Harry Wong
Oct 2017
Vol 14 No 3

Idioms in Spanish – ESL, ELL

By Teachers.Net Community

Does anyone have a list of idiomatic expressions they would be willing to share? My level 3 students have expressed interest in learning more of them at a faster pace than we’ve done so far, and I want to act on this before they change their minds! – Gracias, Anne V. on the Spanish Teachers Chatboard.

Response by anonymous:

Llamar pan pan y vino vino: To call a spade a spade

Cool: que padre (Mexico), que guay (Central America), genial (Peru), chevere (I forget where that’s used)

Como un perro con dos colas (Argentina): So excited I can’t stand it

Bailar con su propio panuela: Do you own thing (not sure where from.. learned from another teacher)

Agorrarse (to drown.. I can’t remember it in Spanish right now, sorry 🙂 en un vaso de agua: To make a mountain out of a molehill (Central America and probably other places)

estar hasta en lo sopa: To be everywhere (as in Kate Gosselin is all over the news) (not sure.. I just read it in a book)

chucho (not sure of spelling): Argentina – To be very content/proud

chuchando.. making a big deal over nothing

Ira de Guatamala a Guatapeor: Go from bad to worse

fumarse de clase: cut class

buscar pelos en un huevo: be nit picky

Me caigo en la leche (Spain/slightly rude): I’m shocked

hacer su santa voluntud: do whatever the heck you want (I don’t think it’s crude enough to say “the hell you want”)

el edad de pavo (Argentina): At that age.. meaning s/he is between the ages of 11-17, not for middle age or other periods.

caerse bien (most places): get along with


Response by va:

ChĂ©vere was definitely used in Venezuela…have also heard  morrocotudo and macanudo to mean the same.

Ahogarse is the correct way to write “to drown” for the expression  below.

Thanks for sharing / had not heard the “do your own thing” expression and am guessing that it should be panuelo versus panuela

Here are a few lists:

Hope that helps!




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This entry was posted on Saturday, January 1st, 2011 and is filed under *ISSUES, January 2011, Teachers.Net Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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