Summer expressions

There is nothing like a heatwave to remind us of all those summer expressions that we Spaniards use.

In the Spanish language there are many phrases and idioms related to water and all those elements that are typical of summer season.
From the Spanish language school El Rincón del Tándem we are going to give you details of several idioms and set phrases that you may not know and that we are sure will be useful for you this summer. Especially if you suffer from the effects of the sun on your skin or if you are one of those people who like to enjoy the quiet life that is so typical of Spain.

Tirarse a la bartola

One of the expressions use the most in summer is “tirarse la bartola” (lazing around). When the heat gets too much and the high temperatures take away our desire to do things, that’s when we use it. It means that we lie down in the sun or shade to enjoy the weather without doing anything else.

Plantar la sombrilla

As we know the verb “plantar” is usually used for plants. The act of making a small hole in the sand and placing the beach umbrella would literally mean “planting the umbrella”. Although the expression has the connotation of placing the umbrella in a place on the beach so that we stay there and not move.

Tirar la toalla

Although the towel is an indispensable item in summer, the expression is not at all “warm”, quite the contrary. “Tirar la toalla” in Spanish means to give up. Easy, isn’t it?

Tirarse a la piscina

There is no summer without the sea and no house without a swimming pool, but “tirarse alla piscina” (jumping into the pool), in addition to the literal form of the action of diving into the water, has another, more daring meaning. In this case we use the expression to mean “taking the plunge”, being daring in some aspect of life, without thinking about the consequences. It can be something related to business, personal relationships or any other area, however, in summer it is often used in personal relationships.

Quemarse como un pollo

Although chickens may not burn in the sun, this expression is used because in many parts of Spain we love roast chicken. If there is one thing that stands out about these chickens it is their crispy, toasted skin, hence the expression. “Quemarse come un pollo” refers to when the sun burns our skin and it turns red. A similar expression is “ponerse como una gamba” (to turn es red as a shrimp) referring to the red colour of this crustacean.

Sudar como un cerdo

There is one thing we all do in summer in Valencia: sweating, sweating and sweating “like a pig” (sudar como un cerdo). Although these fabulous animals are the origin of good ham, they are also the noun goes with the verb “to sweat” during the heatwave. The expression, as you might expect, means “to sweat a lot”.

Sentarse a la fresca

Like the expression “tirarse a la bartola”, “sentarse a la fresca” again has a connotation of relaxation. It is an expression that is not so common anymore in the city Valencia, but is still used in a different way. In the villages, and even in some neighbourhoods of the capital of the Turia, to “sit in the coolness” referred to the action of taking out a beach chair on hot summer nights and sit in the doorway talking with the neighbours. Now this tradition has been lost, but it is still used on some occasions when we go to the bar on hot summer nights to cool off with a drink.

Never say “de esta agua no beberé”

Finally, let’s take a look at the expression “de esta agua no beberé” (I won’t drink this water), referring to the care we must take when making certain statements. We use this expression when we are certain that we are not going to do something, but we remind ourselves that we should not be so sure of our statements because we can be wrong.