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Spanish Idioms





Spanish idioms are essential to understanding and communicating with native speakers. Because Spanish is spoken in so many different countries, extra care is required when learning idioms. Make sure to pay attention to who is saying what under what circumstances before you attempt to use anything but the most common expression. Browse below to take a look at just how many different ways you can express yourself in Spanish.

A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V Y Z


maldita sea
damn it; darn it (lit.: may it be damned)

mandar a paseo
tell someone to take a hike

mande
what; please; how's that (used in Mexico as we in English say "what" when we want someone to repeat or clarify something)

mantener a raya
keep someone at bay; keep someone away

mantenerse en su sitio
stick to one's guns; stand one's ground (lit.: maintain oneself in one's position)

mantenerse en sus trece
stick to one's guns; stand one's ground (lit.: maintain oneself in one's thirteen)

mas o menos
more or less; roughly; approximately (lit.: more or less)

más tieso que un palo
straight; upright; bolt upright

mayor de edad
of age

media naranja
better half; spouse, wife, partner (lit.: half of an orange)

media pila
minimal effort; some effort; enough effort to accomplish something but no more (lit.: half a battery)

menor de edad
underage

menos mal
just as well, good thing, thank goodness (lit.: less bad)

meter en líos
get into trouble (lit.: to put into trouble)

meter palos en las ruedas
throw a (monkey) wrench in the works; throw a spanner in the works

meter(se) la pata
get involved; become a part of (lit.: to put in the leg (animal’s paw))

metete un pelo en el culo
stick it up your ass

mi/tu abuela
my foot (lit.: grandmother)

mientras tanto
meanwhile, in the meantime (lit.: to the monkfish)

mirar de reojo
look at out of the corner of the eye

mirar por encima
glance at; look quickly through

momento
wait; wait a second; wait a moment (used when asking someone to wait briefly)

montar a pelo
ride bareback

montar un negocio
set up a business; start a business (used in Spain)

morirse de risa
die laughing

mostrar tino
show good sense; be right (lit.: to show sound judgment, good sense)


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