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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


sabelotodo
know it all

saber dónde aprieta el zapato
know the score; know the situation (lit.: know where the show pinches)

sabi(h)onda mandona
little miss know-it-all

sabi(h)ondo/a
know it all

sacar a algn de quicio
drive someone crazy; drive someone up a wall

sacar de un apuro
get somebody out of a tight spot

sacar los colores a alguien
make someone blush (lit.: to take out the colors from someone)

sacar pecho
brag; show off (lit.: to stick out chest)

sacarse de encima
come out on top (lit.: to take oneself out at top)

sacarse la mugre
have a nasty accident

sacarse la mugre
work like a dog (n.b.: used in Cono del Sur)

salir adelante
get ahead

salir de las llamas y caer en las brasas
jump out of the frying pan and into the fire

salir de marcha
go out partying

salir de un apuro
get out of a tight spot (lit.: leave a predicament)

salir juntos
date; go out; be seeing (used to describe a couple in a relationship)

Santa Bárbara
Heaven help us (n.b.: Saint Barbara’s help is invoked to protect one from danger, esp. in some traditions, from fire and storms)

santo cielo
heavens; good heavens (n.b.: popularly used as an expression of suprise, often as a euphemism for something stronger)

santo Dios
good God; great God (n.b.: popularly used as an expression of suprise, often as a euphemism for something stronger)

se trata de
it's about; it has to do with; you're supposed to…

seguido
often (n.b.: Mexican, used more often than ‘frequentemente’)

según dice
according to (lit.: following (it) says)

ser agua pasada
be water under the bridge; be done; be over with (lit.: to be water passed by)

ser al mando
be at someone’s command

ser de bronce
be rigid; be inflexible (lit.: be of bronze)

ser de carne y hueso
be only human. 1. Como todo el mundo, soy de carne y hueso.

ser de corta edad
be young

ser de dos pelos
be two-faced (used in Cono del Sur)

ser de edad avanzada
be old; be elderly

ser el colmo de los colmos
be the limit; be the worst

ser la monda
be a blast; be really funny

ser más listo que el hambre
be sharp as a tack; be very quick (lit.: be more clever than hunger)

ser otro asunto
be different; be something else

ser pan comido
be a piece of cake (lit.: to take out the colors from someone)

ser toro corrido
be an old hand at (lit.: be a bull [that has] run)

ser un muermo
be a drag; be a bore (used in Spain)

ser un pelo
be very skinny; be very thin

servir lo mismo para un barrido que para un fregado
be a jack of all trades; be handy (lit.: to serve equally as for sweeping or for scrubbing)

sin apuros
without pressure; without embarassment. 1. Quiero vivir sin apuros.

sin duda
without doubt; doubtlessly. 1. No demasiado sin duda.

sin embargo
nevertheless, nonetheless (lit.: to have sense)

sito de ligar
singles' bar; pickup joint (used in Spain)

sobrio como una cuba
drunk (lit.: sober like a wine cask)

soltar el toro a algn
scold somebody severely (lit.: jump the bull to someone)

soltar la risa
burst out laughing

soltarse el pelo
let one's hair down

subirse a las barbas de alg.
be fresh with someone; be too familiar or friendly with someone (lit.: to go up the beard of someone)

sueño de oro
one's heart's desire; one's dream (lit: dream of gold; A sueño de oro is one's innermost, deepest desire)


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