick as two short planks (fam.), to be

40
la chaveta

as thick as a brick (fam.) ]ser más tonto el chaparrón cloudburst, downpour


que Carracuca i aguantar el chaparrón (fig., fam.) to [pa-
] cerrar algo a cal y canto/a piedra y lodo tiently] endure the lecture or wigging (fam.,
] cerrar todas las puertas a alg. Br.E.)
i soltar un chaparrón de insultos a alg. (fig.)
el cerro hill to hurl a barrage (fig.) or stream of insults at
i irse por los cerros de Úbeda (fig.) (a) to talk s.o.
[a lot of] nonsense or rubbish (fam.) or rot
(fam., Br.E.), to give silly or ridiculous or ab- el chapero (fam., Esp.) rent boy (fam.,
surd answers (b) to wander from the sub- Br.E.), ass peddler (fam., Am.E.), male [gay]
ject/point, to go off at a tangent (fig.) prostitute
] cerrojo (ser más cerrado que un ~) la chaqueta jacket
i ser más vago que la chaqueta de un
la cerviz neck, nape of the neck
guardia (fam.) to be bone idle (fam., Br.E.),
i doblar/bajar la cerviz (fig.) to submit, to
to be very lazy
bow down, to humble o.s.
i cambiar de/la chaqueta (fig., pej.) (a) to
i ser de dura cerviz to be stubborn, to be
change sides, to be a turncoat, to turn trai-
headstrong
tor (b) to trim one’s sails to the wind (fig.)
César Caesar  Es un oportunista. Siempre cambia de
i O césar o nada. (fig.) All or nothing. chaqueta. He’s an opportunist. He always
trims his sails to the wind.
el cesto [large] basket
i estar hecho un cesto (fam.) to be [blind] el Charly (pop.) (cocaine): coke (sl.), snow
drunk (fam.), to be [totally] plastered or (sl.)
sloshed (fam.), to be [totally] smashed or
el charol varnish
stoned (sl.), to be [totally] canned or pissed
i darse charol (fig., fam.) to swank (fam.,
(sl., Br.E), to be legless (fam., Br.E.), to be
Br.E.), to brag, to boast, to show off, to act
tight (fam.), to be as pissed as a newt (sl.,
the big shot (fam.), to act big (fam.)
Br.E.), to be as drunk as a lord (fam., Br.E.),
to be [as] drunk as a skunk (fam., hum., el chasis chassis
Am.E.), to be drunk to the gills (fam.), to i quedarse en el chasis (fig., fam.) to be a bag
have had one over the eight (fam.), to have of bones (fam.), to be all skin and bone
had one too many, to be out of one’s head (fam.), to be nothing but skin and bone
(sl.), to be three sheets to or have three sheets (fam.), to be terribly thin, to be as thin as a
in the wind (sl.) rake (fam.)
chachi (adj. inv., adv., pop.) great (fam.), bril- la chata bedpan
liant[ly] (fam., Br.E.) ]cojonudo (a)  Lo i la chata (fam.) (a) stocky woman (b) sawn-
pasamos chachi. We had a great or fantastic off shotgun
or smashing time.
chateo (fam.)
chalado (pop.) i andar/ir de chateo to go on a drinking ex-
i estar chalado to be nuts (fam.), to be pedition, to go on a bat (sl., Am.E.), to go on
bonkers (sl., Br.E.) ]no estar bueno de la a pub-crawl (fam., Br.E.), to do the
cabeza bars/pubs (fam.), to go from one bar/pub to
i estar chalado por alg. to have a crush on s.o. another
(fam.), to be crazy/nuts about s.o. (fam.)
la chaveta cotter pin, cotter
la chamusquina scorching, smell of burn- i la chaveta (fig., fam.) nut (sl.) ]la cebolla
ing i estar mal de la chaveta (fam.) to be nuts
i oler a chamusquina (fig., fam.) things are (fam.) ]no estar bueno de la cabeza
getting hot (fam.), there’s trouble brewing, i perder la chaveta (fam.) to go mad/crazy
there’s s.th. nasty (fig.) coming  Aquí huele (fam.), to go nuts (fam.), to go ape (fam.,
a chamusquina. Things are getting hot here. Am.E.), to go bonkers (sl., Br.E.), to go off
There’s trouble brewing [here]. one’s rocker (fam.), to flip one’s lid (fam.)

41
la chicha

i perder la chaveta por alg. (fam.) to lose i poner chinas a alg. (fig.) to put or place ob-
one’s head over s.o. (fig.), to go crazy/nuts stacles in s.o.’s path/way (fig.), to make
about s.o. (fam.), to have a crush on s.o. things difficult for s.o.
(fam.)  Perdió la chaveta por ella. He lost i tocarle a alg. la china (fig., fam.) to have bad
his head over her. He had a crush on her. luck, to have to carry the can (fam., Br.E.)
 Nos tocó la china. We had to carry the can.
la chicha chicha (corn/maize brandy or wine)
i no ser ni chicha ni limonada (fam.) to be la chinche bedbug
neither one thing nor the other, to be neither i el/la chinche (fig., fam.) pest (fig.), bore,
fish nor fowl (fig.) nuisance, pain in the neck (fam.), pain in the
ass (Am.E.) or in the arse (Br.E.) (vulg.), an-
la chicharra cicada
noying individual/person
i la chicharra (jerga del hampa) wallet, bill-
i caer/morir como chinches (fam.) to drop/
fold (Am.E.), purse
die like flies (fam.), to go down like ninepins
i Canta la chicharra. (fam.) It’s very/terribly
(fig., fam.)
hot.
] chinche (tener sangre de ~s)
i hablar como una chicharra (fig., fam.) s.o.
wouldn’t stop talking, to talk a mile a minute chino; el chino Chinese; Chinese
(fam., Am.E.), to talk nineteen to the dozen i ser chino algo para alg. (fam.) (a) to be Chi-
(fam., Br.E.), s.o. could talk the hind legs off nese to s.o. (fig., fam.), to be all Greek to s.o.
a donkey (fam.) (fig., fam.), to be above s.o.’s head (b) to be
i Quien nace chicharra muere cantando. double Dutch to s.o. (fam., Br.E.)  Lo que
(prov., Chile). A leopard never changes or dijeron fue chino para mí. What they said
cannot change its spots. (prov.) was all Greek to me or was above my head. 
] chico (ponerse como el ~ del esquilador) Tu discurso fue chino para ellos. You were
talking over their heads.
chiflado (fam.) i engañar a alg. como a un chino (fam.) to
i estar chiflado to be nuts (fam.), to be play s.o. for a sucker (fam.), to take s.o. for
cracked (fam.), to be bonkers (sl., Br.E.) a ride (fam.)
]no estar bueno de la cabeza  Ella y su i tener la paciencia de un chino (fig.) to have
hermana están completamente chifladas. the patience of Job (fig.) or of a saint (fam.)
She and her sister are completely cracked. ] chino (el cuento ~)
i estar chiflado por alg. to have a crush on s.o. ] chino (¡Naranjas chinas!)
(fam.), to be crazy/nuts about s.o. (fam.)
la chiquita little girl
la chimenea chimney i no andarse con/en chiquitas (fam.) not to
i fumar como una chimenea (fig., fam.) to fuss about details, to come/get [straight] to
smoke like a chimney (fig., fam.) the point, to get [straight] down to business
la China China or brass tacks (fam.), to come straight out
i acá y en la China (fam.) everywhere  Las
[with s.th.], not to beat about/around the
cosas son así acá y en la China. That’s the
bush (fig., fam.), not to pull [one’s] punches
(fig., sl.), to lay it on the line (fam.)  No me
way things are everywhere.
anduve en chiquitas para decírselo a ellos.
i ni aquí/acá ni en la China (fam.) neither
I came straight out with it. I didn’t beat about
here nor anywhere  Las cosas no funcio-
the bush or pull my punches when it came to
nan así, ni aquí ni en la China. That’s not the
telling them.
way things work, neither here nor anywhere.
] China (¡Naranjas de la ~!) la chiribita spark
i echar chiribitas (fig., fam.) to be [really]
la china small stone, pebble
fuming (fig., fam.), to be livid (fam., Br.E.)
i la china (fam.) (money): dough (sl., Am.E.),
]estar hecho un basilisco
bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/lolly (sl.,
Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.) la chirigota (fam.) joke
i aflojar/soltar la china to cough up (fam.), to i tomarse algo a chirigota not to take s.th. se-
fork out (fam.), to stump up (fam., Br.E.) riously, to take s.th. very lightly, to take s.th.

42
la chupa

as a joke  Todo se lo toman a chirigota. el chocho (pop.) (vagina) ]el conejo


They don’t take anything seriously. They take
el chocolate (fig., pop.) (marijuana): hash/
everything very lightly.
pot (fam.), grass/shit/weed (sl.), tea (sl.,
la chispa spark Am.E.)
i echar chispas (fig., fam.) to be hopping mad
(fam.) ]estar hecho un basilisco la cholla (fam.) (a) nut (sl.) ]la cebolla (b)
i tener mucha chispa (fig.) to sparkle with brains (fam.), nous (fam.), gumption (fam.)
wit (fig.) el chorizo chorizo (typical Spanish paprika
i ni chispa de (fig.) not the least bit of, not sausage)
an ounce/iota/atom of (fig.), not a scrap of, i el chorizo (pop.) (penis) ]el calvo
not a spark of (fig.), (not to know) beans
] chorlito (cabeza de ~)
(about s.th.) (sl., Am.E.)  No tiene ni
chispa de inteligencia. He doesn’t have a ] chorrera (¡Y un jamón [con ~s]!)
spark of intelligence.  No entienden ni el chorro jet of water
chispa de eso. They don’t know beans about
i hablar a chorros (fig.) to talk in a torrent
that. They don’t know the least bit or the first
(fig.), to talk a mile a minute (fam., Am.E.),
thing about that.
to talk nineteen to the dozen (fam., Br.E.),
chistar s.o. wouldn’t stop talking
i sin chistar [ni mistar] (fam.) without a i sudar a chorros (fig.) to sweat buckets/
word, without so much as a word  Lo acep- streams (fam.), to be dripping with sweat
taron sin chistar ni mistar. They took it with- i llover a chorros to rain in torrents, to come
out a word. down in buckets/sheets, to rain cats and
i no chistar not to say/utter a word dogs, to be pouring [down or with rain], to
la chita anklebone be bucketing down (Br.E.), the floodgates of
i a la chita callando (fam.) on the quiet heaven open (fig.)  Ayer llovió a chorros.
(fam.), on the sly, stealthily  Salió a la chita It rained in torrents yesterday. It was pour-
callando. He left on the quiet. ing yesterday. The floodgates of heaven
opened yesterday.
chivarse (fam.) to grass/sneak (sl., Br.E.), to
i soltar el chorro [de la risa] (fig.) to burst out
rat/squeal (sl.), to snitch (fam.)
laughing (fig.), to roar with laughter
i chivarse contra/de alg. [con/a alg.] to in-
form on s.o. [to s.o.], to grass/rat/sneak on la chuleta chop, cutlet
s.o. [to s.o.], to squeal/snitch on s.o. [to s.o.], i la chuleta (fig., fam.) box or clip (fam.)
to blow the whistle on s.o. (fam.)  Se round the ears
chivaron. They grassed. They squealed.  Ella i la chuleta (argot) (school): crib (fam.),
se chivó contra él. She ratted/sneaked on him. trot/pony (sl., Am.E.)
She blew the whistle on him.  Ella se chivó
contra él al profesor. She sneaked on him to la chupa (histórico) doublet (historical)
the teacher.  El traficante de drogas fue de- i la chupa (pop., Esp.) jacket
tenido por la policía porque alg. se chivó i poner a alg. como chupa de dómine (fig.,
contra él. The drug dealer was arrested by the fam.) to give s.o. a tremendous ticking-off
police because somebody ratted/grassed on or wigging (fam., Br.E.); (criticism/etc.): to
him. attack s.o. violently (fig.), to give s.o. a sound
pasting (sl.), to slam s.o. (fam.), to slag s.o.
el chivatazo (fam.) tip-off (fam.)
off (sl., Br.E.), to have a real go at s.o. (fam.),
i dar el chivatazo to give a tip-off
to tear s.o. to pieces or to shreds (fig., fam.)
el chivato, la chivata (fam.) grass/sneak  En la prensa le pusieron como chupa de
(sl., Br.E.), stool pigeon (fam.), telltale (fam., dómine. They gave him a sound pasting in the
Br.E.), snitch (fam.), canary (sl., Am.E.), in- press.  Los críticos pusieron al escritor
former como chupa de dómine. The critics tore/
] chocar (¡choca esos cinco!) pulled the writer to pieces.

43
chupar

chupar to suck needs/needed, to be just what the doctor or-


i ¡Chúpate ésa! (fam.) Put that in your pipe dered (fig., fam.)  El dinero me vino como
and smoke it! (fam.) llovido del cielo. The money was a real god-
] chuparle a alg. la sangre send. The money was just what I needed.
] chuparse el dedo i caerle a alg. como llovido del cielo (fig.) to
] chuparse el dedo (no ~) fall/drop into s.o.’s lap (fig.)  Si crees que
] chuparse los dedos [por algo] todo te va a caer como llovido del cielo, es-
tás muy equivocado. If you think everything
el chupatintas (fam., pej.) penpusher (fam., will fall into your lap, you’ve got another think
pej.), ink-shitter (pej.), petty clerk (pej.), mi- coming.  No le va a caer como llovido del
nor bureaucrat (pej.), hack writer (pej.) cielo. It won’t drop into his lap.
¡Chus! Come here! (dog) i [re]mover cielo y tierra [para + infinitivo] to
i no decir [ni] chus ni mus (fam.) to keep move heaven and earth [to + infinitive]
one’s mouth shut (fam.), not to say a word, i aunque se junten el cielo y la tierra not for
to keep mum (fam.) anything in the world, not for love [n]or
money, not for all the tea in China, not for
chutar to shoot (at goal) all the whiskey in Ireland  No me lo
i ir que chuta (fam.) to go swimmingly (fig.) perderé aunque se junten el cielo y la tierra.
or very well, to go fine  Todo va que chuta. I won’t miss it for anything in the world.
Everything’s going fine. ] cielo (clamar/escupir al ~)
i chutarse (fam.) (drug): to shoot/jack up
] ciencia (ser un pozo de ~)
(sl.), to give o.s. a shot/fix (sl.), to give o.s. a
jab (sl., Br.E.) ] ciento y la madre

el chute (fam.) (drug injection): shot (sl.), fix el cierne [time of] pollination
(sl.) i estar en ciernes (fig.) to be in its infancy
(fig.)  La empresa está aún en ciernes.
el cicatero, la cicatera (a): (fam.); (b): The enterprise is still in its infancy.
(jerga del hampa) (a) miser, penny-pincher i ser un escritor/etc. en ciernes (fig.) to be a
(fam.), skinflint (fam.), tightwad (fam., budding writer/etc., to be a writer/etc. in the
Am.E.), scrooge (fig., fam.) (b) pickpocket making
] cicuta (apurar el cáliz de ~ hasta las heces)
el cierre locking device
el ciego blind man i echar el cierre (pop.) to shut one’s trap (sl.),
i Lo ve un ciego. (fig.) You can see that with to pipe down (fam.), to belt up (fam., Br.E.)
half an eye. (fam.) Anyone can see that.  ¡Echa el cierre! Shut your trap! Pipe down!
i En tierra de ciegos o en el país/reino de los Belt up!
ciegos el tuerto es [el] rey. In the country
la cigüeña stork
of the blind the one-eyed man is king.
i pintar la cigüeña (fig., fam.) to play lord of
] ciego (dar palos de ~)
the manor, to act the big shot (fig.), to act
] ciego (ser más ~ que un topo)
high and mighty (fam.)
el cielo sky
el cimbel decoy
i estar en el séptimo o quinto cielo (fig.) to
i el cimbel (pop.) (penis) ]el calvo
be in seventh heaven (fam.), to be over the
moon (fam.), to be on cloud nine (fam.)  cinco five
Está en el séptimo cielo. Ganó un million de i saber cuántas son cinco (fam.) to be no
dólares. She’s in seventh heaven. She won a fool, to know a thing or two (fam.), to know
million dollars. what’s what (fam.)
i venir como llovido o llegar como caído del i decir a alg. cuántas son cinco (fam.) to tell
cielo (fig.) to come like manna from heaven s.o. what’s what (fam.), to tell s.o. a thing or
(fig.), to be a [real] godsend (fig.), to come two (fam.), to give s.o. a piece of one’s mind
at just the right time, s.th. couldn’t have i ¡Choca esos cinco! (fam.) Give me five!
come at a better time, to be just what s.o. (fam.) Put it there! (fam.)

44
el clavo

la cintura waist to be outrageous  Esto clama al cielo. This


i meter a alg. en cintura (fig.) to make s.o. lis- cries out to heaven.
ten to or see reason, to bring s.o. under con- ] clandestinamente (mudarse ~)
trol  Tenemos que meterle en cintura. We
have to make him listen to reason. ] claro (estar más ~ que el agua)
] claro (ser más ~ que el sol)
el cinturón belt
i apretarse el cinturón (fig.) to tighten one’s clavado nailed
belt (fig.), to draw in one’s horns (fig.)  Du- i dejar clavado a alg. (fig.) to leave s.o.
rante la recesión tuvimos que apretarnos el speechless (fig.), to floor s.o. (fam.), to
cinturón. We had to tighten our belts during dumbfound s.o.  Su pregunta me dejó
the recession. clavado. His question left me speechless. I was
completely floored by his question.
ciscar (pop.) to soil, to dirty
i ser clavado a alg. o ser alg. clavado (fam.)
i ciscarse de miedo (fig., pop.) to shit o.s. [for
to be the spitting image or the spit and im-
fear] (fig., vulg.)  Nos ciscamos de miedo.
age of s.o. (fam.), to be a dead ringer for s.o.
We shit/shat ourselves. We were scared shitless.
(vulg.) We were in a blue funk. (fam., Br.E.) (fig., fam.)  Es su madre clavada. She’s the
i ciscarse en algo (fig., vulg.) not to give a spit and image of her mother.  Eres clavado
shit/fuck about s.th. (vulg)  ¡Me cisco en a mi hermano. You’re a dead ringer for my
el gobierno! I don’t give a shit about the gov- brother.
ernment! Screw the government! (vulg.) To i a las seis clavadas (fam.) at 6 [o’clock]
hell with the government! (fam.) sharp, at 6 on the dot (fam.), on the dot of
6 (fam.), at 6 [o’clock] on the nose (fam.)
el cisco coaldust
i armar [un] cisco (fig., fam.) to kick up a la clavija dowel, pin
stink/row (fam.), to make trouble  Se armó i apretar las clavijas a alg. (fig., fam.) to put
un tremendo cisco. There was an almighty the pressure on s.o. (fig.), to tighten up on
stink/row. s.o. (fig.), to put the screws on s.o. (fig.)
i estar/quedar hecho cisco (fam.) to be com-
pletely exhausted, to be completely shattered
el clavo nail
or whacked (fam., Br.E.), to be completely i dar en el clavo (fig.) to hit the nail on the
washed out (fam.), to be totally worn out head (fig.), to be right on (fam., Am.E.), to
(fig.), to be completely bushed (fam.), to be be spot-on (fam., Br.E.)  Tu observación
completely pooped (sl., Am.E.), to be com- dio en el clavo. Your remark hit the nail on
pletely knackered (sl., Br.E.), to be com- the head.  Dio en el clavo con ese regalo.
pletely drained (fig.), to be completely done He was right on with that gift/present. 
in/up (fam.), to be completely beat (fam., Damos en el clavo con nuestra predicción.
Am.E.), to be dead-beat (fam.), to be all in Our prediction was spot-on.
(fam.), to be shagged out (sl., Br.E.), to be i dar una en el clavo y ciento en la herradura
dog-tired (fam.) (fig., fam.) to be wrong nine times out of ten
i hacer algo cisco to shatter s.th., to smash i agarrarse a un clavo ardiendo to clutch at
s.th. to pieces, to tear s.th. to bits straws (fig.), to do anything  Están tan
clamar to clamor necesitados que se agarrarían a un clavo
i clamar en el desierto (fig.) to be a voice cry- ardiendo. They’re so needy they would do
ing in the wilderness (fig.), to preach in the anything [to help themselves].
wilderness (fig.), to talk at deaf ears (fig.), i remachar el clavo (fig.) to make matters
to talk to the winds (fig.)  Nadie estaba es- worse
cuchando. Clamaste en el desierto. Nobody i poner un clavo a una (pop.) to bang a
was listening. You were a voice crying in the woman (vulg.) ]calzar[se] a alg.
wilderness. You were talking at deaf ears. i ¡Por los clavos de Cristo! Por los clavos de
i clamar al cielo to cry out to heaven, to stink una puerta vieja! (hum.). For heaven’s sake!
to high heaven (fig., fam.), to be a scandal, For goodness’ sake!

45
la clueca

la clueca broody hen i estar cocido (fig., fam.) to be drunk, to be


i ponerse como una gallina clueca (fig., plastered or sloshed (fam.), to be tight
fam.) to puff o.s. up (fig.), to act big (fam.), (fam.), to be canned or pissed (sl., Br.E.), to
to act the big shot (fam.) be pie-eyed (fam.), to be in one’s cups  es-
la coba (fam.) flattery, cajolery tar completamente cocido to be blind drunk
i dar coba a alg. to play up to s.o., to butter (fam.), to be smashed out of one’s mind (sl.)
s.o. up (fam.), to soap s.o. up (fam.), to soft- i cocérsele a alg. los sesos (fig.) s.o.’s head
soap s.o. (fam.), to sweet-talk s.o. (fam., is/starts spinning (fig.)  Estudiaba hasta
Am.E.), to suck up to s.o. (fam.), to toady que se me cocían los sesos. I was studying
to s.o. until my head started spinning.
] cobarde de siete suelas ] cocer (dejar a alg. ~ en su propia salsa)
] cocerse en su propia salsa
] cobrar una miseria
el cochazo (fam., Esp.) big flashy car (fam.),
el cobre copper
luxury flash car (fam.), whacking great car
i batir[se] el cobre (fig.) to work very hard, to
(fam.), flashy cruisemobile (sl.)
work with a will, to exert o.s., to make a tre-
mendous effort, to bust a gut (fam., Am.E.), el coche car
to put one’s back into it i ir/venir en el coche de San Francisco o de
i batirse el cobre por + infinitivo (fig.) to San Fernando (hum.) to go/come on Shank’s
work/go all out to + infinitive  Me batí el pony (Br.E.) or on Shank’s mare (Am.E.)
cobre por terminar el trabajo. I worked all (hum.), to walk, to hoof it (fam.)
out to finish the job.
i batirse el cobre (fig.) (debate/etc.): to be a el cocinero cook
tough/pitched battle (fig.), things get a bit i haber sido cocinero antes que fraile (fig.,
rough/tough, both/all sides are driving a fam.) to know what one is doing, to be no
hard bargain  En la última reunión se beginner, to be no novice
batieron el cobre. Things got a bit rough at el coco coconut
the last meeting.  Durante la negociación i el coco (fig., fam.) (a) nut (sl.) ]la cebolla
se batieron el cobre. During the negotia- (b) brains (fam.), nous (fam.), gumption
tion[s] both sides were driving a hard bargain. (fam.)
 Nos batimos el cobre en el debate. The
i comer el coco a alg. (pop.) to brainwash
debate took it out of us.
s.o., to befuddle s.o.’s brain (with words, in
i enseñar el cobre (América Latina) to show
order to manipulate), to soft-soap or sweet-
[o.s. in] one’s true colors  Nunca se sabe
talk (Am.E.) s.o. (into doing s.th.) (fam.) 
qué piensa ese tío. No enseña el cobre. You
Durante la dictadura comían el coco a todo
can never tell what that guy is thinking. He
el pueblo. During the dictatorship all the peo-
doesn’t show his true colors.
ple were brainwashed.  La hija le comió el
la coca (fam.) (a) (cocaine): coke (sl.), snow coco a su madre para que le diese dinero.
(sl.) (b) nut (sl.) ]la cebolla (c) biff/rap on The daughter sweet-talked her mother into
the nut (fam.) or on the head giving her money.
cocer to cook i comerse el coco (pop.) to rack one’s brains
i cocerse (fig., fam.) (a) to get drunk, to get (fig.), to think hard, to worry a lot
sloshed or plastered (fam.), to get tight i estar hasta el coco de algo (fam.) to be ut-
(fam.), to get canned or pissed (sl., Br.E.), terly fed up with s.th. (fam.) ]estar hasta
to get tanked up (sl.), to get smashed or [más allá de] la coronilla de algo
stoned (sl.), to get legless (fam., Br.E.), to get ] cocodrilo (llorar/derramar lágrimas de ~)
as pissed as a newt (sl., Br.E.) (b) to be
cooked up (fig.), to be hatched [out] (fig.) el cocotazo (fam.) biff/rap on the nut (fam.)
 Este complot se coció ayer. This plot was or on the head
hatched yesterday. ] codearse con los de arriba

46
colar

el codo elbow cojonudo (adj., pop.) (a) great (fam.), super


i alzar/empinar el codo (fam.) to bend/lift (fam.), magic (fam.), splendid, magnificent,
one’s elbow (fam.), to hoist one or a few (sl., wonderful, fantastic (fam.), amazing (fam.),
Am.E.), to belt one or a few down (fam., incredible (fam.), awesome (sl., Am.E.), bril-
Am.E.), to have a drink or a few drinks liant (fam., Br.E.), outstanding (fig.), terrific
i comerse/roerse los codos de hambre to be (fam.), marvelous (fam.), smashing (fam.)
on the breadline (fig.), not to have a bite to (b) huge, enormous, colossal, gigantic, mon-
eat, to be utterly destitute umental  un tío cojonudo a great guy/bloke
i romperse los codos (fam.) to cram (fam.),  una chavala cojonuda a smashing chick/
to swot (fam., Br.E.), to bone up (fam.) bird  un día cojonudo a glorious/wonder-
i hablar por los codos (fam.) to talk too ful day  un apetito cojonudo a huge
much, to talk nineteen to the dozen (fam.), appetite
to talk one’s head off (fam.)
i mentir por los codos (fam.) to lie through la col cabbage
one’s teeth (fam.), to tell huge lies i Entre col y col, lechuga. (prov.) A change
i llevar a alg. codo con codo (fig., fam.) to ar- is a good thing. Variety is the spice of life.
rest s.o. (prov.)
] coger (~las al vuelo) la cola tail, glue
el cogote back of the head/neck i hacer/guardar cola to queue [up] (Br.E.), to
i estar hasta el cogote de algo (fam.) to have line up, to stand in line (Am.E.)
had it up to here with s.th. (fam.), to be fed i tener/traer cola (fig.) to have [grave] reper-
up to the back teeth with s.th. (fam.) cussions (fig.) or consequences  Ese asunto
va a tener cola. That is going to have conse-
el cojón (pop., vulg.) (testicle): ball (pop., quences.
vulg.) i Aún falta/queda la cola por desollar. (fig.)
i no valer un cojón not to be worth a shit The main difficulty or the most difficult part
(vulg.), not to be worth a damn (fam.) is yet/still to come. The worst is yet/still to
i los cojones (testicles) ]las canicas
come.
i tocarse los cojones (fig.) to do bugger all
i no pegar ni con cola (fam.)  Eso no pega
(vulg.) or damn all (fam.) or sod all (sl.)
ni con cola. (fam.) That has nothing what-
(Br.E.), to do sweet f.a. (fam.), to sit on one’s
soever to do with it. That’s utter rubbish
butt (Am.E.) or on one’s backside (Br.E.)
(fam.) or nonsense.  Esa corbata y esa
(fam.)
chaqueta no pegan ni con cola. That tie and
i tener cojones to have balls (vulg.), to have
guts (fam.), to have gumption (fam.), to have that jacket just don’t go together. That tie just
bottle (fam., Br.E.), to have pluck (fig.) doesn’t go with that jacket.  Lo que dijiste
i tocar/hinchar los cojones a alg. (fig.) to piss no pegó ni con cola. What you said was ut-
s.o. off (sl., Br.E.), to get up s.o.’s nose (fam., ter nonsense.
Br.E.) el colador sieve
i estar con los cojones de corbata to be in a i dejar algo/a alg. como un colador (fig.,
flat panic, to be scared stiff (fam.), to be fam.) to riddle s.th./s.o. with bullets, to make
frightened or scared out of one’s wits (fam.) a lot of holes in s.th.  Dejaron al traidor
i salirle a alg. de los cojones to say what one como un colador. They riddled the traitor
damn well (fam.) or bloody well (sl., Br.E.) with bullets.  Las polillas dejaron mi cha-
likes  Decimos lo que nos sale de los co- queta de lana como un colador. The moths
jones. We say what we damn/bloody well like. made/ate a lot of holes in my cardigan.
i hacer un frío de cojones to be cold enough i tener la cabeza como un colador (fig., fam.)
to freeze the balls off a brass monkey (fam., to have a memory like a sieve (fig.)
Br.E.), to be bloody (sl., Br.E.) or damn[ed]
(fam.) cold colar to strain [off], to filter
i hacer un calor de cojones to be bloody (sl., i colar (fam.) to pass muster (fig.), to wash
Br.E.) or damn[ed] (fam.) hot (fam.)  Esta excusa no va a colar. This ex-

47
el coleto

cuse will not pass muster. This excuse will not el colmillo eyetooth
wash [with me/etc.]. i enseñar los colmillos (fig.) to show one’s
i colar algo (por un sitio o por la aduana) teeth (fig.)
(fam.) to smuggle/slip s.th. through (a place/ i escupir por el colmillo (fig.) to talk big
the customs) (fam.), to brag
i colar algo a alg. (fam.) to foist/palm s.th.
off on s.o.  Trataron de colarnos una imi- el color color
tación. They tried to foist a fake off on us. i ponerse de mil colores to blush to the roots
i ¡A mí no me la cuelas! I’m not going to of one’s hair, to go bright red
swallow that! You must think I’m stupid! i salírsele/subírsele a alg. los colores to blush
Don’t [even] try to fool me! [with shame], to go red [with shame], to
flush [with anger/excitement/pride/strain/
el coleto (histórico) doublet (historical), etc.]  Se le subieron los colores por
jerkin (historical) vergüenza. He/she blushed with shame.
i decir algo para su coleto (fig., fam.) to say ] color (para cada gusto se pintó un ~)
s.th. to o.s.
i echarse algo al coleto (fam.) (a) (bever- la coma comma
age/drink): to down (fam.), to knock back i contar algo con puntos y comas to tell s.th.
(fam.), to drink down (b) (food): to put in minute or in great detail, to tell s.th. down
away (fam.), to polish off (fam.), to eat right to the last detail, to give a blow-by-blow ac-
up (c) (book/etc.): to devour (fig.), to read count of s.th.  Nos lo contó todo con pun-
right through  Me eché un sándwich al co- tos y comas. He told us all about it down to
leto. I put a sandwich away.  Me eché el li- the last detail.
bro al coleto. I read the book right through.
comer to eat
colgado hanging i El comer es como el rascar, todo es cues-
i dejar a alg. colgado (fig.) to let s.o. down, tión de empezar. (hum.). Eating is like
to fail s.o., to stand s.o. up (fam.), to leave scratching: Once you start, you don’t want to
s.o. in the lurch (fig.), to leave s.o. high and stop or you can’t stop.
dry (fig.), to leave s.o. out in the cold (fig.) i comer[se] a alg. vivo (fig., fam.) (threat):
 Como me dejaron colgado, tuve que ha- to skin s.o. alive (fig., fam.), to make mince-
cerlo todo yo. Since they left me in the lurch, meat of s.o. (fig., fam.), to have s.o.’s guts for
I had to do it all myself. garters (fam., Br.E.)  Cuando se entere de
i estar colgado de las palabras de alg. (fig.) eso, te comerá vivo. When he finds out about
to hang on s.o.’s every word, to hang on s.o.’s that, he’ll make mincemeat of you.
lips (fig.) i comerse a alg. crudo (fig., fam.) to be head
i quedar colgado (fig., fam.) to get hooked and shoulders above s.o. (fam.), to be more
[on drugs] (fam.), to have a monkey on one’s than a match for s.o., to be streets ahead of
back (fam., Am.E.) s.o. (fam.), to knock spots off s.o. (fam.), to
] colgar de un cabello/hilo outshine s.o. (fig.), to beat s.o. hollow (con-
colmar to fill [to the brim] test/sports/etc.) (fam.)  Uno de los ju-
i colmar a alg. de algo (honores o alaban- gadores de ajedrez se los comió crudos a to-
zas o favores/etc.) (fig.) s.th. (honors/ dos los otros. One of the chess players was
praise/favors/etc.): to heap on s.o. (fig.), to more than a match for all the others.
lavish on s.o., to shower upon s.o., to shower i comerse los santos to be a sanctimonious
s.o. with  Los padres colmaron a sus hi- or an excessively pious man/woman or per-
jos de regalos. The parents showered pres- son, to be a holy Joe (sl., Br.E.), to be a
ents/gifts upon their children. churchy type (pej.), to be a pious Annie
i colmar la medida (fig.) to be the last straw, (pej.)  Juan se come los santos. Juan is a
to take the biscuit (fam., Br.E.), to have had holy Joe.
just about all one can take  ¡Esto colma la i Está para comérsela. (fig., fam.) She looks
medida! This is the last straw! This takes the a treat. (fam.) She’s a real dish. (fam.) She’s
biscuit! I’ve had just about all I can take! a feast for the eyes. (fam.)

48
la composición

i ¿Con qué se come eso? (fig., fam.) What on la comilona (fam.) blow-out (fam.), binge
earth’s that? (fam.) (fam.), great nosh-up (sl.), spread (fam.),
i con su/etc. pan se/etc. lo coma/etc. (fam.) feast, slap-up meal (fam., Br.E.)  ¡Qué
that’s his/etc. look-out (fam.), that’s his/etc. comilona! What a blow-out!  Sirvieron una
funeral (sl.), that’s his/etc. problem  ¡Con comilona suntuosa. They laid on a magnifi-
tu pan te lo comas! That’s/it’s your problem! cent spread.
i estar algo diciendo cómeme (fam.) to be
looking very appetizing or delightful or el comino cumin
tempting  Los pasteles están diciendo i el comino (fig., fam.) little squirt (fam.)
cómeme. The pastry is looking very appetiz-
i no valer un comino (fam.) not to be worth
ing. a bean (fam.) ]no valer un ardite
i comer a alg. la envidia (fig.) to be eaten up i [no] importar a alg. un comino (fam.) s.o.
or consumed with envy  Le come la en- couldn’t care less (fam., Br.E.) ]no impor-
vidia. He’s eaten up with envy. tar a alg. un ardite
i sin comerlo ni beberlo (fig.) through no el comistrajo (fam., pej.) awful food, muck/
fault of one’s own, without having [had] any- swill (fig., fam., pej.)
thing to do with it or any part in it  Tuve ] compás (bailar al ~ de la música de alg.)
que indemnizarlo por los daños ocasiona-
dos sin comerlo ni beberlo. I had to com- la componenda (fam.) (a) compromise,
pensate him for the damage even though I [provisional/temporary] settlement or ar-
didn’t have anything to do with it. rangement (b) wheeler dealing or wheeling
] comer (se juntaron el hambre y las ganas and dealing or horse trading (esp. in politics)
de ~) (fam.), shady deal (fam.)  El senador es-
] comer a dos carrillos/a todo pasto/a más tuvo hasta la coronilla de las componendas
no poder [políticas] y dimitió. The senator was fed up
] comer a lo gran señor ( ]el señor) with the wheeler dealing or with the wheelings
] comer como un decosido/un gorrión/una and dealings and resigned.
lima/un pajarito/un sabañón componer to put together, to compose
] comer con los ojos i componérselas (fam.) to manage, to get
] comer el coco a alg. along/by, not to be at a loss as to what to do,
] comer más que un alguacil/que un to find a way (fig.)  ¿Cómo te las com-
sabañón/que siete
pones? How do you manage?  Se las com-
] comerse a alg. con los ojos
pone siempre. He’s never at a loss as to what
] comerse el coco
to do.  Sabe componérselas. He can take
] comida (dar un buen golpe a la ~) care of himself. He can look after himself. 
] comida (regar una ~ con vino) ¡Allá se las componga [él]! He has to sort that
] comida (una ~ de rechupete) out himself! (fig.) That’s his problem! That’s
la comidilla (fam.) his funeral! (sl.) That’s his look-out! (fam.) On
i ser la comidilla de la ciudad o de la gente his [own] head be it!
o del público to be the talk of the town  i componérselas para + infinitivo to manage/
Sus romances son la comidilla de la ciudad. contrive to + infinitive  No sé cómo se las
His love-affairs are the talk of the town. compuso para convencer a su jefe. I don’t
know how she managed to convince her boss.
comido full (to have eaten)
i [lo] comido por [lo] servido (fam.) it’s not la composición composition
worth it, it’s not worthwhile, it doesn’t pay i hacer[se] su o una composición de lugar
(fig.), it’s just enough to live from hand to (fig.) to weigh up the pros and cons (of one’s/
mouth (wage[s]/salary)  ¿Cómo es? Es co- the situation), to take stock (of one’s/the sit-
mido por servido. How is it? It doesn’t pay. uation) (fig.)  Hice mi/una composición de
It’s not worthwhile.  ¿Cuánto pagan? Lo lugar y decidí irme. I took stock of my situa-
comido por lo servido. How much do they tion and decided to leave.
pay? It’s just enough to live from hand to ] comprar algo a huevo
mouth. ] comprar algo por un pedazo de pan

49
comulgar

comulgar to receive/take communion i venirle algo a alg. [muy] a contrapelo (fig.,


i no comulgar en la misma iglesia (fig.) not fam.) to go [totally] against the grain with
to suit each other or one another s.o. (fig.)  Nos vino muy a contrapelo. It
i comulgar con ruedas de molino (fig., fam.) went totally against the grain with us.  Apo-
to swallow anything (fig.), to be easily taken yarlo me viene a contrapelo. It goes against
for a ride (fam.), to fall for anything (fam.), the grain with me to support him.  Por mu-
to be pretty thick (fam.) cho que me venga a contrapelo tengo que
i no comulgar con ruedas de molino (fam.) hacerlo. However much it goes against the
to be no fool, to be nobody’s fool, s.o. wasn’t grain [with me] I have to do it.
born yesterday ] conversación (cortar el hilo de la ~)
la concha shellfish, scallop shell, tortoiseshell, la coña annoyance
snail shell i dar la coña a alg. (pop.) to get on s.o.’s
i tener muchas conchas (fam.), tener más nerves or wick (Br.E.) (fam.), to pester s.o.
conchas que un galápago (fam.) to be very
el coño (vulg.) (vagina) ]el conejo
crafty, to be a sly one (fam.)
i ¡Vete al coño! (vulg.) Piss off ! (vulg.) Fuck
i meterse en su concha (fig.) to retreat/re-
off ! (vulg.) Go to hell! (fam.)
tire/withdraw into one’s shell (fig.)
i ¿Qué coño te importa? (vulg.) That’s none
] conciencia (la mejor almohada es una ~ of your bloody business! (fam., Br.E.) That’s
tranquila) none of your goddam[n] business! (sl.,
la coneja doe rabbit Am.E.) Why the hell does it matter to you?
i la coneja (fig., pop.) babymachine (fig., (fam.)
fam., hum.) el copete tuft of hair
el conejo rabbit i gente de alto copete (fam.) important or
socially prominent people, bigwigs (fam.),
i el conejo (vulg.) (vagina): pussy (pop., sl.),
big shots (fam.), top nobs (fam., Br.E.), big
fanny (vulg., Br.E.), beaver (sl., Am.E.), cunt
names, top brass (fam.), VIPs (sl.)
(vulg.), twat (vulg.)
i tener mucho copete (fig.) to be stuck-up
i los conejos (vulg.) (testicles) ]las canicas
(fam.), to be haughty  Ese tío sí que tiene
] confiado (pecar de ~) mucho copete. That guy isn’t half stuck-up.
] confianza (ganarse la ~ de alg.) (fam., Br.E.)
] conocer (más vale malo conocido que la copla verse, folksong
bueno por ~) i andar en coplas (fam.) to be the talk of the
] conocer (ser más conocido que el tebeo) town, to be common knowledge  La noti-
] conocer a su gente cia ya anda en coplas. The news is already
] conocer algo al dedillo common knowledge.
] conocer algo como la palma de la mano i ¡Ni en coplas! (fam.) No way! Not on your
] conocer el paño life! Certainly not!
] consultar algo con la almohada el corazón heart
] consultar con el bolsillo i tener corazón de alcachofa (fig.) to be quite
] contar las estrellas (tratar de ~) a philanderer or womanizer, to be a lady-
] contar los garbanzos killer (fam.)
] contento (estar más ~ que unas pascuas) i no caberle a alg. el corazón en el pecho (a)
to be beside o.s. with joy, to be bursting with
contonearse (women): to swing/sway one’s joy (fig.), to be overjoyed (b) to be very gen-
hips erous/kind, to be the very soul of kindness
i tener el corazón en su sitio o bien puesto
el contoneo (women): swinging/swaying of
(fig.) s.o.’s heart is in the right place (fig.) 
the hips, hip-swinging
No siempre hace lo que es justo, pero tiene
contrapelo: a contrapelo (adv.) (to brush/ el corazón en su sitio. He doesn’t always do
comb): the wrong way what is right, but his heart is in the right place.

50
corriente

] corazón (barriga llena, ~ contento) s.th. (fam.), to be sick to the teeth of s.th.
] corazón (de la abundancia del ~ habla la (fam.), to be sick and tired of s.th. (fam.),
boca) to have had it up to here with s.th. (fam.),
] corazón (hacer de tripas ~) to be cheesed off with s.th. (fam., Br.E.), to
] corazón (la prensa del ~) blow/stuff s.th. for a lark (sl.)  Estoy hasta
] corazón (llegarle a alg. a las telas del ~) más allá de la coronilla del asunto. I am fed
] corazón (ojos que no ven, ~ que no siente) up to the back teeth with the whole thing. I’m
] corazón (pedazo del ~) utterly fed up with the whole ball of wax.
] corazón (tener pelos en el ~) (fam., Am.E.)
el corbatín bow tie i andar/bailar de coronilla to lean/bend over
i salirse por el corbatín (fam.) to be very thin, backwards (to do s.th. or please s.o.) (fam.),
to be skinny (fam.), to be as thin as a rake to do one’s utmost (to please s.o.), to pur-
(fam.) sue s.th. very diligently
] corcho (cabeza de ~) ] corral (estar/sentirse como gallina en ~
ajeno)
el cordero lamb
] corral (meter las cabras en el ~ a alg.)
i No hay tales corderos. (fig., fam.) There
isn’t any such thing. There’s no such thing. ] corral (vivir/sentirse como pava en ~)
It’s nothing of the sort. It’s enough to make ] correo (echar una carta al ~)
a cat laugh. (fam.) correr to run
i Ahí está la madre del cordero. (fam.)
i correrse (fam.) (to have an orgasm): to
There’s or that’s the rub/snag. (fig.) That’s
come (fam.); (man): to shoot off (vulg.,
where the problem is/lies. That’s why [it
Br.E.)
doesn’t work/etc.].
i correrla (fam.), correr sus mocedades
] cordero (un lobo con piel de ~)
(fam.) (youth): to sow one’s wild oats 
la cornada thrust with the horns Cuando éramos jóvenes la corríamos. When
i Más cornadas da el hambre. (fig.) It could we were young or in our young days we were
be worse. It could have been worse. Starv- sowing our wild oats.
ing would be worse. Starving would have ] correr ( ]pelar: corre que se las pela)
been worse. Worse things happen at sea. ] correr a más no poder
(fam., Br.E.)  ¿Estuviste muy mal? Más cor- ] correr como el diablo
nadas da el hambre. Were you in a very bad ] correr como gato por ascuas
way? It could’ve been worse. Worse things hap-
pen at sea. el/la correve[i]dile (fam.) (a) [old] gossip
i no morir de cornada de burro (fam., hum.) (fam.), tattletale (b) telltale, tattletale, in-
to be a coward, to be chicken (sl.), not to risk former, sneak (fam., Br.E.), grass (fam.,
anything at all  ¡Nadie muere de cornada Br.E.), snitch (fam.)
de burro! Don’t be chicken! Don’t be [such]
corrido worldly-wise
a coward! Risk s.th.[for a change]! Be more
i ser más corrido que un zorro viejo (fam.)
adventurous!  Ese tío no morirá de cornada
de burro. That guy is a coward. That guy
to be as sly as they come (fam.), to know
doesn’t risk anything at all. every trick in the book (fam.)
i ser [un] toro corrido (fig.) to be an old hand,
cornudo horned, antlered to be an old fox (fig.), to be a cunning old
i el cornudo (fig.) cuckold devil (fam.)
el coro chorus, choir i ser [una] liebre corrida (fig.) to be an old
i hacer coro a/con alg. to chime in with s.o. hand, to be an old fox (fig.), to be a cunning
(fig.), to agree with s.o., to go along with s.o. old devil (fam.)
la coronilla crown/top of the head corriente normal
i estar hasta [más allá de] la coronilla de i corriente y moliente (fam.) ordinary, run-
algo (fam.) to be [utterly] fed up with s.th. of-the-mill  Fue una comida corriente y
(fam.), to be fed up to the back teeth with moliente. It was just an ordinary meal.

51
la corriente

i salir algo corriente y moliente (fam.) to go i Se cosecha lo que se siembra. (prov.) As


off smoothly, to go off without a hitch, to you sow, so you reap. (prov.) As ye sow, so
turn out well  Todo salió corriente y shall ye reap. (fig.)
moliente. Everything went off smoothly.
coser to sew
la corriente stream, current i coser a alg. a tiros/balazos (fig.) to riddle
i tomar la corriente desde la fuente (fig.) to s.o. with bullets (fig.)  Cosieron al traidor
get to the bottom of it/s.th. (fig.) a tiros. They riddled the traitor with bullets.
i llevar/seguir la corriente a alg. (a) to dance i ser coser y cantar (fam.) to be child’s play
to s.o.’s tune (fig.) (b) to humor s.o., to play (fig.), to be a cinch (sl.), to be a pushover
along with s.o., to give s.o. his head (fam.) (sl.), to be a doddle (fam., Br.E.), to be a
 Me seguía la corriente para que me breeze (fam., Am.E.), to be a piece of cake
callase o para que no protestase. He was (fam.), to be as easy as falling off a log, to
humoring me to try to keep me quiet. be as easy as pie (sl.), to be like shooting fish
i dejarse llevar de/por la corriente (fig.) to in a barrel (fig., Am.E.)  El examen fue
swim/go with the tide (fig.), to howl/run coser y cantar. The exam/test was child’s play.
with the pack (fig.), to go along with the ] coserse la boca
crowd, to follow the crowd
i ir/navegar contra la corriente (fig.) to las cosquillas tickling
swim/go against the tide (fig.) i tener malas cosquillas, no sufrir cosquillas
] corriente (camarón que se duerme, se lo s.o. can’t take a joke
lleva la ~) i buscar las cosquillas a alg. to annoy s.o., to
rile s.o. (fam.)
el corro (of people): circle, ring i hacer cosquillas a alg. (fig.) to arouse/tickle
i escupir en corro (fig., fam.) to put in one’s s.o.’s curiosity (fig.)
[own] two bits (fam.), to put in one’s two
cents[’ worth] (fam., Am.E.), to chime in los costados line of ancestors, ancestry
(fig.), to butt into the or in on the conver- i por los cuatro costados (fig.) thoroughly,
sation (fam.), to join in the conversation  wholly, through and through, to the core
Siempre tiene que escupir en corro. He al- (fig.), true-blue, red-hot (fam.), dyed-in-
ways has to put in his own two bits or his two the-wool (fig.), whole-hog (sl.), one hundred
cents’ worth. percent or per cent (Br.E.), out-and-out,
] cortar (ni pinchar ni ~) confirmed, absolute, inveterate, hopeless 
] cortar algo de raíz Pepe es español por los cuatro costados.
] cortar las alas/los vuelos a alg. Pepe is Spanish through and through. Pepe is
] cortar por lo sano wholly or thoroughly Spanish. Pepe is Span-
] cortar trajes ish to the core.  un partidario por los cua-
] cortar un traje a alg. tro costados a red-hot or dyed-in-the-wool
supporter, a whole-hogger (sl.)  una pa-
cortés polite triota por los cuatro costados a whole-hog
i Lo cortés no quita lo valiente. Politeness patriot, a hundred-percenter (Am.E.)  Es un
and firmness aren’t mutually exclusive. Po- solterón por los cuatro costados. He’s a con-
liteness doesn’t have to be a sign of weakness. firmed bachelor.  Es un malvado por los
corto short cuatro costados. He’s an out-and-out villain.
i ser más corto que las mangas de un  Es una holgazana por los cuatro costados.
chaleco to be as thick as two short planks She’s an absolute idler.
(fam., Br.E.) ]ser más tonto que Carra- el costal sack, bag
cuca
i ser un costal de mentiras (fig.) to be an out-
] corto ( ]largo: a la corta o a la larga)
and-out liar, to be a chronic liar
] corto (atar ~ a alg.)
i ser un o estar hecho un costal de huesos
cosechar to harvest (fig.) to be a bag of bones (fam.), to be all
i cosechar lo que uno ha sembrado (fig.) to skin and bone (fam.), to be nothing but skin
reap what one has sown (fig.) and bone (fam.)

52
la crisma

i vaciar el costal (fig., fam.) to spill the beans la coz kick


(sl.), to talk (fam.), to blab (fam.) i soltar la/una coz a alg. (fam.) to be rude to
] costal (ser harina de otro ~) s.o., to snap at s.o.
] costar la de San Quintín i tratar a alg. a coces (fig.) to treat s.o. very
] costar los cinco sentidos badly/rudely, to treat s.o. like dirt (fam.), to
] costar un dineral/huevo/pico/riñón/sen- be very rude to s.o.
tido i dar coces contra el aguijón (fig.) to kick
] costar un huevo [+ infinitivo] against the pricks (fig.), to rebel  Los em-
] costar un ojo de la cara pleados dieron coces contra el aguijón
] costar una burrada/riñonada cuando no recibieron el aumento salarial
[que les habían] prometido. The employees
la costilla rib
kicked against the pricks when they didn’t get
i De tal costilla, tal astilla. (prov.) The apple
the wage increase promised them.
doesn’t fall far from the tree. (prov.) Like fa-
ther like son. (prov.) A chip off the old block. ] crecer como la espuma
i mi [cara] costilla (fig., fam., hum.) my bet- ] creces ( ]pagar: ¡[Ya] me las pagarás
ter half (fam.) con ~!)
i medir las costillas a alg. (fam.) to give s.o.
a thrashing (fam.) ]arrimar candela a alg. el credo credo
i tener a alg. sobre sus costillas (fam.) to be i en un credo (fig.) in next to no time, in a
lumbered with s.o. (fam.) flash, in a jiffy (fam.), in a trice, in a tick
(fam., Br.E.), before you can say Jack Robin-
] costumbre (la ~ es otra/segunda natu-
son (fam.)  Todo pasó en un credo. It was
raleza)
all over in a flash.  Terminó el trabajo en
la costura seam un credo. He finished the work in next to no
i sentar las costuras a alg. (fig., fam.) to give time.
s.o. a hiding (fam.) ]arrimar candela a alg.
creederas (fam.)
i meter a alg. en costura (fig.) to make s.o.
i tener buenas creederas to swallow anything
listen to or see reason, to bring s.o. under
(fig.), to be terribly gullible
control  Tenemos que meterle en costura.
We have to make him listen to reason. ] creer algo a puño cerrado
] creer que todo el monte es orégano
el cotarro night shelter (for tramps/etc.)
i el cotarro (pop.) clique ] criar a alg. en estufa
i alborotar el cotarro (fig., fam.) to stir up ] criar a alg. entre algodones ( ]algodón)
trouble (fig.), to make trouble ] criar callos
i ser el amo del cotarro (fam.), dirigir el co- ] criar la víbora en el seno
tarro (fam.) to rule the roost (fig.) ]llevar ] criar moho (no ~)
la batuta ] criar moho (no dejar ~ a alg./algo)

la cotorra budgerigar, magpie la criba sieve


i la cotorra (fig., fam.) gasbag (fam.), wind- i pasar algo por la criba (fig., fam.) to sift
bag (fam.), chatterbox (fam.) through s.th. (fig.), to go through/over s.th.
i hablar más que una cotorra (fig., fam.) s.o. with a fine-tooth comb (fig.), to scrutinize
wouldn’t stop talking, to just go on and on, s.th.  Pasaron las solicitudes por la criba.
to be a real chatterbox (fam.), to have a mo- They sifted through the applications carefully.
tormouth (fam.), to talk nineteen to the i estar hecho una criba (fig.) to be riddled
dozen (fam., Br.E.), to talk a mile a minute with holes (fig.), to be full of holes
(fam., Am.E.), s.o. could talk the hind legs la crisma chrism, holy oil
off a donkey (fam.) i la crisma (fam.) head
la coyunda halter i romper la crisma a alg. (fig., fam.) to knock
i la coyunda (fig., hum.) yoke of marriage s.o.’s block off (fam., Br.E.), to bash s.o.’s
(hum.) head in, to smash s.o.’s face in

53
el cristal

i romperse la crisma (fig., fam.) to break i Cada uno lleva su cruz. (fig.) Each of us has
one’s neck, to crack one’s head open (fam.), his cross to bear. (fig.)
to brain o.s. (fam.) i meter la espada/etc. hasta la cruz en algo
to drive the sword/etc. up to its handle into
el cristal crystal, glass
s.th.
i verlo todo con cristal ahumado (fig.) to take
i desde la cruz hasta la fecha from A to Z,
a gloomy view of everything
from beginning to end
cristiano Christian i ¡Cruz y raya! (fam.) Stop it! Enough of that!
i en cristiano (fam.) in Spanish (lit.), in plain That’s quite enough!
English or Spanish or German/etc. (fig.)
i hablar en cristiano to speak Spanish (lit.), to cuajado curdled, coagulated
say/tell s.th. in plain English or Spanish or i cuajado de (fig.) full of, covered with, stud-
German/etc. (fig.), to express o.s. clearly, to ded (fig.) or dotted with (stars or flowers or
make sense with what one says  Ahora es- animals/etc.), bristling with (mistakes/etc.),
tamos en España. ¡Habla en cristiano! We’re swarming or crawling with (insects/people),
in Spain now. Speak Spanish!  ¡Habla o teeming with (mistakes or animals or peo-
dímelo en cristiano! Tell me or say it in plain ple), thick or caked with (dirt/etc.), inter-
English! larded with (quotations/etc.)  El cielo está
cuajado de estrellas. The sky is studded with
Cristo; el cristo Christ, crucifix stars.  La playa está cuajada de turistas.
i vivir/estar donde Cristo dio las tres voces The beach is teeming or crawling or swarm-
o donde Cristo perdió la alpargata/la gorra ing with tourists.  La Pradera estaba cua-
(fam.) to live/be: at the back of beyond jada de bisontes. The prairie was dotted with
(fam.), in the middle of nowhere (fam.), bison.  El suelo está cuajado de hormigas.
[way] out in the sticks (fam.), [way] out in The ground is crawling with ants.  Sus pan-
the boonies (sl., hum., Am.E.) or boondocks talones están cuajados de suciedad. His
(fam., hum., Am.E.), at a godforsaken place pants (Am.E.)/trousers (Br.E.) are thick with
(fam.)  Ya hace mucho tiempo que viven dirt or filth.  Una corona cuajada de joyas.
donde Cristo dio las tres voces. They’ve been A crown covered with jewels.  Tiene la
living at the back of beyond for a long time frente cuajada de gotas de sudor. His fore-
now. head is dotted with beads of sweat.  El texto
i ¡Hasta verte, Cristo mío! (fam.) Cheers! está cuajado de faltas. The text is bristling
(fam.) Down the hatch! (fam.) Bottoms up! with mistakes.
(fam.)
] cuarenta (cantar las ~ a alg.)
i Cristo y la madre (fam.), todo cristo (pop.)
everyone, everybody ]todo bicho viviente la cuaresma Lent
i poner a alg. como un Cristo (fam.) to call i ser más largo que una cuaresma (fig.) to
s.o. all the names under the sun, to heap just go on and on, to take forever (fam.), not
abuse on s.o. to half take a long time (fam., Br.E.)  La
i sentarle algo a alg. como a un santo cristo reunión fue más larga que una cuaresma.
un par de pistolas (fam., hum.) s.th. doesn’t The meeting just went on and on.  Esto sí
suit s.o. at all, s.th. looks awful on s.o.  Esta que es más largo que una cuaresma. This
camisa te sienta como a un santo cristo un is really taking forever. It doesn’t half take a
par de pistolas. This shirt doesn’t suit you at long time.
all. This shirt looks awful on you.
] Cristo (armar la de Dios es ~) el cuarto quarter, fourth part
] Cristo (¡Por los clavos de ~!) i el cuarto (histórico) ancient coin
i [los] cuartos (fam.) (money): dough (sl.,
] crudo (comerse a alg. ~)
Am.E.), bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/
la cruz cross lolly (sl., Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.)
i besar la cruz (fig.) to bow to the inevitable i tener muchos cuartos to be rolling in
(fig.) money (fam.), to have pots of money (fam.),
i ser una cruz para alg. (fig.) to be a millstone to be loaded (fam.), to be stinking rich
[a]round s.o.’s neck (fig.) (fam.)

54
la cuenta

i administrar/manejar los cuartos to hold the get in on the act (fam.)  Siempre tiene que
purse strings meter su cuchara. He’s always got to stick his
i estar sin un cuarto o no tener [ni] un oar in. He always has to put in his own two
cuarto (fam.) to be [absolutely/flat] broke bits or his two cents’ worth.
(fam.), not to have a penny or a red cent to i meter algo a alg. con cuchara (fam.) to
one’s name, not to have two [brass] farthings spoon-feed s.o. with s.th. (fig.), to have a
to rub together (Br.E.), not to have a bean hard job getting s.o. to understand s.th.  Se
(sl., Br.E.), to be on the rocks (fam.) lo metimos con cuchara. We spoon-fed him
i echar su cuarto a espadas to put in one’s with it. We had a hard job getting him to un-
[own] two bits (fam.), to put in one’s two derstand it.
cents[’ worth] (fam., Am.E.), to put/stick/ i un oficial de cuchara (fig., fam.) (in the mil-
shove one’s oar in (fam.)  Siempre tiene itary): an officer who has risen from the
que echar su cuarto a espadas. He’s always ranks, a ranker
got to stick his oar in. He always has to put
in his own two bits or his two cents’ worth. el cucharón ladle
i dar un cuarto al pregonero (fig.) to tell the i servirse/despacharse con el cucharón (fig.)
world [about it/s.th.], to tell all and sundry to make sure one gets the lion’s share, to look
[about it/s.th.], to tell everyone one’s private after Number One (fam.)
business  Yo que tú no daría un cuarto al el cuchillo knife
pregonero. I would keep quiet about it if I
i remover el cuchillo en la llaga (fig.) to turn
were you.
the knife in the wound (fig.), to rub salt
Cuba Cuba in[to] the wound (fig.)  Juan se siente muy
i Más se perdió en Cuba. (hum., Esp.) It’s not abatido porque ha perdido mucho dinero al
the end of the world. (fam.) It could be póquer. Paco está removiendo el cuchillo en
worse. It could have been worse. Worse la llaga diciendo cuánto ganaron los otros
things happen at sea. (fam., Br.E.)  Ayer me jugadores. Juan is feeling miserable about los-
dieron el bote. Más se perdió en Cuba. I was ing a lot of money at poker, and Paco is rub-
fired yesterday. That’s not the end of the world. bing salt into the wound by saying how much
la cuba wine cask the other gamblers won.
i estar hecho una cuba (fam.) to be [com- ] cuchillo (en casa de herrero, ~ de palo)
pletely] sloshed (fam.), to be three sheets to el cuello neck
or have three sheets in the wind (sl.) ]es- i apostar[se] el cuello a que ... (fam.) to bet
tar hecho un cesto s.o. anything he likes [that] . . . , you can bet
] cubero (a ojo de buen ~) your life (fam.) or your bottom dollar (fam.,
el cubo bucket Am.E.) [that] . . . , it’s dollars to doughnuts
i llover a cubos (fig.) to rain in torrents, to [that] . . . (fam., Am.E.)  Me apuesto el
come down in buckets/sheets, to rain cats cuello a que no lo hacen. I bet you anything
and dogs, to be pouring [down or with rain], you like they don’t do it. You can bet your life
to be bucketing down (Br.E.), the floodgates they won’t do it.
of heaven open (fig.)  Ayer llovió a cubos. ] cuello (estar con el agua/el dogal/la soga
The rain or it came down in buckets yesterday. al ~)
It was bucketing down yesterday. The flood- ] cuello (tener a alg. con el agua al ~)
gates of heaven opened yesterday. la cuenta count[ing], bill
la cuchara spoon i La cuenta es cuenta. (prov.) Business is
i meter su cuchara (fam.) to chime in (fig.), business. (prov.)
to put in one’s [own] two bits (fam.), to put i la cuenta de la vieja (fig.) counting on one’s
in one’s [two] pennyworth (fam., Br.E.), to fingers
put in one’s two cents[’ worth] (fam., i pasar la cuenta a alg. (fig.) to make s.o. pay
Am.E.), to butt into or in on (a conversa- for it (fig.)
tion/etc.) (fam.), to put/stick/shove one’s oar i ajustar cuentas con alg. (fig.) to get even
in (a conversation/an affair/etc.) (fam.), to with s.o. (fig.), to settle a score with s.o. (fig.)

55
el cuentagarbanzos

 ¡Ya ajustaré cuentas con él! I’ll get even Siempre hay que tirarle de la cuerda. You
with him! always have to drag/winkle everything out of
i tener cuentas pendientes con alg. (fig.) to him.  No lograron tirarle de la cuerda.
have accounts or an account to settle with They were unable to or couldn’t drag it out of
s.o. (fig.), to have a bone to pick with s.o., him.
to have a crow to pluck with s.o. i bajo cuerda (fig.), por debajo de cuerda
i dar cuenta de alg. (pop.) to bump s.o. off (fig.) under the counter (fig.), by stealth, in
(sl.) an underhand way, on the side, behind the
i dar en la cuenta de algo to get wise to s.th. scenes  Lo pusieron a la sombra por haber
(fam.) vendido alcohol bajo cuerda. He was clapped
i Ahora caigo en la cuenta o me doy cuenta. in jail for selling liquor under the counter.
[Now] the penny has dropped. (hum., Br.E.) i la cuerda no da más (fig.) to be on one’s last
i Por fin cayó en la cuenta o se dio cuenta. legs (fam.)
The penny finally dropped. (hum., Br.E.) i estar contra/en las cuerdas (fig.) to be on
i Está con la cuenta. (fam.) She has the curse the ropes (fig.), to be up against it (fam.)
[of Eve]. (fam.) She has the rag on. (sl.) She’s i aún quedar cuerda a alg. (fig.), aún tener
on the rag. (sl., Br.E.) cuerda (fig.) to have still some steam left
] cuenta (echar la ~ sin la huéspeda) (fig.)  Aún le queda cuerda. He has still
] cuenta ([hacer] borrón y ~ nueva) some steam left in him.
] cuenta (hacer las ~s de la lechera) i La cuerda se rompe siempre por lo más
] cuenta (la ~ de la lechera) delgado. (fig.) The weakest goes to the wall.
(fig.)
el cuentagarbanzos (hum.) miser, penny- ] cuerda (no tener cabo ni ~)
pincher (fam.), skinflint (fam.), tightwad
(fam., Am.E.), scrooge (fig., fam.) cuerdo sane, wise
i De cuerdo y loco todos tenemos un poco.
el cuento story, tale (prov.) We’re all a little crazy in one way or
i el cuento chino (fam.) lie, hoax, canard, another.
load of baloney (sl.), load of bull (sl.,
Am.E.), load of rubbish (fam., Br.E.), cock- el cuerno horn (animal)
and-bull story (fam.), tall story (fam.) i irse al cuerno (fam.) to fall through/flat, to
i el cuento de viejas (fam.) old wives’ tale come to nothing, to break up, to be
spoiled/ruined (party/etc.), to be/go on the
la cuerda rope, cord, string, spring (in a rocks (marriage) (fam.)  Todos nuestros
watch) planes se fueron al cuerno. All our plans fell
i apretar la cuerda (fig.) to take a tougher line, through.  Su matrimonio se fue al cuerno.
to tighten up (fig.) Their marriage broke up. Their marriage went
i aflojar la cuerda (fig.) to ease up on the rocks. (fam.)
i estirar la cuerda (fig.) to go too far, to i mandar a alg. al cuerno (fam.) to tell s.o.
overdo it (fig.) to go to hell (fam.) ]mandar a alg. a freír
i bailar en la cuerda floja (fig.) to perform a espárragos
skillful balancing act (fig.), to keep it with i mandar algo al cuerno (fam.) to chuck s.th.
both sides/parties  El negociador bailó en (job/etc.) in/up (fam., Br.E.)  Voy a man-
la cuerda floja. The negotiator performed a dar mi trabajo al cuerno y a buscarme otro.
skillful balancing act. I’m going to chuck my job in and look for an-
i dar cuerda a alg. (fig., fam.) to encourage other one.  Lo mandé todo al cuerno. I
s.o. to talk, to let s.o. ride his hobby-horse chucked it all in. I chucked the whole thing.
(fig.)  Parece que le han dado cuerda a i oler a cuerno quemado (fam.) to be suspi-
ella. She just goes on and on. She wouldn’t stop cious, to smell/sound fishy (fam.), to be a
talking. fishy business (fam.)  Esto me huele a
i tirar de la cuerda a alg. (fig.) (a) to get/keep cuerno quemado. I’m suspicious about/of
s.o. under control, to hold s.o. back (b) to this. This seems suspicious to me.  Esta cosa
winkle everything out of s.o. (fig., Br.E.), to huele a cuerno quemado. There’s something
drag everything/it out of s.o. (fig., fam.)  fishy about this.  Esta noticia me huele a

56
el culo

cuerno quemado. This piece of news sounds el cuesco stone (fruit)


fishy to me. i el cuesco (vulg.) loud fart (vulg.)
i romperse los cuernos (fam.) to work one’s
la cuesta slope
butt (Am.E.) or one’s tail off (fam.)
i hacérsele algo a alg. [muy] cuesta arriba [+
i andar/verse en los cuernos del toro (fig.)
infinitivo] (fam.) to be an/[a real] uphill
to be in great danger, to be sitting on top of
struggle [+ gerund] (fig.), to have a [very]
a volcano (fig.)
hard time [+ gerund], to find s.th. [very] dif-
i meter/poner [los] cuernos a alg. (fig., fam.)
ficult/hard [to + infinitive], to go [totally]
to cuckold s.o., to cheat on s.o. (fam.,
against the grain with s.o. [to + infinitive]
Am.E.), to be unfaithful to s.o.
 Se nos hace cuesta arriba trabajar con
i poner a alg. en/por o levantar a alg.
este frío. We find it dificult to work in this
a/hasta los cuernos de la luna (fig.) to
cold.  Se me hace muy cuesta arriba co-
praise s.o. to the skies, to heap praise on s.o.
laborar con él. It goes totally against the grain
(fig.), to sing s.o.’s praises  La puso en los
with me to collaborate with him.
cuernos de la luna. He praised her to the
skies. ] cuestión de gabinete
] cuerno (coger el toro por los ~s) ] cuidado ( ]pecar: nunca se peca por de-
masiado ~)
el cuero wineskin, leather, skin
i el cuero (fam.) (a) drunkard (pej.), boozer ] culata (salirle a alg. el tiro por la ~)
(fam.), dipso (fam.), toper, lush (sl.), old ] culebra (echar sapos y ~s)
soak (fam.) (b) football, soccer ball (Am.E.)
el culo (pop.) arse (Br.E.) or ass (Am.E.)
(c) wallet
(vulg.), butt (fam., Am.E.), bum (fam.,
i estar hecho un cuero (fam.) to be [com-
Br.E.), backside (fam.), bottom (fam.)
pletely] sloshed (fam.), to be three sheets to
i un culo de vaso (fig., fam.) fake jewel or
or have three sheets in the wind (sl.) ]es-
gem[stone]
tar hecho un cesto
i gafas de culo de vaso o de culo de botella
i en cueros [vivos] (fam.) stark naked (fam.),
(fig.) pebble [lens] glasses (fig., fam.)
in the buff (fam., hum., Br.E.)  Fue a
i andar/ir con el culo a rastras (fig., fam.) to
bañarse en cueros. He went skinny-dipping.
be on one’s last legs (fam.), to be on one’s
(fam.)
beam-ends (fam., Br.E.), to be [flat] broke
i dejar a alg. en cueros [vivos] (fig., fam.) to
(fam.)
fleece (fig.) or relieve (hum.) or rob s.o. of
i romperse el culo (fam.) to work one’s tail
everything, to bleed s.o. dry/white (fam.), to
off (fam.) ]echar/sudar la hiel
clean s.o. out (sl.)
i ser [un] culo de mal asiento (fam.) s.o. can’t
el cuerpo body sit still for a minute, to be a restless soul, to
i echarse algo al cuerpo (fam.) to have s.th. never stay in one place for long, to keep
to eat/drink changing one’s job or one’s flat or one’s apart-
i vivir a cuerpo de rey (fam.) to live like a ment (Am.E.)/etc.
king (fig.), to live the life of Riley (fig.), to i tomar/confundir el culo por las témporas
live on the fat of the land (fig., pop.) to mix up everything (fig.), s.o.
i tratar/atender a alg. a cuerpo de rey (fam.) can’t tell his arse (Br.E.) or ass (Am.E.) from
to wine and dine s.o., to entertain s.o. lav- his elbow (fam.)
ishly, to lay on the works for s.o. (fam.), to i pasarse algo por el culo (vulg.) to piss on
treat s.o. like royalty, to lavish attentions on s.th. (fig., vulg.), not to give a shit about s.th.
s.o. (vulg.)  Estos reglamentos me los paso por
i a cuerpo gentil (fig.) without [any] outside el culo. I don’t give a shit about these regula-
help, by o.s., single-handedly  Lo hice a tions.
cuerpo gentil. I did it without outside help. i ¡Vete a tomar por culo! (vulg., Esp.) Piss off !
 Salió adelante o hizo carrera a cuerpo (vulg.) Fuck off ! (vulg.) Screw you! (vulg.)
gentil. He pulled himself up by his [own] Get stuffed! (vulg.)
bootstraps. i mandar a alg. a tomar por culo (vulg., Esp.)
] cuerpo (hurtarle el ~ a algo) to tell s.o. to piss/fuck off (vulg.), to tell s.o.

57
la cumbre

to get stuffed (vulg.)  La mandó a tomar ] culo (dar una patada en el ~ a alg.)
por culo. He told her to piss off. ] culo (llevar todavía el cascarón pegado
i mandar algo a tomar por culo (vulg.) to al ~)
chuck s.th. (job/etc.) in/up (fam., Br.E.)  ] culo (poner a alg. el ~ como un tomate)
Lo mandé todo a tomar por culo. I chucked
it all in. I chucked the whole thing. ] culpa (ausente sin ~, ni presente sin dis-
i traer de culo a alg. (fam., Esp.) to drive s.o. culpa)
nuts (fam.), to drive s.o. bananas (sl.), to
drive s.o. round the bend (fam., Br.E.)  la cumbre top (of a mountain)
Trae de culo a todo el mundo. He drives i sentirse en la cumbre (fig.) to feel one’s oats
everybody crazy. (fam., Am.E.)
i a culo pajarero (adv., fam.) naked  La fu-
] curar (estar curado de espanto)
lana fue arrestada porque hizo la calle a
culo pajarero. The hooker was put under ar- ] curar (más vale prevenir que ~)
rest because she walked the streets naked. ] curiosidad (reventar de ~)

58
CH
Las palabras que empiezan por “ch” aparecen Words beginning with “ch” are listed at the ap-
bajo la letra C en su correspondiente orden propriate alphabetical position under letter C.
alfabético.

59
dabute[n], dabuti (adj. inv., adv., fam.)
D el dedillo little finger
great (fam.), super (fam.), fantastic[ally] i conocer algo al dedillo (fig.) to know s.th.
(fam.) ]cojonudo (a)  Lo pasamos like the back of one’s hand (fig.), to know
dabuti. We had a great/fantastic or smashing s.th. inside out (fam.)  Conozco la ciudad
time. al dedillo. I know the city like the back of my
hand.
daca (fam.) i saber algo al dedillo (fig.) to know s.th.
i andar al daca y toma to argue back and
backwards and forwards, to have/know s.th.
forth, to bicker off pat (Br.E.) or down pat, to have s.th. at
el dado die, dice one’s fingertips  Supo la lección al dedillo.
i estar como un dado to look very promising, He had the lesson off pat.
to go extremely well el dedo finger, toe
i correr el dado (fig.) to be lucky i el dedo veintiuno (pop.) penis, eleventh fin-
la danza dance ger (fam.)
i meterse en o estar/andar metido en [la] i darle a alg. un dedo y se toma hasta el
danza (fam.) to get/be caught up or mixed codo (fig.) give s.o. an inch and he’ll take a
up (fam.) or involved in it/in a business/in yard/mile
a shady affair, to be in on it (fam.)  ¿Quién i poner el dedo en la llaga (fig.) to put one’s
está/anda metido en la danza? Who’s mixed finger on the spot (fig.), to touch on a sore
up or involved in this [business]? spot/point (fig.), to hit a raw nerve (fig.) 
] danza (meter los perros en ~) Perdóname, no fue mi intención ofenderte.
No me daba cuenta de que ponía el dedo
dar to give en la llaga. Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.
i Donde las dan, las toman. (prov.) An eye I didn’t realize that I was touching on a sore
for an eye [and a tooth for a tooth]. (prov.) spot.
Tit for tat. i chuparse el dedo (fig., fam.) to come away
i A quien dan no escoge. (prov.) Beggars empty-handed, to end up with nothing
cannot or must not be choosers. (prov.) i no chuparse el dedo (fig., fam.) to be no
dares y tomares fool, to be nobody’s fool, s.o. wasn’t born
i andar en dares y tomares [con alg.] to yesterday (fig.)  ¡Pero yo no me chupo el
bicker/squabble [with s.o.], to argue back dedo! Do you think I was born yesterday?!
and forth i chuparse los dedos [por algo] (fig.) to drool
[over s.th.] (fig.), to smack one’s lips [over
deber to owe s.th.] (fig.), to rub one’s hands (fig.)
i no quedar a deber nada (fig.) to give s.o. i pillarse los dedos (fig.) to burn one’s fingers
tit for tat (fig.), to singe one’s wings (fig.)
decir to say i meter a alg. los dedos en la boca to [skill-
i Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres. fully] sound s.o. out (fig.), to try to get s.o.
You can judge a person by the company he to talk
i meter a alg. los dedos por los ojos (fig.) to
keeps.
throw dust in s.o.’s eyes (fig.)  Me metió los
i el qué dirán what people may/might/will
dedos por los ojos y acabó vendiéndome el
say  Me cago en el qué dirán. I don’t give
reloj más caro. He threw dust in my eyes and
a shit what people might/will say.
I ended up buying the most expensive watch.
la dedada thimbleful i no tener dos dedos de frente (fig.) not to
i la dedada de miel (fig., fam.) crumb of be exactly a shining or leading light (fig.),
comfort to be pretty dim (fam.)

60
descosido

i ir[se] a dedo (fam.), hacer dedo (fam.) to la depre (fam.) depression (dejection)
hitch/thumb a lift (Br.E.) or a ride (Am.E.) i tener la depre, estar con la depre to be
(fam.), to thumb it (fam.)  Nos fuimos a down in the dumps (fam.), to be feeling
casa a dedo. We hitched/thumbed a lift down/low, to have the blues (fam.)
home. ] derecho (hecho y ~)
] dedo (venir/sentar [a alg.] como anillo al ] derecho como una vela
~) ] desaparecer por [el] escotillón/por el foro
] defecto (más vale pecar por exceso que ] desastre ( ]abocar a: estar abocado a
por ~) un ~)
defender to defend descabezar to behead
i defenderse bien (fam.) to keep one’s end i descabezar un sueñecito (fam.) to have/
up, to hold one’s own take a nap, to have a snooze (fam.), to get a
] defender algo a capa y espada bit of or some shut-eye (fam.), to have/get
defraudar defraud forty winks (fam.), to catch some Zs (sl.,
Am.E.)
i defraudar el sueño (fig.) to work through
the night, not to get a wink of sleep all night descacharrante (fam.) a [real] scream
] dehesa (tener el pelaje/pelo de la ~) (fam.), hilariously funny, [as] funny as a bar-
rel of monkeys (fam.)  Estuvo descacha-
] dejar (no dejes para mañana lo que
rrante. It was a scream. It was hilariously
puedes hacer hoy)
funny.  Es descacharrante. He’s/she’s a real
delante in front [of] scream. He’s/she’s as funny as a barrel of mon-
i no ponérsele a alg. nada por delante (fig.) keys.
to pursue one’s goal (fig.) ruthlessly, not to descojonarse (pop., Esp.) to piss (vulg.) or
let anything get in one’s way  A ese tío no wet o.s. laughing, to kill o.s. laughing (fam.)
se le pone nada por delante. That fellow
doesn’t let anything get in his way. descolgarse to let o.s. down
i descolgarse con algo (fig., fam.) to blurt out
] delgado (hilar ~)
s.th., to come out with s.th., to suddenly
] delgado (la cuerda se rompe siempre por
[and unexpectedly] say/announce s.th.  Se
lo más ~) descolgó con esa estupidez. He blurted out
] demasiado (bueno está lo bueno, pero no that silly remark.  A último momento se
lo ~) descolgaron con que no podían venir. At the
last minute they said/announced that they
el demonio devil, demon
couldn’t come.
i estudiar con el demonio (fig.) to be a very
shrewd operator (fam.) ] desconfiar hasta de su sombra
i darse a todos los demonios (fam.) to swear ] descoser (no ~ la boca)
horribly, to rant and rave (fam.), to eff and descosido unstitched
blind (fam., Br.E.), to let fly (fig.), to let rip i como un descosido/una descosida (fam.)
(fam.) like a madman/madwoman (fig.), like a ma-
i ponerse hecho un demonio (fam.) to go niac (fig.), like mad, immoderately, wildly
berserk (fam.) ]ponerse como un  reír[se] como un descosido to laugh one’s
basilisco head off (fam.), to split one’s sides laughing
i mandar a alg. al demonio (fam.) to tell s.o. (fam.)  gritar como un descosido to shriek/
to go to hell (fam.)  La mandó al demonio. shout one’s head off (fam.), to scream/shout at
He told her to go to hell. the top of one’s voice or lungs  hablar como
i saber a demonios (fam.) to taste awful/foul un descosido to talk a mile a minute (fam.,
i oler a demonios (fam.) to smell awful/foul Am.E.), to talk nineteen to the dozen (fam.,
i ¿Qué demonios estás/etc. haciendo aquí ? Br.E.)  estudiar/trabajar como un desco-
(fam.) What the devil/hell are you/etc. do- sido to study/work like mad  comer como
ing here? (fam.) un descosido to eat to excess, to stuff o.s.

61
descoyuntarse de risa

(fam.), to feed/stuff one’s face (fam.), to pig ] despedir a alg. con cajas destempladas
out (fam., Am.E.)  beber como un desco- ] despedirse a la francesa ( ]francés)
sido to drink an awful lot, to drink like a fish
despotricar [contra] (fam.) to rant and rave
 gastar como un descosido to spend [one’s]
(fam.), to rant/rave [about], to complain
money wildly, to spend [one’s] money like it’s
[about], to rail [against]  Despotricaron
going out of style or like there was no tomor-
contra él. They railed against him.
row (fam.)  repartir golpes como un des-
cosido to lash out wildly, to lash out like a ma- desternillarse de risa (fam.) to kill o.s.
niac laughing (fam.), to die laughing (fam.), to
crack up (fam., Am.E.), to crease up (fam.,
descoyuntarse de risa (fam.) to kill o.s.
Br.E.), to be in stitches (fam.)
laughing (fam.), to die laughing (fam.), to
crack up (fam., Am.E.), to crease up (fam., desvertebrar algo (red de espionaje/de
Br.E.), to be in stitches (fam.) narcotraficantes; grupo terrorista; pandilla/
] descubrir el pastel etc.) (fig.) (spy/drugtrafficking ring; terror-
ist group; gang/etc.): to break up, to smash
] desdicha (ser el rigor de las ~s)
 Ayer desvertebraron una red de espio-
desembuchar (bird): to regurgitate naje. They smashed a spy ring yesterday.
i desembuchar [algo] (fig., fam.) to spill the ] devoción (no es santo de mi ~)
beans (sl.), to come clean [about s.th.]
] día ( ]pensar: el ~ menos pensado)
(fam.), to reveal or divulge s.th. (secret/etc.)
] día (~s de Maricastaña)
 Es un secreto. No [lo] desembuches. It’s
] día (ser el hombre del ~)
a secret. Don’t reveal it.
] día (ser más largo que un ~ sin pan)
] desempedrar la calle ] día (¡tal ~ hará un año!)
] deseo (abrasarse en ~) ] día (todo el santo ~)
] desesperar ( ]esperar: quien espera, des- ] día (un ~ puente)
espera) ] día (un ~ sí y otro no)
] día (un ~ sí y otro también)
] desfachatez (¡Qué solemne ~!)
desgañifarse (fam.) to shout one’s head off el diablo devil
i ¡El diablo sea sordo! (fam.) Touch wood!
(fam.)
(Br.E.) Knock on wood! (Am.E.)
desgañitarse (fam.) to shout one’s head off i el diablo predicador (fig., fam.) devil as a
(fam.) moralizer, wolf in sheep’s clothing (fig.) 
desgargantarse (fam.) to shout/scream o.s. Ten cuidado con el director. Parece que no
hoarse, to shout until one is [as] hoarse as a le cabe el corazón en el pecho, pero es un
crow (fam.) diablo predicador. Beware of the manager.
He seems to be the very soul of kindness, but
] desierto (clamar/predicar en el ~) he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
el desliz slip, slide i vivir/estar donde el diablo perdió el pon-
i el desliz (fig.) faux pas, slip (fig.), slip-up cho (fam., América del Sur) to live/be at the
(fig.), gaffe, lapse, indiscretion  Tuvo un back of beyond (fam.) ]vivir/estar donde
desliz. He made a faux pas. Cristo dio las tres voces
i ¡Que el diablo cargue con él/etc.! (fam.)
deslizar to slip, to slide
He/etc. can go to hell! (fam.)
i deslizar algo a alg. (fig.) to slip s.o. s.th.
i mandar a alg. al diablo (fam.) to tell s.o. to
i deslizarse (fig.) to slip or sneak away/off
go to hell (fam.) or to go to blazes (sl.), to
i deslizarse por [entre] las mallas (fig.) to
send s.o. packing (fig.)  Yo que tú la man-
find a loophole (fig.)
daría al diablo. If I were you, I’d send her
] desmañado (ser ~ a más no poder) packing.
] desollar (aún falta/queda la cola/el rabo i mandar algo al diablo (fam.) to chuck s.th.
por ~) (job/etc.) in/up (fam., Br.E.)  Voy a man-

62
el dineral

dar mi trabajo al diablo y a buscarme otro. el diente tooth


I’m going to chuck my job in and look for an- i poner los dientes largos a alg. (fig., fam.)
other one.  Lo mandé todo al diablo. I (a) to make s.o. jealous, to make s.o. green
chucked it all in. I chucked the whole thing. with envy (fig.) (b) to make s.o.’s mouth wa-
i como el/un diablo (fam.)  correr como el ter (fam.)
diablo to run like the devil (fam.), to run like i de dientes [para] afuera (fig., fam.) hypo-
crazy (fam.), to run like hell (sl.)  Me dolió critically, insincerely, lip service, (to support
como un diablo. It hurt like the devil. (fam.) s.th./s.o.) in name only, not to be sincere [in
It hurt like hell. (sl.) It hurt like mad/crazy. what one says]  Habló o lo dijo de dientes
(fam.)  Esto pesa como el diablo. This is para afuera. He said one thing and meant an-
damn[ed] heavy. (fam.) other. He didn’t mean what he said. He wasn’t
] diablo ( ]pintar: no es tan feo el ~ como sincere in what he said.  Apoyaron nuestra
le pintan) idea de dientes afuera. They were [only]
] diablo ( ]pintar: ¿Qué ~ te pintas tú/etc. paying lip service to our idea.  Lo prome-
por aquí ?) tieron de dientes para afuera. They made a
] diablo (encender una vela a Dios y otra al promise they didn’t intend to keep.  No
~) creemos que lo hayan sentido. Lo dijeron de
] diablo (ir como alma que se lleva el ~) dientes para afuera. We don’t think they were
] diablo (no se puede servir a Dios y al ~) sorry. They just said they were.
] diablo (no servir a Dios ni al ~) ] diente (a caballo regalado no hay que mi-
] diablo (ser capaz de contar los pelos al ~) rarle/no le mires el ~)
] diablo (ser de la piel del ~) ] diente (darse con un canto en los ~s)
] diablo (ser un aborto del ~) ] diente (Dios da pan a quien no tiene ~s)
] diablo (tentar al ~) ] diente (hincar el ~ [a/en algo])
] diablo (vender el alma al ~)
] diente (ojo por ojo, ~ por ~)
el diamante diamond diestro right
i ser un diamante en bruto (fig.) to be a
i a diestro y siniestro, a diestra y siniestra at
rough diamond (Br.E.) or a diamond in the
random, wildly; left, right and centre (Br.E.);
rough (Am.E.) (fig.)
left and right (Am.E.)  Repartió golpes a
la diana bull’s-eye diestro y siniestro. He threw out punches left,
i dar en la diana, hacer diana (literal/fig.) to right and centre. He lashed out wildly.  Las
score a bull’s-eye (literal/fig.), to hit the mark bombas caían a diestra y siniestra. The
(fig.), to hit/strike home (fig.)  Diste en la bombs were falling left and right.
diana con esa observación. You hit home ] diez ( ]cagar: ¡Me cago en ~!)
with that remark. ] diez ( ]último: estar en las ~ de últimas)
la dicha [good] luck la digestión digestion
i Nunca es tarde si la dicha es buena. (prov.) i cortarse la digestión (fam.) to get an upset
Better late than never. (prov.) stomach
el dicho saying, proverb i ser de mala digestión (fig., fam.) to be un-
i Del dicho al hecho hay mucho trecho. bearable, to be detestable
(prov.) It’s one thing to say s.th. and another
dimes y diretes (fam.) verbal exchange,
to actually do it. There’s many a slip ’twixt
bickering, squabbling
cup and lip. (prov.) Actions speak louder
i andar en dimes y diretes [con alg.] to
than words. (prov.)
bicker/squabble [with s.o.], to argue back
i Dicho sin hecho no trae provecho. (prov.)
and forth
It’s one thing to say s.th. and another to ac-
tually do it. There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup el dineral huge amount of money
and lip. (prov.) Actions speak louder than i costar un dineral (fam.) to cost a tidy sum
words. (prov.) ]costar una burrada

63
el dinero

el dinero money Sirve a Dios y al diablo. Be careful negotiat-


i alzarse con el dinero (fig., fam.) to take the ing with him. He runs with the hare and hunts
money and run, to make off with the money with the hounds.
(fam.) i no servir a Dios ni al diablo (fam.) to be ut-
i cambiar el dinero (fig.) to sell at no profit terly useless, to be a dead loss (fig., fam.)
i Los dineros del sacristán cantando se i No se puede servir a Dios y al diablo.
vienen y cantando se van. (prov.) Easy (prov.) No man can serve two masters.
come, easy go. (prov.) (prov.)
] dinero (estar mal/podrido de ~) i Dios los cría y ellos se juntan. (prov.) Birds
] dinero (ganar ~ a cántaros/a pote) of a feather flock together. (prov.)
] dinero (hincharse de ~) i Dios da pan a quien no tiene dientes.
] Dinero (poderoso caballero es don ~) (prov.) It’s an unfair world. (prov.)
] dinero (rebosar en ~) i A Dios rogando y con el mazo dando.
] dinero (tener ~ a punta pala) (prov.) God helps those who help them-
] dinero (tener ~ hasta la pared de enfrente) selves. Put your trust in God and keep your
] dinero (tener la mar de ~) powder dry. (prov.)
] Dios ( ]bueno: a la buena de ~)
diñarla (pop.) to kick the bucket (fam.) ] Dios ( ]estornudar: cada uno estornuda
]cascar[la] como ~ le ayuda)
Dios God ] Dios ( ]madrugar: a quien madruga, ~ le
i vivir como Dios en Francia to live the life ayuda)
of Riley (fig.), to live/be in clover (fig.) ] Dios (a la gracia de ~)
i necesitar Dios y [su] ayuda (fam.) to face a ] Dios (del agua mansa líbreme ~ que de la
very difficult task/job, to need a lot of help brava me libro yo)
i costar Dios y ayuda a alg. [+ infinitivo] (fig., ] Dios (el hombre propone y ~ dispone)
fam.) to take s.o. a supreme effort [to + in- ] Dios (encender una vela a ~ y otra al dia-
finitive], to have a terrible job [to + infini- blo)
tive]  Nos costó Dios y ayuda. It took us a ] Dios (mi madre/etc., que ~ tenga en la glo-
supreme effort.  Me costó Dios y ayuda ha- ria)
cerlo. I had a terrible job to do it.
] Dios (ser más feo que pegar a ~)
i para alg. no hay más Dios [ni Santa María] ] Dios (tentar a ~)
que ... (fam.) . . . means the world to s.o.  diquelar algo (pop.) to get s.th. (fam.), to
Para él no hay más Dios ni Santa María que twig s.th. (fam., Br.E.), to catch on to s.th.
el juego. Gambling means the world to him. (fam.)  ¿Lo has diquelado? Did you twig it?
 Para ellos no hay más Dios que sus Have you caught on to it?
coches. Their cars mean the world to them. ] discordia (la manzana de la ~)
i armar la de Dios es Cristo (fam.) to raise
] disculpa (ausente sin culpa, ni presente sin
hell (fam.), to raise Cain (fam.), to cause a
~)
tremendous fuss (fam.), to cause an
almighty row (fam.) ] discusión ( ]bizantino: discusiones bizan-
i como Dios manda (fig.) properly, as is tinas)
proper, well  [Com]pórtate como Dios ] divertirse horrores
manda. Behave properly/well. ] divertirse la mar
i Si Dios de esta me escapa, nunca me la docena dozen
cubrirá de tal capa. (fam.) If God helps me i la docena del fraile (fam.) baker’s dozen,
out this time, I’ll never get involved in such long dozen
an affair or in this kind of thing again.
i Rogar a Dios por santos mas no por tantos. el dogal hangman’s noose
Enough is as good as a feast. (prov.) i estar con el dogal al cuello (fig.) to be in
i servir a Dios y al diablo (fam.) to run with an awful or in a real jam/fix (fam.), to be in
the hare and hunt with the hounds (fig., a very tight spot (fam.)
Br.E.)  Ten cuidado al negociar con él. ] dolor (apurar el cáliz de ~ hasta las heces)

64
duro

] dómine (poner a alg. como chupa de ~) el duende ghost, goblin


] dorar la bola a alg. i tener duende (Andalucía) to have that cer-
] dorar la píldora tain s.th., to have charm/magic, to have a
special appeal
] dormir a pierna suelta
] dormir como un bendito/ceporro/leño/ el dueño owner, proprietor
lirón/tronco i Cual el dueño, tal el perro. (prov.) Like
] dormir como una peña master, like man. (prov.)
] dormir con los ojos abiertos dulce; el dulce sweet; sweet, candy
] dormir de narices ( ]nariz) i entre dulce y amargo (fig.) bittersweet (fig.)
] dormir la mona/el vino i A nadie le amarga un dulce. (fig.) Some-
] dormir sobre un lecho de rosas ([no] ~) thing pleasant is always welcome. Nobody
] dormirse como un ceporro/santo/tronco says no to a bit of luck.
] dormirse sobre los/sus laureles i El mucho dulce empalaga. (prov.) Enough
is as good as a feast. (prov.)
dos two
i en un dos por tres (fam.) in next to no time, ] duque (querer ir por atún y a ver al ~)
in a flash, in a jiffy (fam.), in a trice, in a tick duro hard
(fam., Br.E.), before you can say Jack Robin- i tomar las duras con las maduras (fam.) to
son (fam.)  Todo pasó en un dos por tres. take the rough with the smooth (fig.), to take
It was all over in a flash.  Terminó el trabajo the bitter with the sweet (fig.)  Mi vida ha
en un dos por tres. He finished the work in tenido sus altibajos. Tenía que aprender a
next to no time. tomar las duras con las maduras. My life has
had its ups and downs. I had to learn to take
el dragón dragon the bitter with the sweet.
i el dragón de seguridad (fig., fam.) chap- ] duro (a quien cuida la peseta nunca le falta
eron[e] un ~)
] duda (sin sombra de ~) ] duro ([por] el canto de un ~)

65
el ecuador equator
E empalmarse (pop.) to get a hard-on (vulg.),
i pasar el ecuador (fig.) (work/studies/etc.): to get randy (fam.), to get horny (sl.)
to be halfway through [it], to have got half
empantanado swampy
out of the way, to have got half over [and
i dejar empantanado a alg. (fig.) to leave s.o.
done] with
in the lurch (fig.), to leave s.o. high and dry
la edad age (fig.)  Me dejaron empantanado y tuve
i la edad ingrata (fam.)/burral (pop.)/del que hacerlo todo yo. They left me high and
pavo (fam.) awkward age, green years (fig.) dry and I had to do it all myself.
el eje axis emperejilar[se] (fam.); emperifollar[se]
i partir algo/a alg. por el eje (fig.) (a) to mess (fam.) to titivate [o.s.] (fam., hum.), to
up s.th. (fig.), to muck up s.th. (fig.), to ruin spruce/doll (fam.) [o.s.] up, to get [all]
s.th., to wreck s.th. (fig.), to cause s.o. a lot dolled up (fam.)  Emperejilaron a sus hi-
of trouble (b) to floor/stump s.o. (fam.), to jos. They titivated their children.  Nos em-
knock s.o. for a loop (Am.E.) or for six perifollamos. We spruced ourselves up. We got
(Br.E.) (fam.), to knock s.o. sideways (fam.) dolled up.
 Me partió por el eje. He caused a lot of
trouble for me.  Partieron nuestros planes empollar (fam.) to cram (fam.), to swot
por el eje. They mucked up or ruined our
(fam., Br.E.), to bone up (fam.)
plans.  Nos partió por el eje con su pre- i empollar algo to cram s.th., to swot up [on]
gunta. We were completely floored by his ques-
s.th., to mug up [on] s.th. (fam., Br.E.), to
tion. bone up on s.th.

el elefante elephant emporrado (fam.) high (on drugs) (fam.),


i como un elefante en una cacharrería (fig., stoned (sl.), out of one’s head (sl.)  Estaban
fam.) like a bull in a china-shop (fig.)  Se todos emporrados cuando llegó la bofia.
comportó como un elefante en una cacha- They were all high when the cops arrived.
rrería. He was like a bull in a china-shop. emporrarse (fam.) to smoke pot (sl.), to get
] elefante (hacer de una pulga un ~) high on grass (sl.)
el elemento element ] enamorado (estar ~ hasta los tuétanos)
i estar en su elemento (fig.) to be in one’s el enchufado, la enchufada (fam.) per-
element son who has a cushy job (fam.)
i encontrarse en seguida en su elemento
(fig.) to take to s.th. like a duck to water enchufar a alg. (fig., fam.) to get s.o. a cushy
(fam.) job (fam., Br.E.), to get s.o. a post/etc. 
Enchufó a su amigo en la empresa. He
el embozo turndown (bedsheet)
fixed/set his friend up with a cushy job in the
i quitarse el embozo (fig.) to drop the mask
firm. He pulled some strings (fig.) or used his
(fig.), to show [o.s. in] one’s true colors (fig.)
influence to get his friend a post/job in the
 Nunca se sabe qué piensa ese tío. No se
firm.
quita el embozo. You can never tell what
that guy is thinking. He doesn’t show his true enchufarse (fam.) to wangle o.s. a job/etc.
colors. (sl.), to get a post or a position or a cushy job
(fam., Br.E.) (through contacts), to get ad-
el embustero liar, cheat
vantages (through contacts)
i Antes se coge al embustero que al cojo.
(prov.) Your lies will always catch up with el enchufe (fig., fam.) good connection, use-
you in the end. ful contact, drag (sl., Am.E.)  Hay que

66
la erre

tener enchufes. You’ve got to have connec- ] ensayo (lanzar un globo de ~)


tions or contacts. You’ve got to have friends in ] enseñar (querer ~ el padrenuestro al cura)
high or in the right places.  Tienen un
enchufe en el ministerio. They’ve got a use- entendederas (fam.) brains (fig.)
ful contact or a drag in the ministry. They can i ser corto de entendederas, tener malas en-
pull strings/wires at the ministry. tendederas to be slow on the uptake, to be
] enchufe (huérfano de ~s) pretty dim (fam.), to be a bit dense (fig.)
] entender (no ~ ni papa/patata)
el enchufillo (fam.) cushy job (fam., Br.E.)
el enchufismo (fam.) cronyism (fam.), el entendedor understanding person, expert
string-pulling (fam.), wire-pulling (fam.), i Al buen entendedor, pocas palabras [le
favoritism, old-boy network (Br.E.), the use bastan]. (prov.) A word to the wise is suffi-
of contacts to obtain advantages or favors cient/enough. (prov.) A nod is as good as a
wink.
la encrucijada intersection, junction
i estar en la/una encrucijada (fig.) to be at enterrar to bury
the/a crossroads (fig.) i enterrar a alg. (fig.) to outlive s.o.
i enterrarse en vida (fig.) to break off contact
endiñar (pop.) with people, to cut o.s. off from the world,
i endiñar algo a alg. to lumber s.o. with s.th. to become a hermit/recluse (fig.)
(fam., Br.E.), to land s.o. with s.th. (fam.), to
] entierro (... vela en este ~)
saddle s.o. with s.th. (fam.), to unload s.th.
] entierro (ser/sonar como guitarra en un ~)
on [to] s.o. (fam.)  Me endiñaron todo el
trabajo y se fueron a la playa. They lum- las entrañas entrails
bered me with all the work and went off to the i echar las entrañas (fam.) to spew one’s guts
beach.  Creo que nos va a endiñar la culpa out (sl.), to throw up violently
de todo. I think he’ll pin the blame for every- ] entrañas (pedazo de las ~)
thing on us.
el entresijo mesentery
endosar (fam.) ]endiñar i tener algo/alg. muchos entresijos (fig.) (a)
la ene name of the letter N/n s.th.: to have its snags (fig.), to have its ins
i la ene de palo (fam.) gallows  llevar a alg. and outs (fam.), to be very complicated (b)
a la ene de palo to send s.o. to the gallows s.o.: to be a deep one (sl.)
] enfermedad (ser peor el remedio que la ~) ] entusiasmo (rebosar de ~)
] envidia (estar muerto de ~)
enfrascar to bottle
] envidia (morirse/perecerse/reventar de ~)
i enfrascarse en algo (fig.) to become ab-
sorbed or immersed in s.th. (fig.), to become ] equivocarse (quien tiene boca, se equi-
wrapped up in s.th. (fam.), to become en- voca)
grossed in s.th. (fig.), to immerse/bury o.s. erizado bristly
in s.th. (fig.)  Se enfrascaron en su trabajo. i erizado de problemas o de faltas o de
They buried themselves in their work. They citas/etc. (fig.) bristling with problems/mis-
became wrapped up in their work.  enfras- takes/etc., interlarded with quotations/etc.
carse en un libro to become absorbed or en- (fig.)  El texto está erizado de faltas. The
grossed in a book, to bury o.s. in a book text is bristling with mistakes.
] engañar a alg. como a un chino ] errar ( ]hablar: quien mucho habla, mu-
] engreído (ser ~ como gallo de cortijo) cho yerra)
] enojo (tener prontos de ~)
la erre name of the letter R/r
el ensalmo incantation i erre que erre (adv., fig.) stubbornly, pig-
i [como] por ensalmo as if by magic  Des- headedly, doggedly  Insistió, erre que erre,
aparecieron como por ensalmo. As if by en su opinión. He insisted stubbornly on his
magic they disappeared. opinion.

67
el erudito, la erudita

el erudito, la erudita scholar, learned per- escribir to write


son i estar escrito (fig.) to be meant to be, to be
i el erudito/la erudita a la violeta (fam.) [written] in the stars, to be fated to + in-
pseudo-intellectual, soi-disant scholar/ex- finitive, to be destined [by fate] to + infini-
pert tive  Estaba escrito que no iba a verla
] escándalo (un ~ padre) nunca más. He was destined never to meet her
again.
escandaloso scandalous, shocking i tener algo escrito en la frente/cara (fig.) to
i escandalosamente (fam.) extremely, dread-
have s.th. written all over one’s face (fig.) 
fully (fam.), scandalously, shockingly (fam.),
Tiene la envidia escrita en la frente. Envy
terribly (fam.), incredibly (fig.), outrageously
is written all over his face.
 Tiene ojos escandalosamente azules.
i Sobre esto no hay nada escrito. (fig.) This
His eyes are incredibly blue.  Es escan-
is open to argument. One can argue about
dalosamente guapa. She’s outrageously good-
looking.  Precios escandalosamente altos. this.
Scandalously or shockingly or outrageously ] escribir [algo] a vuela pluma
high prices.  Su discurso fue escandalosa- escupir to spit
mente aburrido. His speech was terribly bor- i ser escupido el padre/etc. (fam.) to be the
ing. spitting image or the spit and image of one’s
] escapar el bulto father/etc. (fam.)  Es escupida la madre.
] escapar[se] por un pelo She’s the spitting image of her mother.
i escupir al cielo (fig.) to cut off one’s nose
escarmentar to learn one’s lesson (fig.), to
to spite one’s face
learn the hard way  Salió escarmentado de
la experiencia. He learned his lesson. espachurrarse (fam.) to go wrong  Todo
i escarmentar a alg. to punish s.o. severely (in se espachurró. Everything went wrong.
order to deter), to teach s.o. a lesson (fig.)
i escarmentar en cabeza ajena to learn by la espada sword
someone else’s mistakes i estar entre la espada y la pared (fig.) to be
i Nadie escarmienta en cabeza ajena. One [caught] between the devil and the deep blue
only learns from one’s own mistakes. sea (fam.), to be [caught] between a rock
i De los escarmentados nacen los avisados. and a hard place (fam.), to be on the horns
(prov.) Once bitten twice shy. (prov.) of a dilemma, to be in a difficult situation
i poner a alg. entre la espada y la pared (fig.)
escoñar algo (pop.) to screw s.th. up (sl.), to drive s.o. into a corner (fig.)
to cock s.th. up (sl., Br.E.), to ball or balls ] espada (más fuerte es la pluma que la ~)
(Br.E.) s.th. up (sl.), to mess s.th. up (fig., ] espada (una película/etc. de capa y ~)
fam.), to botch s.th. [up] (fig.), to bugger
s.th. up (sl.) la espalda back
i escoñarse (pop.) to fail, to fall through/flat, i donde la espalda pierde su honesto nom-
to come to nothing, to break up (mar- bre (fam.) posterior (euph.), behind (fam.,
riage/etc.), to be spoiled/ruined (party/etc.) euph.), backside (fam.), bottom (fam.), butt
 El plan se escoñó. The plan fell through. (fam., Am.E.), bum (fam., Br.E.)
] escorpión (tener una lengua de ~) i tener anchas/buenas espaldas (fig.) to have
a thick skin (fig.), to be thick-skinned (fig.)
la escotilla hatch  Lo que dijeron los críticos le dejó com-
i atrancar las escotillas (fig.) to batten down pletamente frío. Tiene muy anchas espal-
the hatches (fig.) das. What the critics said ran off him like wa-
el escotillón trapdoor ter off a duck’s back. He has a very thick skin.
i aparecer por [el] escotillón (fig., fam.) to ] espalda (echarse algo entre pecho y ~)
suddenly turn up (fig.) ] espalda (quedarse con algo entre pecho y
i desaparecer por [el] escotillón (fig., fam.) ~)
to disappear without trace, to vanish into ] espalda (tener el santo de ~s)
thin air ] espalda (tener más cara que ~)

68
el esqueleto

el espanto fright, amazement, astonishment el espinazo backbone


i estar curado de espanto (fig., fam.) not to i doblar el espinazo (fig., fam.) to have no
get scared easily, to have seen plenty worse, backbone (fig.), to knuckle under, to eat
nothing surprises s.o. any more, to be hard- crow (fam., Am.E.), to eat humble pie (fig.)
ened or callous (fig.)  A nosotros no nos  Defendió sus derechos. No dobló el es-
parece tan malo, será que ya estamos cu- pinazo He stood up for his rights. He didn’t
rados de espanto. It doesn’t seem so bad to knuckle under. He didn’t eat humble pie.
us. We’re [probably] pretty hardened. We’ve
seen plenty worse. la espita spigot (Am.E.), tap (Br.E.)
i la espita (fig., fam.) drunkard (pej.), boozer
el espárrago asparagus (fam.), dipso (fam.), toper, lush (sl.), old
i el espárrago (fig., fam.) (person): beanpole
soak (fam.)
(fig., fam., hum.)
i mandar a alg. a freír espárragos (fam.) to la esponja sponge
tell s.o. to go fry an egg or to go [and] jump i arrojar/tirar la esponja (fig.) to throw in the
in a lake or to go fly a kite (Am.E.) or to go sponge/towel (fig.), to pick up one’s marbles
climb a tree or to go [and] take a running (fig., fam., Am.E.), to give up  Probemos al
jump (fam.), to tell s.o. where to go (fam.), menos una vez más. Es demasiado pre-
to tell s.o. to go to hell (fam.), to tell s.o. to maturo tirar la esponja. Let’s try at least one
get lost (fam.)  La mandó a freír espárra- more time. It’s too early/soon to throw in the
gos. He told her to get lost. sponge.
i ¡Vete a freír espárragos! (fam.) Go fry an i pasar la esponja sobre algo (fig.) to forget
egg! (fam.) Go fly a kite! (fam., Am.E.) Go all about s.th.
climb a tree! (fam.) Go jump in a lake! (fam.)
i la esponja (fig.) sponger (fam.), scrounger
Go take a running jump! (fam.) Take a hike!
(fam.)
(fam., Am.E.) Go to hell! (fam.) Get lost!
i la esponja (fig., fam., hum.) drunkard
(fam.)
(pej.), boozer (fam.), dipso (fam.), toper,
la espátula spatula lush (sl.), old soak (fam.)
i estar como una o hecho una espátula (fig., i beber como una esponja (fig.) to be a heavy
fam.) to be as thin as a rail (fam., Am.E.), drinker, to drink like a fish
to be as thin as a rake (fam., Br.E.)
la espuela spur
el espejo mirror i calzar la[s] espuela[s] a alg. (fig.) to knight
i mirarse en alg. como en un espejo (fig.) s.o.
to look up to s.o. as a model, to idolize s.o.,
to adore s.o. la espuma foam
] esperanza (huérfano de ~) i crecer como la espuma (fig.) (a) (plant): to
] esperanza (rayo de ~) shoot up (fig., fam.) (b) (business/etc.): to
flourish (fig.) or prosper greatly/fast/rapidly,
esperar to wait, to hope, to expect to flourish like the green bay tree (fig.)  La
i Quien espera, desespera. (prov.) A watched empresa está creciendo como la espuma.
kettle/pot never boils. (prov.) The waiting
The company is prospering greatly/rapidly.
gets you down.
i esperar sentado (fam.) to be waiting in el espumarajo foam, froth
vain, to wait till the cows come home (fam.), i echar espumarajos (fig.) to foam at the
to whistle for s.th. (fam.)  ¡Ya puedes es- mouth (fig.), to foam/splutter with rage (fig.)
perar sentado! You’ve got a long wait coming!
You’re in for a long wait! You can/may whis- el esqueleto skeleton
tle for it! (fam.)  Si quiere más dinero, va i menear/mover el esqueleto (fig., fam.,
a tener que esperar sentado. If he wants hum.) to shake one’s stuff (fig., fam.), to
more money, he can wait till the cows come shake a leg/hoof (fam., hum.), to dance
home or he can whistle for it. ] esquilar (ir por lana y volver esquilado)

69
el esquilador

el esquilador sheepshearer i quedarse hecho una estatua (fig.) to


i ponerse como el chico del esquilador (fig., be/stand rooted to the spot (fig.)  Se que-
fam.) to feed/stuff one’s face (fam.) ]comer daba hecho una estatua cuando oía la ser-
o mascar a dos carrillos piente de cascabel. She stood rooted to the
spot when she heard the rattlesnake.
esquilmar to harvest
i dejar esquilmado a alg. (fig., fam.) to suck el estirón (fam.) jerk
s.o. dry (fig.), to bleed s.o. dry/white (fam.), i dar un estirón (fig., fam.) to grow fast/
to clean s.o. out (sl.), to fleece (fig.) or relieve quickly, to shoot up (fig., fam.)  Su hijo dio
(hum.) or rob s.o. of everything un estirón. His son shot up.
la esquina corner el estómago stomach
i estar de/en esquina con alg. (fig.) to have i el sello del estómago (fam.) canapé, small
fallen out with s.o. (fam.) [but robust] hors d’oeuvre or starter
esquinar to form a corner with i tener buen estómago (fig.) to have a strong
i esquinarse con alg. (fig.) to fall out with s.o. stomach (fig.), to have a thick skin (fig.), to
(fam.) be thick-skinned (fig.)  Lo que dijeron los
i estar esquinado con alg. (fig.) to have fallen críticos le dejó completamente frío. Tiene
out with s.o. (fam.) muy buen estómago. What the critics said
ran off him like water off a duck’s back. He
el esquinazo (fam.) sharp corner has a very strong stomach.
i dar [el] esquinazo (fig.) to disappear around i echarse algo al estómago (fam.) to put s.th.
the corner away (fam.), to polish s.th. off (fam.), to eat
i dar [el] esquinazo a alg. (fig.) (a) to shake s.th. right up  Me eché un sándwich al es-
s.o. (pursuer) off (fig.), to give s.o. (pursuer) tómago. I put a sandwich away.
the slip (fig.) (b) to stand s.o. up (fam.) i tener a alg. sentado en el estómago (fig.,
la estaca stake, post fam.) s.o. can’t stomach s.o. (fam.) ]tener
i plantar la estaca (fam.) to take or have a alg. atravesado  Tengo a ese tío sentado
(Br.E.) a shit/crap (vulg.), to shit (vulg.) en el estómago. I can’t stomach that guy.
i revolver el estómago a alg. (fig.) to turn
la estacada fence s.o.’s stomach (fig.), to make s.o.’s stomach
i dejar a alg. en la estacada (fig.) to leave s.o. turn (fig), to make s.o. sick to his stomach
in the lurch (fig.), to leave s.o. high and dry (fig.)  La campaña electoral me revuelve
(fig.)  Como me dejaron en la estacada, el estómago. The election campaign turns my
tuve que hacerlo todo yo. Since they left me stomach.  Al verlo, se me revolvió el estó-
high and dry or in the lurch, I had to do it all mago. My stomach turned at that sight.  Se
myself. me revolvió el estómago. It made my stom-
i quedarse en la estacada (fig.) to be left in ach turn. It made me or I was sick to my stom-
the lurch (fig.), to be left high and dry (fig.) ach.
el estallido bang, explosion estornudar to sneeze
i Está para dar un estallido. (fig., fam.) The i Cada uno estornuda como Dios le ayuda.
situation is extremely tense. The situation is (fig.) (sense): Everybody does their best.
about to explode. (fig.)
la estrella star
estar to be [located] i tratar de contar las estrellas (fig.) to attempt
i Ni están todos los que son, ni son todos
the impossible
los que están. (prov.) Appearances can be
i Unos nacen con estrella y otros nacen es-
or are deceptive. (prov.) You can’t always go
trellados. (prov., hum.) Some are born un-
by appearances. Things aren’t always what
der a lucky star and some are born seeing
they seem.
stars. (hum.) Fortune smiles on some but not
la estatua statue on others.
i merecer una estatua (fig.) to have rendered i ver las estrellas (fig.) (pain): to see stars
outstanding services (fig.)  Vi las estrellas cuando di con mi

70
explicaderas

cabeza contra la puerta. I saw stars when I Eva Eve


bumped my head against the door. i las hijas de Eva (fig., fam.) daughters of Eve
] estrella (campar con su ~) (fig.), women
] estrella (no hay nada nuevo bajo las ~s) i en traje de Eva (fig., hum.) in one’s birth-
day suit (hum.), in the raw (fam.), in the
el estrellato stardom nude, in the buff (fam., hum., Br.E.), stark-
i lanzar a alg. al estrellato to help s.o. to rise ers (fam., hum., Br.E.), stark naked (fam.),
to stardom, to make s.o. a star naked  Cuando era joven iba a nadar en
el estribo stirrup traje de Eva. When she was young, she [often]
i estar con un pie en el estribo (fig.) (a) to went swimming in her birthday suit.
have one foot in the grave (fig.), to be at el evangelio gospel
death’s door (b) to be on the point of leav- i lo que dice alg. es el evangelio (fig., fam.)
ing, to be about to leave  Mi abuelo tiene (a) to speak the gospel truth (fig.) (b) what
92 años. Está con un pie en el estribo. My s.o. says is accepted or taken as gospel truth
grandfather is 92 years old. He has one foot (fig.)  Lo que dice es el evangelio. He
in the grave.  No pudimos hablar con él. Es- speaks the gospel truth.  Para ella todo lo
tuvo con un pie en el estribo cuando nos en- que digan es el evangelio. She takes/accepts
contramos con él. We couldn’t talk to him. He everything they say as gospel truth.
was about to leave when we met him. i hacer evangelio de algo (fig.) to make s.th.
i estar/andar sobre los estribos (fig.) to into a dogma
watch/look out, to be on one’s guard i ser tan seguro como el evangelio (fig.,
i perder los estribos (fig.) to lose one’s tem- fam.) to be absolutely certain, to be dead cer-
per/head, to lose/blow one’s cool (fam.)., to tain (fam.), to be a dead cert (fam., Br.E.),
to be a sure-fire . . . (fam.)  Es cosa tan se-
lose one’s rag (fam., Br.E.), to fly off the han-
gura como el evangelio. It’s a dead cert.
dle (fam.), to get hot under the collar (fam.)
i tomar[se] la del estribo (fam.) to have one el exceso excess
for the road (fam.)  Vamos a tomar la del i pecar por exceso (fig.) to overdo it (fig.) 
estribo. ¡Barman! Let’s have one for the road. Al hacer la estimación pecaron por exceso.
Bartender! They were overambitious in their estimate. 
Peca por exceso de confianza [en sí mismo].
el estropajo dishcloth She’s overconfident. She errs on the side of
i poner a alg. como un estropajo (fig.) to overconfidence.  Más vale pecar por exceso
shower insults on s.o., to lambast[e] s.o. que por defecto. It’s better to have/bring/etc.
(fig.) too much/many than too little/few. It’s better
] estudiar como un descosido to do too much rather than too little.
] estudiar con el demonio ] éxito padre
la estufa stove el expediente expedient
i criar a alg. en estufa (fig.) to pamper/cod- i cubrir el expediente (fig.) to do just enough
dle s.o. [in his childhood], to mollycoddle to get by
s.o. [in his childhood] (fam., pej.)  Juan explicaderas (fam.)
fue criado en estufa. Juan had a pampered i tener buenas explicaderas to be good at ex-
childhood. plaining things [away], to have the gift of
] etapa (quemar ~s) [the] gab (fam.)

71
la faena piece of work
F fas (fam.)
i hacer una faena a alg. (fam.) to play a i por fas o por nefas rightly or wrongly, by
dirty/nasty trick on s.o. (fig.) hook or by crook, at any cost, at all costs 
] falda (el gobierno de ~s) Por fas o por nefas tenemos que terminarlo
hoy. We must finish it today at all costs.
el faldón coattail
i agarrarse a los faldones de alg. (fig.) to fastidiar to annoy, to bore
cling to s.o. (fig.), to put o.s. under s.o.’s pro- i ¡La hemos fastidiado! (fam., Esp.) Now
tection, to take refuge with s.o. (fig.) we’re in a right/fine mess! (fig.) Now we’ve
blown it! (fam.)
] falta (dar quince y ~ a alg.)
] fecha (desde la cruz hasta la ~)
] falta (hacer tanta ~ como los perros en
misa) el felpudo coconut mat[ting], doormat
i el felpudo (pop., Esp.) bush (woman’s pu-
faltar to be lacking
bic hair) (sl.)
i ¡No faltaba/faltaría más! (a) Don’t mention
it! You’re welcome! (b) [But] of course! feo ugly
Naturally! Certainly! (c) That’s all I/we i tocarle a alg. bailar con la más fea (fig.) to
need[ed]! That’d be really great! (iron.). Cer- get the dirty/short end of the stick (fam.),
tainly not! No way! (fam.) to draw/get the short straw (fam.)  Siem-
] faltar (no ~ un cabello a algo) pre nos toca bailar con la más fea. We al-
ways draw the short straw.
la fama fame i ponerse algo feo to begin to look bad, to get
i Unos cardan la lana y otros tienen/llevan/ ugly/nasty (fig.), to get unpleasant, not to
cobran la fama. (prov.) Some do [all] the like the look of s.th.  Las cosas se están
work and others get [all] the credit. One does poniendo feas. Things are beginning to look
[all] the work and the other [one] gets [all] bad or are getting nasty.  Esto se está po-
the credit. niendo feo. This is getting ugly. I don’t like the
el fango mud, mire look of this.
i arrastrar algo/a alg. por el fango (fig.) to i ser más feo que Picio o que el pecado o
run s.th./s.o. down (fam.), to drag s.o.’s que un susto a medianoche o que pegar
name through the mud/mire (fig.) a Dios o que pegar a la madre (fam.) to be
as ugly as sin/hell (fam.), to be incredibly
el farol lantern ugly
i echarse/marcarse un farol (fam.) to swank ] feo ( ]acabar: ser el acabóse de ~)
(fam.), to brag, to shoot a line (fam.) ] feo (ser ~ a más no poder)
el farolero lamplighter ] feo (ser más ~ que Carracuca)
i el farolero, la farolera (fig., fam.) braggart, la férula cane, rod
hot-air artist (fam.), bigmouth (fam.), loud- i estar bajo la férula de alg. (fig.) to be un-
mouth (fam.) der s.o.’s thumb (fig.), to be under s.o.’s rule
el farolillo Chinese lantern or domination, to be tied to s.o.’s apron
i ser el farolillo rojo (fig.) to be the back
strings (fig.)
marker (Br.E.); (sports): to be the tailender la fiera wild animal
(fam.), to be the bottom-of-the-table team, i entrar en el cubil de la fiera (fig.) to beard
to be the team in last place the lion in his den (fig.)

72
la flor

i ser una fiera para/en algo (fig., fam.) to be la firma signature


a demon/fiend for s.th. (fig.)  Es una fiera i echar una firma (pop.) to relieve o.s.
para el trabajo. He’s a demon for work. ] flaco (las vacas flacas)
la fiesta party, celebration flamenco Flemish
i aguar la fiesta to spoil the fun/party, to be i ponerse flamenco (fig., fam., Esp.) to get
a wet blanket (fig., fam.), to be a spoilsport, cheeky (fam., Br.E.), to get fresh/sassy (fam.,
to be a killjoy  Se aguó la fiesta. All the fun Am.E.), to get impertinent or impudent, to
was spoiled.  Él es muy divertido, pero su get importunate or pushy (fam.)
hermano siempre nos agua la fiesta. He’s ] flan (temblar como un ~)
great fun, but his brother always spoils our ] Flandes (poder pasar por las picas de ~)
party.  La noticia del accidente aéreo nos ] Flandes (poner una pica en ~)
aguó la fiesta a todos. The news of the plane
] flaqueza (sacar fuerzas de ~)
crash put a damper on us all. (fig.)
i no estar para fiestas (fig.) to be in no mood la flauta flute
for fun/jokes, to be in a bad/foul mood i sonar la flauta [por casualidad] to be a fluke,
i hacer fiestas a alg./a un animal to caress to be sheer luck, to be a lucky coincidence or
s.o., to fondle s.o., to play up to s.o., to but- guess  Sonó la flauta por casualidad. It was
ter s.o. up (fam.), to soft-soap s.o. (fam.), sheer luck. It was a lucky coincidence.  ¡Y
to fawn on s.o. (fig.), to rub up against s.o.’s sonó la flauta por casualidad! It’s nice to be
legs (dog/cat), to ruffle a dog’s/cat’s fur/neck lucky!  Si me suena la flauta, ... If I get a
 Hizo fiestas a ella. He played up to her.  bit of luck, . . .  ¿Sabías de verdad la con-
Mientras él leía, ella hacía fiestas al gato. testación o es que sonó la flauta por ca-
While he was reading, she was ruffling the cat’s sualidad? Did you really know the answer or
neck.  Su perro nos hizo fiestas. His dog was it a lucky guess?
fawned on us or rubbed up against our legs. ] flauta (hoy le da a alg. por pitos y mañana
por ~s)
i hacer fiestas a alg. (fig.) (guest/etc.): to
] flauta (cuando no es por pitos, es por ~s)
make a great fuss of/over  Siempre hacen
] flauta (cuando pitos ~s, cuando ~s pitos)
fiestas a sus huéspedes. They always make
a great fuss of their guests. el flechazo arrow shot
i dejar la fiesta en paz (s.th. negative): not i ser un flechazo (fig., fam.) to be love at first
to bring up any more, not to talk about any sight  Con ellos fue un flechazo. With them
more it was love at first sight.
] figura (genio y ~ hasta la sepultura) la flor flower, blossom, surface
i ir de flor en flor (fig.) to play the field (fam.),
el filo edge
to flit from one man/woman to another
i ser un arma de dos filos (fig.) to be a dou-
i estar en la flor de la vida (fig.) to be in the
ble-edged sword (fig.)
prime of life
i estar en el filo de la navaja (fig.) to be on i caer en flor (fig.) to die [too] early
a razor’s edge (fig.), to be balanced on a i segar en flor (fig.) to nip s.th. in the bud
knife-edge (fig.)  El futuro de la firma está (fig.), to scotch a rumor (fig.)  Había pro-
en el filo de la navaja. The firm’s future is blemas en el vestuario, pero el entrena-
balanced on a knife-edge.  Su vida estaba dor segó en flor. There was trouble in the
en el filo de la navaja. His/her life was on a locker room, but the coach nipped it in the
razor’s edge. bud.  Es un rumor malicioso. Tenemos que
] fin (al ~ y al cabo) segar en flor. It’s a vicious rumor. We have
] fino (hilar muy ~) to scotch it.
i la flor y nata (fig.) cream (fig.), pick, crème
finolis (fam.) de la crème (fam.), best  La flor y nata de
i meterse a finolis to act/play the elegant/re- la sociedad. The cream/pick of society. 
fined man or woman Separaron o se llevaron a la flor y nata de

73
el floreo

los alumnos. They creamed/skimmed off the from the door (fig.), to keep one’s head
best or brightest (fig.) pupils. above water (fig.)  Puede mantenerse a
i echar flores a alg. to pay s.o. [pretty] com- flote. He can stay afloat.  La empresa se
pliments mantiene a flote. The firm is managing to
i echarse/tirarse flores to blow one’s own stay afloat or to keep going.
horn (Am.E.) or trumpet (fig.)
i pasársela en flores (fig.) s.o.’s life is a bed la foca seal
of roses (fig.), not to have any problems or i la foca (fam.) fatty (fam.), fatso (fam.), roly-
worries  Se la pasaba siempre en flores. poly (fam.), fat woman
His life was always a bed of roses. follar to blow [on] with bellows
i a flor de on a level with, close to  a flor de i follar [a alg.] (pop., vulg.) to have a screw
tierra at ground level, close to the ground  (vulg.), to have a shag (vulg., Br.E.), to get
a flor de agua at water level, close to the sur- one’s rocks off (sl., Am.E.), to get a/one’s leg
face of the water over (sl., Br.E.), to have it off/away [with
i a flor de piel  tener la sensibilidad a flor s.o.] (sl., Br.E.), to screw/fuck [s.o.] (vulg.),
de piel to be very easily hurt (fig.) or offended to shag [s.o.] (vulg., Br.E.) ]calzar[se] a
 tener los nervios a flor de piel to be all alg.
on edge, s.o.’s nerves are all on edge, to be i follarse (pop.) to fart silently (vulg.), to let
ready to explode (fig.)  tener el mal genio one off silently (fam.)
a flor de piel to be quick to lose one’s temper,
to tend to flare up very quickly (fig.), to tend el follón noiseless firework (rocket)
to fly into a temper or off the handle (fam.) i el follón (pop.) silent fart (vulg.)
i dar en la flor de + infinitivo to fall into the
el fondo bottom, depth
[bad] habit of + gerund  Han dado en la
i emplearse a fondo to do one’s utmost, to do
flor de llegar tarde. They’ve got into the habit
one’s level best, to do everything in one’s
of being late.
power, to leave no stone unturned (fig.), to
] flor (estar como abeja en ~)
do a very thorough job
] flor (ser la ~ de la canela)
el foro back of the stage
el floreo compliments, meaningless or in-
i desaparecer por el foro (fam.) to sneak/slip
substantial phrases/talk
i andar en o andarse con floreos (fam.) (a) away [unnoticed]
to turn on the old charm (fam.) (b) to beat el forofo (fam.) fan (fam.), enthusiast, buff
about/around the bush (fig.), to make ex- (fam.)
cuses, to prevaricate  Le gusta andar en i ser forofo de algo/alg. to be a real fan of
floreos. He likes to turn on the old charm.  s.th./s.o., to be crazy or mad (Br.E.) or wild
No se anduvo con floreos. He didn’t beat about s.th./s.o. (fam.)  Es forofo de fútbol.
about the bush. He’s a football or soccer (Am.E.) fan.
flote forrado lined
i ponerse/salir a flote (fig.) to get out of a i estar forrado (fig., fam.) to be loaded (fam.),
jam/fix (fam.), to get on one’s feet again to be well heeled (fam.), to be rolling in it
(fig.), to get back on one’s feet (fig.) (fam.)
i poner/sacar algo/a alg. a flote (fig.) to get
or put s.th./s.o. back on its/his feet (fig.), to ] fortuna (sonreírle a alg. la ~)
get s.th./s.o. going [again] (fig.)  Tratan de ] foto (tirar una ~)
poner la empresa a flote. They’re trying to ] fracaso ( ]abocar a: estar abocado al ~)
get the company back on its feet.  Sacaron ] fraile (haber sido cocinero antes que ~)
el país/la economía a flote. They got the ] fraile (la docena del ~)
country back on its feet. They got the economy
going again.  Puso a ella a flote. He put her francés French
back on her feet. i despedirse a la francesa (fam.) to take
i mantenerse a flote (fig.) to keep/stay afloat French leave (Br.E.), to sneak away
(fig.), to keep going (fig.), to keep the wolf ] Francia (vivir como Dios en ~)

74
frío

] frazada (no estirar los pies más de lo que a serious problem. We took the bull by the
da la ~) horns and solved it.
i con el sudor de su/etc. frente (fig., fam.) by
el fregado scrubbing, washing-up
the sweat of his/etc. brow  Me ganaba los
i meterse en un fregado (fig., fam.) to get in-
garbanzos con el sudor de mi frente. I
volved in a nasty (fig.) affair/business
earned my bread and butter (fam.) by the
i dar un fregado a alg. (fig., fam.) to give s.o.
sweat of my brow.
a dressing-down (fam.), to give s.o. a wig-
] frente ( ]escribir: tener algo escrito en la
ging (fam., Br.E.)
~)
] fregado (servir lo mismo para un barrido
que para un ~) la fresca cool part of the day, fresh/cool air
i soltar/decir cuatro frescas a alg. (fig.) to
freír to fry give s.o. a piece of one’s mind (fam.), to
i freír a alg. (fig., pop.) to blow s.o. away (sl.), come down on s.o. like a ton of bricks (fam.)
to waste s.o. (sl.) ]cargarse a alg. (a)
i freír a alg. a tiros/balazos (fig.) to riddle s.o. fresco fresh, cool
with bullets (fig.)  Frieron al traidor a tiros. i ¡Estamos frescos! (fig., fam.) That’s all we
They riddled the traitor with bullets. need[ed]! Now we’re in a right/fine mess!
i freír a alg. a preguntas (fam.) to bombard (fig.) Now we’ve blown it! (fam.)
s.o. with questions (fig.) i dejar fresco a alg. (fig.) to take s.o. for a ride
i Al freír será el reír. (prov.) He who laughs (fam.), to disappoint s.o.
last laughs longest/loudest. (prov.) The proof i quedarse fresco (fig., fam.) to be disap-
of the pudding is in the eating. (prov.) pointed, to be taken for a ride (fam.), to be
] freír buñuelos (mandar a alg. a ~) taken in (fam.)
] freír buñuelos (¡Vete a ~!) i decir algo tan fresco to say s.th. as cool as
] freír espárragos (mandar a alg. a ~) you please, to say s.th. quite boldly/brazenly
] freír espárragos (¡Vete a ~!)  Me lo dijo tan fresco. She said it to me as
cool as you please or quite brazenly.
el frenillo frenulum i quedarse/estar tan fresco to remain/be to-
i no tener frenillo en la lengua (fig., fam.) not tally unperturbed ]quedarse/estar tan
to mince one’s words (fig.), to speak one’s campante  Se quedó tan fresco ante su
mind  Habla en plata. No tiene frenillo en hostilidad. He was totally unperturbed by her
la lengua. He speaks bluntly. He doesn’t mince hostility.  Ella estaba muerta de miedo
his words. pero él estaba tan fresco. She was scared to
el freno bit, bridle, break death but he was as cool as a cucumber or he
i morder/tascar el freno (fig.) to suppress/sti- was totally unperturbed.
fle one’s anger, to restrain o.s., to hold back ] fresco (ser más ~ que una lechuga)
(fig.) el fríjol bean
i correr sin freno (fig.) to live/lead a dissolute i ganarse los fríjoles (fam.) to earn/make a
life living, to earn one’s daily bread (fam.), to
i ¡Echa el freno, Ma[g]daleno! (fam., Esp.) earn one’s bread and butter (fam.), to earn
Put a sock in it! (sl., Br.E.) Cool it! (fam.) one’s crust (fam.)
Keep your hair on! (fam., Br.E.) Keep your
shirt on! (fam.) Hold your horses! (fam.) frío cold
i quedarse frío (fig.) (a) to be completely
la frente forehead, front shocked or taken aback (fig.), to have a very
i adornar la frente a alg. (fam.) to cuckold unpleasant or nasty (fig.) surprise (b) to get
s.o. cold feet (fig.) (c) to kick the bucket (fam.)
i acometer algo de frente (fig.) to take the ]cascar[la]  Cuando lo oí me quedé frío.
bull by the horns (fig.), to grapple boldly I was completely taken aback when I heard it.
with s.th. (fig.)  Nos vimos enfrentados a ] frío ( ]cojón: hacer un ~ de cojones)
un grave problema. Lo acometimos de ] frío ( ]pelar: hacer un ~ que pela)
frente y lo solucionamos. We were faced with ] frío (hacer un ~ de perros)

75
la friolera

la friolera (fam.) trifle, mere nothing  Nos brother added fuel to the fire when he started
cobró la friolera de 5,000 francos. (iron.) He to laugh at him.
only charged us 5,000 francs. (iron.) i matar a alg. a fuego lento (fig.) to make life
hell for s.o. (fam.)
frito fried
i echar fuego por los ojos (fam.) s.o.’s eyes
i estar frito de algo/alg. (fig., fam.) to be fed
blaze or are ablaze with anger/indignation
up to the back teeth with s.th./s.o. (fam.),
i a fuego y hierro/sangre with fire and sword,
to be cheesed off with s.th./s.o. (fam., Br.E.)
with great violence
]estar hasta [más allá de] la coronilla de
i poner algo a fuego y sangre to lay s.th. (a
algo
place/etc.) waste  Los invasores pusieron
i tener/traer frito a alg. (fam.) to drive s.o.
la cuidad a fuego y sangre. The invaders laid
spare (fam., Br.E.), to get on s.o.’s nerves or
the town waste.
wick (Br.E.) (fam.)  Ese tío me tiene/trae
] fuego ( ]cebar: se ceba el ~)
frito. That guy drives me spare.
] fuego (sacar las castañas del ~ a alg.)
i dejar frito a alg. (fig.) to waste s.o. (sl.)
]freír a alg. la fuente spring
i quedarse frito (fig.) to kick the bucket i beber en buena fuente o en fuente
(fam.) ]cascar[la] fidedigna (fig.) to have s.th. from a good/re-
liable source (fig.)  La información no es
el fu hiss (cat) falsa. Bebimos en fuente fidedigna. The in-
i no ser ni fu ni fa (fam.) (a) to be neither one
formation is not false. We have it from a reli-
thing nor the other, to be neither fish nor able source.
fowl (fig.) (b) to be fair to middling (fam.), ] fuente (tanto va el cántaro a la ~, que al
to be so-so (fam.)  Uno de los tres her- fin se rompe)
manos es listo, otro tonto y el otro [no es]
] fuente (tomar la corriente desde la ~)
ni fu ni fa. One of the three brothers is bright,
one’s stupid and the third’s neither one thing ] fuerte (la ley del más ~)
nor the other.  El espectáculo no fue ni fu la fuerza strength, vigor, power
ni fa. The show was so-so. i írsele a alg. la fuerza por la boca to be all
el fuego fire talk [and no action] (fam.), to be all mouth
i Donde fuego se hace, humo sale. (prov.) [and no trousers] (fam., Br.E.)  Siempre se
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. (prov.) le va la fuerza por la boca. He’s always all
There’s no smoke without fire. (prov.) talk and no action.
i huir del fuego y caer en las brasas to jump i sacar fuerzas de flaqueza (a) to make a
out of the frying pan into the fire  Atracó virtue of necessity (b) to take heart, to pluck
un banco para pagar sus deudas. Huyó del
up (fig.) or screw up or summon up [one’s]
fuego y cayó en las brasas. He held up a
courage, to bring o.s. to do s.th., to screw o.s.
bank to pay [off] his debts. He jumped out of up to do s.th.  Saqué fuerzas de flaqueza
y se lo dije. I plucked up my courage and told
the frying pan into the fire.
i estar entre dos fuegos (fig.) to be [caught] [it to] her.
between the devil and the deep blue sea el ful (pop.) (marijuana): hash/pot (fam.),
(fam.), to be [caught] between a rock and a grass/shit/weed (sl.), tea (sl., Am.E.)
hard place (fam.), to be on the horns of a
la fulana (fam.) prostitute, whore, tart (sl.),
dilemma, to be in a difficult situation
hooker (sl., Am.E.), floozie (fam.), slut
i jugar con el fuego (fig.) to play with fire
(fam.), slag (fam., pej., Br.E.)
(fig.)  Corrió un gran riesgo. Parece que le
gusta jugar con el fuego. He took a big risk. fumar to smoke
He seems to like playing with fire. i fumarse algo (fam.) (a) not to go/come to
i echar leña al fuego (fig.), apagar el fuego s.th., to stay away or be absent from s.th., not
con aceite (fig.) to add fuel to the fire/flames to show up at s.th. (fam.), to skip s.th.
(fig.)  Estaba hecho un basilisco. Su her- (fam.), to skive off s.th. (fam., Br.E.), to play
mano echó leña al fuego cuando empezó truant, to play hooky (fam., Am.E.) (b)
a reírse de él. He was seething with rage. His (money/etc.): to dissipate, to blow (sl.), to

76
fusilar

squander  Se fumó la clase. He skived off otherwise there will be trouble at home or oth-
class/school. He didn’t go to class/school. He erwise we’ll get a [good] scolding at home.
played truant/hooky.  Se fumó sus ahorros. ] funerala (tener un ojo a la ~)
He squandered/blew all [of] his savings.
fusilar to shoot, to execute by firing squad
] fumar (no ~ más que papel)
i fusilar algo (fig., fam.) to plagiarize s.th., to
] fumar como un carretero/una chimenea
lift s.th. (fig.), to crib s.th. (fig.), to pirate
la función show, spectacle s.th., to copy s.th. illegally  El profesor le
i habrá función (fig., fam.) there will be trou- echó la gran bronca a él porque fusiló la
ble, there will be a row (fam.)  ¡Vamos! Si redacción. He was hauled over the coals by the
no, habrá función en casa. Come on, let’s go!, professor because he cribbed the essay.

77
el gabinete cabinet
G i matar la gallina de los huevos de oro (fig.)
i plantear la cuestión de gabinete (fig.) to to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
propose a vote of confidence (fig.), to saw off one’s own branch (fig.)
] Gaceta (mentir más que la ~) i acostarse con las gallinas to go to bed early
i levantarse con las gallinas to get up at the
] gafas de culo de botella/vaso crack of dawn, to rise with the lark
] gaita (tamboril por ~) i cantar la gallina (pop.) to climb down (fig.,
fam.), to come down a peg or two (fam.)
el gaitero bagpiper
i estar/sentirse como gallina en corral ajeno
i En casa del gaitero todos son danzantes.
to be/feel like a fish out of water, to feel very
(prov.) The apple doesn’t fall far from the
uneasy, to feel very/wholly out of place, to
tree. (prov.) Like father like son. (prov.) Like feel like a square peg in a round hole  Aquí
mother like daughter. (prov.) estoy como gallina en corral ajeno. I’m like
la gala full/best dress a fish out of water here.  En la universidad
i llevarse la gala to carry off the palm (fig.), nos sentíamos como gallina en corral ajeno.
to take the cake (fig.), to triumph, to win At the university we felt like a square peg in
i ser la gala de (fig.) to be the best of, to be a round hole.
the pride [and joy] of  La prestigiosa uni- i ¡Hasta que/cuando meen las gallinas!
(pop.) Pigs might fly! (iron.) Till hell freezes
versidad es la gala de la ciudad. The pres-
over! (fam.) If I never see you again it will be
tigious university is the pride of the city.
too soon! (hum.)
i vestir sus primeras galas de mujer (fig.)
i cuando meen las gallinas (fig., fam.) when
(society): to make one’s début/debut
pigs learn to fly (iron.), in a month of Sun-
] galápago (tener más conchas que un ~) days (fam.), in a coon’s age (sl., Am.E.),
] galera (azotes y ~s) never  Pagarán cuando meen las gallinas.
They’ll pay when pigs learn to fly. They’ll
el galgo greyhound never pay.  A este paso terminarán el tra-
i De casta le viene al galgo ser rabilargo. bajo cuando meen las gallinas. At this rate
(prov.) Like father like son. (prov.) Like they’ll never finish the job or they won’t fin-
mother like daughter. (prov.) A chip off the ish the job in a month of Sundays.
old block. The apple doesn’t fall far from the ] gallina (ponerle o ponérsele a alg. [la]
tree. (prov.) carne de ~)
i ¡Échale un galgo! (fig., fam.) You can kiss ] gallina (ponerse como una ~ clueca)
it/that goodby[e]! (fam.) You can write that
el gallito (fig., iron.) cock of the roost/walk
off ! (fig.) You won’t see that/him/her again!
(often pej.), tough guy (iron.)
 Aún no me ha devuelto el dinero. ¡Échale
un galgo! He hasn’t paid me back the money el gallo rooster, cock
yet. You can kiss it goodbye! i dar un gallo para recibir un caballo (fig.)
i ¡Vete a espulgar un galgo! (fam.) Go to hell! to set/throw a sprat to catch a mackerel or a
(fam.) Go to blazes! (sl.) whale (fig., Br.E.)
] galgo (hacer la rosca [de ~]) i ser engreído como gallo de cortijo to be as
proud as a peacock
la gallina hen i alzar/levantar el gallo (fig., fam.) to act the
i el/la gallina (fam.) chicken (fam.), coward, big shot (fam.), to put on airs, to brag
sissy (fam.), s.o. who couldn’t fight his way i andar de gallo (fig.) to make a night of it,
out of a paper bag (fam.)  Es un gallina. to be a night owl (fam.)
He’s a chicken. He couldn’t fight his way out i bajar el gallo a alg. (fig.) to take s.o. down
of a paper bag. (fam.) a peg or two (fig.)

78
el garbanzo

i pelar gallo (fam., Méjico) (a) to make tracks wouldn’t like to be in your shoes. I don’t envy
(sl.) (b) to kick the bucket (fam.) ]cas- you.
car[la]
ganar to gain, to earn
i matarle a alg. el gallo [en la mano] (fam.,
i ganar a alg. para algo to win s.o. over to
Méjico/etc.) to shut s.o. up (fam.)
s.th.
i en menos que canta un gallo in next to no
i ganar a alg. en algo to excel/beat/outdo s.o.
time, in a flash, in a jiffy (fam.), in a trice,
at/in s.th.  No hay quien le gane en aje-
in a tick (fam., Br.E.), in the twinkling of an
drez. There’s nobody who can beat him at
eye (fig.), before you can say Jack Robinson
(fam.)  Lo hizo en menos que canta un chess.
gallo. He did it in a jiffy.  Solucionó el pro-
i ganar la batalla (fig.) to win the battle (fig.)
blema en menos que canta un gallo. He
i ganarle la batalla a alg. (fig.) to get the bet-
solved the problem in the twinkling of an eye. ter of s.o.
i otro gallo cantaría o otro gallo me/etc. can- i llevar/tener [todas] las de ganar (a) to hold
tara si ... it would be quite a different mat- all the aces or trumps (fig.) (b) to have a
ter if . . . , things would be very different streak/run of [good] luck
if . . .  Otro gallo cantaría si hubiesen i ganarse la confianza de alg. to win s.o.’s
elegido presidente al otro candidato. Things trust
would be very different if the other candidate i ganarse la voluntad de alg. (a) to win s.o.’s
had been elected president. favor (b) to win s.o. over
i [Aquí ] hay gallo tapado. (fam., América i ganársela (pop.) to get a hiding/thrashing
Latina) There’s s.th. fishy [here]. (fam.) (fam.), to get it (fam.), to cop it (Br.E.) 
There’s s.th. fishy going on [here]. (fam.) Como se enteren, te la vas a ganar. If they
I/we [can] smell a rat [here]. (fam.)  Aquí find out, you’re going to get/cop it.
hay gallo tapado. There is s.th. fishy going i Lo ganado por lo gastado. (prov.) Easy
on here. I smell a rat here. come, easy go. (prov.)
i entre gallos y medianoche (fam.) in the ] ganar algo a pulso
middle of the night, in the or at (Br.E.) dead ] ganar terreno
of night  Me telefonearon entre gallos y ] ganar una miseria
medianoche. They called/phoned me in the ] ganarse los fríjoles/los garbanzos/el pan/
middle of the night or in the dead of night. el puchero/la vida
] gallo (al canto del ~) la gandaya (fam.)
] gallo (haber arroz y ~ muerto) i ir por o correr la gandaya to laze around,
] gallo (patas/rabos de ~) to bum around (fam.), to loaf around
la gana desire, wish el gansarón young goose
i Me entraban unas ganas locas de llorar. i el gansarón (fig., fam.) (person): beanpole
(fam.) I felt a terrible urge to cry. (fig., fam., hum.)
i Donde hay gana, hay maña. (prov.) Where
there’s a will, there’s a way. (prov.) ] ganso (hablar con boca de ~)
] garabato (muchas manos en un plato ha-
el ganado [live]stock cen mucho ~)
i el ganado (fig., pop.) entire herd (fig., pej.),
all those present, all the people, a whole el garañón stud jackass
lot/bunch [of them] (fam.) i el garañón (fig., pop.) [randy] goat (fig.,
fam.), lecher
la ganancia gain, profit
i andar de ganancia (fig.) to be lucky, to be el garbanzo chickpea
in luck, to be on a lucky streak, to have a i ser el garbanzo negro [de la familia] to be
streak/run of [good] luck the black sheep [of the family] (fig.)  Su
i no arrendarle la ganancia a alg. (fig.) s.o. hijo es el garbanzo negro de la familia.
wouldn’t like to be in s.o.’s shoes (fig.), s.o. Siempre se mete en problemas con la
wouldn’t like to swap places with s.o., not to policía. Her son is the black sheep of the fam-
envy s.o.  No te arriendo la ganancia. I ily. He always runs into trouble with the police.

79
la garganta

i contar los garbanzos (fig.) to be very ing spirit in the game/match. (Br.E.)  No
stingy/miserly tiene garra. It’s boring.
i ganarse los garbanzos (fam.) to earn/make i echar la garra a algo (fig., fam.) to grab
a living, to earn one’s daily bread (fam.), to s.th., to seize s.th.
earn one’s bread and butter (fam.), to earn i echar la garra a alg. (fig., fam.) to seize s.o.,
one’s crust (fam.) to arrest s.o.  La policía echó la garra a los
] garbanzo (en toda/cualquier tierra de ~s) ladrones. The police arrested the thieves.
i caer en las garras de alg. (fig., fam.) to fall
la garganta throat, gullet into s.o.’s clutches (fig.)
i tener una garganta de oro (fig.) to have a i sacar a alg. de las garras de alg. (fig., fam.)
voice of gold (fig.), to have an excellent to free s.o. from s.o.’s clutches (fig.)  La
singing voice sacó de las garras de su suegra. He freed her
i tener un nudo en la garganta (fig.), hacér- from the clutches of her mother-in-law.
sele a alg. un nudo en la garganta (fig.) to
have/get/feel a lump in one’s throat (fig.), to garrafal (adj., fig., fam.) huge, enormous,
choke up (fam.), to choke [with] (fig.), to be colossal (fam.), gigantic, monumental  In-
choked [with] (fig.)  Teníamos un nudo en currieron en una falta garrafal. They made
la garganta [de la emoción]. We choked with a huge mistake.
emotion. We choked up.  Tenía un nudo en gastar to spend
la garganta [de temor]. I was choked with i gastarlas (fam.)  ya saber cómo las gasta
fear.  Se le hizo un nudo en la garganta. alg. to know exactly what kind of [a] person
He got/felt a lump in his throat. He choked up. s.o. is or how s.o. carries on (fam.) or how
la gárgara gargle, gargling nasty (fig.) s.o. can be/get  Ya sé cómo las
i mandar a alg. a hacer gárgaras (fig., fam.) gasta él. I know exactly what kind of a per-
to tell s.o. where to get off (fam., Br.E.) son he is.  Todos sabemos cómo las gas-
]mandar a alg. a freír espárragos tan. We all know how they carry on. We all
know how nasty they can get.  Así las gasto
el garguero; el gargüero (pop.) throat, yo. That’s the way I am.
gullet
i mojarse el garguero to wet one’s whistle el gasto expense, expenditure
i Es lo que hace el gasto. (fig., fam.) That’s
(hum.), to hoist one (sl., Am.E.), to belt one
the point. That’s the important thing.
down (fam., Am.E.), to have a drink
] gata (de día beata, de noche ~)
el garlito fish trap
i caer en el garlito (fig.) to fall/walk into the el gato cat, tomcat
trap (fig.) i llevar[se] el gato al agua (fam.) to take the
i coger a alg. en el garlito (fig.) to catch s.o. cake (fig.), to pull off s.th. difficult  A ver
(at it or doing s.th.), to catch s.o. red-handed, quién se lleva el gato al agua. Let’s see who
to catch s.o. in the act  Anoche nos en- takes the cake.
traron ladrones. Afortunadamente pasó la i ser para el o pal gato (fig., fam.) to be for
policía y los cogió en el garlito. Our house the birds (fam.), not to know why one both-
was broken into last night. Fortunately the po- ered  No valía la pena. Fue para el gato.
lice drove by and caught the burglars in the It wasn’t worthwhile. I don’t know why I both-
act. ered.  ¿Qué sacaste tú de eso? Fue pal
gato. What was in it for you? It was for the
la garra claw birds.
i gente de la garra (fam.) good-for-nothings i jugar al gato y al ratón con alg. (fig.) to play
who live from/by or who make their living cat and mouse with s.o. (fig.), to play a cat-
from/by stealing/robbing and-mouse game with s.o.
i tener garra (fig., fam.) to have zip (fam.), i dar a alg. gato por liebre (fam.) to con s.o.
to have bite (fig.)  La obra no tiene garra. (sl.), to swindle s.o., to take s.o. in (fam.),
The play lacks bite or has no bite to it.  Esta to sell s.o. a bill of goods (fam., Am.E.), to
música tiene garra. This music has zip.  El sell s.o. a goldbrick (fam., Am.E.), to pull the
partido no tenía garra. There was no fight- wool over s.o.’s eyes (fam.)

80
el globo

i lavarse a lo gato (fam.) to make do with a i tener el genio vivo to be quick-tempered, to


lick and a promise (fam.), to give o.s. a cat- be hot-tempered, to be short-tempered
lick (fam.) i tener mal/mucho genio to have a bad/vio-
i correr como gato por ascuas (fam.) to run lent temper, to have a or be on a very short
[away] like crazy/mad (Br.E.) (to escape fuse (fam.)
from danger) (fam.) i llevar el genio a alg. (fam.) to give s.o. his
i [Aquí] hay gato encerrado. (fam.) There’s head (fam.), to humor s.o., to give in to s.o.,
s.th. fishy [here]. (fam.) There’s s.th. fishy not to dare to contradict s.o.  Nos seguía
going on [here]. (fam.) I/we [can] smell a rat la corriente para que nos callásemos o para
[here]. (fam.)  Aquí hay gato encerrado. que no protestásemos. He was humoring us
There’s s.th. fishy going on here. I smell a rat to try to keep us quiet.
here. i Genio y figura hasta la sepultura. (prov.) A
i No hay/había ni un gato. (fam.) There isn’t/ leopard never changes or cannot change its
wasn’t a living or blessed soul here/there. spots. (prov.)
There isn’t/wasn’t a sod here/there. (sl., ] genio (tener el mal ~ a flor de piel)
Br.E.) la gente people
i cuatro gatos (fig., fam.)  Ayer asistieron/ i gente de pelo/pelusa (fam.) well-to-do
vinieron cuatro gatos. Only a few people par- people, well-heeled people (fam.)
ticipated/came yesterday.  [Allí] hay cuatro i gente gorda (fam.) upper-class people, up-
gatos. There’s only a handful of people per crust (fam.), bigwigs (fam.), big cheeses
[there].  En aquel pueblo no quedan más (sl.), big shots (fam.), fat cats (fam.), big
que cuatro gatos. There’s hardly a soul left in wheels (fam.)
that village. i conocer a su gente (fig.) to know who one
i Hasta los gatos quieren zapatos. Even the is dealing with
most ordinary people aim high or are am- i hacer gente (fig., fam.) to attract or draw
bitious. (fig.) a crowd  El orador hizo gente. The
i De noche todos los gatos son pardos. speaker attracted/drew a crowd.
(prov.) At night all cats are gray/grey. (prov.) ] gente (ande yo caliente y ríase la ~)
No one will notice [in the dark]. ] gente (ser la comidilla de la ~)
i El gato escaldado del agua fría huye. ] gente de alto copete/de la garra
(prov.) Once bitten twice shy. (prov.) el gesto gesture, expression on one’s face
i Cuando el gato duerme, bailan los ratones. i afirmar con el gesto to nod one’s agreement,
(prov.) When the cat’s away, the mice will to nod in agreement, to agree with a nod
play. (prov.) i hacer gestos to make or pull (Br.E.) faces
i Cuando el gato va a sus devociones, bailan
los ratones. (prov.) When the cat’s away, the
gil, gilí (adj., fam., Esp.) dumb (fam., Am.E.),
mice will play. (prov.) daft (fam., Br.E.), stupid, silly
] gato (buscar cinco/tres pies al ~) el/la gilipollas (pop., Esp.) prat (sl., pej.),
] gato (poner el cascabel al ~) git (sl., pej., Br.E.), wanker (vulg., Br.E.), jerk
] gato (tener siete vidas [como los ~s]) (sl., pej., Am.E.), dickhead (vulg.), twat
(vulg.), twerp (sl.), dummy (fam.)
el gaznate throat, gullet
i mojar/refrescar el gaznate (pop.) to wet gilipollear (pop., Esp.) to do s.th. stupid, to
one’s whistle (hum.), to hoist one (sl., be stupid
Am.E.), to belt one down (fam., Am.E.), to el globo globe, sphere, balloon
have a drink i el globo (fam.) (condom): rubber (fam.,
la gazuza (fam.) ravenous hunger Am.E.), johnny (fam., Br.E.), French letter
] generoso (pecar de ~)
(fam., Br.E.)
i los globos (fam.) (breasts): knockers (sl.),
el genio disposition, nature, genius tits (fam.), boobs (fam.), hooters (sl., Am.E.)
i no poder con el genio (fam.) to [tend to] i lanzar un globo de ensayo (fig.) to fly a kite
fly off the handle (fam.) (fig.)

81
la gloria

i tener un globo [impresionante] (fam.) i dar un buen golpe a la comida (fam.) to dig
(drunk or on drugs): to be high [as a kite/as in (fam.), to feed/stuff one’s face (fam.)
the sky] (fam.), to be [really] out of one’s i dar el último golpe a algo (fig.) to add/put
head (sl.), to be [totally] stoned (sl.)  Tiene the finishing touch[es] to s.th.  Dio el úl-
un globo. He’s high/stoned.  Anoche tuviste timo golpe a su obra. He put the finishing
un globo impresionante. You were high as a touches to his work.
kite or as the sky last night. i dar un golpe de timón (fig.) to alter course
[radically], to make a [radical] change of di-
la gloria glory rection (fig.), to do a flip-flop (fig., fam.,
i un pedazo de gloria (fig., fam.) [little] dar- Am.E.)
ling  Su hija es un pedazo de gloria. His i de golpe y porrazo (fam.) all of a sudden,
daughter is a little darling. suddenly, on the spot, without thinking, just
i estar en su[s] gloria[s] (fig.) to be in seventh like that  De golpe y porrazo tomaron una
heaven, to be on cloud nine (fam.), to be in decisión. They made a decision just like that.
one’s element, to be as snug as a bug in a rug ] golpe (ir/venir a ~ de alpargata/calcetín)
(fam.)  Está en su gloria. Ganó un million ] golpe (repartir ~s como un descosido)
de dólares. She’s in seventh heaven. She won
a million dollars.  Le gusta muchísimo es- la goma gum, rubber
cribir. Está en sus glorias cuando está tra- i la goma (fig., fam.) (condom): rubber (fam.,
bajando en una novela. He loves to write. Am.E.), johnny (fam., Br.E.), French letter
He’s in his element when he’s working on a (fam., Br.E.)
novel.  Los niños salieron corriendo a re- i la goma (fam., América Central) (after
tozar en la piscina. Allí están en sus glorias. drinking): hangover (fam.)  Ayer estuve de
The children dashed off for a romp in the goma. I had a hangover yesterday.
swimming pool. There they are in their ele- ] gordiano (cortar el nudo ~)
ment[s]. gordo thick, fat
i saber a gloria to taste delicious/glorious, to i caerle gordo a alg. (fam.) not to like s.o., s.o.
taste divine (fig., fam.) or heavenly (fam.), can’t bear/stand s.o., to get on s.o.’s wick
to taste absolutely wonderful  Sabe a glo- (Br.E.) or on s.o.’s nerves (fam.)  Ese tío me
ria. Sabe a más. It tastes delicious. I hope cae gordo. I can’t stand that guy. I can’t bear
there’s more where that came from. that fellow. That guy gets on my wick.
i oler a gloria to smell divine (fig., fam.) or i hacer la vista gorda [a algo] (fig.) to turn a
heavenly (fam.), to smell glorious, to smell blind eye [to s.th.] (fig.), to close/shut one’s
absolutely wonderful eyes [to s.th.] (fig.), to pretend not to see/no-
i mi madre/etc., que en gloria esté o que tice [s.th.], to wink at s.th. (fig.), to look the
Dios tenga en la gloria my mother/etc., God other way (fig.), to turn one’s head the other
rest her/etc. soul way (fig.)  Hizo la vista gorda. He pre-
] gloria (sin pena ni ~) tended not to have seen [it]. He looked the
el gobernante ruler other way.  Hicieron la vista gorda a/ante
i la gobernante (fam.) madam[e] ese asunto. They turned a blind eye to that
affair. They winked at that affair.
el gobierno government i hacer de lo gordo (vulg.) to take or have
i el gobierno de faldas (fam.) petticoat gov- (Br.E.) a crap/shit (vulg.), to shit (vulg.)
ernment i armar la gorda (fam.) to cause a huge scan-
la golondrina swallow dal, to kick up a tremendous fuss (fam.), to
i Una golondrina no hace verano. (prov.) kick up an almighty row (fam.), to raise Cain
One swallow does not make a summer. (fam.), to cause/make a terrible scene (fam.)
 Armaron la gorda. They caused a huge
(prov.)
scandal.  Se armó la gorda. There was an
el golpe blow almighty row.  Aquí se va a armar la gorda.
i no dar golpe (fam.) not to do a hand’s turn Now the fat is in the fire.  Cuando se en-
(fam.), not to lift a finger (fam.), to sit on teren, se va a armar la gorda. When they
one’s hands (fig., fam., Am.E.) find out there’s going to be a terrible scene.

82
granel

] gordo ( ]ver: no haberlas visto nunca más i Gota a gota se llena la bota. (prov.) Con-
gordas) stant dripping wears away a stone. (prov.)
] gordo (gente gorda) Little strokes fell great/big oaks. (prov.)
] gordo (las vacas gordas) la gotera leak (in the roof )
] gordo (ser un pájaro ~) i ser una gotera (fig.) to be one thing after an-
] gordo (sudar la gota gorda) other, just not to come to an end  Es una
] gordo (tener la lengua gorda) gotera. It’s one thing after another. It just
] gordo (un pez ~) doesn’t come to an end.
el gorgojo grub, weevil i goteras (fig., fam.) aches and pains  Está
i el gorgojo (fig., fam.) dwarf, midget, runt lleno de goteras. He’s full of aches and pains.
(fig.) el gozo enjoyment, pleasure
la gorra cap i [todo] mi/etc. o el gozo en el/un pozo
i andar/vivir de gorra (fig.) to cadge, to (fam.) my/etc. hopes are dashed, I’m/etc.
scrounge (fam.), to sponge (fam.), to sponge sunk (sl.), it’s all ruined, it’s all off (fam.),
a living (fam.), to live at s.o. else’s expense that’s/it’s torn it (fam.)  Su gozo en el
pozo. His hopes are dashed.  ¡Todo nuestro
] gorra (vivir/estar donde Cristo perdió la ~)
gozo en un pozo! We’re sunk! It’s all ruined!
el gorrazo (fam.)  ¡Todo el gozo en un pozo! It’s all ruined!
i dar el gorrazo a alg. to scrounge/sponge on It’s all off!
s.o. (fam.)
la gracia grace, joke, humor
el gorrión sparrow i ser una triste gracia (fam.) to be horrible,
i comer como un gorrión (fam.) to eat like a to be enough to make you weep  ¡Es una
bird (fig.), to pick at one’s food triste gracia! Horrible! It’s enough to make
you weep!
el gorro [round] cap i hacerle a alg. gracia de algo to spare s.o.
i estar hasta el gorro de algo (fam.) to have s.th., to excuse s.o. s.th.  ¡Hazme gracia de
had it up to here with s.th. (fam.) ]estar los detalles! Spare me the details!  Nos hizo
hasta [más allá de] la coronilla de algo gracia de una humillación. He spared us a
la gota drop humiliation.
i ser una gota de agua en el mar (fig.) to be i a la gracia de Dios (fam.) trusting to luck,
[just] a drop in the ocean (fig.)  Esta suma on the off-chance, on a wing and a prayer,
es una gota de agua en el mar. This sum is at random  Fuimos a Sevilla a la gracia
a drop in the ocean. de Dios. We went to Seville on the off-chance
i la gota que desborda/colma el vaso (fig.) [of finding good weather/a hotel room/etc.].
the straw that/which breaks the camel’s back i reírle a alg. la[s] gracia[s] (fam.) to humor
(fig.)  Hizo novillos otra vez. Fue la gota s.o., to applaud s.o. ironically
que desbordó el vaso. He played truant gracioso graceful, witty, funny
again. That was the straw which broke the i hacer el gracioso (fig.) to act or play the
camel’s back. fool/buffoon
i hasta la última gota (fig.) to the full/last 
granar to seed
Lo saboreamos hasta la última gota. We sa-
i ir que grana (fig., fam.) to go/run like clock-
vored it to the full.
work (fig.)  Todo va que grana. Everything
i no quedarle a alg. gota de sangre en las ve-
goes like clockwork.
nas (fig.) to freeze [with fear/horror] (fig.),
to be petrified or paralyzed with fear/hor- ] grandeza (darse aires de ~)
ror (fig.) granel
i parecerse como dos gotas de agua to be i a granel (fig.)  Hay comida y bebida a
as like as two peas [in a pod] granel. There’s food and drink in abundance.
i sudar la gota gorda (fig.) (a) (anxiety/ There’s stacks/loads of food and drink. (fam.)
strain): to sweat blood. (b) to sweat buckets  Hubo palos a granel. The blows came thick
(fig.), to sweat like a pig/bull (fig.) and fast. He/etc. was dealt an endless stream

83
el grano

of blows.  Me hicieron preguntas a granel. el gris (fig., fam.) cold wind


They asked me hundreds or a barrage of ques- i hace un gris there’s a cold wind [blowing]
tions. (fig.) They bombarded me with ques- i corre un gris que pela a piercing wind is
tions. (fig.) blowing, the wind is [as] cold as a witch’s ca-
] granero (un grano no hace ~ pero ayuda ress
al compañero) ] gritar a más no poder
] granito (aportar/poner su grano/~ de ] gritar como un descosido
arena) el guante glove
el grano grain i echar el guante a alg. (fig., fam.) to arrest
i aportar/poner su grano o granito de arena s.o., to nab s.o. (fam.)
(fig.) to do one’s bit (fam.)  Ha servido fiel-
i arrojar el guante a alg. (fig.) to throw down
mente a la patria. Ha aportado su grano
the gauntlet to s.o. (fig.)
i recoger el guante (fig.) to take up the gaunt-
de arena. She has served her country faith-
let (fig.), to take up the challenge
fully. She has done her bit.  Durante la
i echar un guante (fam.) to take a collection
guerra puso su granito de arena. He did his
 Echó un guante a beneficio de las vícti-
bit in the war.
mas. He took a collection on behalf of the vic-
i tomar algo con un grano de sal (fig.) to take
tims.
s.th. with a grain/pinch of salt (fig.)  Tienes
i tratar a alg. con guante de seda to han-
que tomar todo lo que dice con un grano de
dle/treat s.o. with kid gloves (fig.)  Tiene la
sal. Él no siempre dice la verdad. You’ve got
sensibilidad a flor de piel. Hay que tratarla
to take anything he says with a pinch of salt.
con guante de seda. She’s very easily of-
He doesn’t always tell the truth. fended. You have to handle her with kid gloves.
i apartar/separar el grano de la paja (fig.) i quedarse más suave que un guante (fig.)
to separate the wheat/grain from the chaff to become/be as meek as a lamb (fig.)
(fig.)
i no ser grano de anís (fig.) not to be peanuts ] guapo ( ]nariz: ser ~ de narices)
(fam.), to be no chickenfeed (sl.), to be no ] guapo (ser la mar de ~)
small matter, to be important  Gana cien la guardia guard[ing]
mil dólares al año, que no es grano de anís. i estar en guardia [contra] (fig.) to be on one’s
He earns one hundred thousand dollars a year, guard [against], to watch out [for]
which is no chickenfeed. i ponerse en guardia [contra] to take pre-
i ir al grano (fam.) to get [straight] down to cautions [against]
business or to brass tacks (fam.), to come/get ] guardia (ser más vago que la chaqueta de
[straight] to the point, to get down to the un ~)
nitty-gritty (fam.)  ¡Vamos al grano! Let’s
Guatemala Guatemala
get down to brass tacks! i salir de Guatemala y entrar en Guatepeor
i Un grano no hace granero pero ayuda al (fam.) to jump out of the frying pan into the
compañero. (prov.) Every little helps.
fire  Atracó un banco para pagar sus deu-
el granuja (fig., fam.) guttersnipe, ragamuf- das. Salió de Guatemala y entró en Guate-
fin, rascal, urchin, scalawag (fam., Br.E.), peor. He held up a bank to pay [off] his debts.
rogue He jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.
] gravedad (vestir el rostro de ~) ] Guatepeor (salir de Guatemala y entrar
en ~)
el/la grifota (fam.) pot-smoker (fam.),
dopehead (sl.) el guiñapo rag, tatter
i poner a alg. como un guiñapo (fam.) to run
la grilla female cricket s.o. down (fam.), to pull s.o. to pieces (fam.),
i ¡Ésa es grilla [y no canta]! (fig., fam.) That’s to tear s.o. to pieces/bits/shreds (fig., fam.)
a likely story! (iron.) Tell that to the marines!  Los críticos pusieron al escritor como un
(fam., Am.E.) guiñapo. The critics pulled the writer to
] grillo (la olla de ~s) pieces.

84
el gusto

guiñar to blink el gustazo great pleasure


i guiñarla (pop.) to kick the bucket (fam.) i el gustazo (fam.) malicious or fiendish (fig.)
]cascar[la] delight/glee  Les dio un gustazo verla fra-
casar. They took a fiendish delight in seeing
guipar algo (fam.) to cotton/catch on to s.th.
her fail.
(fam.)  Lo he guipado. I’ve cottoned on
to it. el gusto taste, pleasure
i dar gusto verlo to be a sight for sore eyes,
el güiro (pop.) nut (sl.) ]la cebolla
to be a treat to see it (fig.)  Dio gusto verlo.
guisar to cook It was a sight for sore eyes. It was a treat to
i guisárselo y comérselo (fig., fam.) you’ve/ see it.  ¡Mira qué sal tiene para moverse!
etc. made your/etc. bed, now you/etc. must Da gusto verlo. Look how gracefully she
lie in/on it (fig.)  Ella se lo guisa, [y] ella moves! It’s a treat to see it.  Estoy muerto de
se lo come. She has made her bed, now she hambre. Da gusto ver esta comida. I’m sim-
must lie in it.  Como uno se lo guisa, así ply starving. This meal is a sight for sore eyes.
se lo come. As you make your bed, so you i Sobre gustos no hay nada escrito. Para
must lie in it. cada gusto se pintó un color. There’s no ac-
] guiso (muchas manos en la olla echan el counting for taste[s].
~ a perder) i Hay gustos que merecen palos. (fam.)
There’s no accounting for taste[s]! (iron.) 
la guita (fam.) (money): dough (sl., Am.E.), Llevaba zapatos naranjados, pantalones
bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/lolly (sl., purpúreos, una blusa gris y el pelo fue
Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.) teñido de verde claro. Hay gustos que mere-
la guitarra guitar cen palos. She was wearing orange shoes, pur-
i ser/sonar como guitarra en un entierro ple pants, a gray blouse and her hair was dyed
(fig.) to be quite/wholly inappropriate, to be bright green. There’s no accounting for taste!
quite/wholly out of place  Lo que dijiste i Quien por su gusto padece, vaya al infierno
sonó como guitarra en un entierro. What a quejarse. Everyone must bear/face the
you said was quite out of place. consequences of his actions.
] guitarra (rascar la ~) i En la variedad está el gusto. (prov.) Vari-
ety is the spice of life. (prov.)
el güito (pop.) nut (sl.) ]la cebolla
] gusto ( ]llover: nunca llueve a ~ de todos)
la gurrina (pop., Esp.) (penis) ]el calvo ] gusto (no ser plato de su ~)

85
la haba bean
H i Quien mucho habla, mucho yerra. (prov.)
i Son habas contadas. (fig., fam.) There’s no The more you talk, the more mistakes you’ll
doubt about it. It’s a sure thing. It’s a a cer- make.
tainty. There are no two ways about it. You ] hablar ( ]tonto: ~ a tontas y a locas)
can bet your bottom dollar on that. (fam., ] hablar a chorros
Am.E.) ] hablar a la pared
i En todas partes cuecen habas. It’s the same ] hablar como una chicharra/un descosido
the whole world over. ] hablar de trapos
] haba (ser más tonto que una mata de ~s) ] hablar en castellano/cristiano/plata
haber to have ] hablar más que una cotorra/que un saca-
i ser de lo que no hay (fam.)  Esto es de muelas/que siete/que una urraca
lo que no hay. Would you believe it! (fam.) ] hablar sin ton ni son
 Eres de lo que no hay. You’re impossible! hacer to make, to do
(fam.) You’re the limit! (fam.) i hacer lo que otro no puede hacer por uno
i habido y por haber  todos los presidentes (fam.) to go to the restroom
habidos y por haber all presidents past and i hacerla buena (fam., iron.) to make a fine
future  Pertenecen a la firma todos los in- mess of it (fig.)  ¡Ahora sí que la has he-
ventos habidos y por haber. All inventions cho buena! Now you’ve [really] done it! A fine
present and future belong to the firm.  todas mess you’ve made of it!
las diversiones habidas y por haber all the
fun of the fair  Pregúntale a mi padre. Ha el hacha ax[e]
leído todo lo habido y por haber sobre este i desenterrar el hacha de guerra (fig.) to take
tema. Ask my father. He’s read absolutely up the hatchet (fig.)
everything there is to read on this subject. i enterrar el hacha de guerra (fig.) to bury
i habérselas con alg. to have to do/deal with the hatchet (fig.)
s.o., to be up against s.o. (fam.), to cross i ser un hacha [en/para algo] (fig., fam.) to
swords with s.o. (fig.)  ¡Se las habrán con- be a genius [at s.th.], to be a crackerjack [at
migo! They’ll have me to deal with! s.th.] (fam., Am.E.), to be a whiz[z] [at s.th.]
(fam.), to be an ace . . .  Es un hacha en las
el hábito habit matemáticas. He’s a genius at mathematics.
i ahorcar/colgar los hábitos (fig.) to leave the He’s a brilliant mathematician.  Es un
priesthood, to give up the cloth (monk), to hacha para el deporte. He’s an ace sports-
give up one’s profession man or a sports ace.
i El hábito no hace al monje. (prov.) Clothes ] hacha (tener una lengua de ~)
do not make the man. (prov.) Appearances
can be or are deceptive. (prov.) la hache name of the letter H/h
i El hábito hace al monje. (prov.) Clothes i por hache o por be (fig., fam.) for one rea-
make the man. (prov.) Fine feathers make son or another
fine birds. (prov.) i Llámele usted o llámale hache. (fam.) It
boils/comes down to the same thing. Call it
hablar to speak, to talk
what you will (fam.)/like.
i ¡Ni hablar! (fam.) No dice! (sl., Am.E.)
[That’s] out of the question! Nothing doing! el hambre hunger
(fam.) No way! (fam.) i A buen hambre no hay pan duro. (prov.)
i ¡... ni hablar! (fam.) . . . my foot! (fam.)  Hunger is the best sauce. (prov.)
¡Dama, ni hablar! Lady, my foot!  ¡Tarea i El hambre aguza el ingenio. (prov.) Neces-
difícil, ni hablar! Difficult task, my foot! sity is the mother of invention. (prov.)

86
herir

i ser más listo que el hambre (fig.) to be as el hecho deed


smart as they come, to be [as] bright as a i el hecho consumado fait accompli  Lo
button (fig.), to be very sharp/clever, to be pusieron/colocaron ante un hecho con-
razor-sharp (fam.), to be [as] sharp as a ra- sumado. They confronted him with a fait ac-
zor compli.
i el hambre de tres semanas o de lobo ] hecho (del dicho al ~ hay mucho trecho)
(fam.) ravenous hunger ] hecho (dicho sin ~ no trae provecho)
i se juntaron el hambre y las ganas de comer helado frozen
(hum.) they’re two of a kind, they’re as bad
i quedarse helado (fig.) to freeze [with
as each other, one is as bad as the other fear/horror] (fig.), to be petrified or para-
] hambre (comerse/roerse los codos de ~) lyzed with fear/horror (fig.), to be scared
] hambre (estar muerto de ~) stiff (fam.)
] hambre (más cornadas da el ~)
] helar (helársele a alg. la sangre [en las ve-
la harina flour nas])
i ser harina de otro costal (fig.) to be a horse ] henchir el baúl
of a different or of another color (fig.), to
be quite another or quite a different story la herida wound, injury
(fam.), to be another or a different kettle of i renovar la herida (fig.) to open up or reopen
fish (fam.) an old wound/sore (fig.)  Dile que cierre
el pico. Está renovando la herida. Tell him
el hato bundle [of clothes] to pipe down. He’s reopening an old wound.
i andar/ir con el hato a cuestas (fig.) to live i hurgar en la herida (fig.) to turn the knife
out of a suitcase (fig.), to be often away, to in the wound (fig.), to rub salt in[to] the
often move wound (fig.)  Juan se siente muy abatido
] hato (ser un ~ de nervios) porque ha perdido mucho dinero al póquer.
el hazmerreír (fam.) figure of fun Paco está hurgando en la herida diciendo
i ser el hazmerreír de la ciudad o de la gente cuánto ganaron los otros jugadores. Juan is
to be the laughing stock of the city, to be the feeling miserable about losing a lot of money
laughing stock at poker, and Paco is rubbing salt into the
wound by saying how much the other gamblers
la hebra thread won.
i pegar la hebra (fig., fam.) to start or strike i tocar [a alg.] en la herida (fig.) to touch on
up a conversation, to get chatting (fam.) a sore spot/point (fig.), to hit a raw nerve
hecho done, finished (fig.)  Guárdate de mencionar el nombre
i hecho y derecho upright (fig.), [fully] de su ex esposa. Es mejor no tocar en la
grown, fully fledged, real, accomplished, herida. Be careful not to mention his ex-wife’s
complete, out-and-out, inveterate  Es un name. It’s best not to touch on a sore point.
hombre hecho y derecho. He’s a real man. i respirar por la herida (fig.) (by a careless re-
He’s every inch a man. He’s an upright man. mark): to reveal one’s true feelings, to reveal
 Es un cirujano hecho y derecho. He’s a
one’s secret thoughts
fully fledged surgeon.  Es un jugador hecho herir to wound, to hurt, to injure
y derecho. He’s an inveterate gambler.  Es i herir la vista o el oído (fig.) to offend/hurt
un granuja hecho y derecho. He’s an out- the/one’s eye[s]/ear[s]  Este color hiere la
and-out rogue.  Es una mentirosa hecha y vista. This color offends the eye or hurts your
derecha. She’s an out-and-out or an accom- eyes.
plished liar. i herir el suelo con el pie (fig.) to stamp one’s
i Lo hecho, hecho está. A lo hecho, pecho. foot
What’s done is done. What’s done can’t be i como herido por el/un rayo (fig.) thunder-
undone. It’s no use crying over spilt milk. struck (fig.), stunned (fig.)  Me quedé
(prov.) como herido por un rayo cuando lo supe. I

87
herniarse

was thunderstruck when I heard about it or i Mala hierba nunca muere. (prov.) Ill weeds
when I found out about it. grow apace. (prov.) A bad penny always
] hermano (ser primo ~ de o ser primos ~s) turns up. (prov.) The devil looks after his
own. (prov.)
] hermoso (no pecar de ~)
i ... y otras hierbas (fam., hum.) . . . and so
herniarse to rupture o.s. on/forth, et cetera  Compramos pan,
i no herniarse (fig., pop.) not to strain/kill queso, vino y otras hierbas. We bought
(fam.) o.s.  ¡Cuidado, no te vayas a her- bread, cheese, wine, and so on.
niar! (iron.) Mind you don’t strain or kill your-
el hierro iron
self! (iron.)
i quitar hierro a algo to draw the teeth of s.th.
Herodes Herod (fam.), to take the edge off s.th. (fig.)
i ir de Herodes a Pilatos (fig.) (a) to run/ i llevar hierro a Vizcaya (fig.) to carry coals to
chase from pillar to post (fig.) (b) to jump Newcastle (fig.)  Llevarle hielo a un es-
out of the frying pan into the fire  Había quimal es como llevar hierro a Vizcaya. Tak-
tantas formalidades burocráticas. Tuve que ing ice to an Eskimo is like carrying coals to
ir de Herodes a Pilatos para obtener los pa- Newcastle.
peles. It was red tape all the way. I had to run i El que a hierro mata, a hierro muere.
from pillar to post to get the [identity] papers. (prov.) He who lives by the sword, dies by
 Atracó un banco para pagar sus deudas. the sword. (prov.)
Fue de Herodes a Pilatos. He held up a bank i Al hierro caliente batir de repente. (prov.)
to pay [off] his debts. He jumped out of the Strike while the iron is hot. (prov.) Make hay
frying pan into the fire. while the sun shines. (prov.)
] herradura (dar una en el clavo y ciento en ] hierro (a fuego y ~)
la ~) ] hierro (machacar en ~ frío)
el herrero blacksmith el hígado liver
i En casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo. (prov.) i sacar el hígado por la boca (fig.) to run for
The shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot. all one is worth (fam.)
(prov.) i echar los hígados (fig.) to slog one’s guts out
(fam., Br.E.) ]echar/sudar la hiel
la hiel gall, bile i recalentarse los hígados (fig.) to flare up ve-
i echar/sudar la hiel (fig.) to work very hard,
hemently (fig.)
to slog away (fam., Br.E.), to slave/sweat
i tener hígados (fig., fam.) to have courage,
away (fam.), to slog/sweat one’s guts out
to have gumption (fam.), to have guts (fam.),
(fam., Br.E.), to work one’s butt off (fam.,
to have pluck (fig.), to have bottle (fam.,
Am.E.), to work one’s tail off (fam.), to keep
Br.E.)
one’s nose to the grindstone (fig.)  Les hice
sudar la hiel. I made them work their butts el higo fig
off. I gave them a [good] run for their money. i el higo (pop.) (vagina) ]el conejo
I kept their noses to the grindstone. (fig.) i [no] importar a alg. un higo (fig.) not to
i no tener hiel (fig.) to be very sweet-tem- give/care two hoots (fam.) ]no importar a
pered, to have a sweet/peaceful nature alg. un ardite
] hiel (no hay miel sin ~) i estar hecho un higo (fig.) to be all crum-
] hiel (ser una paloma sin ~) pled
i de higos a brevas (fam.) very rarely, once in
la hierba grass
a blue moon (fam.)  Vamos a verlos de hi-
i la hierba (fig., fam.) (marijuana): hash/pot
gos a brevas. We go and see them once in a
(fam.), grass/weed/shit (sl.), tea (sl., Am.E.)
blue moon.
i oír/sentir/ver crecer la hierba (fig.) to hear
the grass grow (fig.), to see through a mill- la higuera fig tree
stone (fig.) i estar en la higuera (fig., fam.) to have one’s
i pisar alguna mala hierba (fig., fam.) to have head in the clouds, to be away with the fairies
a bad day (fam.), to be remote from it all (fig.), to be

88
hinchar

miles away (fig.), to have one’s mind on other i pegar el hilo (fam.) to start or strike up a
things, to be daydreaming conversation, to get chatting (fam.)
i mover los hilos (fig.) to control, to be at the
la hija daughter controls (fig.), to call the shots (fig.), to pull
i Tal madre tal hija. (prov.) Like mother like the strings (fig.)  Conocemos a quienes
daughter. (prov.) The apple doesn’t fall far mueven los hilos. We know who’s at the con-
from the tree. (prov.) trols. We know who’s calling the shots.  In-
] hija (las ~s de Eva) terés personal a menudo mueve los hilos de
el hijo son su política. Self-interest often controls their
i Tal padre tal hijo. (prov.) Like father like policy.
son. (prov.). The apple doesn’t fall far from i contar algo del hilo al ovillo (fam.) to tell
the tree. (prov.) s.th. without omitting a single detail, to tell
i cada/cualquier hijo de vecino (fam.) every- s.th. down to the last detail  Nos lo contó
body, every mother’s son  Eso lo sabe cada todo del hilo al ovillo. He told us all about it
hijo de vecino. Everybody knows that.
without omitting a single detail.
i Por el hilo se saca el ovillo. (fig.) It’s just a
i como cada/cualquier hijo de vecino (fam.)
question of putting two and two together.
like everyone else, like the next man 
] hilo (tener el alma en un ~)
Tienes que hacer cola como cualquier hijo
de vecino. You have to queue up like every- el hincapié act of getting a firm footing
one else.  Yo tengo derechos como cada i hacer hincapié en algo (fig.) (a) to insist on
hijo de vecino. I’ve rights like everyone else. s.th. (b) to dwell on s.th. (fig.), to stress s.th.,
] hijo (los vicios son los ~s del ocio) to emphasize s.th., to lay/put [special/par-
ticular] emphasis on s.th.  Haremos espe-
hilar to spin cial hincapié en las grandes ventajas de
i hilar delgado o muy fino (fig.) (a) to be very este plan. We’ll put special emphasis on the
pedantic or meticulous or particular or strict great advantages of this plan.
or demanding (b) to split hairs
hincar to thrust/drive [in]
la hilaza [spun] yarn i hincar el diente [a/en algo] (fig., fam.) (a)
i descubrir la hilaza (fig., fam.) (a) to show (eating): to dig in[to s.th.] (fam.), to sink
[o.s. in] one’s true colors (fig.) (b) to find out one’s teeth into s.th. (fam.) (b) to get/sink
[about it]  Nunca se sabe qué piensa ese one’s teeth into s.th. (fig., fam.), to tackle
tío. No descubre la hilaza. You can never tell s.th.  Hincó el diente. He dug in.  Estoy
what that guy is thinking. He doesn’t show his impaciente por hincar el diente en ese pas-
true colors.  No creo que descubran la hi- tel de manzana. I can’t wait to sink my teeth
laza. I don’t think they’ll find out about it. into that apple pie.  Es una tarea que con-
stituye un reto. Me perezco por hincarle el
el hilo thread
diente. This is a challenging task. I’m itching
i colgar/pender o estar colgado/pendiente
to get my teeth into it.
de un hilo (fig.) to hang or be hanging by a
i hincar el pico (fig., fam.) to bite the dust
thread/hair (fig.)  El futuro de la firma (fam.) ]cascar[la]
pende de un hilo. The firm’s future hangs by
a thread.  Su vida pendía o estaba pen- la hincha (fam.)
diente de un hilo. His/her life was hanging by i tener hincha a alg. to have a grudge against
a thread or by a hair. s.o. ]tener a alg. atravesado  Le tengo
i cortar el hilo de la conversación (fig.) to in- hincha a él. I can’t stand him.
terrupt the conversation hinchar to blow up, to pump up, to inflate
i perder el hilo o cortársele a alg. el hilo (fig.) i hinchar el perro (fig.) to lay it on thick
to lose the thread (fig.)  Perdió o se le cortó (fam.), to exaggerate grossly
el hilo de la conversación. He lost the thread i hinchar a alg. (pop.) to get/make s.o. preg-
of the conversation. nant, to knock s.o. up (sl.)
i tomar el hilo (fig.) to pick up the thread i estar hinchada (pop.) (be pregnant): to have
(fig.) a bun in the oven (sl.)

89
hipar

i hincharse de plata/dinero (fig., fam.) to la hoja leaf


make a fortune, to make a mint/pile (fam.), i poner a alg. como hoja de perejil (fig.) to
to rake it in (fig., fam.), to make money hand badmouth s.o. (fam.), not to have a good
over fist (fam.) word to say about s.o., to run s.o. down
i hincharse (fig.) to puff o.s. up (fig.), to act (fig.), to slam s.o. (fam.), to slag s.o. off
big (fam.) (fam., Br.E.), to pull s.o. to pieces (fam.), to
tear s.o. to bits/pieces/shreds (fig., fam.) 
hipar to hiccup Los críticos pusieron al escritor como hoja
i hipar por algo (fig., fam.) to be very keen on de perejil. The critics slammed the writer.
s.th., to long/yearn for s.th. i doblar/volver la hoja (fig.) (a) to change the
el hipo hiccup[s] subject (b) to change one’s mind, not to keep
i tener hipo por algo (fig.) to have a craving one’s promise (c) to turn over a new leaf
for s.th. (fig.)  Decidió volver la hoja y prometió
que en lo sucesivo no volvería a cometer los
i tener hipo con alg. (fig.) to have a grudge
mismos errores. He decided to turn over a
against s.o.
new leaf and promised henceforth never to
i quitar el hipo a alg. (fig., fam.) to leave s.o.
make the same mistakes again.
speechless (fig.), to take s.o.’s breath away, to
i Eso o la cosa no tiene vuelta de hoja. (fig.)
be a shock to s.o. (fig.)  Su grosería nos There’s no doubt about it. There are no two
quitó el hipo. His rudeness left us speechless. ways about it. That’s the way it is. There’s no
i que quita el hipo (fig., fam.) breathtak- gainsaying it.
ing[ly], great (fam.), fantastic (fam.) ]co- ] hoja (temblar como una ~)
jonudo (a).  Tiene una esposa que quita
] hojaldre (quitar la ~ al pastel)
el hipo. His wife is breathtakingly beautiful or
is a breathtaking beauty. ] hojuela (ser miel sobre ~s)

la historia history el hombre man


i ser de historia (fig.) to be s.o. with a past, to i hacerse el hombre (fam.) to try to act tough
have a bad reputation, to be notorious  Es i ser el hombre del día (fig.) to be the man
of the moment
una mujer de historia. She’s a woman with
i ser muy hombre o todo un hombre to be
a past.
a real man, to be every bit a man
el hito boundary post/mark i El hombre propone y Dios dispone. Man
i marcar un hito (fig.) to mark a milestone proposes and God disposes.
(fig.), to be a landmark (fig.), to be a land- i Hombre pobre todo es trazas. (prov.) Ne-
mark decision/discovery/etc. (fig.)  El des- cessity is the mother of invention. (prov.)
cubrimiento de la teoría de la relatividad i Hombre prevenido vale por dos. (prov.)
marcó un hito. The discovery of the theory of Forewarned is forearmed. (prov.)
relativity was a milestone. The theory of rel- i De hombre a hombre no va nada. (prov.)
ativity was a landmark discovery. Basically it all depends on [good] luck or on
i mirar a alg. de hito en hito to stare/gaze at the circumstances.
s.o. ] hombre (no sólo de pan vive el ~)
] hombre (ser ~ de pelo en pecho)
el hocico snout, muzzle ] hombre (ser un ~ con toda la barba)
i el hocico (fig., fam.) face, mug (sl.) ] hombro (echarse la maleta al ~)
i quitar los hocicos a alg. (fig., pop.) (threat): ] hombro (estar/andar manga por ~)
to put s.o.’s face out of joint (fam.), to smash ] hombro (hurtar el ~)
s.o.’s face/head in (fam.)  Si lo dices otra
vez, te voy a quitar los hocicos. If you say it la hondura depth
once more, I’m going to put your face out of i meterse en honduras (fig., fam.) to get into
joint. deep water (fig.), to get out of one’s depth
i meter el hocico en algo (fig., fam.) to poke
(fig.)
one’s nose into s.th. (fig., fam.) el hongo fungus, mushroom
] hocico (dar a alg. con la puerta en los ~s) i el hongo (fam.) bowler [hat], derby (Am.E.)

90
el hueso

i aparecer o brotar o darse como hongos el horror horror, dread


(fig.) to spring up or shoot up like mush- i divertirse horrores (fam.) to have a mar-
rooms (fig.), to mushroom (fig.)  Hoteles velous/tremendous time
y casinos aparecen como hongos en Las Ve- i decir horrores de algo/alg. to tell horror
gas. Hotels and casinos are springing up like stories about s.th./s.o., to say awful or terri-
mushrooms in Las Vegas. ble things about s.th./s.o.  Nos dijeron ho-
i más solo que un hongo all alone, all on rrores de su viaje a Méjico. They told us hor-
one’s tod (fam., Br.E.), as lonely as a cloud ror stories about their trip to Mexico. 
(hum.)  Se sentía más solo que un hongo. Siempre dice horrores de su suegra. He al-
He was/felt as lonely as a cloud. ways says awful things about his mother-in-
la hora hour, time law.
i a buenas horas, mangas verdes (fig.) to ] hortelano (ser [como] el perro del ~[, ...])
lock the barn door after the horse is stolen ] hostia (hacer un pan como unas ~s)
(fig., Am.E.), to lock/shut the stable door af-
ter the horse has bolted/gone (fig., Br.E.) hoy today
i a la hora de la verdad (fig.) at the moment i Hoy por mí, mañana por tí. (fam.) You
of truth, when it comes down to it, when the scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. (fig.)
chips are down (fam.)  A la hora de la ver- ] hoy (no dejes para mañana lo que puedes
dad les faltó valor para eso. At the moment hacer ~)
of truth they didn’t have the courage for it.  el hoyo grave
A la hora de la verdad nunca se puede con- i estar con un pie en el hoyo (fig.) to have
tar con él. When it comes down to it, you can one foot in the grave (fig.)  Mi abuelo tiene
never count on him. 92 años. Está con un pie en el hoyo. My
i dar la hora [y quitar los cuartos] (fig., fam.) grandfather is 92 years old. He has one foot
to be very good, to be excellent, to be in the grave.
great/super (fam.)  Esto da la hora y quita
los cuartos. This is great. huérfano orphaned
i huérfano de (fig., fam.) bereft of (fig.),
] horca ( ]caudino: pasar por las ~s caudi-
without  huérfano de esperanza bereft of
nas)
hope  huérfano de razón bereft of reason
] horchata (tener sangre de ~ en las venas)  huérfano de enchufes without connections
la horizontal horizontal position or useful contacts
i la horizontal (fig., pop.) woman who has the el hueso bone
oldest profession in the world, prostitute i ¡A otro perro con ese hueso! (fam.) Tell
i tomar la horizontal (fig., fam.) to [go and] that to the marines! (fam., Am.E.) Pull the
recline (fam.) other one! (fam., Br.E.)
la horma form, mold i pinchar/dar en hueso (fam.) to find s.th. a
i encontrar la horma de su zapato (fig., fam.) hard nut to crack (fig.), to be a tough as-
(a) to find/meet one’s match (b) to find just signment  Con eso pinchamos en hueso.
what one wanted, to find the very thing We found that a hard nut to crack.
i ser un hueso duro de roer (fig., fam.) to be
la hormiga ant a hard nut to crack (fig.), to be a tough one
i ser una hormiga (fig.) to be very industri- (fam.), to be a braintwister  Este problema
ous, to be very hard-working se las trae. Es un hueso duro de roer. This
el horno oven is a difficult problem. It’s a hard nut to crack.
i ¡No está el horno para bollos! (fam.) (to i darle a alg. un hueso duro de roer (fig.,
joke/ask/etc.): This isn’t the right moment! fam.) to give s.o. a hard nut to crack (fig.)
This is the wrong moment! This is a bad  El profesor nos dio un hueso duro de roer.
time! The teacher gave us a hard nut to crack.
i ¡Qué horno! (fig., fam.) What a swelter- i no dejar hueso sano a alg. (fig.) not to have
ing/stifling heat! a good word to say about s.o.

91
la huéspeda

i estar en los huesos to be a bag of bones (Am.E.)/as chalk and cheese (Br.E.) (fam.),
(fam.), to be all skin and bone (fam.), to be not to look in the least bit alike  Sus her-
nothing but skin and bone (fam.) manos se parecen como un huevo a una
i arrojar hasta los huesos (fam.) to be as sick castaña. Her brothers don’t look in the least
as a parrot (fam., Br.E.), to spew one’s guts bit alike.
out (sl.)  Todos [nosotros] arrojamos hasta i vender/comprar algo a huevo (fam.) to
los huesos. We were all as sick as parrots. sell/buy s.th. for peanuts (fam.), to sell/buy
i estar calado/mojado hasta los huesos to s.th. very cheap
be soaked to the skin, to be wet through, to i saber un huevo de algo (fam.) to know a
be soaking/dripping wet, to be drenched, not lot about s.th.  Sabe un huevo de vinos. He
to have a dry stitch on one (fam.) knows a lot about wine.
i mojarse hasta los huesos (fam.) to get ] huevo (buscar pelos al ~)
soaked to the skin, to get wet through, to get ] huevo (cacarear y no poner ~s)
soaking/dripping wet, to get drenched ] huevo (matar la gallina de los ~s de oro)
i tener los huesos molidos (fig.) to be com- ] huevo (no se puede hacer tortillas sin
pletely shattered (fam.) ]estar hecho cisco romper ~s)
i dar con los/sus huesos en el santo suelo ] huevo (¡Sal quiere el ~!)
(fam.) to fall flat on one’s face, to fall in a ] huevo (ser largo como pelo de ~)
sprawling ] huevo (ser [un ~] duro de pelar)
i dar con los/sus huesos en la cárcel (fam.)
] huir (El gato escaldado del agua fría huye.)
to land in prison/jail (fam.), to end up or fin-
] huir de la[s] ceniza[s] y caer/dar en la[s]
ish up in prison/jail
brasa[s]
] hueso (ser de carne y ~)
] huir del fuego y caer en las brasas
] hueso (ser un/estar hecho un costal
] huir del toro y caer en el arroyo
de ~s)
el humo smoke
la huéspeda landlady
i tomar la del humo (fam.) to take to one’s
i no contar con la huéspeda (fig.), echar la
heels, to beat it (sl.)
cuenta sin la huéspeda (fig.) to reckon
i hacerse humo (fig.) to vanish/disappear
without one’s host (fig.), to get one’s sums
into thin air or without trace, to make o.s.
wrong
scarce (fam.)
el huevo egg i bajar los humos a alg. (fig.) to cut s.o. down
i los huevos (vulg.) (testicles) ]las canicas to size (fig.), to take s.o. down a peg or two
i costar un huevo (vulg.) to cost a tidy sum (fig.), to squelch s.o. (fig., fam., Am.E.)
]costar una burrada i subírsele a alg. los humos a la cabeza (fig.,
i costar un huevo [+ infinitivo] (vulg.) to be fam.) to become [very] stuck-up (fam.), to
one hell of a job [to + infinitive] (fam.), to become [very] high and mighty (fam.)  Se
have such a sweat [to + infinitive] (fam.), to le subieron los humos a la cabeza a ella. She
be a real sweat (fam.)  Costó un huevo. It became very stuck-up.
was one hell of a job. It was a real sweat.  Me i subírsele a alg. el humo a las narices (fig.,
costó un huevo terminarlo. I had such a fam.) to get furious, to get mad (fam.)  Se
sweat to finish it. me subió el humo a las narices. I got furi-
i [no] importar a alg. un huevo (vulg.) not ous.
to give a fuck/shit (vulg.)  Esto me importa ] humo (donde fuego se hace, ~ sale)
un huevo. I don’t give a fuck about this.
] humor (estar de un ~ de perros)
i tener huevos (vulg.) to have balls (vulg.),
to have guts (fam.), to have bottle (fam., hurtar to steal
Br.E.), to have pluck (fig.), to have gumption i hurtarle el cuerpo a algo to dodge s.th.
(fam.), to have courage (blow/etc.)  El torero le hurtó el cuerpo a
i parecerse como un huevo a otro to be as la cornada. The bullfighter dodged the thrust
like as two peas [in a pod] (bull’s horns).
i parecerse como un huevo a una castaña i hurtar el hombro (fig.) (especially work): to
(fig.) to be as different as night and day skive off (fam., Br.E.), to shirk  Cada vez

92
la husma

que teníamos mucho que hacer, ese tío i andar a la husma de algo (fig.) to be/go
hurtaba el hombro. Whenever we had a lot prying [secretly] into s.th., to be looking [se-
to do, that guy shirked. cretly] into s.th.  El investigador privado
la husma (hunt): scent sigue andando a la husma de ese asunto.
i andar a la husma (fig.) to be/go snooping The private detective continues looking se-
around (fam.) cretly into that matter.

93
] iceberg (la punta del ~)
I ] infierno (quien por su gusto padece, vaya
al ~ a quejarse)
la idea idea
i no tener ni la más remota o pálida idea de la ínfula infula
algo (fam.) not to have the foggiest [idea] i darse ínfulas (fig.) to get on one’s high horse
about s.th., not to have the faintest idea (fig.)
about s.th., not to know beans about s.th. i tener muchas ínfulas (fig.) to think a lot of
(sl., Am.E.), not to know one end of s.th. o.s., to give o.s. airs, to be on one’s high horse
from the other (fig.)
] idiota (la caja ~) i tener ínfulas de ... (fig.) to fancy o.s. as . . .
] ido (estar ~ de la cabeza) (fam.)  Tiene ínfulas de escritor. He fancies
] iglesia (casarse por detrás de la ~) himself as a writer.  Siempre ha tenido ín-
] iglesia (no comulgar en la misma ~) fulas de genio. He’s always fancied himself as
] iglesia (ser más pobre que una rata [de ~]) a genius.
la ignorancia ignorance ] ingenio (el hambre/la necesidad aguza
i Ignorancia no quita pecado. (prov.) Igno- el ~)
rance of the law is no excuse/defense. (prov.) ] ingenuo (pecar de ~)
] impaciencia (rabiar/reventar de ~)
la ingratitud ingratitude
impepinable (adj., fam.) certain, for sure i De ingratitudes está el mundo lleno.
(fam.), inevitable, undeniable, there’s no get- (prov.) Desert and reward seldom keep com-
ting away [from that] (fam.)  Eso es im- pany. (prov.)
pepinable. That’s for sure. That’s the way it
is. There’s no getting away from that. el ingrato ingrate
i De ingratos está el mundo lleno. (prov.)
] importar (no ~ a alg. un ardite)
] importar ([no] ~ a alg. un bledo/comino/ Desert and reward seldom keep company.
higo/huevo/pepino/pimiento/pito/rábano) (prov.)
] importar ([no] ~ a alg. una puñeta) ] inocencia (lavarse las manos [en ~])
] incapaz (ser ~ de matar una mosca) la instancia authority
incrustarse to embed itself i en última instancia (fig., fam.) if [the] worst
i incrustársele algo a alg. en la memoria comes to [the] worst, if all else fails, as a last
(fig.) s.th. engraves/stamps itself [firmly] on resort  En última instancia podríamos
s.o.’s memory (fig.)  Se me ha incrustado vender la casa. As a last resort we could sell
esa idea en la memoria. That idea has the house.
stamped itself or is stamped firmly on my ] insulto (soltar una andanada/un rosario de
memory.  Sus palabras se me han incrus-
~s a alg.)
tado en la memoria. His words have engraved
themselves on my memory. la inyección injection
i La industria necesita una inyección fi-
el infierno hell
i vivir/estar en el quinto infierno (fig., fam.) nanciera. (fig.) The industry needs an injec-
to live/be at the back of beyond ]vivir/es- tion of funds/money. (fig.) The industry
tar donde Cristo dio las tres voces needs a shot in the arm. (fig., fam.)
i mandar a alg. al infierno (fig.) to tell s.o. to i Lo que dijeron supuso una inyección de
go to hell (fam.)  Yo que tú la mandaría optimismo para nosotros. (fig.) What they
al infierno. If I were you, I’d tell her to go to said was a boost to our optimism. What they
hell. said was a shot in the arm for us. (fig., fam.)

94
la irrisión

ir to go knees (fam.), to think one is the greatest


i ser el no va más (fam.) to be the ultimate, (fam.)
to be absolutely brilliant (fam., Br.E.), to be ] ir ( ]venir: no me va ni me viene)
the [very] last word, to be the best/greatest ] ir (ni ~ ni venir)
thing since sliced bread (fam.)  Esto es el
no va más. This is absolutely brilliant.  el la irrisión derisive laughter
no va más en computadoras the ultimate in i ser la irrisión de la cuidad (fig.) to be the
computers, the last word in computers laughing stock of the city
i creerse el no va más to think one is the cat’s ] izquierdo (levantarse con el pie ~)
pajamas (Am.E.) or pyjamas (Br.E.) or ] izquierdo (ser un cero a la izquierda)
whiskers (fam.), to think one is the bee’s ] izquierdo (tener [mucha] mano izquierda)

95
el jabón soap
J el jamón ham
i dar un jabón a alg. (fig.) to give s.o. a [good] i ¡Y un jamón [con chorreras]! (fig., fam.) (a)
telling-off or dressing-down (fam.), to tell My foot! (fam.) Get away! (fam., Br.E.)
s.o. off (fam.), to dress s.o. down (fam.) Come off it! (fam.) (b) You’re hopeful!
i dar jabón a alg. (fig.) to soft-soap s.o. (fam.) (fam.) [That’s] out of the question!  Dice
que gana 100.000 dólares al año. ¡100.000
la jabonadura soaping dólares y un jamón [con chorreras]! He says
i dar una jabonadura a alg. (fig.) to give s.o. he earns $100,000 a year. Get away! Come off
a [good] telling-off or dressing-down (fam.), it! $100,000 my foot!
to tell s.o. off (fam.), to dress s.o. down i estar algo/alg. jamón (fam., Esp.) s.th.: to
(fam.) be great/fantastic (fam.), to be splendid, to
be delicious; s.o.: to be great (fam.), to be
jabonar to soap dishy (sl.), to be a dish (fam.), to be attrac-
i jabonar a alg. (fig., fam.) to give s.o. a tive (fig.)  Este plato está jamón. This is a
[good] telling-off or dressing-down (fam.), delicious meal.  Esa chica está jamón That
to tell s.o. off (fam.), to dress s.o. down girl is a dish.
(fam.)
el jarabe syrup
el jacarero (fam.) wag, cheerful type, amus- i jarabe de pico (fig., fam.) hot air (fam.),
ing person empty/hollow promises (fig.), mere words 
Lo que dicen no es más que jarabe de pico.
el jaez harness They just make hollow promises.  Su her-
i ser del mismo jaez (fig.) to be tarred with mano es puro jarabe de pico. His brother is
the same brush (fam., pej.).  Son todos del full of hot air.
mismo jaez. They’re all tarred with the same i dar jarabe a alg. (fig., fam.) to butter s.o.
brush. They’re all as bad as each other. up (fam.)
i gente de ese jaez (fig.) people of that el jarope (fam.) syrup
ilk/sort/kind (pej.)  Yo no me trato con i el jarope (fig., fam.) nasty drink (fig.), brew
gente de ese jaez. I don’t associate/mix with (fam.), concoction
people of that ilk/sort.
la jarra pitcher (Am.E.), jug (Br.E.)
la jai (pop.) bird (sl., Br.E.), chick (fam., i en jarras with arms akimbo
Am.E.), doll (fam.) i ponerse en jarras to put one’s hands on one’s
hips
el jaleo cheering and clapping (to encourage
the dancers) el jarro pitcher (Am.E.), jug (Br.E.)
i el jaleo (fig., fam.) (a) racket (fam.), row i echar un jarro de agua fría a alg. (fig.) to
(fam.), ruckus (fam., Am.E.) (b) mess (fig.), bring s.o. down to earth with a bump (fig.)
muddle  armar [un] jaleo to kick up a i caer/sentar como un jarro de agua fría
(fam.) to come as a complete shock (fig.),
racket/row  Ayer se armó un jaleo de mil
to come as a nasty surprise, to come like a or
demonios. There was a terrible ruckus/a hell
be a bombshell (fig.), to go down like a lead
of a row yesterday.  ¡Qué jaleo! What a
balloon (fam., Br.E.)  El resultado de las
mess! What a muddle!  armarse alg. un elecciones cayó como un jarro de agua fría.
[tremendo] jaleo to be [totally] wrong/mis- The election results came like a bombshell. 
taken, to be way out (fam.), to be [way] off Esa noticia me sentó como un jarro de agua
base (fig., Am.E.)  Se armaron un fría. That piece of news came as a complete
tremendo jaleo con los cálculos. They were shock to me.
way out in their calculations. ] jarro (al catarro, con el ~)

96
el jueves

Jesús Jesus Judas Judas


i ¡Hasta verte, Jesús mío! (fam.) Cheers! i un judas (fig.) traitor, snake in the grass
(fam.) Down the hatch! (fam.) Bottoms up! (fig.)  Algún judas se chivó contra noso-
(fam.) tros. Some snake in the grass sneaked on us.
la jeta thick lip el juego play, game
i la jeta (pop.) (a) trap (sl.), gob (sl., Br.E.) i jugar/hacer un doble juego (fig.) to play a
(b) mug (sl.), dial (sl., Br.E.)  ¡No asomes double game
la jeta por aquí! Don’t you dare show your i conocerle/verle a alg. el juego (fig.) to see
mug around here! through or know s.o.’s little game (fam.), to
] jeta (pelar la ~) know what s.o. is up to (fam.), to be wise to
] Job (tener más paciencia que ~) s.o. (fam.)  Le conozco/veo el juego a ella.
I see through her little game. I know what she’s
joder [a alg.] (vulg.) to fuck [s.o.] (vulg.), to up to.
shag [s.o.] (vulg., Br.E.) ]follar [a alg.] i tomar algo a juego (fig.) not to take s.th. se-
i joder algo (fam./vulg.) to screw s.th. up riously  Toman todo a juego. They don’t
]escoñar algo take anything seriously.
i estar jodido (vulg.) to be up the creek (fam.) i estar en juego (fig.) to be at stake (fig.) 
or up shit creek (vulg.) [without a paddle] Mucho está en juego. There’s a lot at stake.
i ¡Que se/etc. joda/etc.! (vulg.) He/etc. i poner algo en juego (fig.) to bring s.th. into
knows/etc. what he/etc. can do! (fam.)  play (fig.), to bring s.th. (influence/etc.) to
¡Que te jodas! You know what you can do! Get bear, to stake s.th. (fig.)  Puso en juego
stuffed! (vulg.) una fortuna para adquirir ... He staked a for-
i no tener ni una jodida peseta (vulg.) not to tune on acquiring . . .
have one bloody (sl., Br.E.) peseta in one’s i no dejar entrar en juego a alg. (fig.) not to
pocket give s.o. a chance
la jota name of the letter J/j i Desgraciado en el juego, afortunado en
i no saber ni jota de algo (fam.) not to have amores. (prov.) De malas en el juego, de
the foggiest [idea] about s.th., not to have the buenas en amores. (prov.) Unlucky at
faintest idea about s.th., not to have a clue cards, lucky in love. (prov.)
about s.th. (fam.), not to know the first thing la juerga (fam.) [very] merry/good time,
about s.th., not to know beans about s.th. shindig (fam.), spree (fam.), binge (fam.),
(sl., Am.E.), not to know one end of s.th. carousal
from the other  No sabe ni jota de litera- i estar de juerga to be partying, to have a
tura. He doesn’t have a clue about literature.
merry/good time, to be on a spree/binge
 No sabe ni jota de computadoras. He
i ir de juerga to go out partying, to go out for
doesn’t know one end of a computer from the a merry/good time, to go on a spree/binge,
other. to go on a blind (sl., Br.E.)
Juan John i correrse una juerga to have a ball (fam.,
i Juan Español (fig.) average Spaniard Am.E.), to have a great time (fam.), to live
i Juan Pérez (fig.) man in the street, John Q it up, to have a real spree/binge, to whoop
Public (Am.E.), man on the Clapham om- it up (fam.), to make whoopee (fam.) 
nibus (fam., Br.E.) Anoche nos corrimos una juerga. We had a
i Juan Lanas (fig.) henpecked husband (fam.), real binge last night.
wimp (fam.) i tomar algo a juerga (fam.) not to take s.th.
i Juan Palomo (fig.) (a) person who looks af- seriously  Toman todo a juerga. They don’t
ter Number One (fam.) (b) loner, lone wolf take anything seriously.
(fam.) el jueves Thursday
el jubileo jubilee i no ser cosa del otro jueves (fam.) to be
i parece que hay jubileo aquí/allí (fig., fam.) nothing special, to be nothing to write home
it’s like Piccadilly Circus around here or about (fig.), to be nothing out of the ordi-
there (fig.) nary, to be nothing exciting  El espectáculo

97
la jugada

no fue cosa del otro jueves. The show was el juguete toy
nothing out of the ordinary. i ser un juguete de las olas (fig.) to be a play-
] jueves (en la semana de tres ~/que no thing of the waves, to be at the mercy of the
tenga ~) waves
la jugada (game): move i ser juguete de los caprichos de alg. (fig.) to
i hacer una mala jugada a alg. (fig.) to play be [like] putty in s.o.’s hands (fig.)  Ella
a dirty/nasty trick on s.o. (fig.) tiene a él montado en las narices. Es
juguete de los caprichos de él. She lets him
jugar to play, to gamble do with her what he likes. She’s putty in his
i jugarse la vida (fig.) to risk one’s life, to risk hands.
one’s neck (fam.) i ser un juguete en manos de alg. (fig.) to
i jugarse el todo por el todo (fig.) to go to be a puppet in the hands of s.o. (fig.)  El
extremes, to go the whole hog (fam.), to presidente no es más que un juguete en
shoot the works (fam.), to risk everything manos de los magnates de la industria. The
i jugársela (fig.) (a) to stick one’s neck out president is merely a puppet in the hands of
(fam.) (b) to be unfaithful the industrial magnates.
i jugársela a alg. (fig.) to do the dirty on s.o.
(sl., Br.E.), to do it on s.o. (fam., Br.E.)  ] juicio ( ]talón: tener el ~ en los talones)
¡Nos la han jugado! They’ve done it on us! ] juicio (estar en tela de ~)
] jugar (o jugamos todos o se rompe la ] juicio (poner algo en tela de ~)
baraja) la jumera (fam.) drunkenness
] jugar a cartas vistas i papar una jumera (pop.) to get drunk ]co-
] jugar al gato y al ratón con alg. cerse (a)
] jugar con el fuego
] jungla (la ley de la ~)
] jugar con/a dos barajas
] jugar hasta la camisa la jupa (Méjico y América Central) gourd
] jugar la última carta i la jupa (fig., fam.) nut (sl.) ]la cebolla
] jugar un doble juego i darse una jupa (pop., Esp.) to slave/sweat
] jugar una mala partida/una pieza a alg. away (fam.) ]echar/sudar la hiel
] jugarse (~lo todo a una [sola] carta)
] jugarse el pellejo/el pescuezo/el tipo/la jurar to swear
vida i tenérsela jurada a alg. (fig., fam.) to have
it in for s.o. (fam.)  Nos la tiene jurada. He
el jugo juice has it in for us.
i el jugo (fig.) pith (fig.), essence (fig.), sub- i jurárselas a alg. (fam.) to vow vengeance
stance (fig.) against s.o.  Se las juré a ellos. I vowed
i sacar el jugo a algo/alg. (fig.) to get the vengeance against them.
essence/substance out of s.th., to get the ] jurar como un carretero
most out of s.th./s.o., to make the most of ] jurar por lo más sagrado
s.th., to get everything one can out of s.o.,
to get the best out of s.o.  Le he sacado el la justicia justice
jugo a este libro. I’ve got the substance out i no hacer justicia a alg. (fig.)  Nunca se le
of this book.  Le sacamos el jugo al buen ha hecho justicia como artista. He has never
tiempo que hizo allí. We made the most of the received due recognition as an artist.  Este
fine weather there.  Les saca el jugo a sus retrato no le hace justicia a ella. This por-
empleados. He gets everything he can or as trait doesn’t do her justice.
much as he possibly can out of his employees. ] justicia (doblar la vara de la ~)

98
el kanguro kangaroo
K el kirie [eleison] kyrie eleison
i el/la kanguro/kangura (fig., Esp.) baby- i cantar el kirie (fig., fam.) to beg for mercy
sitter  Hace de kangura dos veces por se-
mana. She baby-sits twice a week.

99
la labia (fam.) articulacy, fluency
L derramó lágrimas de cocodrilo cuando le
i tener mucha labia to have the gift of [the] dio a su jefe un infarto y se quedó en el
gab (fam.) sitio. Lo odiaba como a la peste. She shed
crocodile tears when her boss dropped dead of
el labio lip
a heart attack. She hated his guts.
i estar pendiente de los labios de alg. (fig.)
i arrancarle a alg. lágrimas to bring tears to
to hang on s.o.’s lips (fig.), to hang on s.o.’s
s.o.’s eyes, to be moved to tears (by)  La
every word
película nos arrancó lágrimas. We were
] labio ( ]sombrear: ya le sombrea el ~ su-
moved to tears by the film.
perior a alg.)
i beberse las lágrimas (fig.) to hold back one’s
] labio (dejar a alg. con la miel en los ~s)
tears, to fight back/down one’s tears
] labio (echar candado a los ~s)
i Lo que no va en lágrimas, va en suspiros.
] labio (estar aún con la leche en los ~s)
It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.
labrar to shape (fig.)  ¿Lo haremos ahora o más tarde? Lo
i labrarse un porvenir to carve out a future que no va en lágrimas, va en suspiros. Shall
for o.s. (fig.) we do it now or later? It’s six of one and half
la ladilla crab louse a dozen of the other.
i pegarse como una ladilla a alg. (fig., fam.) i una lágrima de aguardiente (fig., fam.)
to cling to s.o. like a leech/limpet (fig., fam.) drop of brandy/liquor
] lágrima (ser el paño de ~s de alg.)
el lado side ] lamentar (más vale prevenir que ~)
i dejar algo a un lado o de lado (fig.) to leave
s.th. aside, to omit s.th., to skip s.th. (fig.), el/la lameplatos (fam.) (a) toady (b)
to pass over s.th. sponger (fam.), scrounger (fam.)
i dar de lado a alg. (fig.) to ignore/disregard la lámpara lamp
s.o., to give s.o. the cold shoulder (fig.), to i atizar la lámpara (fig., fam.) to have another
turn one’s back on s.o. (fig.) drink, to hoist another one (sl., Am.E.), to
i ponerse del/al lado de alg. (fig.) to side fill up the glasses
with s.o., to stand up for s.o.
] ladrar a la luna la lana wool
i la lana (fam., Méjico) (money): dough (sl.,
] ladrón (la capa [de ladrones]) Am.E.), bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/
] ladrón (la ocasión hace al ~)
lolly (sl., Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.)
] ladrón (ser más ~ que una urraca)
i cardarle la lana a alg. (fig., fam.) to rap s.o.
la ladronera den of thieves/robbers over the knuckles (fig.), to give s.o. a good
i la ladronera (fam., hum.) money box telling-off or ticking-off (Br.E.) or dressing-
down (fam.)
el lagarto big lizard
i ir por lana y volver esquilado o trasquilado
i el lagarto (fig.) fox (fig.), sly dog (fig., fam.),
(fig.) to get caught in one’s own trap (fig.),
sly fellow
to be hoist by/with one’s own petard (fig.)
i ¡Lagarto, lagarto! (fig.) Touch wood! (Br.E.)
 Comió la comida envenenada que fue
Knock on wood! (Am.E.)
para su esposo. Fue por lana y volvió
la lágrima tear trasquilado. She was hoist by her own petard
i llorar a lágrima viva to sob one’s heart out, when she ate the poisoned food that was meant
to cry one’s eyes out for her husband.
i llorar/derramar lágrimas de cocodrilo (fig.) ] lana (unos cardan la ~ y otros tienen/lle-
to weep/shed crocodile tears (fig.)  Ella van/cobran la fama)

100
la leche

la lanza lance i a la corta o a la larga sooner or later  A


i romper una lanza por algo/alg. (fig.) to la corta o a la larga [se] llevará su mere-
stick one’s neck out for s.th./s.o. (fam.), to cido. Sooner or later he’ll get his just deserts.
take up the cudgels for s.th./s.o. (fig.) ] largo (ser más ~ que una cuaresma)
] lanza (las cañas se vuelven ~s) ] largo (tener las manos largas)
la lapa limpet la lata can, tin. (Br.E.)
i pegarse como una lapa a alg. (fig., pop.) i dar la lata a alg. (fig., fam.) to get on s.o.’s
to cling to s.o. like a leech/limpet (fig., fam.) nerves (fam.), to get on s.o.’s wick (fam.,
Br.E.), to bend s.o.’s ear (fam., Am.E.), to an-
largar to let loose, to let go noy s.o.
i largar a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to ditch/dump
s.o. (fam.), to drop/jilt s.o., to give s.o. the el latigazo lash, crack of a whip
bird (fam.) (b) to fire s.o. (fam.) ]dar el i atarse/pegarse un latigazo (fam.) to hoist
bote a alg. one (sl., Am.E.), to have a drink
i largarse (fig., fam.) to vamoose (fam., hum., el latín Latin
Am.E.), to beat it (sl.), to hop it (fam.), to i saber [mucho] latín (fig., fam.) to be
clear off (fam.), to sling one’s hook (sl., [very/pretty] sharp, to be wised up (fam.,
Br.E.)  ¡Lárgate! Beat it! Am.E.)
i largarse con viento fresco (fig., fam.) to beat
el laurel laurel
it at once (sl.), to clear off at once (fam.)
i dormirse sobre los/sus laureles (fig.) to rest
largo long on one’s laurels (fig.)  Sigue haciendo
i ser más largo que un día sin pan (fam.) grandes cosas. Nunca se ha dormido sobre
(a) (person): to be a beanpole (fig., fam., sus laureles. He keeps doing great things. He
hum.) (b) (s.th.): to be very long, to be as has never rested on his laurels.
long as your arm (fam.) (c) to take forever el/la lavacaras (fig., fam.) sycophant, toady,
(fam.), not to half take a long time (fam., creep (fam.), bootlicker (fam.)
Br.E.)  Su hermano es más largo que un
] lavar la cara a alg.
día sin pan. His brother is a beanpole.  La
] lavar los trapos sucios ante el mundo en-
lista es más larga que un día sin pan. The
tero/en casa
list is as long as your arm.  Esto sí que es
más largo que un día sin pan. This is really el lazo snare, lasso
taking forever. It doesn’t half take a long time. i caer en el lazo (fig.) to fall/walk into the
i ser largo de manos (fig.) to be free with trap (fig.)
one’s hands, to be quick to lash out la leche milk
i ser largo de uñas (fig., fam.) to be light- i estar aún con la leche en los labios (fig.) to
fingered (fam.), to be a thief, to have sticky be still wet behind the ears (fig.), to be still
fingers (fam.) as green as a pea (fig., fam.), to be still young
i ser largo como pelo de huevo (fam.) to be and inexperienced
very stingy/miserly i haber mamado algo [ya] en/con la leche
i a lo largo y a lo ancho de throughout [the (fig.) to have learned/learnt s.th. from the
length and breadth of], all over  a lo largo cradle (fig.), to have learned/learnt s.th. at
y a lo ancho de España throughout the length one’s mother’s knee (fig.)  Lo ha mamado
and breadth of Spain  Hubo manifesta- ya con la leche. He’s already learned it at his
ciones a lo largo y a lo ancho del país. There mother’s knee.
were demonstrations throughout the country i pedir leche a las cabrillas to ask the im-
or all over the country. possible
i a lo largo y a lo lejos as far as the eye can i la leche (pop.) (a) semen, spunk (vulg.,
see  A lo largo y a lo lejos no había bicho Br.E.) (b) slap in the face
viviente. There wasn’t a living soul as far as i pegar una leche a alg. to paste s.o. one (sl.),
the eye could see. to land s.o. one (fam.)

101
la lechera

i tener mala leche to have bad/evil intentions, i desatar/soltar la lengua a alg. (fig.) to make
to have a nasty/spiteful nature or disposition, s.o. talk, to get s.o. to talk, to loosen s.o.’s
to be a nasty piece of work (fam.), to be a tongue (fig.)
bastard (fam.) i tirar de la lengua a alg. (fig.) to draw/sound
i estar de mala leche (vulg.) to be in a s.o. out (fig.), to winkle everything out of s.o.
foul/stinking mood (fam.) (fig., Br.E.), to drag everything/it out of s.o.
] leche (blanco y en botella, ~) (fam.)  Siempre hay que tirarle de la
] leche (buscar pelos en la ~) lengua. You always have to drag/winkle every-
thing out of him.
la lechera milkmaid, dairymaid i pegársele a alg. la lengua al paladar (fig.)
i la cuenta de la lechera (fig.) simple-minded s.o. can’t say a word  Se me pegó la lengua
reasoning al paladar. I couldn’t say a word.
i hacer las cuentas de la lechera (fig.) to i morderse la lengua (fig.) to bite one’s lip
count one’s chickens before they’re hatched (fig.), to hold one’s tongue (fig.), to pull
(fig.)  Aunque no está [absolutamente] se- [one’s] punches (fig., sl.).  Tenía ganas de
guro de que herede todo ese dinero, ya está decirles cuatro verdades, pero me mordí la
haciendo grandes planes para el futuro. No lengua. I felt like giving them a piece of my
hagas las cuentas de la lechera. Although mind, but I held my tongue.
he’s not [absolutely] sure whether he’ll inherit i no morderse la lengua (fig.) not to mince
all that money, he’s already making big plans one’s words (fig.), not to pull [one’s] punches
for the future. Don’t count your chickens be- (fig., sl.)  La puse a caldo. No me mordí
fore they’re hatched. la lengua. I told her what I thought of her. I
] lecho de rosas (la vida no es un ~) didn’t pull my punches or any punches.
] lecho de rosas ([no] estar/dormir sobre i irse de la lengua, írsele a alg. la lengua (fig.,
un ~) fam.) to be a slip of the tongue (fig.), to slip
] lechón (hasta la perra le/etc. parirá le- out (fig.), to let the cat out of the bag 
Queríamos que fuese una sorpresa, pero
chones)
desgraciadamente se fue de la lengua. We
la lechuga lettuce meant it to be a surprise, but unfortunately he
i estar como una lechuga (fig., fam.) to let the cat out of the bag.  Se me fue la
be/look a picture of health (fig., fam.), to be lengua. It was a slip of the tongue.  No de-
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (fam., hum.) biera haberlo dicho pero se me fue la
i estar fresco/fresquito como una lechuga lengua. I shouldn’t have said it but it [just]
(fam.) to be/feel as fresh as a daisy slipped out.
i ser más fresco que una lechuga (fam.) to i con la lengua fuera (fig.) with one’s tongue
be very fresh (Am.E.)/cheeky, to be a cheeky hanging out (fig., fam.)  Llegué a la
monkey/devil (fam.), to be as bold as brass parada de autobuses con la lengua fuera.
(fam.), to have a lot of nerve (fam.) By the time I got to the bus stop my tongue was
i la lechuga (fam., Esp.) 1000-peseta bill hanging out.
(Am.E.) or note (Br.E.) i andar en lenguas (fig., fam.) to be the sub-
] lechuga (entre col y col, ~) ject of gossip, to be the talk of the town
i llevar/traer a alg. en lenguas (fig.) to gos-
] lejos (a lo largo y a lo ~)
sip about s.o.
] lejos (llegar ~)
i hacerse lenguas de algo/alg. (fig., fam.) to
la lengua tongue, language praise s.th./s.o. to the skies, to rave about
i tener una lengua viperina o de víbora/de s.th./s.o.
serpiente/de escorpión/de hacha (fig., ] lengua ( ]nacer: nació alg. con la ~ fuera)
fam.) to have a vicious/wicked tongue, to ] lengua (no tener frenillo/pelos/pepita en
have a sharp tongue (fig.) la ~)
i tener la lengua gorda (fig., fam.) to be ] lengua (tener algo en la punta de la ~)
drunk ] lengua (tener pelos en la ~)
i soltar la lengua (fig.) to spill the beans (sl.) ] lento (ser más ~ que una tortuga)

102
la licencia

la leña firewood (Br.E.) (sl.), to go out looking for talent


i dar leña a alg. (fig.), cargar de leña a alg. (fam., Br.E.)
(fig.) to give s.o. a good going-over (sl.), to i hacer un levante a alg. to pick s.o. up (fam.)
let s.o. have it (fam.) ]arrimar candela a la ley law
alg. i Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa. (fam.) Every
i llevar leña al monte (fig.) to carry coals to law has its loophole. (fig.)
Newcastle (fig.)  Llevarle hielo a un es- i la ley de la jungla/selva (fig.) law of the jun-
quimal es como llevar leña al monte. Tak- gle, jungle law
ing ice to an Eskimo is like carrying coals to i la ley del más fuerte [principle of] might
Newcastle. is right
] leña (echar ~ al fuego) i con todas las de la ley (fam.) proper[ly],
el leño log real, duly, thorough[ly], carefully, fairly
i dormir como un leño (fig.) to sleep like a log (win/etc.)  Lo ha hecho con todas las de
la ley. He’s done it properly/thoroughly.  una
(fam.)
comida con todas las de la ley a real/proper
] león (la tajada del ~) meal
] león (más vale ser cabeza de ratón que ] ley (la necesidad carece de ~)
cola de ~)
liar to bind, to tie [up]
la leona lioness i liarlas o liárselas (fam.) (a) to beat it (sl.)
i la leona (pop.) porter, concierge (b) to kick the bucket (fam.) ]cascar[la]
Lepe ] liar el petate/los bártulos
i saber más que Lepe (fig., fam.) to be a librar to rescue, to free
walking encyclopedia (hum.), to be pretty/ i salir bien/mal librado de algo (fig.) to come
really smart out of s.th. well/badly
i salir bien librado (fig.) to get off lightly, to
la letra letter
be lucky there
i tener mucha letra menuda (fig., fam.) to be
i ¡De buena me he/nos hemos/etc. librado!
very smart, to be as sly as they come (fam.)
I/we/etc. got off lightly! I/we/etc. got lucky
i tener letras (fig., fam.) to be educated there! Talk about luck! That was close!
i poner cuatro letras (fam.) to drop a few
lines ] libre (ser ~ como el aire/viento)
i decir a una las cuatro letras (fam.) to call el libro book
a woman a slut/whore i ahorcar/colgar los libros (fig.) to give up or
i La letra con sangre entra. (prov.) Spare the quit (Am.E.) studying
rod and spoil the child. (prov.) No pains, no i hacer libro nuevo (fig.) to turn over a new
gains. (prov.) There’s no royal road to learn- leaf (fig.)  Decidió hacer libro nuevo y
ing. (prov.) prometió que en lo sucesivo no volvería a
] letra (al pie de la ~) cometer los mismos errores. He decided to
turn over a new leaf and promised henceforth
el/la levantacoches car thief never to make the same mistakes again.
] levantar cabeza i perder los libros (fig.) to lose the knack or
] levantar cabeza (no ~) one’s touch (fam.)  Recientemente ha te-
] levantar el vuelo nido dificultad para explicarse con sencillez.
] levantarse con las gallinas Parece que ha perdido los libros. Recently
he’s had difficulty [in] explaining things sim-
el levante (fam.) (man or woman): easy/ ply. He seems to have lost his touch.
quick conquest (fig.), easy/quick pick-up
(fam.) la licencia (military): discharge, leave
i salir de levante to go out trying to pick s.o. i dar la licencia a alg. (pop.) to give s.o. his
up (fam.), to go out on the pick-up (fam.), marching orders (fam.) ]dar el bote a alg.
to go out on the make (Am.E.) or on the pull ] líder (ser un ~ con toda la barba)

103
la liebre

la liebre hare la liza tournament field


i levantar la liebre (fig.) to blow the gaff i entrar en liza (fig.) to enter the arena (fig.)
(fam., Br.E.), to let the cat out of the bag  Otro candidato entró en liza. Another can-
i Donde/cuando menos se piensa, salta la didate entered the arena.
liebre. Things often happen when you least la llaga open wound
expect them to. Life is full of surprises. i renovar la[s] llaga[s] (fig.) to open up or re-
] liebre ( ]corrido: ser una ~ corrida) open an old wound/sore (fig.), to open up
] liebre (dar a alg. gato por ~) or reopen old wounds/sores (fig.)  Dile
que cierre el pico. Está renovando las llagas.
la liendre nit Tell him to pipe down. He’s opening up old
i cascarle/machacarle a alg. las liendres (fig., wounds.
pop.) to give s.o. a sound thrashing (fam.) ] llaga (poner el dedo en la ~)
]arrimar candela a alg.
la llama flame
] ligero (ser ~ de cascos) i salir de las llamas y caer en las brasas (fig.)
el ligón (fam.) man who tries to pick/chat up to jump out of the frying pan into the fire
 Atracó un banco para pagar sus deudas.
women (fam.), wolf (fig., fam.), womanizer
Salió de las llamas y cayó en las brasas. He
la ligona (fam.) woman who can be picked held up a bank to pay [off] his debts. He
up or chatted up easily (fam.), easy lay (sl.), jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.
to be one man after another with a woman, llegar to arrive
woman who will go with anybody, woman i llegar a las manos (pop.) to come to blows
who always has a new man in tow (fig.)  Llegaron a las manos. They came to blows.
i llegar lejos (fig.) to go far [in life] (fig.)
la lima file
i no llegar a tanto (fig.) not to get quite that
i comer como una lima (fig.) to eat greedily
bad, not to come to that  No llegó a tanto.
]comer/mascar a dos carrillos It didn’t get quite that bad.  No creo que
el limón lemon llegue a tanto. I don’t think [that] it’ll come
i los limones (fig., fam.) (breasts): knockers to that.
(sl.), tits (fam.), boobs (fam.), hooters (sl., ] llenarse la barriga/el buche/el vientre
Am.E.) llevar to carry, to wear, to lead
] limonada (no ser ni chicha ni ~) i llevar a alg. un/etc. año (fig.) to be one/
] limosna (alzarse/salirse con el santo y etc. year older than s.o.  Mi hermano me
lleva cinco años. My brother is five years older
la ~)
than I.
] limpiar algo solamente por donde ve la i llevar a alg. la cabeza (fig.) to be taller than
suegra s.o. by a head
] limpiar solamente lo que ve la suegra i llevarse bien/mal con alg. to get or not to
] limpio (no ser trigo ~) get along/on (Br.E.) with s.o.  Se llevan
] limpio como una patena mal con el jefe. They don’t get along with the
boss.
] lince (tener ojos de ~) i llevarse todo por delante (fig.) to liven/hot
el lirón dormouse (fam.) things up  Se llevó todo por delante
i dormir como un lirón (fig.) to sleep like a en la última fiesta. He livened things up at
baby (fig.), to sleep like a log (fam.) the last party.
] llevarse la mar de bien
liso smooth, even
llorar to weep
i ser lisa (fig., pop.) to be flat-chested ]ser i Quien no llora no mama. (prov.) If you
de Castellón de la Plana don’t ask you don’t get.
] listo (ser más ~ que el hambre) ] llorar (me entraban unas ganas locas de ~)

104
la longaniza

] llorar a moco tendido/a moco y baba piel de cordero. Beware of the manager. He
] llorar como una Magdalena seems to be the very soul of kindness, but he’s
] llorar con un ojo a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
] llorar lágrimas de cocodrilo i gritar ¡al lobo! (fig.) to cry wolf (fig.)  No
grites ¡al lobo! con demasiada frecuencia.
llover to rain
Nadie vendrá. Don’t cry wolf too often. No-
i llover sobre mojado (fig.) to be [struck by]
one disaster after another, to be one [tragic] body/none will come.
blow after another, on top of all or to cap it i desollar/dormir el lobo (fam.) to sleep it off
all (fig.) or to crown it all (fig.) or to add in- (fam.), to sleep off a hangover (fam.)
sult to injury or to make matters worse s.th. i arrojar a alg. a los lobos (fig.) to throw s.o.
else happens  A ese pobre diablo le llueve to the wolves/dogs (fig.)  La comisión ju-
sobre mojado. It’s one tragic blow (fig.) after rídica exigió una explicación. El Ministro de
another for that poor devil.  Eso fue llover Defensa le cargó el muerto al general y lo
sobre mojado. That capped/crowned it all.  arrojó a los lobos. The Judiciary Committee
... y luego llovió sobre mojado. . . . and on was demanding an explanation. The Secretary
top of all that s.th. else happened. . . . and to of Defense passed the buck to the general and
add insult to injury s.th. else happened. . . . threw him to the wolves.
and to make matters worse s.th. else happened. ] lobo (el hambre de ~)
 Siempre llueve sobre mojado. (prov.) It ] lobo (encomendar las ovejas al ~)
never rains but it pours. (prov.) ] lobo (haber visto las orejas del ~)
i Nunca llueve a gusto de todos. (fig.) (a) ] lobo (meterse en la boca del ~)
One man’s meat is another man’s poison. (b) ] lobo (ser ~s de una misma camada)
You can’t please everybody. You can’t please ] lobo (ver las orejas del ~)
all the people all of the time. loco mad
i escuchar/oír como quien oye llover (fig.) to i estar/ser loco de atar o de remate (fam.)
refuse to listen [to s.o.], turn a deaf ear [to to be stark raving/staring mad (fam.), to be
s.o./s.th.], to pay no attention [to what s.o. completely crazy or nuts (fam.), to be as mad
says]  Oí lo que dijo como quien oye llover. as a hatter (Br.E.), to be as mad as a March
I turned a deaf ear to what she said. I paid hare (fam.)
no attention to what she said.  Me escu-
i Es para volverse loco. (fig., fam.) It’s enough
chaba como quien oye llover. He didn’t lis-
to drive you mad/crazy. (fam.)
ten to me. He refused to listen to me. He paid
i Está loca por la música. (fam.) She’s an easy
no attention to what I said.  Estoy conti-
lay. (sl.)
nuamente diciéndole que vaya al médico
i Cada loco con su tema. (fam.) To each his
pero es como quien oye llover. I keep telling
own. Horses for courses. (fam., Br.E.)
him to see his doctor or to go to the doctor’s
] loco (de cuerdo y ~ todos tenemos un
but it runs off him like water off a duck’s
poco)
back/but it’s [like] water off a duck’s back.
] loco (estar [~] como un cencerro)
(fam.)
] loco (estar más ~ que una cabra)
i Ha llovido mucho desde entonces. A lot of
water has flowed under the bridge since then. ] loco (los niños y los ~s dicen las verdades)
] llover (venir como llovido del cielo) ] lodo (cerrar algo a piedra y ~)
] llover a cántaros/chorros/cubos/mares/ ] lodo (sacar el pie del ~ a alg.)
torrentes la longaniza long, spicy pork sausage
el lobo wolf i atar perros con longaniza (fig.) to court dis-
i un viejo lobo de mar (fig.) old salt (fam.), aster (fig.), to play with fire (fig.)  Corrió
old sea dog (fig.) un gran riesgo. Parece que le gusta atar
i un lobo con piel de cordero/oveja (fig.) perros con longaniza. He took a big risk. He
wolf in sheep’s clothing (fig.)  Ten cuidado seems to like playing with fire.
con el director. Parece que no le cabe el i Allí tampoco atan los perros con longa-
corazón en el pecho, pero es un lobo con niza[s]. (prov.) It’s the same the whole world

105
el loquero

over. People elsewhere in the world don’t live i quedarse a la luna de Valencia (fig.) to be
in the land of milk and honey either. (fig.) left empty-handed, to come away empty-
handed, to be disappointed, to be left in the
el loquero (fam., hum.) funny farm (fam., lurch (fig.), to be left high and dry (fig.)
hum.), loony bin (fam., hum.), nuthouse i dejar a alg. a la luna de Valencia (fig.) to
(fam.) leave s.o. empty-handed, to disappoint s.o.,
el lucero bright star to leave s.o. in the lurch (fig.), to leave s.o.
i quitarle al lucero del alba (fig.) not to mince high and dry (fig.)  Me dejaron a la luna
one’s words (fig.), to speak one’s mind  de Valencia y tuve que hacerlo todo yo.
Habló en plata. Le quitó al lucero del alba.
They left me in the lurch and I had to do it
all myself.
He spoke bluntly. He didn’t mince his words.
i estar de buena/mala luna (fig.) to be in a
] luchar a brazo partido good/bad mood
lucir to shine i tener sus lunas (fig.) to have strange/pecu-
i lucir en sus/los estudios (fig.) to be a bril- liar ideas
] luna (poner a alg. en/por o levantar a alg.
liant (fig.) or an outstanding student, to
a/hasta los cuernos de la ~)
shine at one’s studies (fig.)
la luz light
lucirse to distinguish o.s., to excel i dar luz verde a algo (fig.) to give s.th. the
i lucirse (iron.) to show o.s. up, to make a fool green light (fig.) or the go-ahead  Dieron
of o.s.  ¡Te has lucido! A fine thing you’ve luz verde al proyecto. They gave the plan the
done! (iron.) You’ve really excelled yourself! green light or the go-ahead.
(iron.) What a mess you’ve made of it! (fig.) i ser de pocas luces o ser corto de luces o
You’ve made a real fool of yourself! tener pocas luces (fig., fam.) to be pretty
] lugar (hacer[se] su/una composición de ~) dim (fam., Br.E.), to be dim-witted (fam.),
] lumbre (estar al amor de la ~)
not to be very bright (fig.), not to be the
brightest bulb in the chandelier (fig.), to be
la luna moon one sandwich short of a picnic (hum.), to
i la luna de miel (fig.) honeymoon be a few cards shy of a full deck (hum.), to
i estar en la luna (fig., fam.) to have one’s be two bricks shy of a load (hum.)
head in the clouds, to be away with the fairies i sacar algo a luz (fig.) (a) (book/etc.): to
(fam.), to be remote from it all (fig.), to be bring out, to publish (b) (secret or scan-
miles away (fig.), to have one’s mind on other dal/etc.): to bring to light (fig.)
things, to be out to lunch (fam., Am.E.), to i salir a luz (fig.) (a) (book/etc.): to come out,
be daydreaming, to be woolgathering (fam.) to be published (b) (secret or scandal/etc.):
i vivir en la luna (fig., fam.) to have one’s head to become known, to come to light (fig.) 
El lío acaba de salir a luz. The affair has just
in the clouds, to be living in cloud-cuckoo-
come to light.
land, to be living in never-never land, to be
i Hay luz al final del túnel. (fig.) There is light
living in a dream/fantasy world at the end of the tunnel. (fig.) There is a
i pedir la luna (fig.) to ask the impossible bright spot on the horizon. (fig.) There is a
i mirar la luna (fig.) to gawp (fam., Br.E.), to glimmer of hope. (fig.)
gawk (fam.) i meter/poner la luz bajo el celemín (fig.) to
i ladrar a la luna (fig.) to talk to a brick wall hide one’s light under a bushel (fig.)  No
(fig., fam.), to waste one’s breath  No está la subestimes. Tiene muchos talentos, pero
escuchando. Es como ladrarle a la luna. He pone la luz bajo el celemín. Don’t underes-
isn’t listening. It is like talking to a brick wall timate her. She has many talents, but she hides
[with him]. her light under a bushel.

106
LL
Las palabras que empiezan por “ll” aparecen Words beginning with “ll” are listed at the ap-
bajo la letra L en su correspondiente orden propriate alphabetical position under letter L.
alfabético.

107
machacar to beat (meat/etc.), to pound, to
M stark naked (fam.)  Cuando era joven iba
crush a nadar como mi madre me echó al mundo.
i machacar (fig., fam.) to cram (fam.), to swot When I was young, I [often] went swimming
(fam., Br.E.), to bone up (fam.) in my birthday suit.
i machacar algo (fig., fam.) to cram s.th. i ciento y la madre (fig.) whole crowd of peo-
(fam.), to swot up [on] s.th. (fam., Br.E.), ple  Hubo allí ciento y la madre. A whole
to mug up [on] s.th. (fam., Br.E.), to bone crowd of people was there. The world and his
up on s.th. (fam.) wife were there. (fam., Br.E.)
i machacar [en/sobre] algo (fig., fam.) to i salirse de madre (fig.) to kick over the traces
harp on [about] s.th. (fig., fam.), to go/keep (fig.), to lose all self-control
on about s.th.  Sigue machacando en ese ] madre (ahí está la ~ del cordero)
asunto. He’s still harping on about that mat- ] madre (Cristo y la ~)
ter. ] madre (desde el vientre de su/etc. ~)
i machacar en hierro frío (fig., fam.) to labor ] madre (el ocio/la ociosidad es la ~ de to-
in vain, to waste one’s time, to be a waste of dos los vicios)
time, to be a wasted effort, to flog a dead ] madre (ser más feo que pegar a la ~)
horse (fig., fam.)  Hablarle de aumentar ] madre (tal ~ tal hija)
los sueldos es como machacar en hierro frío.
madrugar to get up early
Talking to him about increasing the salaries
i madrugar [a alg.] (fig., fam.) (a) to jump the
is like flogging a dead horse or is a complete
gun (fig.) (b) to beat s.o. to it, to get in first
waste of time.
(fam.), to steal a march on s.o.
i machacar a alg. (fig., fam.) (in debate; op-
i A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda. (prov.)
ponent): to crush s.o. (fig.), to flatten s.o.
The early bird catches the worm. (prov.) God
(fam.), to tear s.o. to bits/pieces/shreds (fig.,
helps those who help themselves.
fam.)  Uno de los candidatos a la presi-
dencia machacó a los otros. One of the pres- ] maduro (está madura la breva)
idential candidates flattened the others. ] maestro (la baza maestra)
i machacar algo a alg. (fig., fam.) to drum ] maestro (la necesidad hace ~s)
s.th. into s.o. or into s.o.’s head (fig.) 
Magdalena Magdalen, Madeleine
Machácales lo que tienen que hacer. Drum
i llorar como una Magdalena (fig.) to weep
into them or into their heads what they have
bitterly, to cry one’s eyes out, to sob one’s
to do.
heart out
i machacársela (vulg., Esp.) (to masturbate)
]tocar la campana mal; el mal bad[ly], evil, harm
i poner mal a alg. to run s.o. down (fam.)
la madera wood
i no estar nada mal (fam.)  Ganar mucho
i la madera (pop., Esp.) cops (fam.), fuzz
dinero no estaría nada mal. I wouldn’t mind
(sl.), pigs (sl.), filth (sl., Br.E.), heat (sl.,
making a lot of money.
Am.E.)
i menos mal thank goodness, it’s a good
i tener madera de ... (fig.) to have the mak-
thing . . .  ¡Menos mal! Thank goodness! 
ings of . . .  Tiene madera de actriz. She has
¡Menos mal que no fuimos! Thank goodness
the makings of an actress.
we didn’t go! It’s a good thing [that] we didn’t
i ser de la misma madera (fig.) to be made
go!
of the same stuff (fig.), to be two of a kind
i estar/andar mal de algo to be short of s.th.,
la madre mother, riverbed to be low on s.th., to be almost out of s.th.
i como su madre le/lo/la echó al mundo  Estamos mal de dinero. We’re short of
(fig., fam.) in his/her birthday suit (hum.), money/cash. We’re hard up. (fam.)

108
la manga

i Si haces mal, espera otro tal. (prov.) An eye ] malo ( ]bueno: por las buenas o por las
for an eye [and a tooth for a tooth]. (prov.) malas)
i No hay mal que por bien no venga. (prov.)
la malva mauve
Every cloud has a silver lining. (prov.) It may
i estar criando malvas (fig., fam.) to be push-
be a blessing in disguise. It’s an ill wind that
ing up daisies (fam., hum.), to be dead
blows nobody any good.
i Bien vengas mal, si vienes solo. (prov.) It la mamada suck (at breast)
never rains but it pours. (prov.) i hacerle una mamada a alg. (vulg.) to do a
i Mal de muchos, consuelo de todos. (prov.) blow job on s.o. (vulg.), to suck s.o. off
(a) What’s bad for s.o. may be a consolation (vulg.), to give s.o. head (vulg., Am.E.)
for s.o. else. (b) We’re all in the same boat. ] mamar ( ]nacer: nació alg. mamando el
(fig.) oficio)
] mal ( ]pensar: piensa ~ y acertarás)
] mal (atajar el ~ de raíz) la manaza great big hand
] mal (estar ~ de la cabeza/chaveta) i ser un manazas (fam.) to have two left
] mal (llevarse ~ con alg.) hands (fig.), to be all thumbs, to be a clumsy
] mal (no hay bien ni ~ que cien años dure) oaf/sort (fam.), to be clumsy

Málaga Malaga la mancha spot, stain


i salir de Málaga y entrar en Malagón (fig., i extenderse o propagarse o difundirse
fam.) to jump out of the frying pan into the como una mancha de aceite (fig.) to spread
fire  Atracó un banco para pagar sus deu- like wildfire (fig.)  El rumor se extendió
das. Salió de Málaga y entró en Malagón. como una mancha de aceite. The rumor
He held up a bank to pay [off] his debts. He spread like wildfire.
jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. el mandamás (fam.) big boss, big noise (sl.),
] Malagón (salir de Málaga y entrar en ~) top dog (fam.), big shot (fam.), bigwig
(fam.)
el malaleche (fam., Esp.) nasty piece of
work (fig., fam.) el mandamiento order, command
i los cinco mandamientos (fig., fam.) fingers
el/la malapata (fam.) unlucky person
la mandanga (pop.) (marijuana): hash/pot
el/la malaúva (fam.) nasty piece of work
(fam.), grass/shit/weed (sl.), tea (sl., Am.E.)
(fig., fam.)
la mandíbula jaw
la maleta suitcase
i reír[se] a mandíbula batiente (fig., fam.) to
i el maleta (fig., fam.) (a) bungler (b)
laugh one’s head off (fam.)
(sports): poor player, rabbit (fam., Br.E.) (c)
clumsy/poor bullfighter (d) ham [actor] el mandil apron
(fam.) i pegarle algo a alg. como un mandil a una
i hacer la maleta (fig., fam.) to pack one’s vaca (hum.) s.th. doesn’t suit s.o. at all, s.th.
bags/things [and go] (fam.), to pack up [and looks awful on s.o.  Esta camisa te pega
go] (fam.), to [pull] up sticks (Br.E.) or como un mandil a una vaca. This shirt
stakes (Am.E.) (fig., fam.) doesn’t suit you at all. This shirt looks awful
i echarse la maleta al hombro (fig.) to emi- on you.
grate (from one’s home country) ] manera (hay muchas ~s de matar pulgas)
] malla (deslizarse por [entre] las ~s)
la manga sleeve
malo bad i tener manga ancha (fig.), ser de manga an-
i Más vale malo conocido que bueno por cha (fig.) to be too lenient, to be overindul-
conocer. (prov.) Better the devil you know gent
than the devil you don’t [know]. (prov.) i guardarse un as en la manga (fig.) to keep
i En las malas se conoce a los amigos. an ace up one’s sleeve (fig.), to have an ace in
(prov.) A friend in need is a friend indeed. the hole (fam., Am.E.)  Hasta ahora no ha
(prov.) conseguido encontrar una solución a este

109
la manita

problema. No te preocupes. Siempre se i darse las manos (fig.) to make [it] up (with
guarda un as en la manga. So far, she hasn’t s.o.), to reconcile (with s.o.)  Finalmente
had any success in finding a solution to this se dieron las manos. They were finally rec-
problem. Don’t worry. She always keeps an ace onciled.
up her sleeve. i lavarse las manos [en inocencia] (fig.) to
i traer algo en/por la manga (fig.) (a) to have wash one’s hands of it (fig.)
s.th. up one’s sleeve (fig.), to have a shot in i irsele a alg. la mano (fig.) to strike  Se le
the/one’s locker (fam., Br.E.) (b) to pull s.th. fue la mano. He/she struck.
out of a/the hat/bag (fig.), to come up with i mudar de manos (fig.) to change hands
s.th. just like that, to give an off-the-cuff an- (fam.)
swer/speech/etc.  Ha traído el discurso en i estar con una mano atrás y otra [a]delante
la manga. He’s given an off-the-cuff speech. (fig.) to be stone-broke (fam., Am.E.), not to
 Trajo una respuesta genial en la manga. have a penny to one’s name (fam.)
He came up with a brilliant answer just like i salir con una mano atrás y otra [a]delante
that. (fig.) not to get anywhere, to get nowhere
i sacarse algo de la manga (fig.) (a) to make i tener las manos largas (fig.) (a) to be light-
s.th. up [off the top of one’s head] (b) to pull fingered (b) to be free with one’s hands, to
s.th. out of a/the hat/bag (fig.), to come up be quick to lash out
with s.th. just like that  Acaba de sacárselo i tener [mucha] mano izquierda [con alg.]
de la manga. He’s just made it up [off the (fig., fam.) to have [got] a way with s.o., to
top of his head].  Se sacó la solución del know [very well] how to handle s.o. or how
problema de la manga. He pulled the solu- to manage, to know what’s what [where s.o.
tion to the problem out of a hat. is concerned] (fam.), to be [very] sly/crafty
i estar/andar manga por hombro (fig.) to be  Tiene mano izquierda con las mujeres.
in a state of chaos, to be chaotic, to be [all] He’s got a way with women. He knows what’s
at sixes and sevens (fam.), to be topsy-turvy what where women are concerned.  Ella
(fam.), to be in a [complete] mess (fig.)  En tiene mucha mano izquierda. She knows very
esta casa todo está manga por hombro. well how to manage. She’s very crafty.
Everything is topsy-turvy in this house. This i venir a alg. a la[s] mano[s] (fig.) to [just]
house is in a mess.  En aquel país todo anda fall/drop into s.o.’s lap (fig.)  No le va a
manga por hombro. Everything is in a state venir a las manos. It won’t fall into his lap.
of chaos in that country. i darle a alg. la/una mano y se toma el brazo
i hacer mangas y capirotes de algo (fig.) to (fig.) give s.o. an inch and he’ll take a
rush s.th./things yard/mile (fig.)  Le das la mano y se toma
i hacer mangas y capirotes de alg. (fig.) to el brazo. Give him an inch and he’ll take a
ignore s.o. completely, to cut s.o. dead (fam.) mile.
] manga (a buenas horas, ~s verdes) i Una mano lava la otra. (prov.) You scratch
] manga (ser más corto que las ~s de un my back and I’ll scratch yours. (prov.)
chaleco) i Muchas manos en un plato hacen mucho
la manita little hand garabato. (prov.) Muchas manos en la olla
i tener manitas de plata/oro (fig.) to have echan el guiso a perder. (prov.) Too many
very talented/artistic/skillful hands cooks spoil the broth. (prov.)
] mano (coger a alg. con las ~s en la masa)
la mano hand ] mano (darle a alg. el pie y se toma la ~)
i estar en la mano (fig.) to be obvious ] mano (en buenas ~s está el pandero)
i bajar la mano (fig.) to drop the price ] mano (llegar a las ~s)
i untar la mano a alg. (fig., fam.) to grease ] mano (llevarse las ~s a la cabeza)
s.o.’s palm (fig., fam.), to bribe s.o. ] mano (morir a ~ airada)
i robar algo a alg. a mano airada (fam.) to ] mano (ser un juguete en ~s de alg.)
rob s.o. of s.th. with violence
] manojo (ser un ~ de nervios)
i caerse de las manos (libro/etc.) (fig.)
(book/etc.): to be impossible (fig.), to be la manta blanket
boring i la manta (fig., fam.) good hiding (fam.)

110
la maravilla

i liarse la manta a la cabeza (fig.) to como arar en el mar. Talking to him about
throw/cast caution to the wind[s] (fig.), to increasing the salaries is like flogging a dead
press on regardless horse or is a complete waste of time.
i tirar de la manta (fig.) to let the cat out of i hacer un mar con un vaso de agua (fig.) to
the bag, to give the game/show away (fam.); make a mountain out of a molehill (fig.)
(s.th. embarrassing): to reveal (fig.), to bring i la mar de (fig., fam.)  la mar de cosas
to light (fig.), to take the lid off (fig., fam.) loads of things (fam.)  tener la mar de
 Tiró de la manta para revelar el escán- dinero to have heaps/piles of money (fam.)
dalo. He took the lid off the scandal.  No  ser la mar de guapo to be awfully pretty
creo que tiren de la manta. I don’t think
(fam.)  ser la mar de tonto to be no end of
a fool (fam.)  tener la mar de prisa to be
they’ll reveal it.
in a great hurry/rush, to be in a mortal hurry
i a manta (fig.) in abundance, plenty of, ga-
(fam.)  creerse la mar de listo to think one
lore  Hay frutas a manta. There are fruits
is the cat’s pajamas (Am.E.) or pyjamas
galore.
(Br.E.) or whiskers (fam.), to think one is the
la manteca fat bee’s knees (fam.), to think to be very
i la manteca (fam.) (money): dough (sl., smart/clever  estar la mar de contento to
Am.E.), bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/ be terribly pleased/glad/happy  llevarse la
lolly (sl., Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.) mar de bien to get on like a house on fire
(fam.), to be great pals/buddies (fam.)
la manzana apple i divertirse la mar to enjoy o.s. tremendously,
i la manzana de la discordia (fig.) apple of to have a grand/great time (fam.), to have a
discord, bone of contention whale of a time (fam.)
i Una manzana podrida echa un ciento a i sudar a mares (fig.) to sweat buckets/
perder. (prov.) One bad apple can spoil the streams (fam.), to be dripping with sweat
whole barrel. (prov.) The rotten apple spoils i llover a mares (fig.) to rain in torrents, to
the barrel. (prov.) come down in buckets/sheets, to rain cats
i A diario una manzana es cosa sana. (prov.) and dogs, to be pouring [down or with rain],
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. (prov.) to be bucketing down (Br.E.), the floodgates
] manzana (estar más sano que una ~) of heaven open (fig.)  Ayer llovió a mares.
] maña (donde hay gana, hay ~) The floodgates of heaven opened yesterday. It
rained in torrents or cats and dogs yesterday.
mañana tomorrow ] mar ( ]cagar: ¡Me cago en la ~!)
i No dejes para mañana lo que puedes ] mar (echar agua en el ~)
hacer hoy. (prov.) Don’t put off till tomor- ] mar (estar hecho un brazo de ~)
row what you can do today. (prov.) ] mar (ser una gota de agua en el ~)
] mañana (de la noche a la ~) la maravilla marvel, wonder
] mañana (hoy por mí, ~ por tí) i a las mil maravillas (to go/run/etc.): mar-
el mapamundi world map velously, beautifully, extremely well, won-
i el mapamundi (fig., fam.) bottom (fam.), derfully [well], swimmingly (fig.), like clock-
backside (fam.), behind (fam., euph.), pos- work (fig.), like a bomb (fam., Br.E.), like a
terior (euph.), butt (fam., Am.E.), bum dream (fam.), (to go) great guns (fam.), (to
(fam., Br.E.) work) a treat (fig.)  Todo marcha a las mil
maravillas. Everything in the garden is lovely.
el mar ocean, sea Everything’s hunky-dory. (fam.)  Todo fue
i Quien no se arriesga no pasa la mar. a las mil maravillas. It all went swimmingly
(prov.) Nothing ventured, nothing gained. or like clockwork or like a dream.  Todo ha
(prov.) salido a las mil maravillas. Everything has
i arar en el mar (fig.) to labor in vain, to waste turned out wonderfully. Everything worked a
one’s time, to be a waste of time, to be a treat.  Manitas de Plata toca a las mil ma-
wasted effort, to flog a dead horse (fig., fam.) ravillas. Manitas de Plata plays marvelously.
 Hablarle de aumentar los sueldos es ] marea (contra viento y ~)

111
la margarita

la margarita daisy, pearl oyster de marras same old problem  Lo hizo el in-
i deshojar la margarita (fig.) to play “she loves dividuo de marras. The said individual did
me, she loves me not” it. You-know-who did it.
i echar margaritas a los puercos (fig., fam.)
Martín ]San Martín
to cast pearls before swine (fig.)  No se in-
teresan por vino. Servirles un Burdeos es la masa dough, paste
como echar margaritas a los puercos. They i coger a alg. con las manos en la masa (fig.)
don’t care about wine. To serve them a Bor- to catch s.o. red-handed, to catch s.o. in the
deaux is like casting pearls before swine. act, to catch s.o. with his hand in the cookie
jar (fig.)  Lo cogieron con las manos en la
la marica magpie
masa. He was caught with his hand in the
i el marica (fam.) (gay): queer/fairy/faggot
cookie jar.  Estaba robando el contenido de
(sl., pej.), pansy (fam., pej.), queen (sl.),
la hucha de su hermano cuando la madre
poof[ter] (sl., pej., Br.E.), fag (sl., pej.,
entró en el cuarto. Lo cogió con las manos
Am.E.), arse bandit (vulg., Br.E.)
en la masa. He was plundering his brother’s
Maricastaña (fam.) piggy bank when the mother entered the room.
i año de/tiempo[s] de/días de Maricastaña She caught him red-handed.
donkey’s years ago/old (fam.), [very] long
la máscara mask
ago, [in/from] the year dot (fam.), out
i quitarse la máscara (fig.) to drop the mask
of/with the Ark (fam.), prehistoric (fig.,
(fig.), to show [o.s. in] one’s true colors 
hum.), very old-fashioned  En tiempos de
Nunca se sabe qué piensa ese tío. No se
o en los días de Maricastaña fabricaron
quita la máscara. You can never tell what that
mejores coches. They made better cars don-
guy is thinking. He doesn’t show his true col-
key’s years ago or in the year dot.  Tienen un
ors.
televisor del año de Maricastaña. They have
i quitarle la máscara a alg. (fig.) to unmask
a television [set] that is out of the Ark/that is
s.o. (fig.), to expose s.o.
donkey’s years old. They have a prehistoric
television [set].  Este traje es/viene del la mata shrub, bush
tiempo de Maricastaña. This suit is from the i ser más tonto que una mata de habas
year dot. This suit looks as if it came out of the (fam.) to be as thick as they come (fam.)
Ark. This suit is really old-fashioned. ]ser más tonto que Carracuca
el maricón (pop.) (gay): queer/fairy/faggot el mátalas callando (fam.) sly sort (fam.),
(sl., pej.), pansy (fam., pej.), queen (sl.), smooth type (fam.), wolf in sheep’s cloth-
poof[ter] (sl., pej., Br.E.), fag (sl., pej., ing (fig.)
Am.E.), arse bandit (vulg., Br.E.) ] matanza (cebarse en la ~)
el marinero seaman, sailor matar to kill
i el marinero de agua dulce (fig.) landlub- i matarlas callando (fig.) to be insidious, to
ber (fam.) go about things slyly or on the quiet (fam.),
la mariposa butterfly to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing (fig.)  Las
mata callando. He goes about things slyly. 
i el mariposa (fam., euph.) (gay): queer/fairy/
Ten cuidado con el director. Parece que no
faggot (sl., pej.), pansy (fam., pej.), queen
le cabe el corazón en el pecho, pero las
(sl.), poof[ter] (sl., pej., Br.E.), fag (sl., pej.,
mata callando. Beware of the manager. He
Am.E.), arse bandit (vulg., Br.E.)
seems to be the very soul of kindness, but he’s
las marmellas (pop.) (breasts): knockers a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
(sl.), tits (fam.), boobs (fam.), hooters (sl., ] matar (el que a hierro mata, a hierro
Am.E.) muere)
marras (fam.) ] matar (ser incapaz de ~ una mosca)
i de marras said, in question, agreed, you- ] matar a alg. a fuego lento/a pedradas
know-who, that you/etc. know all about  el ] mayo (venir como agua de ~)
día de marras the agreed day  el problema ] mazo (a Dios rogando y con el ~ dando)

112
meter

la meada (pop., vulg.) piss (vulg.) up. (fig.) Let sleeping dogs lie.  No vuel-
i echar una meada to take/have (Br.E.) a leak vas a sacar ese mal asunto. Más vale no
(sl., hum.), to have a slash (sl., Br.E.), to have meneallo. Don’t bring that nasty business up
a piss (vulg.) again. Let sleeping dogs lie.
] menear (si le/etc. meanean, da bellotas)
mear (pop., vulg.) to piss (vulg.), to have a
] menear el bigote/esqueleto
piss (vulg.), to have a slash (sl., Br.E.)
] menear el bulto/zarzo a alg.
i mearse (fam.) to wet o.s.
i mearse [de risa] (fam.) to wet o.s. laughing, el meneo shake
to pee (fam.) or piss (vulg.) o.s. laughing i dar un meneo a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to thrash
] Meca (andar de la Ceca a la ~) s.o., to give s.o. a thrashing (b) to give s.o. a
dressing-down (fam.), to give s.o. a telling-
la mecha wick, fuse off (fam.)
i aguantar [la] mecha (fig., fam.) to grin and
bear it [patiently}, to stand the gaff (fam., mentir to lie
Am.E.) i mentir más que hablar o más que la Ga-
i a toda mecha (fam.) in a great hurry, like ceta (fig.) to lie through one’s teeth (fam.)
greased lightning (fam.), like the clappers ] mentir con toda la barba/boca
(fam., Br.E.)  Salió a toda mecha de la ] mentir más que un sacamuelas
casa. He left the house like greased lightning. ] mentir por los codos
 Corrió a toda mecha. He went like the ] mentir que se las pela ( ]pelar)
clappers. ] mentira (ser un costal de ~s)
] medianoche (entre gallos y ~) ] mentira (ser una ~ de padre y muy señor
] medida (colmar la ~) mío)
] mentira (ser una solemne ~)
] Méjico (el unto de ~)
] mentirosa (ser una ~ de siete suelas)
la melena mane ] merecer una estatua
i soltarse la melena (fig.) to drop all scruples,
to drop all restraint la merluza hake
i coger una merluza (fig., pop.) to get canned
la mella notch (sl., Br.E.), to get tight (fam.) ]cocerse (a)
i hacer mella en/a alg. (fig.) to make an im-
pression on s.o. un merluzo (fam., pej.) idiot, bonehead
(fam., Am.E.) ]un [pedazo de] al-
el melón melon cornoque
i el melón (fig., fam.) nut (sl.) ]la cebolla
i estrujarse el melón (fig., fam.) to rack one’s el/la metepatas (fam.) person who is al-
brains (fig.) ways putting his foot in it (fam.), person who
i un melón (fig., fam.) idiot ]un [pedazo de] is always dropping a clanger (sl.), person
alcornoque who is always making gaffes, person who has
foot-in-mouth disease (fam., hum.)  Es
la melopea (fam., Esp.) drunkenness
una metepatas. She’s always putting her foot
i coger una melopea to get canned (sl.,
in it. She has foot-in-mouth disease.
Br.E.), to get tight (fam.) ]cocerse (a)
meter to put/place (in/into)
menda (pop.) I, yours truly (fam., hum.),
i meterse alg. donde no le llaman to poke
muggins (fam., Br.E.)  Lo ha hecho el/la
one’s nose into other people’s business  ¡No
menda. I did it. Yours truly did it.  ¿Y quién
te metas donde no te llaman! Mind your
tuvo que pagar? El/la menda. And who had
own business!
to pay? Yours truly. Muggins here.
i estar metido para dentro (fig.) to be intro-
menear to shake verted, to be introspective, to be reserved
i Peor es meneallo. (fig.) Mejor es no me- (fig.)
neallo. (fig.) Más vale no meneallo. (fig.) i estar [muy] metido en algo (a) to be
It’s best to leave that alone. It’s best not to [very/deeply] involved in s.th. (b) to be
touch on that. It’s best not to stir [all] that [very] involved in s.th., to be mixed up (fig.)

113
el mico

or caught up in s.th.  Están muy metidos la miga crumb


en política. They’re very involved in/with pol- i tener [su] miga (fig.) to be more in/to it than
itics.  Está muy metido en ese asunto. He’s meets the eye, not to be easy, to have its dif-
deeply involved in that matter. He’s mixed up ficulties  Esto tiene su miga. There’s more
in that affair. in this than meets the eye. This isn’t easy.
i estar muy metido con alg. (fig.) to be deeply i hacer buenas/malas migas con alg. (fig.) to
involved with s.o., to be well in with s.o. get along/on well/badly with s.o., to hit it off
el mico long-tailed monkey with s.o./not to hit it off with s.o.
i dar mico a alg. (fig., fam.) to stand s.o. up i estar hecho migas (fig.) to be shattered
(fam.) (fam., Br.E.) ]estar hecho cisco
i correr un mico (fam.) to be/feel ashamed [of mil thousand
o.s.] i Preso por mil, preso por mil quinientos.
] miedo (caerse [muerto] de ~) (fam.) In for a penny, in for a pound. (Br.E.)
] miedo (cagarse/ciscarse de ~) In for a dime, in for a dollar. (Am.E.)
] miedo (dar un susto al ~) i a las mil y quinientas (fam.) very late, ter-
] miedo (estar muerto de ~) ribly late (fam.)  Llegó a las mil y quinien-
] miedo (morirse de ~) tas. He arrived terribly late.
la miel honey ] mina de oro
i No hay miel sin hiel. (prov.) There’s no rose ] mirada (acaparar todas las ~s)
without a thorn. (prov.)
i hacerse de miel (fig.) to be excessively kind la miranda
i ser miel sobre hojuelas (fig., fam.) to be i estar de miranda (pop.) to be idle, to stand
wonderful, to be marvelous, to be fantastic, idly by while others are working
to be even better [than s.o. expected], to be mirar to look at, to watch
almost too much of a good thing  ¡Es miel i mirar bien/mal a alg. (fig.) [not] to like s.o.,
sobre hojuelas! It’s really marvelous! It’s bet- to dislike s.o.
ter still!  Es una gran casa y el sitio es miel i de mírame y no me toques (fig., fam.) very
sobre hojuelas. It’s a magnificent house and delicate, very fragile  Esta figurilla de
its location is even better than we expected. porcelana es de las de mírame y no me
i dejar a alg. con la miel en los labios (fig.) toques. This porcelain figurine is very deli-
to snatch s.th. away from under s.o.’s nose cate/fragile. You only have to look at this
 Quise conseguir ese trabajo, pero un tío
porcelain figurine and it breaks. (fig.)
me dejó con la miel en los labios. I wanted
to get that job, but a guy snatched it away from la miseria destitution, poverty, want
under my nose. i vender algo por una miseria (fig.) to sell
i quedarse con la miel en los labios (fig.) to s.th. for a song (fig., fam.)
come close to success without attaining it; i cobrar/ganar una miseria (fig.) to work for
close, but no cigar (sl.) peanuts (fam.), to earn a pittance
i las mieles del triunfo (fig.) sweets of vic- ] mistar (sin chistar ni ~)
tory/success (fig.)  Saboreamos las mieles
del triunfo. We savored the sweets of victory. mixto mixed
(fig.) i el mixto (fam.) match
] miel (la dedada de ~) la mocada (pop.) blowing one’s nose
] miel (la luna de ~) i echar una mocada to blow one’s nose
la mierda shit (vulg.) mocar (pop.) to blow one’s nose
i la mierda (pop., Esp.) (marijuana): shit/ i mocarse to blow one’s nose
grass/weed (sl.), hash/pot (fam.), tea (sl.,
Am.E.) el mochuelo little owl
i mandar a alg. a la mierda (vulg.) to tell s.o. i cada mochuelo a su olivo everyone to his
to go to hell (fam.), to tell s.o. to piss off place  Ya es muy tarde, ¡cada mochuelo a
(vulg.), to tell s.o. to screw himself (vulg.) su olivo! It’s very late now. Let’s all go home!

114
[los] monises

i cargar con el mochuelo (fig., fam.) to be left i no dejar criar moho a alg. (fig., fam.) to
holding the bag (Am.E.) or the baby (Br.E.) keep s.o. on the go, to keep s.o. on the jump
(fam.), to [have to] carry the can (fam., (fam.), to keep s.o. on the trot (fig., fam.,
Br.E.), to get landed with it (fam.) Br.E.)
i cargar el mochuelo a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to i no dejar criar moho a algo (fig., fam.) to use
pass the buck to s.o. (fig., fam.), to pin the s.th. up quickly
blame on s.o., to leave s.o. holding the bag ] moho (piedra movediza, el ~ no la cobija)
(Am.E.) or the baby (Br.E.) (fam.) (b) to ] mojado (estar ~ hasta los huesos/tué-
lumber (Br.E.) or land or saddle s.o. with tanos)
s.th. (fam.), to unload s.th. on [to] s.o.
mojar to wet
(fam.) (c) to frame s.o. [up] (fam.), to pin
i mojar (fig., fam.) (success/etc.): to celebrate
s.th. (crime/etc.) on s.o.  Me cargaron el
with a drink  ¡Esto hay que mojarlo! This
mochuelo y se fueron a la playa. They lum-
calls for a drink! This calls for a celebration!
bered me with the job/etc. and went to the
i no mojarse (fig., fam.) to keep out of it
beach.  Los bofias colocaron pruebas para
i mojar en algo (fig., fam.) (a) to participate
poder cargar el mochuelo a ese pobre dia-
in s.th., to dabble in s.th. (fig.) (b) to med-
blo. The cops planted evidence, so that they
dle in s.th.
could frame that poor devil or pin the crime ] mojarse hasta el alma/los huesos
on that poor devil.
] molino (agua pasada no mueve ~)
el moco snot (vulg.), nasal mucus ] molino (llevar el agua a su ~)
i caérsele a alg. el moco (fig., fam.) to be ] molino ([no] comulgar con ruedas de ~)
[still] a [real] greenhorn  Se le cae el moco ] molino (tragar[se]las como ruedas de ~)
a él. He’s still a real greenhorn.
la mollera crown of the head
i llorar a moco tendido o a moco y baba
i la mollera (fig., fam.) sense, brains (fig.)
(fam.) to sob one’s heart out, to cry one’s eyes
i ser duro de mollera (fig.) to be pigheaded
out, to sob/cry uncontrollably
i ser cerrado de mollera (fig.) to be pretty
i sorberse los mocos (fig., fam.) to sniffle
dim (fam.), to be a bit dense (fig.)
i quitar los mocos a alg. (fig., pop.) to bash
s.o.’s face in (fam.), to put s.o.’s face out of la mona female monkey
joint (sl.)  Si vuelves a hacerlo, te voy a i la mona (fig., fam.) drunkenness
quitar los mocos. If you do it again, I’ll put i coger/pillar una mona (fam.) to get canned
your face out of joint. (sl., Br.E.), to get tight (fam.) ]cocerse (a)
i no saber ni siquiera quitarse los mocos i dormir la mona (fam.) to sleep off a hang-
(fig., pop.) to be as thick as they come (fam.) over (fam.), to sleep it off (fam.)
]ser más tonto que Carracuca i Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona
se queda. (prov.) Fine feathers don’t make
el moco de pavo caruncle (turkey) fine birds. (prov.) You can’t make a silk purse
i no ser moco de pavo (fig., fam.) not to be out of a sow’s ear. (prov.)
sneezed/sniffed at (fam.), not to be just a
small thing, to be no mean feat (fam.), to be mondo clean, pure
no chickenfeed (sl.), not to be peanuts (fam.) i mondo y lirondo (fig., fam.) plain, plain and
 Gana cien mil dólares al año, que no es
simple  Nos dijo la verdad monda y
lironda. He told us the plain truth.
moco de pavo. He earns one hundred thou-
sand dollars a year, which is no chickenfeed. la moneda coin
 Ganó una medalla de oro, que no es i pagar a alg. con/en la misma moneda (fig.)
moco de pavo. He won a gold medal, which to pay s.o. back in his own coin (fig.) or in
isn’t just a small thing or which is no mean kind, to give s.o. tit for tat, to fight fire with
feat. fire (fig.)
el moho mold, rust [los] monises (fam.) (money): dough (sl.,
i no criar moho (fig., fam.) to be always on Am.E.), bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/
the go or on the jump (fam.), not to let the lolly (sl., Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.)
grass grow under one’s feet ] monje (el hábito [no] hace al ~)

115
el mono

el mono monkey i ponerse moños (fig., fam.) to puff o.s. up


i El último mono es el que se ahoga. (prov.) (fig.), to act big (fam.), to act the big shot
Devil take the hindmost. (prov.) Every man (fam.)
for himself [and the devil take the hind- i quitar moños a alg. (fig., fam.) to take/bring
most]. (prov.) s.o. down off his high horse (fam.)
i ser el último mono (fam.) to be a [com- la morada home, stay
plete] nobody (fig., pej.), to be the lowest of i la eterna morada (fig.) hereafter, [great] be-
the low (pej.), to be the low man on the yond
totem pole (fig., Am.E.)
i tener monos en la cara (fig.) to look con- morado violet
spicuous or ridiculous  No me mirarías i ponerse morado de algo (fig., fam., Esp.) to
más ni que tuviera monos en la cara. You drink gallons of s.th. (fig., fam.), to stuff o.s.
couldn’t have stared at me more if I had come with s.th. (fam.), to gorge o.s. on s.th.  Se
from another planet or from the moon. puso morada de dulces. She stuffed herself
i el mono (fam.) cold turkey (sl.), withdrawal with sweets.  Nos pusimos morados de san-
pains/symptoms  Está con el mono. He’s gría. We drank gallons of sangría.
suffering withdrawal symptoms. He’s gone cold i pasarlas moradas (fig., fam.) to have a
turkey. rough/tough time [of it]  Las pasamos
] mono (aburrirse como un ~) moradas. We had a tough time.
] montaña (prometerle a alg. ~s de oro) la morcilla blood sausage
] monte (creer que todo el ~ es orégano) i ¡Que te den morcilla! (fig., fam.) Get
] monte (la cabra siempre tira al ~) stuffed! (vulg., Br.E.) Go to hell! (fam.)
] monte (no todo el ~ es orégano) ] morder el polvo
] monte (tirar al ~) ] morder [el] polvo (hacer ~ a alg.)
el montón heap, pile morir to die
i ser del montón (fig., fam.) to be a nonen- i morir a mano airada (fam.) to die a violent
tity, to be just an ordinary person, to be death
nothing special i morir vestido (fig., fam.) not to die a natu-
i salirse del montón (fig., fam.) to be excep- ral death, not to die of natural causes
tional, to stand out from the crowd (fig.), to i ser para morirse de risa (fig.) to be a hoot
be s.th. special  Ese escritor se sale del (fam., Br.E.), to be a [real] scream (fam.),
montón. That’s an exceptional writer. to be hilariously funny  Era para morirse
de risa. It was a scream. You just died laugh-
el monumento monument ing. (fig., fam.)
i un monumento [nacional] (fig., fam.) i morirse de envidia (fig.) to be green with
(girl/woman): smasher (fam.), looker (fam.), envy (fig.), to be eaten up with envy
stunner (fam.), very pretty girl/woman i morirse de vergüenza (fig.) to nearly die of
moñarse (fam.) to get canned (sl., Br.E.), to shame (fam.)
get tight (fam.) ]cocerse (a) i morirse de miedo (fig.) to be half-dead with
fear/fright (fam.)
el moño (hair): bun, topknot i morirse del susto (fig.) to get the fright of
i estar hasta el moño de algo (fam., Esp.) one’s life, to be frightened or scared out of
to have had it up to here with s.th. (fam.) one’s wits, to jump out of one’s skin
]estar hasta [más allá de] la coronilla de ] morir (de casi no se muere nadie)
algo ] morir (el que a hierro mata, a hierro
i tirarse de los moños (mujeres) (fig.) muere)
(women): to be at each other, to be at each ] morir(mala hierba nunca muere)
other’s or at one another’s throats (fam.), to ] morir(no ~ de cornada de burro)
be at loggerheads  Aquellas vecinas se ] moriral pie del cañón
tiran siempre de los moños. Those neighbors ] morircomo chinches
are constantly at each other’s throats. ] morircon las botas puestas

116
la mostaza

el moro Moor i matar moscas a cañonazos (fig.) to break


i ¡Hay moros en la costa! (fam.) Careful, a butterfly on the wheel (fig.)
there are people listening! i estar con o tener la mosca detrás de la
i no hay moros en la costa (fam.) the coast oreja (fam.) to be on one’s guard, to be sus-
is clear (fig., fam.)  Ya podéis salir, no hay picious, to be wary
moros en la costa. You can come out now, the i cazar moscas (fam.) to do useless things
coast is clear. i papar moscas (fig., fam.) to gape, to gawk
] moro (prometerle a alg. el oro y el ~) (fam.), to gawp (fam., Br.E.), to stand
] moro (querer el oro y el moro) around gaping
el morral nosebag i mandar a alg. a capar moscas (fam.) to tell
i el morral (fig., fam.) lout s.o. to go to hell (fam.) or to go to blazes (sl.)
 La mandó a capar moscas. He told her to
morrearse (pop.) to have a good old snog go to hell.
(fam., Br.E.), to neck (fam.), to spoon i no se siente/oye [ni] una mosca (fig., fam.)
(hum.) it’s [as] quiet/silent as the grave, there’s [a]
el morro snout deathly silence (fig., fam.)  Dentro no se
i beber a morro (fam.) to drink straight from sentía/oía ni una mosca. Inside it was as
the bottle, to drink straight from the spring/ silent as the grave. Inside there was [a] deathly
etc. silence. Inside you could have heard a pin
i tener un morro que se lo pisa (fam., hum.) drop. The place was like a grave.
to have got a real or a lot of nerve (fam.)  i poder oír volar una mosca (fig., fam.) 
Ese tío tiene un morro que se lo pisa. That Había tanto silencio que se hubiera podido
guy’s got a real nerve. oír volar una mosca. It was so quiet you could
i ¡Qué morro tienes! (fam.) You’ve got a have heard a pin drop.
nerve! (fam.) You’ve got some nerve! (fam.) i ¿Qué mosca te/etc. ha picado? (fam.)
You’ve got a cheek! (fam., Br.E.) What’s eating/biting you/etc.? (fam.) What’s
i torcer el morro (fam.) to look sour (fig.) or bugging you/etc.? (fam., Am.E.) What’s got
cross (fam.) into you/etc.? (fam.) What’s wrong with
i estar de morro[s] (fam.) to be in a bad you/etc.?  ¿Qué mosca le habrá picado? I
mood wonder what’s eating him or what’s got into
i estar de morro[s] con alg. (fam.) to be cross him or what’s wrong with him.
with s.o. (fam.), to be in a bad mood with i se asan las moscas (fam.) it’s damn[ed]/
s.o. darn[ed] hot (fam.)  Ayer se asaron las
i hinchar los morros a alg. (pop.) to bash moscas. It was darned hot yesterday.
s.o.’s face in (fam.), to put s.o.’s face out of i por si las moscas (fam.) just in case, just to
joint (sl.)  Si vuelves a hacerlo, te voy a be on the safe side  Tráete un impermeable
hinchar los morros. If you do it again, I’ll put por si las moscas. Bring a raincoat just in
your face out of joint. case.
] mosca (en boca cerrada no entran ~s)
la mosca fly
i la mosca (fig., fam.) (money): dough (sl., mosquearse (fig., fam.) to go off in a huff,
Am.E.), bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/ to get/go into a huff, to get the knock (sl.),
lolly (sl., Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.) to take offense
i aflojar/soltar la mosca to cough up (fam.),
la mosquita
to fork out (fam.), to stump up (fam., Br.E.)
i la mosquita muerta (fam.) hypocrite
i la mosca muerta (fig.) hypocrite
i hacerse la o parecer una mosquita muerta
i las moscas blancas (fig., fam.) snowflakes
to look as if butter wouldn’t melt in one’s
i hacer una mosca (fig.) to make a typing
mouth
error, to make a typo (fam.)
i ser incapaz de matar una mosca (fig.) s.o. la mostaza mustard
wouldn’t harm/hurt a fly (fig.), s.o. wouldn’t i subírsele a alg. la mostaza a las narices
say boo to a goose (fam., Br.E.) (fig., fam.) to get furious, to get mad (fam.)

117
la moza

 Se me subió la mostaza a las narices. I i estar muerto de sed (fig.) to be dying of


got furious. thirst (fig.), to have a raging thirst, to be
] mosto (al probar se ve el ~) parched (fam.)
i estar muerto de hambre (fig.) to be starv-
la moza girl ing (fam.), to be dying of hunger (fig.)
i la moza de partido (fam.) prostitute i el muerto de hambre (fig., fam.) pauper
i una buena moza (fam.) good-looking/ i contarle a alg. con los muertos (fig.) to have
handsome girl written s.o. off
mu moo! (cow) i hacerse el muerto (fig.) to pretend to be
i no decir ni mu (fam.) not to say/breathe a dead, to play dead, to play possum (fam.)
word, not to open one’s mouth, to button i cargar el muerto a alg. (fig., fam.) to leave
[up] one’s lip/mouth (fig., fam.)  No di- s.o. holding the baby (Br.E.) or the bag
jeron ni mu en toda la tarde. They didn’t say (Am.E.) (fam.), to pass the buck to s.o. (fig.,
a single word all afternoon. fam.), to pin the blame on s.o.
] mu (habló el buey y dijo ~) ] muerto (callar[se] como un ~)
] mucho (muchos pocos hacen un ~) ] muerto (punto ~)
] muerto (quedarse [~] como un pajarito)
mudarse [de casa] to move [house]
i mudarse clandestinamente (tenant): to la mui (pop., Esp.) tongue, mouth
shoot the moon (fam.) i irse de la mui to talk (fam.), to sing (sl.),
to squeal (sl.), to spill the beans (sl.)  No se
] mudo (estar ~ como una tumba)
fue de la mui. He didn’t sing. He didn’t spill
el mueble piece of furniture the beans.
i sacar muebles (fig., fam.) to pick one’s nose i darle a la mui to gas (fam.), to yack (fam.),
i ser un mueble de la casa (fig., fam.) (per- to yap (fam.)
son): to be one of the fixtures (fam.) i achantar la mui to shut one’s trap (sl.), to
la muerte death pipe down (fam.), to belt up (fam., Br.E.) 
i de mala muerte (fig., fam., pej.) miserable ¡Achanta la mui! Shut your trap! Pipe down!
(pej.), lousy (fam., pej.)  un pueblo de Belt up!
mala muerte a dump/hole [of a town] (fig., ] mujer (tener que ver con una ~)
fam., pej.), a miserable place  un trabajo ] mujer (una ~ de armas tomar/de historia)
de mala muerte a lousy job ] mujer (una ~ señora)
i cada muerte de obispo (fam., América el mundo world
Latina) very rarely, once in a blue moon i este pícaro mundo (fam.) this wicked world
(fam.)  Nos hacen una visita cada muerte i hablar de este mundo y del otro (fig., fam.)
de obispo. They pay us a visit once in a blue to talk about everything under the sun (fam.)
moon. i desde que el mundo es mundo since time
] muerte (dar un susto de ~ a alg.) began  Es así desde que el mundo es
muerto; el muerto dead; dead person mundo. It’s been that way since time began.
i estar más muerto que mi abuela o que una i no ser nada/cosa del otro mundo (fam.) to
piedra (fam.) to be stone-dead (fam.), to be be nothing to write home about (fig.), to be
as dead as a doornail (fam.), to be as dead nothing special or exceptional or extraordi-
as mutton (fam.) nary  Este libro no es nada del otro
i estar muerto [de cansancio] (fig., fam.) to mundo. This book is nothing special.
be dead tired (fam.), to be dog-tired (fam.) i mandar a alg. al otro mundo (fig., fam.) to
i estar muerto de envidia (fig.) to be green send s.o. to glory (fam.), to do s.o. in (fam.)
with envy (fig.) ]cargarse a alg. (a)
i estar muerto de vergüenza (fig.) to nearly i echarse al mundo to take to/up prostitution
die of shame (fam.) i como Dios lo/etc. trajo al mundo (fig.), tal
i estar muerto de miedo (fig.) to be half- como vino/etc. al mundo (fig.) as naked as
dead with fear/fright (fam.), to be in a blue the day s.o. was born, starkers (fam., hum.,
funk (fam., Br.E.) Br.E.), stark naked (fam.)  Estuvo allí como

118
la música

Dios la trajo al mundo. She stood there as i la música ratonera (fam.) (music): cater-
naked as the day she was born. wauling (fig.)
i A beber y a tragar, que el mundo se va a i música celestial (iron.) hot air (sl.), empty/
acabar. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomor- hollow promises  Su hermano es pura
row we die. (fig.) música celestial. His brother is full of hot air.
] mundo (como su madre le/lo/la echó al ~)  Lo que dicen no es más que música ce-
] mundo (de ingratitudes está el ~ lleno) lestial. They just make hollow promises.
] mundo (el ~ es un pañuelo) i dar música a un sordo (fig.) to preach in the
] mundo (el ombligo del ~) wilderness (fig.), to be a voice crying in the
] mundo (lavar los trapos sucios ante el ~ wilderness (fig.), to talk at deaf ears (fig.),
entero) to talk to the winds (fig.)  Nadie estaba es-
la musa muse cuchando. Diste música a un sordo. Nobody
i soplar la musa a alg. (fig., fam.) to be in- was listening. You were talking at deaf ears.
spired  Nos ha soplado la musa. We’re in- You were a voice crying in the wilderness.
spired. i bailar al compás de la música de alg. (fig.)
la musaraña speck floating in the eye to dance to s.o.’s tune (fig.)  Siempre baila
al compás de la música de su madre. De-
i las musarañas (fig., fam.) spots before one’s
eyes bería aprender a campar por sus respetos.
i estar mirando a las musarañas to be star- She always dances to her mother’s tune. She
ing vacantly, to be mooning [about/around] should learn to act independently.
i estar pensando en las musarañas to be i irse con la música a otra parte (fig., fam.)
woolgathering (fig., fam.), to be daydream- to go somewhere else  ¡Vámonos con la
ing música a otra parte! Let’s go somewhere else!
Let’s get out of here!  ¡Vete con la música
el museo museum a otra parte! Clear/push off! (fam.) Get out!
i ser algo/alg. [una] pieza de museo (fig.,
(fam.) Take your troubles elsewhere! Sell it
fam.) s.th./s.o.: to be a museum piece (fig.,
elsewhere! (fam.)
fam.)  Su cámara es una pieza de museo.
i Me suena a música de caballitos. (fig.) I
His camera’s a museum piece.
think I’ve heard that one before. It sounds all
] musgo (piedra movediza no coge ~) too familiar.
la música music ] música ( ]loco: está loca por la ~)
i la música enlatada (fam.) canned music ] música (por fuera no rompe un plato, pero
(fam.) tiene la ~ por dentro)

119
nacer to be born
N to play it safe, to try to please everybody, to
i nacerse (costura) (fig.) (seam): to fray, to act very cautiously
split i querer nadar y guardar la ropa (fig., fam.)
i Nadie nace enseñado. (prov.) Everyone has to want to have it both ways, to want to have
to learn. We all have to learn. one’s cake and eat it [too] (fig.)
i no nació alg. ayer (fig., fam.) s.o. wasn’t i nadar entre dos aguas (fig.) (a) to act diplo-
born yesterday (fig.), to be nobody’s fool  matically or cautiously, to try to please every-
¡Pero yo no nací ayer! Do you think I was body (b) to be undecided, to sit on the fence
born yesterday?! (fig.)  Muchos votantes nadan entre dos
i nació alg. cansado o con la lengua fuera aguas. A lot of voters are [still] undecided.
(fig., fam., hum.) s.o. was born lazy/idle i Nadar y nadar, y a la orilla ahogar. (prov.)
(hum.), to be a born lazybones (fam.), lazy To come close to one’s goal (fig.) without
is s.o.’s middle name (fig., hum.)  Creo que reaching it. To come close to success without
aquellos tíos nacieron cansados. I reckon attaining it. Close, but no cigar. (sl.)
those guys were born lazy. ] nadar en la abundancia
i nació alg. de cabeza (fig., fam.) s.o. was
born unlucky, to be an unlucky person nadie nobody
i nació alg. de pie[s] (fig., fam.) s.o. was born i ser un don Nadie (fig.) to be a nobody
lucky, to be a lucky person (fam., pej.), to be a [walking] zero (fam.,
i nació alg. tarde (fig., fam.) not to be exactly pej., Am.E.)
a shining/leading light (fig., fam.) la naja spectacled cobra
i nació alg. para [ser] matemático/etc. s.o. i darse de naja (pop.) to beat it (sl.), to
was born to be a mathematician/etc., to be clear/push off (fam.)
a brilliantly talented/gifted mathematician/
etc. najarse (pop.) to beat it (sl.), to clear/push
i nació alg. mamando el oficio (fig.) s.o. was off (fam.)
born to the trade ] nalga (tener cara de ~s)
] nacer (unos nacen con estrella y otros
nacen estrellados) la nana grandma/granny (fam.)
i del año de/en el año de la nana (fam.)
nada nothing donkey’s years ago ]año de Maricastaña
i ¡Nada de eso! (fam.) No dice! (sl., Am.E.)
[That’s] out of the question! las napias (pop.) (nose): beak/hooter (fam.,
i No sé nada de nada. Search me! (fam.) hum.), conk (sl., Br.E.), snout (fam.),
i ¡No te digo nada! (fig., fam.) You have no schnozzle (fam., Am.E.)
idea! That’s absolutely nothing yet! Napoleón Napoleon
i quedar en nada to fizzle out (fig.), not to get i soy Napoleón si ... (fig., fam.) I’ll eat my hat
to or reach first base (fig., fam.), to come to if . . . (fig., fam.)  Si llegan con puntuali-
nothing  El proyecto quedó en nada. The dad, yo soy Napoleón. If they arrive on time,
plan fizzled out. The plan didn’t [even] reach I’ll eat my hat.
first base.  Había interés pero todo quedó
en nada. There was some interest but it all los napoleones (fig., fam.) [pair of] long-
came to nothing. johns
] nada (no quedar a deber ~) la naranja orange
] nada (o césar o ~)
i mi media naranja (fig., fam.) my better half
] nada (o todo o ~)
(fam.)
nadar to swim i ¡Naranjas! (pop.) ¡Naranjas chinas! (pop.)
i [nadar y] guardar la ropa (fig., fam.) to ¡Naranjas de la China! (pop.) (a) Nonsense!
hedge one’s bets (fig.), to take no chances, Rubbish! (fam., Br.E.) Garbage! (fam.,
120
la naturaleza

Am.E.) (b) No way! (fam.) Not on your life! i romper las narices a alg. (fam.) to smash
(fam.) s.o.’s face in (fam.)
i hinchar las narices a alg. (fam.) to get up
la nariz nose
i ¡Narices! (fam.) (a) Nonsense! Rubbish! s.o.’s nose (fam.), to get on s.o.’s nerves or
(fam., Br.E.) Garbage! (fam., Am.E.) (b) No wick (Br.E.) (fam.)
way! (fam.) (c) Damn [it]! (fam.) i hinchársele a alg. las narices (fam.) to blow
i estar hasta las narices de algo (fam.) to be one’s top (sl.) ]salirse de sus casillas  Se
fed up with s.th. (fam.) ]estar hasta [más me hincharon las narices. I hit the roof.
allá de] la coronilla de algo i tener a alg. agarrado/cogido por las narices
i asomar las narices (fam.) to show up (fig.) to keep s.o. on a [very] tight rein (fig.)
(fam.), to turn up (fig.) i tener a alg. montado en las narices (fig.)
i tocarse las narices (fig., fam.) to slack (a) to let s.o. do with one what s.o. likes. (b)
(fam.), to be idle, to stand idly by to be fed up [to the back teeth] with s.o.
i algo me da en la nariz (fig., fam.) I have a (fam.)  Ella tiene a él montado en las
feeling, I get the feeling  Me da en la nariz narices. She lets him do with her what he likes.
que no les gusta. I’ve a feeling that they don’t i no ver más allá de sus narices (fig.) s.o.
like it. I get the feeling they don’t like it. can’t see further than or beyond the end of
i tener una nariz de primera (fig., fam.) to his nose (fig.), to have very narrow horizons
have a [very] good nose (fig.), to have [very] (fig.)  No ve más allá de sus narices. She
good instincts  Tiene una nariz de primera can’t see further than the end of her nose.
para estas cosas. He has a very good nose i meter algo a alg. por las narices (fig., fam.)
for things like this. to shove s.th. under s.o.’s nose (fig.)  Nos
i tener narices de perro perdiguero (fig.) to lo metió por las narices. He shoved it under
have a very good nose (fig.) our noses.
i en mis/etc. propias o mismísimas narices i de narices (fam.) very [well], jolly well
(fam.) from right under my/etc. nose, from (fam., Br.E.), really, great (fam.)  ser guapo
under my/etc. very nose, from right in front de narices to be very pretty, to be pretty and
of me/etc.  Le robaron el coche en sus mis- then some (fam.)  dormir de narices to sleep
mísimas narices. They stole his car from un- jolly well, to sleep very well.  ser un pro-
der his very nose.  Nos robaron el coche en blema de narices to be a really tricky prob-
nuestras propias narices. They stole our car lem  La fiesta está de narices. It’s a great
from right in front of us or from right under party.
our noses. ] nariz (dar a alg. con la puerta en las
i meter las narices en algo (fam.) to poke narices)
one’s nose into s.th. (fam.)  Ella mete las
] nariz (dejar a alg. con un palmo de narices)
narices en todo. She pokes her nose into
] nariz (hacer un palmo de narices a alg.)
everything.
] nariz (quedarse con un palmo de narices)
i dar de narices contra algo to bang one’s
] nariz (refregar algo a alg. [por las narices])
face/head on s.th.  Dio de narices contra la
] nariz (subírsele a alg. el humo/la mostaza
puerta. He banged his face on the door. He
a las narices)
walked/ran smack into the door.  Dio de
narices contra el suelo. He landed on his
] nariz de zanahoria
nose. He fell flat on his face. ] nariz respingona ( ]respingón)
i caerse/dar de narices [en/contra el suelo] la narizota (pop.) big nose
(literal) to land on one’s nose, to fall flat on
one’s face (literal), to fall headlong/flat el/la narizotas (fam.) person with a big
i darse de narices (fig., fam.) to fall flat on nose, big nose (person)
one’s face (fig., fam.)  Echó los consejos de el naso (fam.) big conk (sl., Br.E.), big nose
sus amigos en saco roto e invirtió mucho
] nata (la flor y ~)
dinero en ese proyecto. Se dio de narices.
He cast his friends’ advice to the winds and in- la naturaleza nature
vested a lot of money in that project. He fell i La costumbre es otra o segunda naturaleza.
flat on his face. (prov.) Man is a creature/slave of habit.

121
la navaja

la navaja penknife i tener el alma negra [como el carbón]


i la navaja (fig., fam.) sharp/evil tongue (fam.) to have a [very] bad/guilty conscience
] navaja (estar en el filo de la ~) i estorbarle a alg. lo negro (fig.) (a) not to
] nave (quemar las ~s) like reading, not to like to read (b) s.o. can’t
read  Todavía le estorba lo negro a él. He
la navidad Christmas still can’t read.
i contar muchas navidades (fig., fam.) to be ] negro (estar tan lejos como lo blanco de
old lo ~)
el nazareno Nazarene ] negro (hacer de lo blanco ~)
i estar hecho un nazareno (fig., fam.) to have ] negro (la oveja negra)
taken some beating, to have taken a bad ] negro (no distinguir lo blanco de lo ~)
beating ] negro (ser el garbanzo ~ [de la familia])
] negro (volver en blanco lo ~)
la necesidad necessity
i La necesidad carece de ley. (prov.) Neces- el negro black
sity knows no law. (prov.) i trabajar como un negro (fig., fam.) to work
i La necesidad hace maestros o aguza el in- like a slave (fig.) ]echar/sudar la hiel
genio. (prov.) Necessity is the mother of in- i ¡No somos negros! (fig., fam.) We won’t
vention. (prov.) stand for it/that! You/etc. can’t do that to us!
i La necesidad tiene cara de hereje. (prov.) We won’t take that lying down! (fig.)
Beggars cannot be or must not be choosers. i el negro [literario] (fig.) ghostwriter
(prov.) el nervio nerve
i hacer de la necesidad virtud to make a i tener nervios (fig., fam.) to be nervous, to
virtue of necessity have stage fright
i hacer sus necesidades (euph.) to relieve i tener nervios de acero (fig.) to have nerves
o.s., to do one’s business (fig.) of steel (fig.)
] necio (a palabras/preguntas necias oídos i tener los nervios de punta (fam.) to have
sordos) one’s nerves on edge (fig.), to be all keyed
up (fig.), to be all tensed up, to have butter-
la negra black woman, negress flies in the/one’s stomach (fig.)
i tocarle a alg. la negra (fig.) to have bad luck i ser un hato/manojo de nervios (fig.) to be
i perseguir a alg. la negra o tener la negra a bundle/bag of nerves (fam.)
(fig.) to have a streak/run of bad luck i alterar/crispar los nervios a alg. (fig.), poner
negro black los nervios de punta a alg. (fam.) to get on
i poner negro a alg. (fam.) to make s.o. cross s.o.’s nerves or wick (Br.E.) (fam.), to put
]sacar a alg. de sus casillas s.o.’s nerves on edge, to jar/grate on s.o.’s
i ponerse negro (fam.) to cut up rough (fam., nerves, to get under s.o.’s skin (fam.)  Su
Br.E.), to get cross (fam.) risa me crispó los nervios o me puso los
i verse negro para hacer algo (fam.) to have nervios de punta. His laugh got/jarred on my
a tough time doing s.th.  Me vi negro para nerves or put my nerves on edge.
terminar este trabajo. I had a tough time fin- ] nervio (tener los ~s a flor de piel)
ishing this job. el nido nest
i vérselas negras con algo (fam.) to be a real i el nido de polvo (fig.) dust collector/trap
uphill struggle  Nos las estamos viendo (fam.)  Había muchos nidos de polvo en
negras con este trabajo. This job is a real up- su galería de arte. There were a lot of dust
hill struggle. collectors in his art gallery.
i pasarlas negras (fam.) s.o.’s bad luck doesn’t i manchar el propio nido (fig.) to foul one’s
let up, to be dogged by bad luck (fig.), to own nest (fig.)
have a rough/tough time [of it] (fam.), to i caer del nido (fig.) to come down/back to
go through a bad or a rough or an unlucky earth with a bump (fig.)
patch (Br.E.)  Las pasamos negras. We i caerse de un nido (fig., fam.) to be still very
were dogged by bad luck. green (fig., fam.), to be still as green as a pea

122
la nube

(fig., fam.), to be still a bit wet behind the la nota footnote, note
ears (fig.), to be so naive, to be dreadfully in- i forzar la nota (fig.) to exaggerate [grossly],
nocent  Se ha caído de un nido. He’s still to lay it on [too] thick (fam.)
very green. i dar la nota (fig., fam.) to make a spectacle
of o.s.
la nieve snow
i el nota (fam., Esp.) [conspicuous] bloke
i la nieve (fig., pop.) (cocaine): snow (sl.),
(fam.)
coke (sl.)
i ser un notas (fam.) to be an odd fellow, to
el niño child be an odd fish (fam.), to be an oddball (fam.)
i alegrarse/estar como [un] niño con zapa- el novillo young bull
tos nuevos (fig., fam.) to be like a child with
i el novillo (fig., fam.) cuckold
a new toy, to be like a dog with two tails i hacer novillos (fig.) to play truant (Br.E.), to
(fam., Br.E.), to be as pleased as Punch (fig.), play hooky (fam.)
to be tickled pink (fam.)
i Los niños y los locos dicen las verdades. la nube cloud
(prov.) Children and fools tell the truth. i una nube (fig., fam.) vast amount, multi-
(prov.) tude, crowd, swarm, cloud (fig.), storm (fig.)
 Había una nube de gente. There was a
[los] nipos (pop., Esp.) (money): dough (sl., large crowd.  En ese pantano había nubes
Am.E.), bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/ de mosquitos. There were swarms/clouds of
lolly (sl., Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.) mosquitoes in that swamp.  Desenca-
la noche night denaron una nube de indignación o de
i la noche blanca o toledana o vizcaína (fig.) protestas. They triggered/unleashed a storm
sleepless night of indignation or protest.
i pasar la noche en blanco to have a sleep- i una nube de verano (fig.) (a) bagatelle, tri-
less night, not to sleep a wink all night fle, little/minor thing (b) s.th. short-lived,
(fam.), not to get a wink of sleep all night flash in the pan (fig.), nine days’ wonder 
(fam.) No te enfades por cada nube de verano.
i de la noche a la mañana (fig.) overnight Don’t get worked up about every little thing.
(fig.), from one day to the next (fig.)  Cam-  El interés en el caso no fue más que una
biaron de opinión de la noche a la mañana. nube de verano. The interest in the case was
They changed their minds from one day to the just a nine days’ wonder. The interest in the
next. case turned out to be very short-lived.
i hacer noche de algo (fig.) to steal s.th., to i pasar como una nube de verano (fig.) (pas-
walk off with s.th. (fam.) sion/enthusiasm/anger/etc.): to be short-
i hacerse noche (fig.) to disappear, to van- lived, to blow over quickly (fig.), to be a flash
ish in the pan (fig.)  Su cólera pasó como una
] noche (de ~ todos los gatos son pardos) nube de verano. His rage blew over quickly.
] noche (no tener más que el pan y la ~)  Su entusiasmo pasó como una nube de
verano. His enthusiasm was a flash in the pan
el nombre name or was short-lived.
i llamar las cosas por su nombre (fig.) to call i estar mirando a las nubes to be staring into
a spade a spade (fig.) space
i no tener nombre (fig.) to be outrageous, to i andar por o estar en las nubes (fig., fam.)
be scandalous, to be incredible (fig.), to be to have one’s head in the clouds, to be away
unspeakable, to be despicable, to be beyond with the fairies (fam.), to be remote from it
belief (fam.), to be an absolute scandal all (fig.), to be miles away (fig.), to have one’s
(fam.), to be an incredible cheek (fam., mind on other things, to be daydreaming
Br.E.)  Lo que le has dicho a tu amigo no i andar por o vivir en las nubes (fig., fam.) to
tiene nombre. What you’ve said to your friend have one’s head in the clouds, to be living in
is unspeakable or outrageous.  Su falta de cloud-cuckoo-land, to be living in never-
escrúpulos no tiene nombre. His unscrupu- never land, to be living in a dream/fantasy
lousness is beyond belief. world

123
el nudo

i estar por las nubes (fig., fam.) to be pro- i hacerse de nuevas (fig.) to act surprised,
hibitive, to be astronomical (fig.), to be very to pretend to be surprised, to pretend not to
steep (fig., fam.), to be sky-high (fig.), to be have heard/known anything [about it]
soaring (fig.), to be out of sight (fig., fam., ] nueve (dar a alg. con los ochos y los ~s)
Am.E.)  Aquí los precios están por las
nubes. Prices are astronomical here.  El nuevo new, fresh
alquiler está por las nubes. The rent is very i No hay nada nuevo bajo el sol/las estre-
steep. llas. (fig.) There’s nothing new under the sun.
i levantar a alg. hasta o poner a alg. por las (fig.)
nubes (fig.) to praise s.o. to the skies, to heap i ponerle a alg. la cara nueva (fig., fam.) to
praise on s.o. (fig.), to sing s.o.’s praises  give s.o. a few hefty clips (fam.) or boxes
El propietario de ese restaurante de postín round the ears, to give s.o. a thick ear (fam.),
en la esquina levanta al nuevo jefe de to give s.o. a good hiding (fam.)
cocina hasta las nubes. The owner of that
] nuez (mucho ruido y pocas nueces)
plush restaurant at the corner praises his new
chef to the skies. el número number
] nuca (tener ojos en la ~) i montar un número (fig., fam.) to put on a
show (fig., fam.)
el nudo knot
i cortar el nudo gordiano (fig.) to cut the ] nunca (más vale tarde que ~)
Gordian knot (to force a solution) (fig.) el nuncio nuncio
] nudo (tener un/hacérsele a alg. un ~ en i ¡Díselo o cuéntaselo al nuncio! (fig., fam.,
la garganta) hum.) Tell that to s.o. else! Tell that to the
la nueva piece of news marines! (fam., Am.E.)
i coger a alg. de nuevas (fig.) to take s.o. by i ¡Que lo haga el nuncio! (fig., fam., hum.)
surprise Get s.o. else to do it!

124
ñangué (fam., Andes)
Ñ el ñiquiñaque (fam.) (a) worthless individ-
i Lo mismo es ñangá que ñangué. It’s six of ual, nobody (fig., pej.) (b) [useless] rubbish/
one and half a dozen of the other. (fig.)  junk (fam.)
¿Lo haremos ahora o más tarde? Lo mismo
la ñoña (vulg.; en algunos países latino-
es ñangá que ñangué. Shall we do it now or
americanos) crap (vulg.), shit (vulg.), turd
later? It’s six of one and half a dozen of the
(vulg.)
other.
i en [los] tiempos de ñangué in the dim and la ñorda (pop., Esp.) crap (vulg.), shit (vulg.),
distant past ]tiempos de Maricastaña turd (vulg.)

125
el obispo bishop
O ] ocupado (estar tan ~ como un oso que
i trabajar para el obispo (fig., fam.) to work está en hibernación)
for nothing ] oficial de cuchara
la obra work, deed el oficio trade
i ser obra de romanos (fig.) to be a great feat, i ser del oficio (fig., fam.) to be a whore, to
to be a huge or mammoth work/task, to be be a hooker (sl., Am.E.), to be on the game
a labor of Hercules (fam., Br.E.), to walk/work the streets (fam.)
i Obras son amores, que no buenas razones. i no tener ni oficio ni beneficio (fig.) to have
(prov.) Actions speak louder than words. no profession, to be out of work, to be idle
(prov.) i sin oficio ni beneficio (fig.) without a pro-
fession/job, out of work  Es un vago sin ofi-
la oca goose, dice game
cio ni beneficio. He’s a lazy bum. (fam., pej.,
i ¡Esto es la oca! (fig., fam.) This is the tops!
Am.E.) He’s a good-for-nothing layabout.
(fam.) This is incredible! This is amazing! (fam., pej., Br.E.)
la ocasión opportunity ] oficio ( ]nacer: nació alg. mamando el ~)
i coger/asir la ocasión por los cabellos o por el oído sense of hearing, [inner] ear
los pelos (fig., fam.) to seize the opportu- i decir algo al oído de alg. to whisper s.th.
nity, to jump at the chance (fam.) in s.o.’s ear, to whisper s.th. to s.o.
i A la ocasión la pintan calva. (fam.) You have i Dicho al oído. (fig.) Between you and me.
to jump at the chance. (fam.) You have to i ¡Oído al parche! (fam.) Watch out! (fam.)
strike while the iron is hot. (prov.) You have Look out! (fam.)
to make hay while the sun shines. (prov.) It’s i hacer/prestar oídos sordos [a algo] (fig.) to
an offer one can’t refuse. turn a deaf ear [to s.th.] (fig.), to take no no-
i La ocasión hace al ladrón. (prov.) Oppor- tice [of s.th.]
tunity makes the thief. (prov.) i prestar/dar oídos a alg./algo to give/lend an
ocho eight ear to s.o./s.th. (fig.), to listen to what s.o.
i dar a alg. con los ochos y los nueves (fig., has to say, to pay attention to s.th., to take
fam.) to tell s.o. a few home truths, to give
notice of s.th.
i ser todo oídos to be all ears
s.o. a piece of one’s mind (fam.)
i aplicar el oído to listen carefully
el ocio idleness i aguzar el oído (fig.) to prick up one’s ears
i El ocio es la madre de todos los vicios. (fig.)
(prov.) Idleness is the root of all evil. (prov.) i entrarle a alg. por un oído y salirle por el
Vices are born of idleness. (prov.) An idle otro (fig.) to go in one ear and [come] out
brain is the devil’s workshop. (prov.) The [of] the other (fig.)  Lo que dijiste me en-
devil finds work for idle hands. (prov.) tró por un oído y me salió por el otro. What
] ocio (los vicios son los hijos del ~) you said went in one ear and came out the
other.
la ociosidad idleness i ser un regalo para los oídos to be a treat for
i La ociosidad es la madre de todos los vi- the ears  La música fue un regalo para los
cios. (prov.) Idleness is the root of all evil. oídos. The music was a treat for the ears.
(prov.) Vices are born of idleness. (prov.) An i regalarle a alg. el oído (fig.) to flatter s.o.
idle brain is the devil’s workshop. (prov.) i llegar a oídos de alg. to come to the atten-
The devil finds work for idle hands. (prov.) tion/notice of s.o.
] ocultar la caca i no poder dar crédito a sus oídos not to be-
] ocultar los trapos sucios lieve one’s ears  No podía dar crédito a mis

126
el ojo

oídos cuando lo oía. I couldn’t believe my ears i costar un ojo de la cara (fig., fam.) to cost
when I heard it. an arm and a leg (fam.) ]costar una bu-
] oído (a palabras/preguntas necias ~s sor- rrada
dos) i estar hasta los ojos en algo (fig.) to be up
] oído (herir el ~) to one’s eyes/eyeballs in s.th. (debt or trou-
ble or work/etc.) (fig.)
el ojeo battue
i recrear los ojos en algo, regalarse los ojos
i irse a ojeo de algo/alg. (fig., fam.) to be on
con algo to feast one’s eyes on s.th.  Nos
the hunt for s.th. (fig., fam.), to chase after regalamos los ojos con su belleza. We
s.th. (fig.), to be out to + infinitive  Se iba feasted our eyes on her beauty.
a ojeo de trabajo. He was on the hunt for a
i comer con los ojos (fig.) s.o.’s eyes are too
job. He was job-hunting.  Se va a ojeo de big for or are bigger than his stomach, to take
marido. She’s out to get herself a husband.
more than one can eat  No pudieron comer
el ojete eyelet la mitad de la comida que pidieron. Co-
i el ojete (fig., pop., Esp.) arsehole (vulg., mieron con los ojos. They couldn’t eat half
Br.E.), asshole (vulg., Am.E.) of the food they ordered. Their eyes were big-
ger than their stomachs.
el ojo eye i echar el ojo a alg./algo (fig.) to have one’s
i el ojo overo (fig., fam.) glass eye eyes on s.o./s.th., to covet s.o./s.th.
i estar [con] ojo avisor to be on one’s guard i comerse a alg. con los ojos (fig.) to devour
(fig.), to be on the alert s.o. with one’s eyes (fig.)
i estar con cien ojos (fig.) to be extremely i irsele a alg. los ojos tras algo/alg. (fig.) to
alert or suspicious or wary devour s.th./s.o. with one’s eyes (fig.), to
i avivar el/[los] ojo[s] (fig.) to be [on the] long/crave for s.th., to eye s.o. up (fam.), s.o.
alert, to keep one’s eyes open (fig.), to keep can’t keep his eyes off s.o.  Al pobre chico
one’s eyes peeled/skinned (fam.), to take care se le van los ojos tras los helados. The poor
i dormir con los ojos abiertos (fig., fam.) to boy is craving for an ice cream.  Se le iban
be extremely alert los ojos tras la chica. He couldn’t keep his
i tener ojo clínico (fig.) to be a keen observer eyes off the girl. He devoured the girl with his
i tener ojos de águila/lince (fig.) to have eyes eyes.
like a hawk (fig.) i entrar a alg. por el ojo derecho (fig., fam.)
i tener un ojo a la funerala (fig., fam.) to have to think a lot of s.o.  Entra a la gente
a black eye, to have a shiner (fam.) por el ojo derecho. People think a lot of
i tener ojos de besugo (fig., fam.) to be gog- him/her.
gle-eyed (fam.), to have bulging eyes  Se i mirar algo/a alg. con otros ojos (fig.) to
quedaron mirando con ojos de besugo. look at s.th./s.o. through different eyes, to
They stood watching goggle-eyed. look at s.th./s.o. differently
i tener ojos en la nuca (fig.) to have eyes in i saltársele/salírsele a alg. los ojos de las ór-
the back of one’s head (fig.)  El jefe siem- bitas (fig.) s.o.’s eyes pop out of their sock-
pre siente qué está pasando. Parece que ets or out of his head (fig.), s.o.’s eyes stand
tiene ojos en la nuca. The boss always senses out on stalks (fig.)  Los ojos se te salta-
what is going on. He seems to have eyes in the ban de las órbitas. Your eyes were popping
back of his head. out of their sockets. Your eyes were standing
i poner los ojos en blanco to roll one’s eyes out on stalks.
i no pegar ojo (fig.) not to sleep a wink (fam.) i salirle algo a alg. a los ojos (fig.) one can
 No pegué ojo en toda la noche. I didn’t tell just by looking at s.o. or just by the look
sleep a wink all night. on s.o.’s face  La mala conciencia te sale
i llorar con un ojo (fig.) to weep/shed [a few] a los ojos. One/I/we can tell just by looking
crocodile tears (fig.), to squeeze a tear (fig.) at you that you have a bad conscience.
 Ella lloró con un ojo cuando su jefe se ju- i no saber uno dónde tiene los ojos (fig.,
biló. Lo tenía atravesado. She wept a few fam.) to be blind (fig.), to be very stupid or
crocodile tears when her boss retired. She clumsy  ¿Pero no sabes dónde tienes los
couldn’t stand him. ojos? Are you really that blind?

127
el olivo

i quebrarse los ojos (fig., fam.) (reading/ What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t
etc.): to strain one’s eyes excessively, to ruin grieve over. (prov.)
one’s eyes i Ojo por ojo, diente por diente. (prov.) An
i ser el ojo derecho de alg. (fig.) (a) to be eye for an eye [and a tooth for a tooth].
s.o.’s right-hand man (b) to be in s.o.’s con- (prov.)
fidence (c) to be highly cherished by s.o., to ] ojo (echar fuego por los ~s)
be the apple of s.o.’s eye (fig.) ] ojo (echar tierra a los ~s de alg.)
i Ojos que te vieron ir. (fig., fam.) That op- ] ojo (echarse tierra a los ~s)
portunity/chance won’t come again. I won’t ] ojo (encajar/caer como pedrada en ~ de
see you or the money/etc. again. boticario)
i [poder/saber] hacer algo con los ojos ce- ] ojo (hacer caer la venda de los ~s a alg.)
rrados (fig.) [to be able] to do s.th. with ] ojo (hacérsele a alg. candelillas los ~s)
one’s eye’s closed (fig.), [to be able] to do ] ojo (meter a alg. los dedos por los ~s)
s.th. blindfold (fig.), [to be able] to do s.th.
] ojo (no parecerse ni en el blanco de los
standing on one’s head or with one arm/hand
~s)
tied behind one’s back (fig.), [to be able] to
] ojo (tener sangre en el ~)
do s.th. in a breeze (fam., Am.E.)  Lo hizo
con los ojos cerrados. He did it blindfold. He
] ojo (tener una venda en los ~s)
did it in a breeze.  Lo puedo/podría hacer ] ojo (venir como pedrada en ~ de botica-
con los ojos cerrados. I’m able to/I could do rio)
it blindfold or with one arm tied behind my ] ola (ser un juguete de las ~s)
back. ] oler a chamusquina/a cuerno quemado/a
i cerrar los ojos a algo (fig.) to close/shut gloria/a rayos/a tigre
one’s eyes to s.th. (fig.) ] oler el poste
i tener/traer a alg. entre ojos (fig.) to look ] olerse la tostada
askance at s.o. (fig.), to have it in for s.o.
(fam.), to loathe s.o. el olivo olive tree
i mirar con ojos de sobrino (fig., fam., i Olivo y aceituno, todo es uno. (fig., fam.)
Colombia) to put on an innocent air, to look It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.
innocent, to have an innocent expression on (fig.)
one’s face ] olivo (cada mochuelo a su ~)
i meterse por el ojo de una aguja (fig., fam.)
la olla pot
s.o. always wants to be in on everything
i la olla de grillos (fig., fam.) madhouse (fig.),
(fam.), to be very obtrusive or importunate,
mad hatter’s tea party (hum.), complete
to be very pushy (fam.)  Siempre se mete
chaos  Esto parece una olla de grillos. It’s
por el ojo de una aguja. He always wants to
be in on everything. He’s always got to be in like a madhouse in here.
on everything. i tener la cabeza como una olla de grillos
i a ojo de buen cubero (fig.) at a glance, at a (fig., fam.) s.o.’s head is spinning (fig.)
rough guess, roughly, by guesswork  A ojo i No hay olla sin tocino. (fig., fam.) There’s
de buen cubero diría que ... At a glance or no icing on the cake. (fig.)
at a rough guess I’d say that . . . ] olla (muchas manos en la ~ echan el guiso
i en un abrir y cerrar de ojos in the twinkling a perder)
of an eye (fig.), in a flash, before you can say ] olmo (no se le puede pedir peras al ~)
Jack Robinson (fam.)  Todo pasó en un ] olmo (pedir peras al ~)
abrir y cerrar de ojos. It was all over in a ] olvido (relegar algo al ~)
flash.  El ciervo había desaparecido en el
bosque en un abrir y cerrar de ojos. In the el ombligo navel
twinkling of an eye, the deer had disappeared i el ombligo del mundo (fig.) center of the
into the woods. universe (fig.)  Dicen que París es el
i Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente. ombligo del mundo. Paris is said to be the
(prov.) Out of sight, out of mind. (prov.) center of the universe.

128
la oreja

i encogérsele a alg. el ombligo (fig.) to get la opinión opinion


the wind up (sl.), to get cold feet (fig., fam.) i casarse con su opinión (fig.) to insist on
i meter a alg. el ombligo para dentro (fam.) one’s opinion
to put the wind up s.o. (fam., Br.E.), to give ] opinión ( ]el sabio: es de sabios cambiar
s.o. a [nasty] fright de ~)
] opinión (estar caballero en su ~)
once eleven
i tomar las once (fig.) to have a mid-morning el opio opium
snack i dar el opio a alg. (fig., fam.) to captivate s.o.
i estar a las once (fig., fam.) to be crooked, (fig.), to enchant s.o. (fig.), to bewitch s.o.,
to be out of kilter (sl.)  Tu corbata está a to make an impression on s.o.
las once. Your tie is crooked.  El cuadro está
a las once. The picture on the wall is out of
la órbita orbit
kilter. i poner a alg. en órbita (fig.) (a) to launch s.o.
i tener la cabeza a las once (fig., fam.) to be (artist/etc.) (b) (alcohol/drugs): to make s.o.
totally confused, to have a throbbing head- high (fam.), to send s.o. on a trip (sl.)
ache el orégano oregano
i estar a las once y cuarto (pop.) to be crazy, i No todo el monte es orégano. (prov.) Life
to be nuts (fam.), to be off one’s nut (fam., isn’t all a bowl of cherries. (fig.) You’ve got
Br.E.) to take the rough with the smooth. (fig.)
onceno eleventh i creer que todo el monte es orégano to
i el onceno: [no estorbar] (fig., fam.) eleventh think everything is plain sailing (fig.)
commandment: don’t disturb la oreja ear
la onda wave i planchar/chafar la oreja (fam.) to sleep, to
i estar en onda (fig., fam.) to be high (on kip (fam.), to have a kip (fam.), to get a bit
drugs) (fam.) of or some shut-eye (fam.)
i estar en la onda (fig., fam.) (a) (fashion/ i descubrir la oreja (fig.) to show [o.s. in]
etc.): to be in (s.th.) (fam.), to be with it one’s true colors (fig.), to reveal one’s true
(s.th.) (sl.), to be trendy (s.th./s.o.), to be hip nature  Nunca se sabe qué piensa ese tío.
(s.o.) (sl.) (b) to be [bang] up to date (fam.), No descubre la oreja. You can never tell what
to be in the picture (fam.), to be in the swim that guy is thinking. He doesn’t show his true
(fig.), to be on the ball (fam.), to be with it colors.
(sl.), to be hip to s.th. (sl.)  Este peinado i tener a alg. de la oreja (fig., fam.) to keep
está en la onda. This hairstyle is in/is with it. s.o. on a tight rein (fig.)
 Siempre lleva vestidos que están muy en i mojar la oreja a alg. (fig., fam.) to start
la onda. He’s a very trendy dresser. He’s very squabbling or arguing with s.o., to be try-
hip.  Estamos en la onda de lo que ocurre. ing to pick an argument or a fight with s.o.,
We’re up to date with what’s going on. We’re to insult s.o.
hip to what’s going on. i aguzar las orejas (fig.) to prick up one’s ears
i estar fuera de onda (fig., fam.) to be behind (fig.)
the times i bajar las orejas (fig., fam.) to climb down
i captar la onda (fig., fam.) (a) to understand, (fig., fam.)
to get it (fam.), to twig it (fam.), to get the i ver las orejas del lobo (fig., fam.) to be in
point (b) to get the hang of it (fam.) great danger
i perder la onda (fig., fam.) to lose the knack i haber visto las orejas del lobo (fig., fam.)
or one’s touch (fam.)  Recientemente ha to have escaped from great danger, to have
tenido dificultad para explicarse con sen- got off lightly [this time], to have been lucky
cillez. Parece que ha perdido la onda. Re- [this time]
cently he’s had difficulty [in] explaining things i con las orejas gachas (fig.) with one’s tail
simply. He seems to have lost his touch. between one’s legs (fig.), ashamed, embar-

129
la orilla

rassed  Se fue con las orejas gachas. He i No es oro todo lo que reluce. (prov.) All
slinked off with his tail between his legs. that glitters is not gold. (prov.)
] oreja (echarle a alg. la pulga detrás de ] oro (adorar el becerro de ~)
la ~) ] oro (el pimpollo [de ~])
] oreja (estar con/tener la mosca detrás de ] oro (ser bueno como el ~)
la ~) ] oro (tener manitas de ~)
] oreja (sonreír de ~ a ~) ] oro (tener un pico de ~)
] oreja (un vino de una ~/de dos ~s)
el oso bear
] oreja (ventilarle a alg. las ~s)
i hacer el oso (fig., fam.) (a) to act/play the
] orgullo (no caber en el pellejo de ~) fool, to clown about/around (b) to make a
] original (ser más ~ que el pecado) fool of o.s., to make a laughing stock of o.s.
la orilla shore i estar tan ocupado como un oso que está
i la otra orilla (fig.) hereafter, great beyond en hibernación (hum.) to be [as] busy as a
hibernating bear (hum.)  Dice que está
el oro gold muy ocupado. ¡Muy ocupado, mi abuela!
i la mina de oro (fig.) gold mine (fig., fam.), Está tan ocupado como un oso que está en
money-spinner (fam., Br.E.) hibernación. He says he’s very busy. Very busy,
i apalear oro (fig., fam.) to be raking it in my foot! He’s as busy as a hibernating bear.
(fig., fam.), to be rolling in money (fig., fam.) ] oso (vender la piel del ~ antes de cazarlo)
i guardar algo como oro en paño to guard
s.th. with one’s life, to treasure s.th. [as if it ¡Oste! Shoo!
were gold (Am.E.) or gold dust (Br.E.)] i sin decir oste ni moste (fig., fam.) without
i prometerle a alg. montañas de oro o el oro saying a word, without so much as a word
y el moro to promise s.o. the moon/earth   Salió del cuarto sin decir oste ni moste.
Nos prometieron el oro y el moro, pero sólo He left the room without saying a word.
pagaron una miseria. They promised us the ] ostra (aburrirse como una ~)
moon, but only paid a pittance. ] otorgar ( ]callar: quien calla otorga)
i querer el oro y el moro to want to have one’s
cake and eat it [too] (fig.), to want one’s la oveja sheep
i la oveja negra (fig.) black sheep (fig.)
bread buttered on both sides (fig.)
i apartar las ovejas de los cabritos (fig.) to
i poner a alg. de oro y azul (fam.) to lay into
s.o. (verbally) (fam.), to lambast[e] s.o. (fig.), separate the sheep from the goats (fig.), to
to heap insults on s.o. separate the wheat/grain from the chaff
i como un oro (fig., fam.) spick-and-span (fig.)
(fam.), like spanking new (fam.)  Le gusta i encomendar las ovejas al lobo (fig.) to ask
tener la casa como un oro. She likes to keep
for trouble
her house spick-and-span. i Cada oveja con su pareja. (prov.) Birds of
i valer alg./algo su peso en oro (fig.), valer a feather flock together. (prov.)
algo tanto oro como pesa (fig.) s.o./s.th.: to
] oveja (un lobo con piel de ~)
be worth one’s/its weight in gold (fig.)  Mi ] overo (ojo ~)
secretaria vale su peso en oro. My secretary ] ovillo (contar algo del hilo al ~)
is worth her weight in gold. ] ovillo (por el hilo se saca el ~)

130
la paciencia patience
P i en menos que se reza un padrenuestro
i tener más paciencia que Job o que un (fig.) before you can say Jack Robinson
santo (fig.) to have the patience of Job or of (fam.), in next to no time  Estoy allí en
a saint (fig.) menos que se reza un padrenuestro. I’ll be
i tener una paciencia angelical o de bene- there before you can say Jack Robinson.
dictino (fig.) to have the patience of Job or
el paganini
of a saint (fig.) i ser el paganini (fig., fam., hum.) to be the
i ¡Paciencia y barajar! [Let’s] wait and see! one who pays, to be the one who has to pay,
Don’t give up! to foot the bill
] paciencia (poder hacer perder la ~ a un
santo) el pagano heathen
] paciencia (revestirse de ~) i ser el pagano (fig., fam., hum.) to be the one
] paciencia (tener la ~ de un chino) who pays, to be the one who has to pay, to
] paciencia (tentar la ~ a alg.) foot the bill
Paco (fam.) affectionate name for Francisco pagar to pay
i ya viene/vendrá el tío Paco con la rebaja i Quien o el que la hace la paga. (fig., fam.)
(fig., fam.) this won’t last forever, it’s too One must bear/face the consequences. As
good to last you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
(prov.)
padre (adj., fam.) huge, tremendous (fam.)  i pagarse con algo (fig., fam.) to be content
un susto padre an awful fright  un escán- with s.th.
dalo padre a huge scandal, a full-blown scan- i pagarse de algo (fig., fam.) to show off s.th.,
dal  un éxito padre a terrific success to brag/boast about s.th.
] padre (pegarse la vida ~) i pagarse de sí mismo (fig., fam.) to be sold
el padre father on o.s. (fig.), to be conceited, to be smug, to
i de padre y muy señor mío (fig., fam.) be full of o.s.
proper (fam.), decent (fam.), tremendous i ¡[Ya] me las pagarás! (fig.) You’ll pay for
(fam.), terrible, terrific (fam.), almighty this! (fig.) Just you wait! (fam.)
(fam.)  Le dieron una paliza de padre y i ¡[Ya] me las pagarás con creces! (fig.) You’ll
muy señor mío. He took a terrible beating. He pay for this in spades! (fig., fam., Am.E.)
took a bashing and a half. (fam., Br.E.) He ] pagar ( ]tocar: ¡Tocan a ~!)
took the father and mother of a thrashing. ] pagar a toca teja
(fam.) They beat the living daylights out of ] pagar el pato
him. (fam.) They beat him black and blue. ] pagar la primada
(fam.)  Es una mentira de padre y muy ] pagar los platos/vidrios rotos
señor mío. It’s a great big lie. (fam.) It’s a la página page
whopping great lie. (fam.)  Cogí una mona i saltar a las primeras páginas (fig.) to make/
de padre y muy señor mío. I drank myself hit the headlines
silly. (fam.)
] padre (tal ~ tal hijo)
la paja straw
i hacerse una paja (fig., pop.) (to mastur-
el padrenuestro Lord’s Prayer bate) ]tocar la campana
i querer enseñar el padrenuestro al cura i hacerse una paja mental (fig., pop.) to in-
(fam.) to try to teach one’s grandmother to dulge in mental masturbation (fig.), to un-
suck eggs (fam.)  ¿Le estás queriendo en- necessarily lose sleep over s.th.
señar el padrenuestro al cura? Are you try- i ver la paja en el ojo ajeno y no la viga en
ing to teach your grandmother to suck eggs? el propio (fig.) to see the mote in one’s

131
la pájara

neighbor’s or in s.o. else’s eye and not the i coger a alg. la palabra to take s.o. at his
beam in one’s own (fig.) word, to keep s.o. to his word
i no dormirse en las pajas (fig.) not to pass i A palabras necias oídos sordos. (prov.)
up or miss any opportunity Don’t take notice of the stupid things people
i por un quítame allá esas pajas (fig.) over say.
[absolutely] nothing, over some tiny thing, ] palabra (acaparar la ~)
over some trifle  Riñeron por un quítame ] palabra (al buen entendedor, pocas ~s [le
allá esas pajas. They squabbled or quarreled bastan])
or argued over some trifle. ] palabra (estar colgado de las ~s de alg.)
] paja (apartar/separar el grano de la ~) ] paladar (pegársele a alg. la lengua al ~)
] pajar (buscar una aguja en un ~) ] pálido (no tener ni la más pálida idea de
la pájara (fig., pej.) sly/crafty woman, schem- algo)
ing bitch (sl., pej.). la palinodia palinode
el pajarito baby bird i cantar la palinodia (fam.) to recant, to make
i el pajarito (fam.) penis of children, weeny a public recantation
(fam., Am.E.), willy (fam., Br.E.) la palma palm (tree), palm (of one’s hand)
i comer como un pajarito (fig.) to eat like a i llevarse la palma to carry off the palm (fig.),
bird (fig.) to take the cake (fig.), to triumph, to win
i quedarse [muerto] como un pajarito (fig., i untar la palma a alg. (fig., fam.) to grease
fam.) to die peacefully, to fade away s.o.’s palm (fig., fam.), to bribe s.o.
i me lo dijo un pajarito (fig., fam.) a little bird i conocer algo como la palma de la mano
told me (fig., fam.) (fig.) to know s.th. like the back of one’s
el pájaro bird hand (fig.)  Conozco la ciudad como la
i el pájaro (pop.) (penis) ]el calvo palma de la mano. I know the city like the
i ser un pájaro gordo (fig.) to be a bigwig back of my hand.
(fam.), to be a big shot (fam.), to be a big
palmado
cheese (fam.), to be a big wheel (fam.)
i estar palmado (fig., fam.) to be flat broke
i ser un pájaro raro (fig.) to be a strange cus-
(fam.), to be stone-broke (fam., Am.E.), to
tomer (fam.), to be an odd character, to be
be skint (fam., Br.E.)
an odd/queer fish (fam.)
i ser un pájaro de cuenta (fig., fam.) to be a palmarla (pop.) to cash/hand in one’s chips
dangerous person, to be a nasty piece of (fam., hum.) ]cascar[la]
work (fig., fam.), to be a bad lot (fam.), to be
el palmo span
a nasty type (fam.), to be a wily bird (fam.),
i palmo a palmo (fig.) slowly, step by step,
to be an unpleasant character
inch by inch, little by little  Lo exploramos
i ha volado el pájaro (fig.) the bird has flown
palmo a palmo. We explored it inch by inch.
(fig.)
i hacer un palmo de narices a alg. (fam.) to
i matar dos pájaros de un tiro (fig.) to kill
two birds with one stone (fig.) thumb one’s nose at s.o. (fam.)
i Más vale pájaro en mano que ciento i quedarse con un palmo de narices (fam.)
volando. (prov.) A bird in the hand is worth
to come away empty-handed, to end up with
two in the bush. (prov.) nothing
] pájaro (a vista de ~) i dejar a alg. con un palmo de narices (fam.)
] pájaro (tener ~s en la cabeza) to disappoint s.o. greatly, to take the wind
] pájaro (tener la cabeza a ~s) out of s.o.’s sails (fam.)  Siempre se jac-
] pájaro (tener la cabeza llena de ~s) taba de ser un hacha para el ajedrez hasta
que mi hermanito se lo comió crudo. Eso sí
] pala (el cabe de ~)
que lo dejó con un palmo de narices. He was
la palabra word always boasting about being a genius at chess
i beberle a alg. las palabras (fig.) to hang on until my kid brother beat him hollow. That
s.o.’s lips (fig.), to hang on s.o.’s every word really took the wind out of his sails.

132
el pan

i conocer algo a palmos (fig.) to know s.th. i ser una paloma sin hiel (fig.) to be a lamb
very well  Conoce el terreno a palmos. He (fig.), to be very sweet-tempered, to have a
knows the terrain/ground very well. He knows sweet/peaceful nature
every inch of the terrain/ground.
el palomar pigeon loft
el palo stick i alborotar el palomar (fig., fam.) to cause a
i De tal palo, tal astilla. (prov.) The apple commotion
doesn’t fall far from the tree. (prov.) Like fa-
ther like son. (prov.) A chip off the old block.
el palomino young pigeon
i el palomino (fig., fam.) brown spot (in the
i estar del mismo palo (fig.) to be in cahoots
(fam.), to be hand in glove underwear), skidmark (fig., fam., hum.)
i dar un palo a alg. (fig.) to criticize s.o. se- i un palomino atontado (fig., pop.) idiot
verely, to give s.o. a [real] roasting (fam.), ]un [pedazo de] alcornoque
to take s.o. to task (fig.) la palotada whack (with a stick)
i dar palos de ciego (a) to lash out blindly/ i no dar palotada (fig., fam.) (a) not to do a
wildly (b) to grope in the dark (fig.) stroke of work (b) to get nothing right, s.o.
i andar a palos (fig., fam.) to be [always] can’t do a thing right
squabbling, to fight like cat and dog (fig.)
i meter un palo en la rueda o palos en las el pálpito (fam.) feeling, presentiment,
ruedas [de alg.] (fig.) to put a spoke in s.o.’s hunch (fam.)
wheel (fig., fam., Br.E.), to throw a spanner i darle a alg. el pálpito o tener el pálpito de
(Br.E.) or a monkey wrench (Am.E.) in[to] que ... to have a feeling or a hunch that . . . ,
the works (fam.)  Me metió un palo en la s.th. tells s.o. that . . .  Me da el pálpito o
rueda. He put a spoke in my wheel.  Casi tengo el pálpito de que aquí hay gato
echó nuestros planes por el suelo cuando encerrado. I have a feeling/hunch that there’s
de repente se rajó. Él sí que metió palos en something wrong here.
las ruedas. He almost ruined our plans when el pan bread
he suddenly backed out. He really threw a i llamar al pan, pan y al vino, vino (fig.) to
monkey wrench into the works. call a spade a spade (fig.)
i aplicar una política del palo y la zanahoria i ser más bueno que el pan (fam.) (well-be-
(fig.) to apply a carrot-and-stick policy or a haved): to be as good as gold
policy of the carrot and the stick (fig.)  El i hacer un pan como unas hostias (fig., fam.)
gobierno aplicó una política del palo y la to muck it [all] up (sl.), to make a hash/
zanahoria para cambiar la opinión del botch of s.th./things (fig., fam.)
pueblo. The government applied a policy of i repartir algo como pan bendito (fig., fam.)
the carrot and the stick in order to change the to be extremely tight or tight-fisted with s.th.
people’s opinion. (fam.)
i a palo seco (fig.)  whisky a palo seco i ganarse el pan (fam.) to earn/make a living,
straight whisk[e]y  beber a palo seco to to earn one’s daily bread (fam.), to earn one’s
drink without having anything to eat  Me bread and butter (fam.), to earn one’s crust
lo dijeron a palo seco. They told me straight (fam.)
out (Br.E.) or outright.  Lo desmintió a palo i venderse como el pan o como pan caliente
seco. He flatly denied it.  Pagaron los
(fig.) to sell like hotcakes (fig.)  Estos libros
veinte dólares a palo seco. They paid the
se venden como pan caliente. These books
twenty dollars and not a cent more. sell/go like hotcakes.
] palo (hay gustos que merecen ~s)
i ser el pan [nuestro] de cada día (fig.) to
] palo (la ene/pata de ~)
be a daily event, to be an everyday occur-
] palo (sacar agua de un ~ seco)
rence, to happen every day  Estas mani-
la paloma pigeon festaciones son el pan de cada día o se han
i palomas (waves): white horses convertido en el pan nuestro de cada día.
i la paloma (fig., pop.) streetwalker, prosti- These demonstrations are an everyday occur-
tute rence or have become a daily event.

133
pancho

i ser pan comido (fam.) to be as easy as pie la panza belly, paunch (fam.)
(sl.), to be a piece of cake (fam.), to be a i la panza de burra (fig., fam.) grey (Br.E.)
breeze (fam., Am.E.), to be dead easy (fam.), or gray (Am.E.) sky (especially during snowy
to be like shooting fish in a barrel (fig., weather)
Am.E.) ]ser coser y cantar i la panza de burro (fig., fam.) overhang
i no tener más que el pan y la noche (fam.) (climbing)
to be very poor, to be as poor as a church i echar panza (fam.) to start to get a paunch
mouse (fig.) (fam.), to put on weight
i no caérsele a alg. el pan (fig., fam.) to be el pañal nappy, diaper (Am.E.)
dying of impatience (fig.), s.o. can hardly i estar aún/todavía en pañales (fig.) to be
wait  El libro será publicado pronto. No se still in its infancy (fig.)  Este proyecto está
me cae el pan. The book will be published
aún en pañales. This project is still in its in-
soon. I can hardly wait (for it to be published). fancy.
I’m dying of impatience.
i A falta de pan, buenas son tortas. (prov.) el paño cloth
Any port in a storm. (prov.) Beggars cannot i ser del paño (fam.) to be an expert, to be
or must not be choosers. (prov.) well up in s.th., to know one’s oats (fam.,
i Pan con pan, comida de tontos. (prov.) A Am.E.)
change is a good thing. Variety is the spice of i conocer el paño (fig., fam.) to know what’s
life. (prov.) what (fam.), to be on the ball (fam.), to
i No sólo de pan vive el hombre. (prov.) know what/who one is dealing with
Man cannot live by bread alone. (prov.) i acudir al paño (fig.) to take the bait (fig.), to
i Con pan y vino se anda el camino. (prov.) walk into the trap (fig.)
Things don’t/never seem so bad after a good i Hay paño que cortar. (fig.) There’s enough
meal. of it.
] pan ( ]comer: con su/etc. ~ se/etc. lo i ser un paño de lágrimas (fig.) to be a help-
coma/etc.) ful soul
] pan (a buen hambre no hay ~ duro) i ser el paño de lágrimas de alg. (fig.) to be
] pan (comprar/vender algo por un pedazo a shoulder for s.o. to cry on
de ~) i aplicar paños calientes (fig.) to take half
] pan (Dios da ~ a quien no tiene dientes.) measures (fig.), to do things in half measures
] pan (ser más largo que un día sin ~) (fig.) or by halves, to apply ineffective reme-
] pan (ser tortas y ~ pintado) dies
] pan (ser un pedazo de ~) i no andarse con paños calientes (fig.) not to
] pan (tener cara de ~) do things in half measures (fig.) or by halves,
not to go in for half measures (fig.)
pancho calm i en paños menores (fig., fam., hum.) in one’s
i quedarse/estar tan pancho (fam.) to re- undies (fam., hum.), in one’s shirt, in one’s
main/be perfectly calm ]quedarse/estar negligee
tan campante
el pañuelo handkerchief
el pandero tambourine i El mundo es un pañuelo. (fig., fam.) It’s a
i en buenas manos está el pandero (fig., small world.
fam.) s.th./it is in good hands
la papa (América Latina) potato
el panorama panorama i no entender ni papa (fam.) not to under-
i ¡Vaya un panorama! (fam.) That’s a fine stand a word [of it]
look-out! (iron.) i no saber ni papa de algo (fam.) not to
know beans about s.th. (sl., Am.E.)
el pantalón pants (Am.E.), trousers (Br.E.)
i llevar los pantalones (fig.) to wear the la papalina (fam.) roaring drunkenness
pants/trousers (fig.)  La madre lleva los (fam.)
pantalones en nuestra casa. The mother i coger una papalina to get roaring drunk
wears the trousers in our house. (fam.), to drink o.s. silly (fam.)

134
la pared

el papel paper i cargar con el paquete (fam., Esp.) to [have


i no fumar más que papel (fig., fam.) to to] carry the can (fam., Br.E.)
smoke cigarettes only i meter un paquete a alg. (fig., fam.) to give
i no poder coger algo ni con papel de fu- s.o. a rocket (fig., fam., Br.E.), to tear a strip
mar (fig., fam., Esp.) s.o. wouldn’t touch s.th. off s.o. (fam.)
with a bargepole or ten-foot pole (fig.) i dejar a alg. con el paquete (fam.) to
i el papel todo lo aguanta (fig.) rubbish get/make s.o. pregnant, to get s.o. in the fam-
(Br.E.) or garbage (Am.E.) that ends up on ily way (fam.), to knock s.o. up (sl.)
paper (fig., fam.)
parado motionless
i no ser más que papel mojado (fig., fam.)
i quedarse parado (fig.) to be [utterly] be-
to be a scrap of paper (fig.), to be a worth-
wildered, to be [completely] floored (fam.),
less bit of paper (fig.), not to be worth the
s.o.’s jaw drops (fam.)
paper [s.th. is written on] (fig.), to be use-
i no quedarse ahí parado (fig.) not to leave
less  Este contrato no es más que papel
it at that
mojado. This contract is just a worthless bit of
i mal parado in pretty bad shape, in a bad way
paper. This contract isn’t worth the paper it’s
 Salieron mal parados del accidente. They
written on.
were in pretty bad shape after the accident.
i venir a alg. con papeles (fig., fam.) to play
up to s.o., to soft-soap s.o. (fam.) ] paraíso (como Adán en el ~)
i hacer [un] buen papel (fig.) to make a good parar to stop
impression, to behave [well], to prove one’s i ¿Adónde quieres/etc. ir a parar? (fig.) What
worth (fig.), to show what one can do, to put are you/etc. getting or driving (fig.) at?
up a good/etc. performance/etc.  Anoche i ¿Adónde vamos a parar? (fig.) Where’s it all
hiciste muy buen papel. You made a very going to end?
good impression last night.  Nuestro equipo i No sabemos en qué va a parar todo esto.
hizo un buen papel en el torneo. Our team We don’t know where all this is going to end.
put up a good performance in the tournament. ] parar (no ~se en barras)
The players in/on our team showed what they ] parar (sin ~se en barras)
can do.
i jugar/desempeñar un papel (fig.) to play a el parche sticking plaster
role (fig.), to play a part  Ella desempeña i pegar un parche a alg. (fig., fam.) to put
un papel importante en la empresa. She
one/it over on s.o. (fam.), to cheat s.o., to
plays an important role in the company. She’s swindle s.o., to con s.o. (fam.)
a key player in the company. ] pardo (de noche todos los gatos son ~s)
] parecerse (no ~ ni en el blanco de los
la papeleta bit/slip of paper
ojos)
i tocarle a alg. una papeleta difícil (fig.) to
] parecerse como dos gotas de agua/un
face a difficult job, to face a tough one (fam.)
huevo a otro/un huevo a una castaña
la papilla pap, baby food
la pared wall
i estar hecho papilla (fig., fam.) to be com-
i Las paredes oyen. Walls have ears.
pletely shattered (fam., Br.E.), to be dog-
i entre sus cuatro paredes (fig.) within one’s
tired (fam.) ]estar hecho cisco
own four walls (at home) (fig.)  He pasado
i hacer papilla a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to beat
el día entre mis cuatro paredes. I’ve spent
s.o. to a pulp (fig.), to make mincemeat of
the day within my own four walls or at home.
s.o. (fig.) (b) to come down on s.o. like a ton
i vivir pared por medio to live next door
of bricks (fam.)
i ponerse más blanco que la pared to go as
el paquete package, parcel white as a sheet/ghost
i el paquete (fam.) (motorcycle): pillion pas- i hablar a la pared (fig., fam.) to talk to a
senger/rider brick wall (fig., fam.)  No está escuchando.
i ir de paquete (fam.) to ride on the back (of Es como hablar a la pared. He isn’t listening.
a motorcycle), to ride pillion It is like talking to a brick wall [with him].

135
el paredón

i subirse por las paredes (fig.) to go up the parir to give birth


wall (fig., fam.), to go off at the deep end i poner a alg. a parir (fig., fam.) (a) to drive
(fam.), to go spare (fam., Br.E.) ]salirse de s.o. into a corner (fig.), to put the screws on
sus casillas s.o. (fig., fam.) (b) to badmouth s.o. (fam.),
i hacer a alg. subirse por las paredes (fig.) to to backbite s.o., to criticize s.o. behind his
drive s.o. up the wall (fig., fam.) ]sacar a back, to slag s.o. off (fam., Br.E.) (c) to piss
alg. de sus casillas  Esto me hace subirme s.o. off (vulg.)
por las paredes. This drives me up the wall. el parné (pop.) (money): dough (sl., Am.E.),
i ser [como] para subirse por las paredes bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/lolly (sl.,
(fig.) to be enough to drive you up the wall Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.)
(fig., fam.), to be enough to drive you spare
la parra vine tendril
(fam., Br.E.), to be enough to drive you i subirse a la parra (fig., fam.) (a) to think
mad/crazy (fam.)  Era para subirse por las one is important, to get bigheaded (b) to go
paredes. It was enough to drive you up the up the wall (fig., fam.), to hit the roof (fig.,
wall. fam.), to go spare (fam., Br.E.) ]salirse de
i hasta la pared de enfrente (fig., fam.) to sus casillas
an extremely high degree, completely,
loads/heaps/piles of (fam.), crowds of, root el párrafo paragraph
i echar un párrafo [con alg.] (fig., fam.) to
and branch (fig.)  Había gente hasta la
have a chat [with s.o.], to chat [with s.o.],
pared de enfrente. There were crowds/loads
to chew the fat or the rag (Am.E.) (fam.)
of people [there].  Tiene dinero hasta la
i tener que echar un párrafo o un parrafito
pared de enfrente. He has heaps/piles of
aparte con alg. (fig., fam.) to have a bone
money.  Erradicaron la peste hasta la to pick with s.o., to have a crow to pluck
pared de enfrente. They eradicated the with s.o.  Tenemos que echar un párrafo
plague root and branch. aparte. We have a bone to pick with each
] pared (dar con la cabeza en las ~es) other.
] pared (estar entre la espada y la ~) i párrafo aparte (fig.) to change the subject
] pared (poner a alg. entre la espada y la ~)
la parte part
el paredón thick wall i dar su parte al fuego (fig.) to shed some bal-
i mandar a alg. al paredón (fam.) to put s.o. last (fig.)
up against a wall (fam.), to put s.o. before a i llevarse la mejor parte (fig.) to come off
firing squad best, to come out on top
i ¡Al paredón con él/etc.! (fam.) Put him/etc. ] parte (no tener arte ni ~ en algo)
up against the wall [and shoot him/etc.]! la partida game
Shoot him/etc.! i jugar una mala partida a alg. (fig.) to play
la pareja pair, couple a dirty/nasty trick on s.o. (fig.)
i correr parejas o andar de pareja (fig.) to el parto birth
go hand in hand (fig.), to go together, to i un parto difícil (fig.), el parto de los montes
keep pace, to be on a par  Su ansia de (fig.) tough job (fam.)  Ha sido un parto
poder corre parejas con su falta de escrú- difícil. It was a tough job. It was tough going.
pulos. His lust for power is on a par with or  ¡El parto de los montes! Tough job!
is matched by his ruthlessness. el pasaporte passport
i hacer una buena/bonita pareja to make a i dar [el] pasaporte a alg. (fig., fam.) to give
lovely couple s.o. the pink slip (Am.E.), to give s.o. his
] pareja (cada oveja con su ~) cards (Br.E.) ]dar el bote a alg.
paripé pasaportear a alg. (fam.) to put a bullet
i hacer el paripé (fam.) to show off, to put on through s.o.’s head (fam.), to bump s.o. off
an act (fig., fam.), to put on a show (fig., (sl.), to knock s.o. off (sl.) ]cargarse a alg.
fam.) (a)

136
el pastel

pasar to cross, to pass [through], to go past off (fam.)  Yo que tú la mandaría a paseo.
i poder pasar sin algo (fig.) s.o. can man- If I were you, I’d send her packing.
age/do/live without s.th. i ¡Vete a paseo! (fig., fam.) Go to hell! (fam.)
i no poder pasar sin alg. (fig.) s.o. can’t live Go to blazes! (sl.) Get lost! (fam.)
without s.o. i dar el paseo a alg. (fig., Esp.) to shoot and
i no poder pasar a alg. (fig., fam.) s.o. can’t kill s.o., to bump s.o. off (sl.)
stand s.o.
el pasmarote (fam.) halfwit, idiot, dummy
i no pasar de ser ... to be nothing else but . . . ,
(fam., Am.E.)  ¡No te quedes ahí como un
to be just . . .  Lo que dice no pasa de ser
pasmarote! Don’t just stand there like an id-
una excusa barata. What he says is nothing
iot!
else but a poor excuse.
i pasar por (fig.) to be considered to be, to el paso step, way
pass for, to take for  Ella pasa por tonta. i a pasos agigantados (fig.) by leaps and
She is considered to be stupid.  Podrían bounds (fig.), with giant strides (fig.)  Las
pasar por hermanos. They could be taken for ganancias aumentaron a pasos agiganta-
brothers. They could pass for brothers. dos. The profits increased by leaps and
] pasar ( ]morado/negro/puto: ~las mo- bounds.  La informática sigue avanzando
radas/negras/putas) a pasos agigantados. Computer science is
] pasar (~lo cañón/chachi/pipa) still advancing by leaps and bounds. Giant
] pasar (~lo de rechupete) strides are still being made in computer sci-
] pasar de castaño oscuro ence.
] pasar un trago amargo i dar los primeros pasos (fig.) to take one’s
first steps (fig.), to start out (fam., Am.E.)
el pasar livelihood  Da los primeros pasos como escritor. He’s
i tener su/un buen pasar to make a decent taking his first steps as a writer.
living, to be well off i marcar el paso (fig.) to mark time (fig.), not
la Pascua (de Resurrección) Easter to get anywhere, to get nowhere
i estar [contento] como o más contento que i salir al paso de algo (fig.) to nip s.th. in the
unas pascuas (fig., fam.) to be as pleased as bud (fig., fam.), to strangle s.th. at birth (fig.,
Punch, to be tickled pink (fam.), to be as fam.), to forestall s.th.
happy as a clam/lark (fam., Am.E.), to be as i salir al paso a/de alg. (fig.) (a) to make con-
happy as a sandboy/as Larry (fam., Br.E.) cessions toward[s] s.o. (b) to confont s.o.
i tener cara de pascuas to be beaming all over i seguir los pasos de alg. (fig.) to follow s.o.’s
one’s face, to be all smiles example, to follow in s.o.’s footsteps (fig.), to
i hacer la pascua a alg. (fig., fam.) to annoy tread in s.o.’s steps (fig.)  El hijo siguió los
s.o., to harass s.o., to bug s.o. (fam., Am.E.) pasos de su padre. The son followed his fa-
i de Pascuas a Ramos (fig.) very rarely, once ther’s example.
in a blue moon (fam.)  Nos hacen una i volver sobre sus pasos (fig.) to retract
visita de Pascuas a Ramos. They pay us a i El primer paso es el que cuesta. (prov.)
visit once in a blue moon. Nothing’s easy to start off with.
] paso (a ~ de buey/tortuga)
el paseante walker, stroller
i el paseante en corte (fig., fam.) loafer la pasta dough, paste
(fam.), idler i la pasta (fig., fam.) (money): dough (sl.,
Am.E.), bread (sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/
el paseo walk, stroll
lolly (sl., Br.E.), wampum (sl., Am.E.)
i no va a ser un paseo (fig., Esp.) it won’t be
i soltar la pasta to cough up (fam.), to fork
a walkover (fam.), it won’t be a doddle
out (fam.), to stump up (fam., Br.E.)
(Br.E.), it’s not going to be easy
i la pasta gansa (fig., fam.) big money
i mandar a alg. a paseo (fig., fam.) to tell s.o.
to get lost (fam.) or to go to hell (fam.) or el pastel pie, cake
to go to blazes (sl.), to tell s.o. where to go i descubrir el pastel (fig., fam.) (a) to smell
(fam.), to send s.o. about his business, to a rat (fig.), to get onto s.th. (fam.), to get
send s.o. packing (fig.), to give s.o. the brush- wise to s.th. (fam.) (b) to take the lid off s.th.

137
la pastilla

(fig., fam.), to expose s.th. (fig.), to give the i estirar la pata (fig., fam.) to kick the bucket
game or show away (fam.), to blow the gaff (fam.) ]cascar[la]
(fam., Br.E.), to let the cat out of the bag  i a pata (fam.) on foot
Se le descubrió el pastel. He was found out. i patas de gallo (fig.) crow’s feet (wrinkles at
Somebody saw through his little game. His lit- the corner of the eyes)
tle game was found out. The lid was taken off i estar patas arriba (fig., pop.) to be stone-
his operation. dead (fam.), to be as dead as a doornail
i quitar la hojaldre al pastel (fig.) to [try to] (fam.), to be as dead as mutton (fam.)
expose s.th. (fig.) i patas arriba (fig., fam.) upside down, topsy-
turvy, in a complete mess (fig.), a[n ab-
la pastilla tablet solute] shambles (fig.)  Tiene toda la casa
i a toda pastilla (fam., Esp.) [at] full lick patas arriba. His house is in a complete mess
(fam.), full-belt (sl.), at top speed, flat out or is an absolute shambles.
(fam.), full blast (fam.)  Trabajan a toda i salir/quedar pata[s] (fig.) to draw even, to
pastilla. They’re working flat out.  Íbamos tie, to end in a tie/draw
a toda pastilla. We were driving/going flat out
or full-belt or at top speed or at full lick.  la patada kick
Pusieron la música a toda pastilla. They put i dar la patada a alg. (fam.) (a) to ditch s.o.
the music on full blast.  Subió el volumen (sl.), to dump s.o. (fam.), to jilt s.o., to drop
de la radio a toda pastilla. He turned the s.o., to give s.o. the bird (fam.) (b) to give s.o.
radio up full blast. the boot (fam.) ]dar el bote a alg.
i dar a alg. una patada en el culo (pop.) to
el pasto pasture, fodder kick s.o. up the backside (fam.)
i ser pasto de algo (fig.)  El edificio fue i echar a alg. a patadas (fam.) to kick s.o. out
pasto de la llamas. The building was engulfed  Lo echaron del bar a patadas. He got
in flames or was destroyed by fire.  Su her- kicked out of the bar.
mana es pasto de la murmuración. His sis- i tratar a alg. a patadas (fig.) to treat s.o.
ter is the subject of gossip. His sister sets [very] badly/rudely, to treat s.o. like dirt
tongues wagging. (fam.)  El escándalo fue (fam.)
pasto de la prensa amarilla. The scandal was i a patadas (fig., fam.) in abundance, galore
just what the tabloids were waiting for.  Había frutas a patadas. There were fruits
i a todo pasto (fam.)  beber a todo pasto galore.
to drink to excess  comer a todo pasto to el patán (fam.) rustic, yokel
eat until one is fit to burst (fam.), to eat un- i el patán (fig., fam.) lout, yob (fam., Br.E.),
til one is [as] full/tight as a tick (fam.)  Comí boor (fig.)
y bebí a todo pasto. I ate and drank to my
heart’s content.  fumar a todo pasto to la patata potato
smoke like a chimney (fig.) i la patata (fig., fam.) watch, fob watch
i una patata caliente (fig.) hot potato (fig.),
la pata paw hot issue
i la pata (fig., pop., hum.) hand, paw (fam.), i ser una patata (fam., Esp.) to be a dud
mitt (sl., Am.E.), leg/foot (person), leg (fam.), to be a lemon (fam.)
(chair/table/etc.) i no entender ni patata (fam.) not to under-
i la pata de palo (fam.) wooden leg stand a word [of it]
i ir a la pata chula (fig., pop.) to limp i no saber ni patata de algo (fam.) not to
i tener mala pata (fam.) to have bad luck, to know beans about s.th. (sl., Am.E.)
be unlucky
i tener buena pata (fam.) to be lucky patear a alg. (pop.) to boo s.o., to give s.o.
i meter la pata (fig., fam.) to put one’s foot the bird (fam.)
in it (fam.), to put one’s foot in one’s mouth la patena paten
(fam., Am.E.), to blot one’s copybook (fam.), i limpio como una patena (fig.) spick-and-
to step out of line (fig.), to make a blunder, span (fam.), squeaky clean (fam.), as
to make a boob (sl.), to show o.s. up bright/clean as a new pin (fig.), like a new

138
el pecho

pin (fig.), spotless  Tiene la casa limpia la pea (pop.) drunkenness


como una patena. She keeps her house spick- i coger una pea to get legless (fam., Br.E.)
and-span. ]cocerse (a)
] patita (poner a alg. de ~s en la calle)
el pecado sin
el pato duck i ser más original que el pecado (fig., fam.)
i [tener que] pagar el pato (fig., fam.) to to be more than imaginative
[have to] foot the bill, to [have to] carry the i sería un pecado no ... (fam.) it would be a
can (fam., Br.E.), to [have to] take the rap sin (fig.) or a crime (fam.) not to . . . , it
(sl., Am.E.), to be left holding the baby would be such a pity not to . . .  Sería un
(Br.E.) or the bag (Am.E.) (fam.), to [have pecado no hacerlo. It would be a sin not to
to] take the blame, to get the blame  Ella do it.  Sería un pecado no aprovecharlo.
pagó el pato. She footed the bill.
It would be such a pity not to make use of it.
i estar hecho un pato (fig., fam.) to be soaked
i de mis pecados (fam.) damned (fam.),
to the skin, to be wet through, to be soak-
ing/dripping wet, to be drenched, not to have wretched  este coche de mis pecados this
a dry stitch on one (fam.) wretched car of mine  estas cuentas de mis
pecados these damned bills
paular (fam.) ] pecado (ignorancia no quita ~)
i sin paular ni maular without a word, with- ] pecado (ser más feo que el ~)
out so much as a word  Lo aceptaron sin
paular ni maular. They took it without a pecar to sin
word. i pecar de + adj. (fig.) to be [far/much] too
+ adj.  pecar de generoso to be far too gen-
la pava (pop.) dog/fag end (fam., Br.E.), cig-
arette butt/end erous  pecar de confiado to be too gullible
 pecar de ingenuo to be very naïve  pecar
la pava turkey (hen) de tonto to be as thick as they come  no
i vivir/estar como pava en corral (fig.) to pecar de guapo to be anything but pretty or
live/be in clover (fig.), to be as snug as a bug handsome, not to be exactly what you might
in a rug (fam.) call pretty or handsome
la pavesa little particle of burning soot i Nunca se peca por demasiado cuidado.
i estar hecho una pavesa (fig., fam.) to be One can’t be too careful.
very weak ] pecar por exceso
el pavipollo young turkey el pecho chest, breast
i un pavipollo (fig., fam.) twit (fam., Br.E.), i no caberle algo a alg. en el pecho (fig.) s.o.
idiot can’t keep s.th. to himself, s.o. can’t keep s.th.
el pavo turkey (cock) under his hat (fam.)  No les cabía el se-
i comer pavo (fig., fam.) to be a wallflower creto en el pecho. They couldn’t keep the se-
(a girl that is not attractive and therefore is cret to themselves.
not asked to dance) (fig., fam.)  Estaba i no quedarse con nada en el pecho (fig.,
comiendo pavo. Nobody asked her to dance. fam.) to talk (fam.), to blab (fam.), to spit
i subírsele a alg. el pavo o ponerse hecho un it all out (fig.), to spill the beans (sl.)
pavo (fig., fam.) to blush like a beetroot i no pudrírsele a alg. nada o las cosas en el
(fam., Br.E.), to blush like a lobster (fig.), to pecho (fig., fam.) s.o. can’t keep anything
go [bright] red to himself, s.o. can’t keep anything [a] secret,
i un pavo (pop., Esp.) one duro (5-peseta s.o. can’t keep mum (fam.), s.o. can’t keep
coin) his mouth shut (fam.)  No se le pudren las
] pavo (la edad del ~)
cosas en el pecho a ella. She can’t keep any-
] paz (dejar la fiesta en ~) thing to herself. She can’t keep anything a se-
la pe name of the letter P/p cret.
i de pe a pa (fam.) from A to Z ]de cabo i quedarse con algo entre pecho y espalda
a cabo (fig.) to keep s.th. back

139
el pedal

i echarse algo entre pecho y espalda (fam.) i estar/andar pedo (a) (on drugs): to be high
to drink s.th. down, to eat s.th. right up (fam.), to be on a trip (sl.), to be out of one’s
]echarse algo al coleto (a), (b) head (sl.), to be stoned (sl.) (b) (drunk): to
i descubrir/abrir el pecho a alg. (fig.) to pour be sloshed (fam.), to be plastered (fam.), to
one’s heart out to s.o., to unbosom o.s. to s.o. be stoned (sl.), to be out of one’s head (sl.)
i tomar algo a pecho[s] (fig.) to take s.th. to
la pedorrera (vulg.) string of farts (vulg.)
heart, to take s.th. seriously
i soltar una pedorrera to let off a string of
i ¡Pecho al agua! (fig.) Courage! Chin up!
farts
(fam.)
i a pecho descubierto (fig.) intrepidly, un- la pedrada throw of a stone
dauntedly, boldly  Se abalanzaron a pecho i caer/sentar como una pedrada (fig., fam.)
descubierto sobre el enemigo. They threw to take it very ill, to go down very badly (fig.)
themselves intrepidly upon the enemy.  La cosa le sentó como una pedrada al
i ser hombre de pelo en pecho (fig., fam.) to jefe. The boss took it very ill. The affair went
be a real man, to be some guy (fam.) down very badly with the boss.
] pecho (a lo hecho, ~) i encajar/caer como pedrada en ojo de bo-
] pecho (darse con un canto en los ~s) ticario (fig., fam.) to be a perfect fit/match
] pecho (no caberle a alg. el corazón en i venir como pedrada en ojo de boticario
el ~) (fig., fam.) to be just what s.o. needs/needed,
] pecho (poner el puñal en el ~ a alg.) to be just what the doctor ordered (fig., fam.)
 El dinero me vino como pedrada en ojo
el pedal pedal
de boticario. The money was just what I
i hundir el pedal to floor it (fam., Am.E.), to
needed.
put one’s foot down hard (fam.), to step on
i matar a alg. a pedradas to stone s.o. to
it (fam.), to go/drive at top speed, to go/drive
death
flat out (fam.)
Pedro Peter
el pedazo piece
i como Pedro por/en su casa (fig., fam.)
i el pedazo del alma o del corazón o de las
quite uninhibitedly, as if one owned the
entrañas (fig., fam.) one’s darling, one’s love
place  Se pasea por nuestro jardín como
 pedazo de mi alma o de mi corazón o de
Pedro por su casa. He walks around in our
mis entrañas my darling, my love
garden as if he owned the place.  Esa hem-
i ser un pedazo de pan (fig., fam.) to be very
bra entró como Pedro en su casa. That fe-
good-natured, to be terribly nice (fam.)
male came in as if she owned the place. That
i comprar algo por un pedazo de pan (fig.)
female came in quite uninhibitedly.
to buy s.th. for a song (fig., fam.)
] Pedro Botero (las calderas de ~)
i vender algo por un pedazo de pan (fig.) to
sell s.th. for a song (fig., fam.) la pega pitching, coat of pitch
i trabajar por un pedazo de pan (fig., fam.) i saber a la pega (fig., fam.) to have been
to work for peanuts (fam.), to work for a brought up badly, s.o.’s manners betray or re-
mere pittance veal a bad upbringing (fig.)
i estar hecho pedazos (fig., fam.) to be com-
pegar to stick
pletely shattered (fam., Br.E.) ]estar hecho
i no pegar (fig.) (a) not to make sense, not to
cisco
add up (fig.) (b) not to go together  No
] pedazo (caerse [a ~s] de viejo)
pega. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up.
] pedazo de alcornoque/atún/gloria
 Estos colores no pegan. These colors don’t
el pedo (pop.) fart (vulg.) go together.  Esta corbata no pega con tu
i soltar/tirar[se] un pedo to fart (vulg.), to let chaqueta. This tie doesn’t go with your jacket.
off [a fart] (fam., Br.E.)  El vino tinto no pega con una fondue. Red
i el pedo (fam.) (a) drunkenness (b) trip wine doesn’t go [well] with a fondue.
(drug-induced) (sl.) i pegársela a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to cuckold
i agarrar[se] un pedo to get drunk ]cocerse s.o., to deceive s.o., to be unfaithful to s.o.,
(a) to cheat on s.o. (fam., Am.E.) (b) to double-

140
el pelo

cross s.o., to trick s.o., to take s.o. for a ride la película film
(fam.), to cheat s.o., to do s.o. down (fam., i contar su película a alg. (fam.) to pour one’s
Br.E.)  Se la pega a su marido. She’s cheat- heart out to s.o.
ing on her husband. i de película (fig., fam.) fantastic (fam.),
] pegar (no ~ ni con cola) incredible (fig.), absolutely wonderful,
] pegar (ser más feo que ~ a Dios/a la dream . . . (fig.)  Viven en una casa de
madre) película. They live in a dream house. 
] pegarse como una lapa a alg. Anoche ocurrió algo de película. Something
incredible happened last night.
pelado bald, bare, shorn
i [el] veinte/etc. pelado (fig.) exactly twenty/ ] peligro ( ]abocar a: verse abocado a un
etc., twenty/etc. as a round number ~)
i estar pelado (fig., fam.) to be broke (fam.), el pelillo small hair
to be skint (fam., Br.E.)  Salieron pelados i echar pelillos a la mar (fig., fam.) to bury
del casino. They lost their shirts at the casino. the hatchet (fig.), to make it up
(fig.) i [no] pararse en pelillos (fig.) [not] to waste
i dejar pelado a alg. (fig., fam.) to fleece s.o. one’s time on little things, [not] to stick at
(fig.), to milk s.o. (fig.) trifles, [not] to split hairs
el pelaje [thick] hair el pellejo pelt, wineskin
i tener el pelaje de la dehesa (fig.) to betray i no caber en el pellejo (fig., fam.) to be very
(fig.) one’s rustic/humble origins fat, to be [as] fat as a pig/sow (fam.)
pelar to cut the hair, to shear i no caber en el pellejo de alegría (fig., fam.)
i ser [un huevo] duro de pelar (fig., fam.) to to be bursting with joy (fig.), to be beside o.s.
be a hard nut to crack (fig.), to be a brain- with joy (fig.)
twister (fam.), to be a tough one (fam.), to i no caber en el pellejo de orgullo (fig., fam.)
be a tough job (fam.) to be bursting [at the seams] with pride (fig.)
i pelársela (vulg.) (to masturbate) ]tocar la i salvar el pellejo (fig., fam.) to save one’s
campana
skin/neck (fam.), to save one’s bacon (fam.,
i pelar la jeta (pop.) to be pretty strong stuff hum.), to save one’s life
(fam.) ]pasar de castaño oscuro  Eso i salvar el pellejo a alg. (fig., fam.) to save
pela la jeta. That’s pretty strong stuff.
s.o.’s skin/neck (fam.), to save s.o.’s bacon
i hacer un frío que pela (fig., fam.) to be [ab- (fam., hum.), to save s.o.’s life
solutely] freezing (fam.), to be freezing cold i jugarse el pellejo (fig., fam.) to risk one’s
(fam.), to be cold enough to freeze the balls neck (fam.), to risk one’s life
i no tener más que el pellejo (fam.) to be
off a brass monkey (fam., Br.E.), to be brass
monkey weather (sl., Br.E.), not to be half all skin and bone (fam.)
i No quisiera estar en su pellejo. (fam.) I
cold (fam., Br.E.)
wouldn’t like to be in his shoes. (fam.)
i ... que se las pela (fig., fam.)  Corre que
i mudar el pellejo (fig., fam.) to change, to
se las pela. He runs like the wind. (fam.) He
change one’s life
runs like nobody’s business. (fam.)  Miente
i dar/soltar el pellejo (fam.) to die, to lose
que se las pela. She lies through her teeth.
one’s life
(fam.) She lies like nobody’s business. (fam.)
i estar hecho un pellejo (fig., fam.) to be
 Bailan que se las pelan. They’re dancing
blind drunk (fam.) ]estar hecho un cesto
wildly and untiringly. They’re dancing like no-
body’s business. (fam.) pellizcar to pinch
i pelárselas por algo (fig., fam.) to crave for i pellizcar los céntimos (fig., fam.) to count
s.th., to drool over s.th. (fig.), to be very every penny, to be very stingy
much after s.th.
el pelo hair
] pelar (corre un gris que pela)
i agarrarse o asirse a un pelo (fig., fam.) to
pelechar to grow hair/feathers clutch at straws, to clutch at any opportunity
i no pelechar (fig.) not to get anywhere, to get i cortar un pelo en el aire (fig.) to be too
nowhere clever by half (fam., Br.E.)

141
el pelo

i dar a alg. para el pelo (fig., fam.) to beat s.o. i venirle a alg. al pelo (fig., fam.) to be just
up, to give s.o. a thrashing what s.o. needs/needed, to be just what the
i estar a medios pelos (fig., fam.) to be tipsy, doctor ordered (fig., fam.)  El dinero me
to be tiddly (fam., Br.E.), to be sozzled (sl., vino al pelo. The money was just what I
Br.E.), to be half-seas over (fam.) needed.
i echar buen pelo (fig., fam.) to be coming i andar al pelo (fig., fam.) to get/be at each
along [again], to be getting on fine [again], other, to be at loggerheads, to fight, to squab-
to be getting on one’s feet again (fig.) ble
i tener el pelo de la dehesa (fig.) to betray i ser capaz de contar los pelos al diablo (fig.,
(fig.) one’s rustic/humble origins fam.) to be as sly as they come (fam.)
i no tener un pelo de tonto (fig., fam.) to be i buscar pelos en la sopa/leche o al huevo
no fool, to be nobody’s fool, there are no flies (fig., fam.) to have/find s.th. to grouse about,
on s.o. (fam.) to have/find s.th. to gripe or bellyache about
i tener pelos en el corazón (fig., fam.) to have (fam.), to have/find s.th. to criticize  Siem-
no heart (fig.) pre le busca pelos al huevo. He always has
i tener pelos en la lengua (fig., fam.) to be a something to grouse about or to criticize.
tough one (fam.), to be a bitch (woman, sl.) i traer algo por los pelos (fig.) to be far-
i no tener pelos en la lengua (fig., fam.) not fetched (fig.)  Me parece un poco traído
to mince one’s words (fig.), to shoot from the por los pelos. I think it’s a bit far-fetched. 
hip (fig., fam.), to be very outspoken  Lo has traído por los pelos. It (what you’ve
Habla en plata. No tiene pelos en la lengua. said) is far-fetched.
He speaks bluntly. He doesn’t mince his words. i con [todos sus] pelos y señales in great de-
He shoots from the hip. tail, in minute detail, down to the last detail,
i soltarse el pelo (fig.) to drop all scruples, with chapter and verse (fig.)  Me lo contó
to drop all restraint con todos sus pelos y señales. He told it to
i ponerle o ponérsele a alg. los pelos de me down to the last detail.  La describieron
punta  Esa escena me puso los pelos de con pelos y señales. They gave a very detailed
punta. That scene made my hair stand on end description of her.
or made my hair curl. (fam.) That was a i por un pelo (fig.), por los pelos (fam.) by
spine-chilling scene. That scene gave me the a hair’s breadth (fam.), by the skin of one’s
heebie-jeebies or the willies. (fam.)  Se me teeth (fam.), only just, [very] nearly, (to be
pusieron los pelos de punta. My hair stood saved) by the bell (fig.), (to be/have) a
on end. I got the willies. (fam.) close/narrow shave (fig., fam.) or a close call
i tomarle el pelo a alg. (fig., fam.) to pull s.o.’s (fam.)  [Nos] escapamos por un pelo. We
leg (fam.), to take the mickey out of s.o. escaped by a hair’s breadth. We had a narrow
(fam., Br.E.), to have s.o. on (fam.), to put escape. We had a close shave.  Nos salvamos
s.o. on (fam., Am.E.), to rag s.o. (fam., por los pelos. We escaped by a hair’s breadth
Br.E.), to chip s.o. (fam.), to have a lark with or by the skin of our teeth. We were saved by
s.o. (fam., Br.E.), to tease s.o. the bell.  No perdí el tren por los pelos. I
i no tocar un pelo [de la ropa] a alg. (fig.) not very nearly missed the train. I caught the train
to harm or hurt a hair on s.o.’s head, not to by the skin of my teeth. I only just caught the
lay a finger on s.o. train in time.  Por un pelo me atropellan.
i no ver el pelo a alg. (fam.) not to see hide I just missed being run over by the skin of my
nor hair of s.o. (fam.)  Hace mucho que no teeth.  Aprobaron el examen por los pe-
le veo el pelo. I haven’t seen hide nor hair of los. They just scraped (fig.) through the exam.
him for a long time.  Ya no se le ve el pelo ] pelo (coger/asir la ocasión por los ~s)
por aquí. You never see him around here any ] pelo (cuando las ranas críen ~)
more. ] pelo (estar hasta la punta de los ~s/del ~
i ¡Se le/etc. va a caer el pelo! (fig., fam.) de alg./algo)
He’s/etc. in for it! (fam.) He/etc. won’t know ] pelo (gente de ~)
what’s hit him/etc.! (fam.)  ¡Se te va a caer ] pelo (¡Hasta que/cuando las ranas críen
el pelo! You’re in for it [now]! ~!)

142
el pepino

] pelo (ser hombre de ~ en pecho) i a duras penas with great/utmost difficulty,


] pelo (ser largo como ~ de huevo) only just, hardly, scarcely, just barely  A
duras penas llegó a la meta. Only with the
la pelota ball utmost difficulty he reached the finishing line.
i devolver la pelota a alg. (fig.) to turn the ta-  Aprobó el examen a duras penas. He just
bles on s.o. scraped (fig.) through the exam.  Te oí a
i La pelota está en el tejado. (fig., fam.) It’s duras penas. I could hardly/scarcely hear you.
all up in the air. (fig.) The situation is unre-
solved. Nothing has been decided. el penalty penalty [kick]
i La pelota sigue en el tejado. (fig., fam.) It’s i casarse de penalty (fam., Esp.) (girl): to
still all up in the air. (fig.) The situation is have a shotgun wedding (fam.)
still unresolved. Nothing has been decided ] pender de un cabello/hilo
yet. ] pendiente (tener cuentas ~s con alg.)
i las pelotas (pop.) (testicles) ]las canicas
el pendón (fig., fam.) floozie (fam.), slag (sl.,
i hinchar las pelotas a alg (vulg.) to get on
pej., Br.E.), slut (fam.)
s.o.’s tits (vulg., Br.E.), to get up s.o.’s nose
(fam.) Penélope Penelope
i en pelota[s] (fig., pop.) stark naked (fam.), i tejer la tela de Penélope (fig.) to live in a
starkers (fam., hum., Br.E.), not to have a fool’s paradise
stitch on (fam.) ] pensamiento (el ~ no conoce/tiene barre-
ras)
la pelotilla little ball
i hacer la pelotilla a alg. (fig., fam.) to suck pensar to think
up to s.o. (sl.), to toady to s.o., to brownnose i ¡Ni pensarlo! (fig., fam.) Forget it! No way!
s.o. (sl., Am.E.), to ingratiate o.s. with s.o. (fam.) Not on your life! (fam.)
i Piensa mal y acertarás. If you think the
el pelotillero (fig., fam.) arse-licker (vulg.), worst, you won’t be far wrong.
crawler (fig.), creep (fam.), toady, bootlicker i el día menos pensado one day when
(fam.), yes-man (pej.) you/etc. least expect it, when least expected
la peluca wig ] pensar (más vale un “por si acaso” que un
i echar una peluca a alg. (fig., fam.) to give “¿quién pensara?”)
s.o. a dressing-down or a tongue-lashing or el penseque (fam.) thoughtless error
a roasting (fam.), to give s.o. a ticking-off i ¡A penseque lo ahorcaron! (fig., fam.) Bet-
or a wigging (fam., Br.E.) ter [to be] safe than sorry! (prov.)
el peluquín small wig ] pensión de tapujo
i ¡Ni hablar del peluquín! (fig., fam.) It’s out la peña rock
of the question! i dormir como una peña (fig.) to sleep like a
] pelusa (gente de ~) log (fam.)
la pena trouble, toil, grief peor worse
i pasar las penas del purgatorio (fig.) to go i ponerse en lo peor (fig.) to prepare for the
through hell worst
i sin pena ni gloria (fig.) mediocre, ordinary, Pepa (fam.) familiar form of Josef[in]a
undistinguished  Fue un partido sin pena i ¡Viva la Pepa! To hell (fam.)/blazes (sl.) with
ni gloria. It was a mediocre game.  Cada everybody else or with the work/etc.!
uno de ellos pasó por la universidad sin
pena ni gloria. Each of them had an undis- Pepe (fam.) familiar form of José
tinguished university career.  Su última i ponerse como un Pepe (fig., fam.) to have
película pasó por las carteleras sin pena ni
a great time (fam.)
gloria. His last movie came and went almost el pepino cucumber
unnoticed. i el pepino (fig., fam.) unripe melon

143
la pepita

i pepinos (fig., fam.) bullets ] perder la chaveta


i [no] importar a alg. un pepino (fig., fam.) ] perder la chaveta por alg.
not to give/care two hoots (fam.) ]no im- ] perder la onda/tramontana
portar a alg. un ardite ] perder los libros
] perder terreno
la pepita pip
i no tener pepita en la lengua (fig., fam.) (a) la pérdida loss
to talk a mile a minute (fam., Am.E.), to talk i no tener pérdida (fig., fam.) to be very easy
nineteen to the dozen (fam., Br.E.) (b) not to find, s.o. can’t miss it  La calle no tiene
to mince one’s words (fig.), to be outspoken pérdida. The street is very easy to find. You
la pera pear can’t miss it.
i del año de/en el año de la pera (fam.) perdidizo (fam.) [seemingly] not to be found
donkey’s years ago (fam.) ]año de Mari- i hacerse el perdidizo to make o.s. scarce
castaña (fam.), to slip/sneak away
i saber de qué lado caen las peras (fig.) to
know which way the cat jumps (fig.) or perdido lost
which way the cookie crumbles (fam., i ser un caso perdido (fam.) to be a hopeless
Am.E.) or which way the wind is blowing case (fam.)
(fig.) i ser un borracho perdido (fam.) to be a
i [esperar a] ver de qué lado caen las peras hardened boozer (fig., fam.), to be an out-
(fig.) to [wait and/to] see which way the cat and-out drunkard, to be an inveterate
jumps (fig.) or which way the cookie crum- drinker
bles (fam., Am.E.) or which way the wind is i De perdidos, al agua/río. (fam.) In for a
blowing (fig.) penny, in for a pound. (Br.E.) In for a dime,
i poner a alg. las peras a cuarto to give s.o. in for a dollar. (Am.E.)
a piece of one’s mind i estar perdido por alg./algo to be head over
i no quisiera partir peras con alg. (fig., fam.) heels in love with s.o. (fam.), to be smitten
s.o. is a tough customer (fam.)  No with s.o. (fam.), to be mad or crazy or wild
quisiera/quisiéramos partir peras con él. about s.o./s.th. (fam.)
He’s a tough customer. i estar o ponerse perdido de algo (fig., fam.)
i pedir peras al olmo to ask the impossible  Estás perdido de suciedad. You’re covered
i No se le puede pedir peras al olmo. (prov.) in dirt. You’re dirt all over.  Te has puesto
You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. perdido de polvo. You’ve got covered in dust.
(prov.) You’re totally dust-covered.  Te has puesto
] pera (de uvas a ~s) la chaqueta perdida de tinta o de suciedad.
You’ve got ink all over your jacket. Your jacket
el percebe barnacle is thick with dirt.
i un percebe (fig., fam.) idiot ]un [pedazo ] perdido (estar más ~ que Carracuca)
de] alcornoque
perecer to die, to perish
la percha perch i perecerse de risa (fig.) to die laughing (fig.)
i tener buena percha (fig., fam.) to have a i perecerse de envidia (fig.) to be dying of
good build/physique; (woman): to have a envy (fig.), to be eaten up with envy, to be
good figure green with envy (fig.)
perder to lose i perecerse por algo (fig.) to be mad/crazy
i llevar las de perder, salir perdiendo (fig.) to about s.th. (fam.), to crave for s.th., to long
[be bound to] lose, to come off a loser, to for s.th., to pine for s.th., to be dying for s.th.
come off worst, to lose out (fam.)  Lleva (fig.)
las de perder. He’s bound to lose.  No dis- i perecerse por + infinitivo (fig.) to be dy-
cutas con ellos porque llevas las de perder. ing/itching to + infinitive (fig.), to be champ-
Don’t argue with them because you’ll lose or ing at the bit to + infinitive (fig.), to long to
come off a loser.  Salimos perdiendo. We + infinitive, to love + gerund  Me perezco
lost out. We came off worst. por hacerlo. I’m dying to do it. I’d love doing

144
el perro

it.  Se perecía por verla. He was dying/ el pero objection


longing to see her. i ¡No hay pero que valga! There’s no buts
about it! No buts!
el perejil parsley
i huir del perejil y dar en el berenjenal (fig., la perra female dog
fam.) to jump out of the frying pan into the i la perra chica (fig., fam., Esp.) 5-céntimo
fire  Atracó un banco para pagar sus deu- coin
das. Huyó del perejil y dio en el berenjenal. i la perra gorda (fig., fam., Esp.) 10-céntimo
He held up a bank to pay [off] his debts. He coin
jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. i costar unas perras (fig., fam.) to cost a few
i perejiles (fig., fam.) (a) frills (fig.), trim- coppers (fam.), to cost a few bucks (fam.,
mings, fancy bits (fam., Br.E.), fripperies Am.E.), to cost a few quid (fam., Br.E.)
(fig.), buttons and bows (b) handles to one’s i no tener [ni] una perra (fig., fam.) to be flat
name (fam.), extra titles broke (fam.), to be stone-broke (fam.,
] perejil (poner a alg. como hoja de ~) Am.E.)
el perigallo double chin, dewlap (fam.) i hasta la perra le/etc. parirá lechones (fam.)
i el perigallo (fig., fam.) (person): beanpole he’s/etc. always damned lucky (fam.)
(fig., fam., hum.) la perrada (fig., fam.) dirty trick (fig., fam.)
la perilla pear-shaped ornament i hacer una perrada a alg. to play a dirty/
i venir de perilla[s] (fig., fam.) to be just what nasty trick on s.o. (fig., fam.)
s.o. needs/needed, to come in very handy el perro dog
(fam.)  El dinero me vino de perillas. The i el perro salchicha (fam.) dachshund,
money was just what I needed. sausage dog (fam., Br.E.)
el periódico newspaper i ser [un] perro viejo (fig., fam.) to be an old
i el periódico amarillo (fig.) sensational or hand, to be an old fox (fig.), to be a cunning
gutter or yellow newspaper old devil (fam.)
i ser periódico de ayer (fig.) to be old news, i tratar a alg. como a un perro (fig.) to treat
to be old hat (fam.) s.o. like dirt (fig.)
i dar perro a alg. (fam.) to keep s.o. waiting
el periodicucho (fam.) (newspaper): rag i darse a perros (fam.) to get hopping mad
(fam., pej.) (fam.), to get livid (fam., Br.E.), to get ter-
peripatética (fig., fam.) ribly angry
i ser una peripatética to be on the game i echar los perros a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to take
(fam.), to walk/work the streets, to be a pros- drastic action against s.o. (b) to come down
titute on s.o. like a ton of bricks (fam.)
i meter los perros en danza (fig.) to set the
peripuesto (fam.)
cat among the pigeons
i estar peripuesto to be dressed up to the
i hacer tanta falta como los perros en misa,
nines (fam.), to be in one’s glad rags (fam.,
ser como perro en misa (a) to be very/
Br.E.), to be in one’s Sunday best (fam.)
wholly out of place (b) to be like a fifth wheel
la perla pearl (fig., fam.)
i de perlas (fig., fam.) (to be) just what s.o. i irle a alg. como a los perros en misa (fig.)
needs/needed, (to come in) very handy not to have an easy time of it (fam.), to have
(fam.), (to come) just right, (to suit) per- a terrible time of it (fam.)
fectly or down to the ground, (to go) per- i Le conocen hasta los perros. Everybody
fectly or very well  El dinero me vino de knows him.
perlas. The money was just what I needed.  i de perros (fam.)  la vida de perros (fig.,
El martes me vendría de perlas. Tuesday fam.) the dog’s life (fig.)  estar de un humor
would suit me down to the ground.  Todo de perros to be in a foul/stinking mood (fig.),
marchó de perlas. Everything went perfectly. to be in a very bad mood, to be like a bear with
Everything went very well. a sore head (fam.)  Hace un tiempo de pe-
] Pero Botero (las calderas de ~) rros. The weather’s foul (fig.) or lousy (fam.)

145
el Perú

or terrible.  hacer un frío de perros to be i no saber uno lo que se pesca (fig., fam.)
[absolutely] freezing (fam.), to be freezing cold not to have a clue what it’s [all] about (fam.),
(fam.), to be cold enough to freeze the balls to have no idea what it’s [all] about
off a brass monkey (fam., Br.E.), to be brass i pescarse un marido (fig., fam.) to get or
monkey weather (sl., Br.E.), not to be half cold hook (fam.) o.s. a husband
(fam., Br.E.) ] pescar (~las al vuelo)
i A perro flaco no le faltan pulgas. (prov.) It ] pescar (No se pescan truchas a bragas en-
never rains but it pours. (prov.) jutas.)
i Muerto el perro, se acabó la rabia. (prov.) ] pescar al candil
The best way to solve a problem is to attack ] pescar el bulto a alg.
the root cause of it. ] pescar en río revuelto
i Perro ladrador, nunca buen mordedor o
] pescar una trucha
poco mordedor. (prov.) Perro que ladra no
muerde. (prov.) A barking dog never bites. el pescuezo neck, scruff of the neck
(prov.) His/etc. bark’s worse than his/etc. i jugarse el pescuezo (fig., fam.) to risk one’s
bite. (fig.) neck (fam.)
i ser [como] el perro del hortelano[, que ni i retorcer el pescuezo a alg. (fam.) to wring
come la berza ni la deja comer] to be a dog s.o.’s neck (fam.)  ¡Cierra el pico, o te
in the manger  Aunque el vestido le está retuerzo el pescuezo! Shut your trap, or I’ll
demasiado ancho, no se lo da a su her- wring your neck!
mana. Es como el perro del hortelano. Al-
though this dress is too big/wide for her, she la peseta peseta
doesn’t let her sister have it. She’s a dog in the i A quien cuida la peseta nunca le falta un
manger.  Tiene una entrada para ir al duro. (prov.) Look after the pennies and the
teatro, pero no puede ir. Si no fuese como pounds will look after themselves or will take
el perro del hortelano, me la daría. He has care of themselves.
a ticket for the theater, but he can’t go. If he i cambiar la peseta (fig., fam.) to vomit, to
were not a dog in the manger, he would give throw up (fam.), to blow one’s cookies/
it to me. lunch (sl.), to feed the fishes (seasick person)
] perro ( ]nariz: tener narices de ~ perdi- (fam.)
guero) ] peseta (¡Salud, amor y ~s!)
] perro (¡A otro ~ con ese hueso!)
] perro (Allí tampoco atan los ~s con longa- la pesetera (pop.) cheap tart (sl.), cheap
niza.) hooker (sl., Am.E.), cheap prostitute
] perro (atar ~s con longaniza) el peso weight
] perro (cual el dueño, tal el ~) i quitársele a alg. un [gran] peso de encima
] perro (hinchar el ~) (fig.) to be a [heavy/real] load off s.o.’s mind
] perro (tener carne de ~) (fig.)  Se me quitó un gran peso de
el Perú Peru encima. That was a heavy load off my mind.
i el Perú (fig.) gold mine (fig., fam.), money- i quitarle a alg. un [gran] peso de encima
spinner (fam., Br.E.), moneymaker (fig.) to take a [heavy/real] load off s.o.’s
i valer algo/alg. un Perú (fig., fam.) (a) s.th.: mind (fig.)
to be invaluable, to be worth a fortune (b) i no estar en su peso (fig., fam.) to be un-
s.o.: to be worth one’s weight in gold (fig.) der the weather (fam.)
 Mi secretaria vale un Perú. My secretary ] peso (caerse de/por su propio ~)
is worth her weight in gold.
el pesquis (fam.) common sense, horse sense
] pesar lo suyo
(fam.), know-how, nous (fam.)  Tiene mu-
] pescado (no ser carne ni ~) cho pesquis. He has a lot of nous.  No tiene
pescar to fish pesquis. He’s dumb. (fam., Am.E.)  Si tu-
i pescar en aguas turbias (fig.) to fish in trou- vieran un poco más pesquis ... If they had a
bled waters (fig.) bit more common/horse sense . . .

146
el pico

la pestaña eyelash i salga pez o salga rana (fig., fam.) as luck


i quemarse las pestañas (fig., fam.) to will have it, on the off-chance
study/work far into the night, to burn the ] pez (por la boca muere el ~)
midnight oil, to cram (fam.), to swot (fam., ] pez (reírse de los peces de colores)
Br.E.), to bone up (fam.) la pezuña hoof
el pestazo (fam.) [horrible] stink/pong i la pezuña (fig., pop.) hand, paw (fam.)
(fam., Br.E.)/stench i meter la pezuña (fig., pop.) to put one’s foot
] peste ( ]cebar: se ceba la ~) in it ]meter la pata

la petaca (pop.) (a) hip flask (b) bed, sack la pica pike
(sl.), kip (sl.) i poner una pica en Flandes (fig.) to bring off
i irse a la o echarse en la petaca to hit the s.th. very difficult, to bring off a coup, to
sack, to hit the hay (sl., Am.E.) achieve a signal success
i poder pasar por las picas de Flandes (fig.)
i hacerle la petaca a alg. to make s.o. an ap-
to be [absolutely] perfect, to be beyond all
ple-pie bed (fam., Br.E.)
criticism, to stand up to the severest criti-
petar (fam.) cism
i No me peta ir al cine. I don’t [really] feel
el picadero riding-school
like going to the cinema.
i el picadero (fig., fam.) bachelor pad (fam.),
i Si te peta. If you feel like it.
trouble-free digs (fam., Br.E.), apartment
el petardo firecracker used for sexual encounters, love nest
i el petardo (fig., argot, Esp.) joint (sl.), spliff el picadillo minced meat
(sl., Br.E.), marijuana cigarette i hacer picadillo a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to make
i el petardo (fig., fam.) swindle, fraud mincemeat of s.o. (fig.), to beat s.o. to a pulp
i pegar un petardo a alg. (fig., fam.) to cheat (fig.) (b) to give s.o. a severe dressing-down
s.o., to con s.o. (fam.), to pull a fast one on (fam.)
s.o. (sl.), to tap s.o. for money (with the in-
tention of not paying it back) el picador horse-breaker
i tener la cabeza más dura que un picador
el petate (fam.) baggage (fig., fam.) to be pigheaded, to be stubborn
i liar el petate (fig., fam.) (a) to pack one’s
bags/things [and go] (fam.), to pack up [and picar to prick, to sting
go] (fam.), to [pull] up sticks (Br.E.) or i picar [más] alto (fig., fam.) to aim high[er]
stakes (Am.E.) (fig., fam.) (b) to kick the (fig.)
bucket (fam.) ]cascar[la] ] picar (quien se pica, ajos come)
] picar que rabia ( ]rabiar)
el pez fish
i un pez gordo (fig., fam.) big fish (fig.), big- la picha (vulg.) (penis) ]el calvo
wig (fam.), big shot (fam.), big cheese pichi (adj., pop.) elegant, smart, posh (fam.)
(fam.), big noise (sl.), fat cat (fig., fam.
el pichón young pigeon
Am.E.), top nob (sl., Br.E.), big wheel (fam.)
i el pichón (fig., fam.) darling, honey/hon
i estar/sentirse como el pez en el agua (fig.)
(fam., Am.E.)
to be in one’s element, to feel completely at
i la pichona (fam.) darling, honey/hon (fam.,
home (fam.), to feel really great, to feel on
Am.E.), sweetie (fam.)  Sí, pichona. Yes,
top of the world (fam.)
darling. Yes, sweetie.
i estar pez en algo (fam.) to know nothing at
all about s.th., not to know the first thing ] Picio (ser más feo que ~)
about s.th., not to know beans about s.th. el pico peak, beak, bill
(sl., Am.E.), not to have a clue about s.th. i costar un pico (fam.) to cost a tidy sum
(fam.)  Está pez en matemáticas. He ]costar una burrada
doesn’t have a clue when it comes to mathe- i irse de/a picos pardos (fam.) (a) to go out
matics. on the town (fam.), to spend a night on the

147
la picota

tiles (fam., Br.E.), to go out for a good time i darle a alg. el pie y se toma la mano (fig.)
(b) to be unfaithful (to one’s husband/ give s.o. an inch and he’ll take a yard/mile
wife/etc.), to two-time (one’s husband/wife) (fig.)  Le das el pie y se toma la mano.
(fam.) Give him an inch and he’ll take a yard. 
i a las diez/etc. y pico (fam.) just after 10/etc. Dales el pie y se tomarán la mano. Give
i el pico (fig., fam.) trap (sl.), mouth  abrir them an inch and they’ll take a mile.
el pico to talk, to open one’s mouth  cerrar i no dar pie con bola (fam.) to do everything
el pico to shut one’s mouth/trap, to pipe down wrong, s.o. can’t get a thing right, to be no
(fam.), to belt up (fam., Br.E.)  ¡Cierra el good at anything
pico! Shut your trap! Pipe down! Belt up!  i caer de pies (fig.) to fall/land on one’s feet
darle al pico to talk a lot  darse el pico to (fig.), to get out or emerge unscathed
kiss, to have a good old snog (fam., Br.E.)  i hacer algo con los pies (fig.) to bungle s.th.,
tener buen pico to have the gift of [the] gab to botch s.th. [up] (fam.), to make a mess
 tener un pico de oro to be silver-tongued, or a botch of s.th. (fig.)  una carta escrita
to be very eloquent  perderse por el pico con los pies a very poorly written letter
to harm o.s. by saying too much, to talk too i sacar los pies del plato o de las alforjas
much (fig., fam.) (a) to go one’s own way (fig.),
] pico (hincar el ~) to go off on a different tack (fig.) (b) to
] pico (jarabe de ~) abandon all restraint, to kick over the traces
(fig.)
la picota pillory
i sacar a alg. con los pies adelante (fig., fam.)
i poner a alg. en la picota (fig.) to pillory s.o.
to bury s.o.
(fig.)
i sacar el pie del lodo a alg. (fig., fam.) to
la picotada peck get s.o. out of a jam/fix (fam.), to get s.o. off
i la picotada (fam.) (drug injection): shot the hook (fam.)
(sl.), fix (sl.) i estar al pie del cañón (fig., fam.) to be ready
for battle (fig.), to be ready to act
el picotazo peck
i morir al pie del cañón (fig., fam.) to die in
i el picotazo (fam.) (drug injection): shot
harness (fig.), to die with one’s boots on
(sl.), fix (sl.)
(fig.)  Dice que prefiere morir al pie del
el pie foot cañón a morir en la cama. He says he prefers
i levantarse con el pie izquierdo o salir con dying with his boots on to dying in bed.
mal pie (fig., fam.) to get up on the wrong i al pie de la letra (fig.) literally, word for
side of the bed (fam., Am.E.), to get out of word, to the letter, exactly  Lo repitió todo
bed on the wrong side (fam., Br.E.) al pie de la letra. He repeated it all word for
i no estirar los pies más de lo que da la word.
frazada (fam., Cono Sur) to cut one’s coat i a pie juntillo (fig.) (believe/etc.): firmly, ab-
according to one’s cloth (Br.E.), to go easy on solutely  Lo cree a pie juntillo. He firmly
the sugar (fig.) believes it.
i buscar cinco/tres pies al gato (fig., fam.) (a) i no tener pies ni cabeza (fig., fam.) to make
to ask/look for trouble (b) to split hairs, to no sense whatsoever, there’s no rhyme or
quibble reason [to s.th.], s.o. can’t make head[s] or
i cojear del mismo pie (fig., fam.) to have the tail[s] of s.th. (fam.), to be absurd, to be
same faults, to be tarred with the same brush ridiculous  Para mi/nosotros esto no tiene
(fam., pej.), to be two of a kind pies ni cabeza. I/we can’t make head or tail
i saber de qué pie cojea alg. (fig., fam.) to of it.  Esta decisión no tiene pies ni cabeza.
know s.o.’s faults or weakness[es], to know There’s no rhyme or reason to this decision.
s.o.’s weak point[s] or spot[s]  Este argumento no tiene pies ni cabeza.
i tomar pie de algo (fig.) to use s.th. as an This argument is pointless/absurd.
excuse or as a pretext i tener los pies [bien puestos] en/sobre la
i dar pie para/a (fig.) to give rise to, to give tierra (fig.) to have both/one’s feet [firmly]
cause for on the ground (fig.)

148
la pieza

i tener un pie en dos zapatos (fig.) to have ] piedra (callar[se] como una ~)
two/several irons in the fire or strings to ] piedra (estar a [un] tiro de ~)
one’s bow (fig.) ] piedra (estar más muerto que una ~)
i ser pies y manos de alg. (fig.) to be s.o.’s ] piedra (sacar agua de las ~s)
right-hand man (fig.)
la piel skin
i vestirse por los pies (fam., hum.) to be a
i dar la piel (fig., fam.) to die
man  ¿Quién es? Se viste por los pies. Who
i dejarse la piel (fig.) to give one’s all
is it? It’s a man.
]echar/sudar la hiel
i andar con pies de plomo (fig.) to go about
i ser de la piel del diablo (fig., fam.) (child):
it very warily or carefully or cautiously, to
to be very unruly, to be difficult to keep un-
tread (fig.) or proceed very warily or care-
der control, to be a little monster/devil
fully or cautiously
(fam.), to be a holy terror (fam.)
i arrastrar los pies (fig., fam.) to be old and
i vender la piel del oso antes de cazarlo (fig.)
frail
to count one’s chickens before they’re
i estar siempre con un pie en el aire (fam.)
hatched (fig.)  Aunque no está [absoluta-
to be always on the go or on the jump (fam.)
mente] seguro de que herede todo ese
i poner pies en polvorosa (fig.) to take to
dinero, ya está haciendo grandes planes
one’s heels, to turn tail (fig.), to beat it (sl.),
para el futuro. No vendas la piel del oso
to do a bunk (fam., Br.E.), to skedaddle
antes de cazarlo. Although he’s not [abso-
(fam.)
lutely] sure whether he’ll inherit all that
i ¿Pies, para qué os quiero? (fig., fam.) Let’s
money, he’s already making big plans for the
get out of here! (fam.)
future. Don’t count your chickens before
] pie ( ]nacer: nació alg. de ~[s])
they’re hatched.
] pie (caérsele a alg. el alma a los ~s)
] piel (a flor de ~)
] pie (estar con un ~ en el estribo/hoyo)
] piel (un lobo con ~ de cordero/oveja)
] pie (herir el suelo con el ~)
] pie (tener un ~ en la tumba) la pierna leg
i estirar la pierna más larga que la sábana
la piedra stone
(fig.) not to cut one’s coat according to one’s
i arrojar/tirar la primera piedra (fig.) to cast
cloth (Br.E.), not to go easy on the sugar
the first stone (fig.)
(fig.)
i no dejar piedra para mover (fig.) to leave no
i dormir a pierna suelta (fam.) to sleep the
stone unturned (fig.), to do everything in
sleep of the just/dead, to sleep soundly
one’s power
i salir por piernas (fam.) to take to one’s heels,
i cerrar algo a piedra y lodo (fig.) to firmly
to leg it (fam.)
lock s.th., to shut s.th. all up
i ser un piernas (fam., pej.) to be a nobody
i tirar piedras a su o sobre el propio tejado
(fig.), to be a dead loss (fig., fam.), to be a
(fig.) to foul one’s own nest (fig.), to cut off
washout (fam.)
one’s nose to spite one’s face
i Eso sería tirar piedras a su o sobre el pro- la pieza piece
pio tejado. (fig.) People who live in glass i una buena pieza (fig., fam., iron.) nasty cus-
houses should not throw stones. (fig.) tomer (fig., fam.), troublemaker, villain,
i Piedra movediza, el moho no la cobija. rogue
(prov.) Piedra movediza no coge musgo. i jugar una pieza a alg. (fig., fam.) to play a
(prov.) A rolling stone gathers no moss. dirty/nasty trick on s.o. (fig., fam.)
(prov.) i quedarse de una pieza (fig., fam.) to be
i pasar a una mujer por la piedra (pop., [left] speechless, to be struck dumb, to be
vulg.) to screw a woman (vulg.) ]calzar[se] struck all of a heap (fam.), to be knocked
a alg. sideways or for a loop (Am.E.) or for six
i sacar la piedra (pop., vulg.) (to have an or- (Br.E.) (fam.), to be dumbfounded, to be
gasm): to come (fam.); (man): to shoot off flabbergasted (fam.), to be like a dying duck
(vulg., Br.E.) [in a thunderstorm] (fam.), to be completely

149
la pifia

taken aback (fig.)  Al oírlo nos quedamos pinchar to prick


de una pieza. We were struck all of a heap i ni pinchar ni cortar (fig.) (a) to be neither
or knocked sideways or completely taken aback fish nor fowl (fig.), to be neither one thing
when we heard it. nor the other (b) not to have any say, not to
i dejar a alg. de una pieza (fig., fam.) to strike have any clout (fig.), to cut no ice (fam.) 
s.o. dumb, to strike s.o. all of a heap (fam.), Ella aquí ni pincha ni corta. She doesn’t have
to knock s.o. sideways or for a loop (Am.E.) any say [in what goes on] here. She cuts no
or for six (Br.E.) (fam.), to floor s.o. (fam.) ice here.
i pincharse (fam.) (drug): to shoot up (sl.), to
la pifia miscue
i la pifia (fig., fam.) blunder, bloomer (fam.,
jack up (sl.), to give o.s. a fix/shot (sl.), to
Br.E.), goof (fam., Am.E.), boob (fam.), give o.s. a jab (sl., Br.E.)
boo-boo (fam.), clinker (sl., Am.E.) la pinga (pop.) (penis): ]el calvo
i dar una pifia to blunder, to goof, to make a
bloomer/boob el pingajo shred
i estar hecho un pingajo (fig., fam.) to be
pifiar (fig., fam.) to blunder, to goof, to make completely shattered (fam., Br.E.) ]estar
a bloomer/boob hecho cisco
la pija (pop.) (penis) ]el calvo pinganitos (fam.)
el pijo (pop.) (penis) ]el calvo i estar en pinganitos to be well up, to be well-
placed socially
la pila drinking trough
i ser más bruto que la pila de un pozo (fig., el pino pine [tree]
pop.) to be as thick as two short planks i hacer el pino to do a handstand or head-
(fam.) ]ser más tonto que Carracuca stand, to stand on one’s head
i plantar un pino (fig., pop.) (to relieve o.s.):
] Pilatos (ir de Herodes a ~)
to do one’s business (fig., fam.), to take a
la píldora pill dump (vulg.)
i píldoras (fam.) bullets  Frieron al traidor i vivir/estar en el quinto pino (fig.) to live/be
a píldoras. They riddled the traitor with bul- at the back of beyond ]vivir/estar donde
lets. Cristo dio las tres voces
i tragar la píldora (fig., fam.) to fall for it
pintado painted, colorful
(fam.), to be taken in (fam.)
i el más pintado (fig., fam.) cleverest, crafti-
i dorar la píldora (fig.) to sweeten or sugar or
est, best  Eso podría pasarle al más pin-
sugar-coat the pill (fig.)  No dores la píl-
tado. That could happen to the cleverest [of
dora. Dímelo con toda franqueza. Don’t
us] or to anybody.  Lo hizo como el más
sweeten the pill. Give it to me straight or tell
pintado. He did it with the or as well as the
me straight out.
best.
] pillar a alg. en bolas/bragas i no poder ver a alg. ni pintado (fig., fam.)
] pillar una mona/zorra s.o. can’t stand s.th. ]tener a alg. atrave-
] pillarse los dedos sado
la piltra (pop.) bed, kip (sl.), sack (sl.) i venir/sentar [a alg.] que ni pintado o como
i irse a la o echarse en la piltra to hit the sack pintado (fig., fam.) to come at just the right
(fam.), to hit the hay (fam., Am.E.) time, to fit/suit [s.o.] to a T ]venir/sentar
[a alg.] como anillo al dedo (a), (b)
el pimiento pepper
i [no] importar a alg. un pimiento (fig., fam.) pintar to paint
not to give/care two hoots (fam.) ]no im- i no pintar nada (fig., fam.) to have no say,
portar a alg. un ardite not to have any say, not to have any clout
(fig.), not to count, to cut no ice (fam.) 
el pimpampúm (fam.) shooting gallery
Ella aquí no pinta nada. She doesn’t have any
el pimpollo shoot, bud say [in what goes on] here. She doesn’t count
i el pimpollo [de oro] (fig., fam.) bonny child here.

150
el pisto

i pintarse uno solo o pintárselas solo para button [up] one’s lip/mouth (fig., fam.) 
algo (fig., fam.) to be a dab hand at s.th. ¡De eso no digas ni pío! You keep your mouth
(fam., Br.E.), to be an expert at/in s.th., to shut about that!  Se fueron sin decir ni pío.
be red hot on s.th. (fam.), to be an ace . . . , They went off without a word.  No dijeron
to be very well suited for s.th.  Se pinta él ni pío en toda la tarde. I/we didn’t hear a
solo para los deportes. He’s an ace athlete.  peep from them all afternoon.
Él se las pinta solo para las matemáticas.
He’s an ace mathematician. He’s an out- la pipa pipe
standing mathematician. i la pipa (pop.) pistol, rod (sl., Am.E.)
i ¿Qué diablo te pintas tú/etc. por aquí ? i tener mala pipa (euph.) to have bad inten-
(fam.) What the devil/hell are you/etc. up tions ]tener mala leche
to here? (fam.)  ¿Qué diablo se pinta él por i pasarlo pipa (fam.) to have a great/fantas-
aquí? What the devil is he up to here? tic time (fam.), to have a whale of a time
i No es tan feo el diablo como le pintan. (fam.), to have high jinks (fam.)
(prov.) It’s not as bad as all that. It’s noth- pirarse, pirárselas (fam.) to beat it (sl.), to
ing to get upset about. clear out/off (fam.), to make o.s. scarce
pintiparado (fam.) (fam.), to cut class (fam.)
i venir [que ni] pintiparado (fig.) to come just piripi (fam.)
right, to be just what s.o. needs/needed, to
i estar piripi to be merry (fam.), to be tipsy
be just what the doctor ordered (fig., fam.)
(fam.)
Pinto y Valdemoro (Esp.)
piro (pop.)
i estar entre Pinto y Valdemoro (fam., Esp.)
i darse el piro to beat it (sl.), to split (sl.), to
(a) s.o. can’t make up his mind, to be in two
clear off/out (fam.)
minds (b) to be tipsy, to be tiddly (fam.,
Br.E.), to be sozzled (sl., Br.E.) el piropo compliment
la pintura painting i ser un piropo ambulante (fig., fam.)
i ser una pintura (fig.) to be lovely[-looking] (woman): to be very pretty, to be a beauty
i no poder ver algo o a alg. ni en pintura (fig., pisar to tread
fam.) s.o. can’t stand the sight of s.o. (fam.), i pisar a alg. (fig., pop.) to bang s.o. (vulg.)
to hate s.o.’s guts (fam.) ]tener algo o a alg. ]calzar[se] a alg.
atravesado  No puedo ver el queso de i pisar algo/a alg. (fig., fam.) to steal s.th./s.o.
cabra ni en pintura. I can’t stand goat cheese. (fig.), to pinch s.th./s.o. (sl., Br.E.)  Me pi-
] pinza (sacar algo a alg. con ~s) saron la idea. They stole/pinched my idea. 
José le pisó la novia a su amigo. José pinched
el piñón pine seed, pine nut
i una boquita de piñón (fig., fam.) pretty girl, his friend’s girl.  pisar la clientela a alg. to
sweet girl (fam.) steal/pinch s.o.’s clientele or customers
i estar a partir un piñón [con alg.] (fig., fam.) el pisotón stamp on the foot
to be very thick with s.o. (fam.), to be bosom i dar el pisotón (fig.) (reporter/etc.): to bring
pals or buddies [with s.o.] (fam.), to be as off a scoop (sl.), to get a beat on (sl., Am.E.)
thick as thieves  Ella está a partir un piñón
con él. She’s very thick with him. She’s bosom la pista track, trail
pals with him.  Juan y Pepe están a partir i la pista falsa (fig.) red herring (fig.)  Es
un piñón. Juan and Pepe are the best of bud- una pista falsa. It’s a red herring. He’s/
dies or are bosom buddies or are as thick as they’re/etc. [just] trying to draw/take the peo-
thieves. ple’s attention away from the actual/real issue.
el pío cheep, chirp el pisto type of Spanish dish
i no decir ni pío (fig., fam.) not to hear a peep i el pisto (fig., fam.) bad food, swill (fig., pej.),
out of or from s.o. (fam.), not to say/breathe muck (fig., fam.)
a word, not to open one’s mouth, to keep i el pisto (fam.; Méjico, América Central, An-
one’s mouth shut, to keep mum (fam.), to des) (money): dough (sl., Am.E.), bread

151
el pistón

(sl.), sugar (sl.), brass/dosh/lolly (sl., Br.E.), pitorrearse (fam., Esp.)


wampum (sl., Am.E.) i pitorrearse de alg. to pull s.o.’s leg (fam.), to
i darse pisto (fig., fam.) to swank (fam., tease s.o., to take the mickey out of s.o. (fam.,
Br.E.), to show off, to put on the dog (fam., Br.E.), to make fun of s.o.
Am.E.) la plancha (fig., fam.) gaffe, blunder, boob
] pistola (sentarle algo a alg. como a un (fam.), boo-boo (fam.), goof (fam., Am.E.),
santo cristo un par de ~s) clinker (sl., Am.E.)
i tirarse una plancha to put one’s foot in it
el pistón piston (fam.), to drop a clanger/brick (fam., Br.E.)
i los pistones (pop.) (testicles) ]las canicas
plantar to plant
pistonudo (fam.) great (fam.) ]cojonudo i plantar la carrera (fig., fam.) to quit col-
(a) lege/university, to quit one’s profession, to
la pitada whistle quit one’s career
i dar una pitada (fig., fam.) to step out of line i plantar o dejar plantado a alg. (fig., fam.)
to ditch s.o. (fam.), to jilt s.o., to stand s.o.
(fig.)
up (fam.), to leave s.o. in the lurch (fig.), to
pitar to whistle leave s.o. high and dry (fig.)  Plantó a su
i pitar (fig., fam.) to work [well], to go off well novio. She ditched her boyfriend.  Como me
 Esto no pita. This doesn’t work.  Pitó. It dejaron plantado, tuve que hacerlo todo yo.
went off well. Since they left me high and dry or in the lurch,
i pitar (fig.) to let fly (fig.), to let rip (fam.) I had to do it all myself.
i salir pitando (fig., fam.) to beat it (sl.), to ] plantar a alg. en la calle
clear/push off (fam.), to make off very ] plantar un pino
quickly el plantón seedling
la pítima (fam.) drunkenness i dar un plantón a alg. (fig., fam.) to stand s.o.
i coger una pítima to get plastered (fam.) up (on a date) (fam.)  La convidé a cenar
y me dio un plantón. I invited her to dinner
]cocerse (a)
but she stood me up or she didn’t show up.
el pito whistle i estar cansado del plantón (fig., fam.) to be
i el pito (fig., pop.) (penis): ]el calvo tired of the endless/long wait
i tocarse el pito (fig., fam.) to twiddle one’s la plata silver
thumbs (fig., fam.), to do sod all (sl., Br.E.), i hablar en plata (fig.) to speak bluntly (fig.),
to do damn all (fam.), to do sweet f.a. (fam.), to speak frankly  hablando en plata[, ...] to
to be bone-idle (fam.) put it bluntly[, . . .]
i no tocar pito en algo (fam.) to have noth- i como una plata (fig., fam.) spick-and-span
ing to do with s.th.  No toqué pito en eso. (fam.), squeaky clean (fam.), as bright/clean
I had nothing to do with that. as a new pin (fig.), like a new pin (fig.), spot-
i [no] importar a alg. un pito (fig., fam.) not less
to give/care two hoots (fam.) ]no impor- ] plata (como una tacita de ~)
tar a alg. un ardite ] plata (hincharse de ~)
i no valer un pito (fig., fam.) not to be worth ] plata (la Tacita de Plata)
a bean (fam.) ]no valer un ardite ] plata (tener manitas de ~)
i Cuando pitos flautas, cuando flautas pitos. ] platillo (a bombo y ~)
It’s something different every time. First it’s el plato plate, dish
this, then it’s that. i Del plato a la boca se pierde la sopa.
i Cuando no es por pitos, es por flautas. If (prov.) There’s many a slip ’twixt cup and lip.
it isn’t one thing it’s another. (prov.)
i hoy le da a alg. por pitos y mañana por i no ser plato de su gusto (fig.) not to be s.o.’s
flautas s.o. doesn’t know what he wants cup of tea (fam., Br.E.), not to like it/s.th.

152
poder

 No es plato de mi gusto. It’s not exactly la pluma feather


my cup of tea. i Más fuerte es la pluma que la espada.
i ser plato de segunda mesa (fig.) to be a (prov.) The pen is mightier than the sword.
second-rater, to be second-best, to play sec- (prov.)
ond fiddle (fig.) i echar buena pluma (fig., fam.) to shape up
i comer en un mismo o en el mismo o del nicely ]echar buen pelo
mismo plato (fig., fam.) to be inseparable, i el pluma (pop., Esp.) (gay): queer/fairy/fag-
to get on like a house on fire (fam.), to be got (sl., pej.), pansy (fam., pej.), queen (sl.),
great pals/buddies (fam.), to be hand in poof[ter] (sl., pej., Br.E.), fag (sl., pej.,
glove  Comen en un mismo plato. They’re Am.E.), arse bandit (vulg., Br.E.)
inseparable. i las plumas (fig., fam.) bed  Están todavía
i no/nunca haber roto un plato [en su vida] en las plumas. They’re still in bed.
(fig., fam.)  Parece que ella nunca ha roto i adornarse con plumas ajenas (fig.) to adorn
un plato. She looks as if butter wouldn’t melt o.s. with borrowed plumes (fig.), to take
in her mouth. (fam.)  Tiene cara de no credit for what s.o. else has done
haber roto un plato en su vida. He looks as i escribir/anotar [algo] a vuela pluma to
if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. (fam.) write [s.th.] [down] quickly or without
i Por fuera no rompe un plato, pero tiene la much thought, to jot s.th. down  Estaba
música por dentro. (fam.) Still waters run escribiendo a vuela pluma. He was writing
deep. (prov.) quickly.  He anotado unas ideas a vuela
i [tener que] pagar los platos rotos (fig., pluma. I’ve jotted down a few ideas.
fam.) to [have to] carry the can (fam., Br.E.),
el plumero bunch of feathers
to [have to] take the rap (sl., Am.E.) i se le ve el plumero a alg. (fig., fam.) you
i nada entre dos platos (fig., fam.) nothing can see what s.o. is up to (fam.)/is after/is
much, a little/minor thing, a trifle  ¿Qué really thinking  Se te ve el plumero. One/I/
pasó? Nada entre dos platos. What hap-
we can see what you’re up to.
pened? Nothing much.
] plato (muchas manos en un ~ hacen mu- ] pobre (ser más ~ que una rata [de iglesia])
cho garabato) la pobreza poverty
] plato (sacar los pies del ~) i Pobreza no es vileza. (prov.) Poverty is not
la plazoleta small square a crime. (prov.) Poverty is no sin. (prov.)
i comprar algo a plazoletas (fam., hum.) to poco little
buy s.th. on the never-never (fam., hum., i Muchos pocos hacen un mucho. (prov.)
Br.E.), to pay for s.th. in instal[l]ments Look after the pennies and the pounds will
look after themselves or will take care of
el plomo lead, fuse
themselves.
i nadar como un plomo (fam.) to swim like
i Quien poco tiene, poco teme. (prov.) He
a brick (fam.)
who has nothing has nothing to lose.
i ser algo/alg. un plomo (fig., fam.) s.th./s.o.:
to be deadly boring (fam.), to be a bore, to poder can, to be able to
be a drag (sl.); s.th.: to be as exciting as i a más no poder  gritar a más no poder
watching [the] paint dry (hum.); s.o.: to be to scream/shout at the top of one’s voice or
a pain in the neck (fam.)  Este libro es un lungs  reír[se] a más no poder to roar with
plomo. This book is deadly boring. This book laughter  comer a más no poder to eat to
is about as exciting as watching the paint dry. excess, to eat until one is fit to burst, to eat un-
 Ese tío es un plomo. That guy is a pain in til one is [as] full/tight as a tick (fam.)  co-
the neck.  ¡Qué plomo! What a drag! rrer a más no poder to run like crazy/hell
i fundírsele a alg. los plomos (fig., Esp.) to (fam.), to run hell for leather (fam.), to run
blow a fuse (fig., sl., hum.), to blow/pop for all one is worth (fam.), to run as fast as one
one’s cork (sl.), to blow one’s top (sl.), to go can  trabajar a más no poder to work flat
through or hit the roof (fig., fam.) out (fam.), to go at it hammer and tongs
] plomo (andar con pies de ~) (fam.)  ganar dinero a más no poder to

153
podrido

make pots/piles/stacks of money (fam.)  ser i sacudir el polvo a alg. (fig., fam.) to beat s.o.
terco a más no poder to be utterly/extremely up (fam.) ]arrimar candela a alg.
obstinate, to be as obstinate as they come  i hacer polvo a alg. (fig., fam.) (a) to take it
ser desmañado/torpe a más no poder to be out of s.o., to wear s.o. out (fig.), to shatter
very awkward, to be [as] awkward as a cow on s.o. (fam.) (b) (in a debate; opponent): to
a crutch or as a cow on roller skates (hum.) flatten s.o. (fam.), to slam s.o. (fam.), to
 ser feo a más no poder to be as ugly as crush s.o. (fig.), to tear s.o. to pieces/shreds
sin/hell (fam.), to be incredibly ugly  ser (fig., fam.), to wipe the floor with s.o. (fig.)
tonto a más no poder to be as dumb as they  Uno de los candidatos a la presidencia
come (fam., Am.E.), to be a complete idiot  hizo polvo a los otros. One of the presiden-
ser algo aburrido a más no poder s.th.: to be tial candidates flattened the others.
deadly boring (fam.), to be as exciting as i estar hecho polvo (fig., fam.) to be totally
watching [the] paint dry (hum.)  gustarle a worn out (fig.) ]estar hecho cisco
alg. leer a más no poder to be passionately i morder el polvo (fig., fam.) (to die): to bite
fond of reading the dust (fig., fam.)
] poder (querer es ~) i hacer morder [el] polvo a alg. (fig., fam.)
to crush s.o. (fig.), to humiliate s.o.
podrido rotten, bad i echar un polvo (fig., pop.) to have a screw
i estar podrido de dinero (fam.) to be stink- (vulg.), to get a/one’s leg over (sl., Br.E.)
ing/filthy rich (fam.) ]echar un casquete
la polca polka ] polvo (el nido de ~)
i del año de/en el año de la polca (fam.) la pólvora gunpowder
donkey’s years ago ]año de Maricastaña i no haber inventado la pólvora (fig., fam.)
el poli (fam.) cop (fam.), copper (fam.), pig not to be exactly an Einstein, s.o. won’t set
(sl.) the world or the Thames (Br.E.) on fire
(fam.)
la poli (fam.) cops (fam.), fuzz (sl.), pigs (sl.), i gastar la pólvora en salvas (fig.) to waste
filth (sl., Br.E.), heat (sl., Am.E.) one’s [time and] energy
la polilla moth ] pólvora (propagarse como un reguero
i la polilla (jerga del hampa) cops (fam.), de ~)
fuzz (sl.), pigs (sl.), filth (sl., Br.E.), heat (sl., ] pólvora (tirar con ~ del rey)
Am.E.) ] polvorosa (poner pies en ~)
el polizonte (fam.) cop (fam.), copper el pompis (fam.) bottom (fam.), backside
(fam.), pig (sl.) (fam.), behind (fam., euph.), posterior
(euph.), butt (fam., Am.E.), bum (fam.,
la polla young hen, pullet Br.E.)
i la polla (fig., fam.) young girl, chick (sl.), ] poncho (vivir/estar donde el diablo perdió
bird (sl., Br.E.) el ~)
i la polla (fig., pop.) (penis) ]el calvo
pontifical pontifical
el pollo chicken i estar/ponerse de pontifical (fig., fam.) to be
i el pollo (fig., fam.) young man/lad, boy in one’s glad rags (fam., Br.E.), to put on
i el pollo (vulg.) (thick sputum): gob (fam.), one’s glad rags (fam., Br.E.)
spittle
i tener calentura de pollo (fig., fam.) to pre- la popa stern
tend to be ill/sick, to sham ill i la popa (fig., fam.) behind (fam., euph.),
backside (fam.), bottom (fam.), posterior
la polvareda dust cloud (euph.), butt (fam., Am.E.), bum (fam.,
i levantar una polvareda (fig., fam.) to kick Br.E.)
up or raise a dust (fig.), to cause a stir, to
por si acaso just in case
cause a commotion
i Más vale un “por si acaso” que un “¿quién
el polvo dust, powder pensara?” (prov.) Better [to be] safe than
i el polvo (fam.) (cocaine/heroin): stuff (sl.) sorry. (prov.)

154
predicar

la porra club, cudgel, truncheon una persona potable a bearable/passable per-


i la porra (fig., pop.) (penis) ]el calvo son
i un agente de la porra (fig., fam.) policeman
el pote earthenware pot
i mandar a alg. a la porra (fig., fam.) to send
i darse pote (fig., fam.) to swank (fam.,
s.o. packing (fig.)  Yo que tú la mandaría
Br.E.), to show off, to think one is important
a la porra. If I were you, I’d send her pack-
i a pote (fig., fam.) galore (fam.), in plenty,
ing.
pots of (fam.), heaps of (fam.)  ganar
i ¡Vete a la porra! (fig., fam.) Go to hell!
dinero a pote to make pots of money  be-
(fam.) Go to blazes! (sl.) You know what you
ber a pote to drink an awful lot, to be a heavy
can do! (fam.)
drinker
] porrazo (de golpe y ~)
Potosí Potosí (famous silver mining town in
la porreta leek Bolivia)
i en porreta[s] (fig., fam.) starkers (fam., i valer algo/alg. un Potosí (fig.) (a) s.th.: to
hum., Br.E.), stark naked (fam.), in the raw be invaluable, to be worth a fortune (b) s.o.:
(fam.)  Cuando era joven iba a nadar en to be worth one’s weight in gold (fig.)  Mi
porretas. When he was young, he [often] went
secretaria vale un Potosí. My secretary is
swimming in the raw. worth her weight in gold.
el porro (fam., Esp.) joint (sl.), spliff (sl., la potra filly
Br.E.), marijuana cigarette
i tener potra (fig., fam.) to be lucky, to be in
] porvenir (labrarse un ~) luck, to be jammy (fam., Br.E.)
] porvenir (sonreírle a alg. el ~)
el potro colt, rack (torture)
el poso sediment, deposit i tener a alg. en el potro (fig.) to keep s.o. in
i hasta los posos (fig.) [down] to the last suspense, to keep s.o. on tenterhooks (fig.),
drop.  Apuró el cáliz hasta los posos. He to keep s.o. on pins and needles (fig., Am.E.)
drank/drained the cup down to the last drop.  ¡Dímelo ahora! ¡No me tengas en el potro
el poste post, pillar más tiempo! Tell me now. Don’t keep me on
i serio como un poste (fig., fam.) deadly se- tenterhooks any longer!
rious, dead serious (fam.) i poner a alg. en el potro (fig.) to torment s.o.
i dar poste a alg. (fig., fam.) to keep s.o. wait- (fig.), to harass s.o.
ing [for] an excessively or unduly long time, el poyetón (fam.)
to keep s.o. hanging about i sentarse en el poyetón to be left on the shelf
i oler el poste (fig., fam.) to sense/scent dan- (fig.), not to get a man
ger, to smell a rat (fig.)
el pozo well
el postín (fam.) (a)showing-off, swank (fam., i ser un pozo sin fondo (fig., fam.) to be
Br.E.), pompousness, pompous behavior (b) [like] a bottomless pit (fig., fam.)  Es un
luxury, poshness (fam.), elegance  darse pozo sin fondo. It’s a bottomless pit. It’s never
postín to swank (fam., Br.E.), to show off, to
ending.
think one is important  Ayer cenamos en i ser un pozo de ciencia (fig.) to be im-
un restaurante de postín. We had dinner in
mensely learned
a posh (fam.) or a plush (sl.) or a smart or an i caer en el pozo airón (fig.) to fall/sink into
elegant restaurant yesterday.  una modista oblivion for good, to disappear for good
de postín an expensive dressmaker
] pozo (ser más bruto que la pila de un ~)
el postre dessert ] pozo ([todo] mi/etc. o el gozo en el/un ~)
i llegar a los postres (fig.) to come too late,
predicar to preach
to come after everything is over
i predicar en el desierto (fig.) to preach in the
potable drinkable wilderness (fig.), to be a voice crying in the
i potable (fig., fam.) reasonable, bearable, wilderness (fig.), to talk at deaf ears (fig.),
passable (fig.)  precios potables reasonable to talk to the winds (fig.)  Nadie estaba es-
prices  un trabajo potable a bearable job  cuchando. Predicaste en el desierto. Nobody

155
la pregunta

was listening. You were a voice crying in the la pretensión aspiration


wilderness. You were talking at deaf ears. i andar en pretensiones (fam.) to be looking
i predicar con el ejemplo to set a good ex- for a wife
ample, to practice what one preaches, to put
prevenir to prevent
one’s money where one’s mouth is (fam.)
i Más vale prevenir que curar. (prov.) Pre-
] predicar ( ]subirse: subírsele algo a alg.
vention is better than cure. (prov.) An ounce
a ~)
of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
] pregonar algo a los cuatro vientos (prov.) Better [to be] safe than sorry. (prov.)
] pregonero (dar un cuarto al ~) i Más vale prevenir que lamentar. (prov.)
Better [to be] safe than sorry. (prov.)
la pregunta question
i andar/estar a la cuarta pregunta (fig., fam.) la primada (fam.) piece of stupidity, silly
to be flat broke (fam.), to be stone-broke mistake
(fam., Am.E.), to be down to one’s last penny i pagar la primada to have to pay for one’s
(Br.E.) or nickel (Am.E.) (fam.) stupidity/naivety
i dejar a alg. a la cuarta pregunta (fig., fam.)
primer[o] first
to fleece s.o. (fig.), to milk s.o. (fig.)
i El primer venido, primer servido. First
i A preguntas necias oídos sordos. Ask a silly
come, first served.
question, get a silly answer.
i Cuál la pregunta, tal la respuesta. You get la primera (de cambio) first of exchange
what you give. i a las primeras de cambio (fig., fam.) sud-
] pregunta (asar/freír a alg. a ~s) denly, unexpectedly, at the first best oppor-
tunity, as soon as I/etc. turned my/etc. back,
la prenda pledge before you know where you are  Se largó
i la prenda (fig., fam.) treasure (fig.), love, a las primeras de cambio. He did a bunk at
darling, sweetheart  Sí, prenda. Yes, dar- the first best opportunity.
ling.
i soltar prenda (fig., fam.) to commit o.s. el primo cousin
rashly i el primo (fig., fam.) fool, patsy (sl., Am.E.),
i no soltar prenda (fig., fam.) to avoid com- mug (sl., Br.E.), sucker (sl.), dupe
mitting o.s., to be very uncommunicative, to i hacer el primo (fig., fam.) to be [easily]
be buttoned up (fig., fam.), not to say a word, taken in (fam.), to be [easily] taken for a ride
to give nothing away, to play/keep one’s cards (fam.), to be [easily] conned (fam.)
close to one’s chest (fig.)  Aunque lo inte- i venirle a una mujer el primo de América
rrogaron horas y horas, no soltó prenda. Al- (fam.) to start one’s period  Le vino el
though they grilled him for hours and hours, primo de América a su hermana. His sister
he gave nothing away. started her period.
i no dolerle prendas a alg. (fig.) to meet one’s i ser primo hermano de o ser primos her-
obligations [on time] manos (fig., fam.) (s.th./things): to be/look
very much like, to be very similar to, to
la prensa press be/look extraordinarily alike  Tu vestido es
i la prensa amarilla o del corazón (fig.) gut- primo hermano del que yo tengo. Your dress
ter/yellow press, trashy weeklies looks very much like mine. Your dress is very
i tener buena/mala prensa (fig.) to have a similar to the one I have.  La música folk-
good/bad press (fig.) lórica de Galicia y la música tradicional
] preso por mil, preso por mil quinientos de Escocia son primas hermanas. The
folk[loric] music in Galicia and the traditional
prestar to lend
music in Scotland are extraordinarily alike.
i prestar atención a alg./algo (fig.) to give/
lend an ear to s.o./s.th. (fig.), to pay atten- el primor skill
tion to s.th. i ... que es un primor (fig., fam.) . . . that it
] prestar oídos a alg./algo is a delight, beautifully  Canta que es un
] prestar oídos sordos [a algo] primor. She sings in a way that is a delight to
] prestar salud hear. She sings like an angel.

156
pudrirse

i ser un primor (a) to be a [real] masterpiece, el pronto (fam.) sudden impulse, sudden fit
to be a brilliant feat (b) to be charming, to (of temper/etc.) (fig.), sudden notion or feel-
be delightful  Su última novela fue un pri- ing  Me dio un pronto. Suddenly it came
mor. His last novel was a masterpiece.  Tus over me.  Le dio un pronto y me tiró el li-
hijas son un primor. Your daughters are bro. He had a sudden fit of temper/rage and
charming girls. threw the book at me.  En uno de sus pron-
el príncipe prince tos me tiró el libro. In one of his fits of rage
i vivir como un o a lo príncipe (fig.) to live or bouts of anger he threw the book at me. 
like a lord/king (fig.), to live in grand style, Le dio un pronto y echó todos los planes por
to live on a grand scale tierra. He had a sudden notion to put paid
i el príncipe azul (fig.) Prince Charming (fig.) (Br.E.) to all plans.  En un pronto echó to-
i el príncipe encantado (especialmente dos los planes por tierra. On a sudden im-
iron.) Prince Charming (fig.) pulse he put paid (Br.E.) to all plans.
i tener prontos de enojo to have a quick tem-
pringar to dip in fat per, to be quick-tempered
i pringarla (pop.) (a) to mess it up (fig.), to
botch it up (fam.), to make a boob (fam.), to propinar to tip, to give a tip
make a blunder, to drop a brick/clanger i propinar algo a alg. (fig., fam.)  Le propiné
(fam., Br.E.) (b) to kick the bucket (fam.) una paliza o un puntapié o una bofetada. I
]cascar[la] dealt/gave him a beating or a kick or a slap
i pringar[las] (fig., fam.) to sweat one’s guts in the face.  Le propinaron unas cuantas
out (fam.) ]echar/sudar la hiel almendras o píldoras. They shot him several
i pringarse algo (fig., fam.) to embezzle s.th., times.  El polizonte me propinó una multa.
to swipe s.th. (sl.), to pinch s.th. (sl., Br.E.), The cop gave me a fine. The cop fined me.
to walk off with s.th.
i O nos pringamos todos, o ninguno. (fig., la prosa prose
fam.) Either we all carry the can or none of i la prosa (fig., fam.) verbiage, talkativeness
us does. (fam., Br.E.) i gastar mucha prosa to talk a lot
] prisa ( ]vestir: vísteme despacio, que es- ] provecho (dicho sin hecho no trae ~)
toy de ~/que tengo ~) la púa tooth (comb)
probar to try i saber cuántas púas tiene un peine (fig.,
i Al probar se ve el mosto. (prov.) The proof fam.) to be clever, to be sly, to be crafty
of the pudding is in the eating. (prov.) el púcher (pop.) pusher (sl.), dealer
] problema (atajar el ~ de raíz)
el puchero cooking pot
la procesión procession i el puchero (fig., fam.) ballot box
i andarle/irle a alg. la procesión por dentro i el puchero (fig.) daily bread (fam.)  Ape-
(fig.) not to show one’s feelings, to keep one’s nas ganan para el puchero. They hardly
troubles or worries to o.s., not to show one’s earn enough to eat.
anger, to be a deep (fam.) or quiet one i ganarse el puchero to earn/make a living, to
i La procesión va por dentro. (fig.) Still wa- earn one’s daily bread or one’s bread and but-
ters run deep. (prov.) There is more in/to this ter or one’s crust (fam.)
than meets the eye. i meter la cabeza en un puchero (fig.) to
] procesión (no se puede repicar y estar en have blinkers (Br.E.) or blinders (Am.E.) on
la ~) (fig.), to be blinkered (fig.), not to want to
] procesión (querer tocar las campanas y see/accept that one is on the wrong track
asistir a la ~) (fig.)
prodigar to squander, to waste i hacer pucheros (fig.) to screw up one’s face
i prodigar algo a alg. (fig.) to heap (fig.) or (fig.), to pout, to make a weepy face
lavish s.th. on s.o.  Nos prodigaron las ala-
pudrirse to rot
banzas. They heaped praise on us.
i pudrirse en la cárcel (fig., fam.) to rot in jail
la prójima (fam.) loose woman (fig.) (fig.)

157
el puente

i ¡Que se pudra! (fam.) It serves him/her la pulga flea


right! Let him/her rot! (fam.) He/she can go i echarle a alg. la pulga detrás de la oreja
to hell! (fam.) (fig.) to put ideas into s.o.’s head  Tiene
i ¡Y tú que te pudras! (fam.) And you can go problemas. Su hermano le echó la pulga de-
to hell! (fam.) trás de la oreja. He’s in trouble. His brother
i pudrirse de aburrimiento (fig., fam.) to put ideas into his head.
[nearly] die of boredom (fig.)  Nos pudri- i hacer de una pulga un elefante o un
mos de aburrimiento. We nearly died of bore- camello (fig.) to make a mountain out of a
dom.  Te vas a pudrir de aburrimiento en molehill (fig.)
aquel pueblo. You’ll die of boredom in that i tener malas pulgas (fig.) to be bad-tem-
village. pered, to have a bad/violent temper, to have
a or be on a short fuse (fam.), to have a nasty
el puente bridge
(fig.) nature
i un día puente (fig.) a day off work between
i no aguantar/sufrir pulgas (fig.) to stand no
two public holidays
nonsense, not to suffer fools gladly
i hacer puente (fig.) to take an extra day or
i buscar las pulgas a alg. (fig., fam.) to tease
extra days off work between two public hol-
s.o., to needle s.o. (fam.), to wind s.o. up
idays, to take a long weekend
i tender un puente (fig.) to build bridges
(fam., Br.E.), to put s.o. on (fam., Am.E.)
i sacudirse las pulgas (fig., fam., Esp.) to
(fig.), to offer a compromise
i tender puentes de plata a alg. (fig.) to
wash one’s hands of it
lean/bend over backwards to make it easy for i Hay muchas maneras de matar pulgas.
(prov.) There’s more than one way to skin a
s.o., to make it as easy as possible for s.o.
] puente (ha corrido/pasado mucha agua cat. (prov.)
bajo el ~)
] pulga (A perro flaco no le faltan ~s.)
] puerco (a cada ~ le llega su San Martín) el pulpo octopus
] puerco (echar margaritas a los ~s) i poner a alg. como un pulpo (fig., fam.) to
give s.o. a good thrashing (fam.) ]arrimar
la puerta door candela a alg.
i estar a la puerta o en puertas (fig.) to be
just around the corner (fig.), to be imminent el pulso pulse
 La navidad está a la puerta. Christmas i el pulso firme (fig.) steady hand
is just around the corner. i tomar el pulso a alg. (fig.) to sound s.o. out
i cerrar todas las puertas a alg. (fig.) to close (fig.)
[off] all avenues to s.o. (fig.) i tomar el pulso a algo (fig.) to sound s.th.
i enseñar/mostrar la puerta a alg. (fig.) to out (fig.), to gauge s.th. (fig.)  Tomamos
show s.o. the [way to the] door el pulso a la opinión pública. We sounded out
i dar a alg. con la puerta en la cara o en los public opinion.
hocicos o en las narices (fig., fam.) to i echar un pulso to arm wrestle
slam/shut the door in s.o.’s face i quedarse sin pulso[s] (fig.) to be frightened
i echar las puertas abajo (fig., fam.) to knock or scared out of one’s wits (fam.), to be
like crazy, to lean on the doorbell (fig.) petrified or paralyzed with fear/horror
i quedarse por/a puertas (fig.) to become (fig.)
desperately poor i ganar[se] algo a pulso (fig.) to [really] earn
i tener todas las puertas abiertas (fig.) to be s.th. (fig.), to work hard for s.th., to get s.th.
welcomed with open arms everywhere (fig.) the hard way  Lo ha ganado a pulso. He’s
i llamar a la puerta de alg. (fig.) to ask s.o. really earned it. He’s worked hard for it.
for help la punta [sharp] end, tip, point
] puerta (¡Por los clavos de una ~ vieja!) i la punta del iceberg (fig.) tip of the iceberg
] puesto (tener el corazón bien ~) (fig.)
] puesto (tener la cabeza bien puesta) i acabarse en punta (fig., fam.) to die
] puesto (tener los pies [bien ~s] en/sobre i estar de punta con alg. (fig.) to have fallen
la tierra) out with s.o., to be at odds with s.o.

158
el puño

i tener de punta a alg. (fig.) to be at daggers i el punto muerto (fig.) deadlock (fig.)  lle-
drawn with s.o. (fig., Br.E.) gar a un punto muerto to reach deadlock 
i tener algo en la punta de la lengua (fig.) salir del punto muerto to break the deadlock
to have s.th. on the tip of one’s tongue (fig.) ] punto (contar algo con ~s y comas)
i estar/ir/ponerse de punta en blanco (fig., el puñal dagger
fam.) to be/get dressed up to the nines i poner el puñal en el pecho a alg. (fig.) to
(fam.) ]estar/ponerse de veinticinco al- hold a gun/pistol to s.o.’s head (fig.)  El
fileres gángster le puso el puñal en el pecho a ella
i estar hasta la punta de los pelos o del pelo para que firmase el contrato. The gangster
de alg./algo (fam.) to be fed up to the back held a gun to her head so that she signed the
teeth with s.o. (fam.), to be utterly fed up contract.
with s.o./s.th. (fam.), to be sick and tired of
la puñalada stab, dagger thrust
s.o./s.th. (fam.) ]estar hasta [más allá de]
i coser a alg. a puñaladas (fig.) to carve s.o.
la coronilla de algo