Did you realize that Spanish people use a lot of expressions? Furthermore, some of them are very funny! Discover some of the most commonly used funny expressions by reading the blog of our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem 🙂

After having talked about Spanish words, today we analyze some typical Spanish expressions that people frequently use. This way, you will understand what is apparently meaningless to you and also have some insights about Spanish culture.

Let’s go there!

Hablar por los codos

This expression means “talk a storm or being a chatterbox”. Spanish people use it to refer to someone who speaks too much and can never be quiet. Although the origin of this expression it is not so clear, it may be related to the fact that people who speak a lot also use to gesticulate also.…and they do so much that it seems to be speaking “trough their elbows”.

To express the same concept, we can also say “no calla ni debajo del agua”, that means a person who cannot be quiet even under the water.

Examples:

Mi madre es muy callada pero mi tía habla por los codos. ¡No calla ni un minuto!
My mother is very quiet. My aunt, on the contrary, is a chatterbox. She cannot remain silent even for a minute!

Estuvo hablando durante 3 horas. No calla ni debajo del agua….
He was talking for 3 hours. He cannot stay silent.

Estar piriripi

This is one of the many Spanish expressions to refer to someone who is drunk…but not too much 😉 It can be translated with “being tipsy”.
If after a couple of beers “estás piripi” you may feel happy and laugh without reasons and feel that life is more beautiful than usual.

The origin of the word “piripi” is unknown. However its sound is so fun that it well translates the pleasant feeling of this state.

Example:

He bebido un par de cerveza y estoy un poco pirirpi. No paro de reírme…
I drunk a couple of beers and I feel a bit tipsy. I can’t stop laughing…

No pegar ni con cola

We say that to mean two things that do not match with each other or to refer to two persons who are like “chalk and cheese”. Literally, the expression means that these two cannot be joined …not even with glue!

Examples:

Esa falda de seda no pega ni con cola con tus zapatillas de deporte.
This silk skirt does not match with your sport shoes.

Lucas y Daniel tienen opiniones muy distintas sobre todo. No pegan ni cola…
Lucas and Daniel see things very differently. They are like chalk and cheese…

No tener abuela

Spanish grandmothers are known to adore their grandchildren. To each granny her grandson or granddaughter is incredibly beautiful, extremely intelligent. In conclusion….one of the best human being on the heart!

Therefore, if a Spaniard has his/her granny, it is likely that he or he will be praised all the time, thus having a high self-esteem.
On the contrary, if you do not have a granny anymore, you won’t’ be paid compliments so often 🙁

Therefore, we would say that “that person does not have a grandmother” when he or she use to praise him/herself.

Examples:

Fran piensa que es el más guapo de todo el despacho. ¡Este chico no tiene abuela!
Fran thinks that he is the most beautiful in the entire office. He does not have granny.

Pasarse 3 pueblos

In this case, we refer to a person who exaggerates when doing or saying something.
Literally the expression means “go beyond 3 towns” meaning that you are going too far.

You will also hear Spaniards say No te pases!” when his or her interlocutor is being rude or offensive.

Example:

Te he dicho muchas veces que no te portes mal, pero esta vez te has pasado tres pueblos
I have warn you about your bad behavior, but this time you have goon too far.

Ponerse las pilas

“Ponerse las pilas” means to turn on or to charge batteries in a figurative way.

When we feel lazy, when we relax too much and we are not doing what we are supposed to do, finally, when we are not achieving expected results because of a lack of effort or will…this is when we may be asked to “ponernos las pilas” to be more effective 😉

Examples:

Tienes que estudiar más si quieres aprobar el examen. !Ponte las pilas!
You have to study more if you want to pass the exam. So get to work!

Saber a gloria

If you are eating a very delicious cake, then we can say that is “sabe a gloria”.

Literally, your cake is so good that it has a taste of Glory! We can use this expression to describe any food or dish. Furthermore, we can also use this expression to refer to something that has been achieved or reached out with much effort.

Examples:

Esta tarta de limón sabe a gloria
This lemon pie is incredibly tasty.

Después de tanto entrenar, la victoria le supo a gloria
After so much training, the victory had a taste of the Glory to her.

We hope you enjoyed our post. We also encourage you to use typical expressions, thus becoming more fluent in Spanish 😉

Soon, our Spanish school in Valencia will publish more post to help you study Spanish. Meanwhile, on Friday we will tell you about the most outstanding events of the week-end.

Till the next blog!