IF you’ve spent some time here, you probably know that Spanish people use lot of strange expressions that cannot be translated literally.

Known as refranes, there’s one for almost every situation in life. Yes, you probably know about ‘de perdidos al río’ (nearest English equivalent – out of the frying pan into the fire) but there are plenty more, some of them are fairly eyebrow-raising. Here’s our selection.

1. Me importa un pimiento / I don’t give a pepper

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The closest equivalent is ‘I don’t give a sh**’. Why the pepper is singled out to show indifference we don’t know. Poor pepper.

2. Monta un circo y te crecen los enanos / Set up a circus and the dwarfs will grow

The pinnacle of bad luck, it makes reference to something impossible. It’s used when something unexpectedly bad happens but something good comes out of it.

 

3. Voy a mi bola / I’m going to my own ball

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When someone does just what he wants, his own way, without taking anyone else into account.

 

4. Estás empanao / You are breaded

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Spaced out, being there in body but not in mind, not paying attention or daydreaming.

 

5. Estoy flipando en colores / I’m flipping in colours

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Although this expression sounds like you’re trying to explain the effects on LSD, it’s used when something massively impresses you and leaves you stunned.

 

6. Me cago en la leche / I s*** in the milk

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Milk was a precious commodity so doing this would be an abomination. When everything goes wrong and you are pissed off and can’t do anything to change it, you can just yell this.

 

7. El p**o amo / The f***ing master

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When someone is the best at something. It can be used by someone about themselves in an arrogant way, or by another as a compliment: ‘Eres el puto amo’ (you are the f***ing master).

 

8. Tiran más dos tetas que dos carretas / Two boobs carry more weight than two wagons

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It means that we men would do anything for the girl we like. Anything, no matter how reckless and stupid … just to get the girl.

 

9. Tiene la inteligencia justa para no cagarse encima / He doesn’t even have the intelligence to sh** himself

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An insult, and quite creative. You say it when someone is so incredibly stupid that you even doubt he can deal with his bowel movements.

 

10. Con paciencia y saliva, el elefante se la metió a la hormiga / With patience and saliva, the elephant f****d the ant

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Although we know that this is literally impossible, the expression suggests that with hard work and perseverance the impossible can be achieved, no matter how depraved it may sound.

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