Are you a language lover just as much as I am? I love learning languages and learning about interesting sayings, idioms, and expressions. When I started learning Spanish I soon encountered many funny sayings in Spanish that were absolutely hilarious! You sometimes cannot even translate them! And if you do, you will end up with a translation that absolutely will not make sense. That is the exciting part about it. Isn’t it fascinating how we have sooo many different expressions in every language?! Some are probably hundreds of years old and seemed to have made sense back then, but they are still used widely today.
Just like the 35 hilarious Spanish expressions we are going to talk about in this blog post. By the way, I made sure to write down the meaning of them as well. So the next time you hear these fun expressions in a Spanish conversation you know what they mean. And boom, you can answer with another expression that fits! So let’s start: Here are 35 funny sayings in Spanish that you should know about!
Affiliate links may be sprinkled throughout the free content of this blog post. If you purchase from one of the links I may receive a small commission while the price for you stays the same. This helps me cover the costs of The Lithuanian Abroad. Gracias!
Other blog posts about Spain you have to check out:
Tipping in Spain, Everything you need to know: This guide tells you everything you need to know about Spain’s tipping culture. When do you have to tip and how much do you usually tip in Spain? We will talk about these questions in this blog post.
104 cheap things to do in Madrid, the ultimate low-budget guide: This blog post has 104 cheap or even free activities you can do in Madrid. Visiting a capital city does not have to be expensive. And this blog post proves it!
The best Barcelona bucket list for first-time visitors: Are you planning on visiting Barcelona? Then make sure to check out this guide for ideas, Gaudí buildings you have to visit and other fun activities you can do in Barcelona.
By the way, I wrote a whole blog post series about visiting Barcelona. If you are looking for recommendations for museums, monuments or places to see, you can find all posts here.
My favorite free walking tours in Spain
I am a huge fan of free walking tours and I love talking about them on my blog. After having done so many of them worldwide I am sure they are one of the best options if you want to learn a lot about a city in only one afternoon. The best part of free walking tours are the local guides that do an incredible job of showing you the city from the eyes of a person that lives there.
So how do free walking tours work? Free walking tours do not come with a set price, hence, they are free. You will spend a couple of hours walking around with your local guide who will show you the best monuments and areas in the city you should know about. And you will learn so much about history as well! After the tour, you have the chance to leave your guide a tip. How much you would like to tip them is completely up to you. It usually depends on your budget and on how much you actually enjoyed the tour. Keep in mind, that your local guides depend on your tip so make sure to give them a little gratitude 🙂
You can book your free walking tours in Spain here.
Let’s start: Here are 35 funny sayings in Spanish!
We are going to start with Spanish expressions related to milk
Did you know that there are a lot of sayings in the Spanish language related to milk? And the funniest thing about these phrases is that they can mean so many different things! Here come three super funny Spanish phrases related to milk:
Eres la leche!
Literal Translation: You are the milk
Meaning: You are amazing!
Did you know that? You are the milk in Spanish means that you are amazing. You can also use this idiom when talking about something you find super cool. So, it does not always have to be related to a person. This is a very colloquial phrase that you will hear quite a lot in Spain. I am sure you will impress your Spanish friends with this one!
Me cago en la leche!
Literal Translation: I shit in the milk
Meaning: I am so angry!!!!
To me, this is one of the weirdest Spanish expressions. I shit in the milk is used when you are super angry. If you want to make your friends laugh and you are angry about something try it with this one!
“Hemos perdido el tren! Me cago en la leche!”
Tener mala leche
Literal translation: To have bad milk
Meaning: to be in a bad mood
Tener mala leche is used when somebody is in a bad mood. In English you could also say, don’t be so “sour”, as in sour milk. This expression kind of makes sense, right?
Spanish expressions that are related to eggs:
Te quiero un huevo!
Literal translation: I love you an egg
Meaning: I love you SO MUCH!
Te quiero un huevo is a very cute way of saying in Spanish that you like someone a lot! Un huevo (an egg), often just means a lot in Spanish. Sounds weird, but at least now you know!
Costar un huevo
Literal translation: To cost an egg
Meaning: something costs A LOT
When you hear costar un huevo for the first time you might think that it means that something is really cheap. “It costs an egg?! That must be a barghain!” Nope, wrong! The exact opposite is the case. As mentioned before, if you hear un huevo in an informal environment it usually means A LOT.
“Estás loco! Esto cuesta un huevo!”
Estar hasta los huevos
Literal Translation: I am until the eggs
Meaning: I have enough! I am sick of something!
Okay, this one might seem a bit vulgar. But now you will know a couple of informal Spanish sayings as well. Make sure to use this phrase, in an informal environment, when you are absolutely sick and tired of something.
“Estoy hasta los huevos de los examenes.”
More funny Spanish sayings for you:
Me importa un pepino
Literal translation: I care a cucumber
Meaning: I absolutely don’t care!
Let’s start with a classic! This hilarious Spanish expression is used when you absolutely do not care about something. Someone is telling you something uninteresting and you just want to roll your eyes? Tell them, me importa un pepino and let them know that you couldn’t care less. So you only care a cucumber 😉
“Me importa un pepino lo que dice ella “
Ser pan comido
Literal translation: to be eaten bread
Meaning: Something is really easy to do!
Similar expression in English: a piece of cake
If you happen to stay in Spain longer I am sure that you will hear this Spanish saying at some point. Spanish people use it to express that something was very easy to do. As English people would say, it’s a piece of cake. Make sure to use it when something is very simple and does not take any of your time and effort. And don’t forget to conjugate “ser” in the right form.
“El éxamen no va a ser pan comido, es muy difícil!”
Tirar la casa por la ventana
Literal translation: Throw the house out of the window
Meaning: to spend a loooot of money on something
Tirar la casa por la ventana is used to saying that someone spends way too much money on something. So much, that it is quite irresponsible and they probably should not be doing so. Use this Spanish phrase to surprise your Spanish friends. I am sure they won’t believe you knew about this one!
“Y cada fin de semana tiran la casa por la ventana” (Song by Joaquín Sabina)
No, Ní, Ná
Literal Translation: No, Neither, Nothing
Meaning: Yes, absolutely!
I have to admit, the first time I heard the Spanish phrase No Ní Ná I was confused. What does it mean and why does it have three negations? And when I found out that three times no basically means HELL YES I was even more mindblown. No Ní Ná is especially used in the South of Spain. So, if you are there and want to express that you absolutely agree with something or want to say “of course” in a more colloquial way, say No Ní Ná!
“¿Mañana nos vamos al cine?” “No, Ní, Ná!”
Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente
Literal Meaning: Eyes that do not see, heart that does not feel
Meaning: What the eyes do not see does not bother the heart
Similar English translation: What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve or Out of sight, out of mind
To me, this is one of the most beautiful sayings in Spanish. As far as I know, there exists a similar English phrase What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over. This basically means that you won’t get upset over something as long as you don’t see it or have proof of it. Or, you stopped seeing something and that is why your heart does not bother anymore.
“Me siento mucho mejor desde que he dejado de hablar con Juan, porque ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.”
Ponerse las pilas
Literal Translation: to put yourself batteries in
Meaning: start doing something right or to hurry up
Similar expression in English: to pull up your socks
This Spanish phrase is used when you want to tell someone to hurry up or to do finally start doing something. Ponerse las pilas is very colloquial and is usually used between friends or people you know.
“Si no te pones las pilas y empiezas a estudiar vas a suspender el éxamen!”
Mi media naranja
Literal translation: My half orange
Meaning: My soulmate, my better half
If you are a native English speaker, maybe this expression will not surprise you… But to me, translating it into German, it does not make any sense at all! Mi media naranja is used when talking about not just a friend or loved one, but to express that this is actually your soulmate.
“Eres mi media naranja, lo mejor que me pasado en la vida”
Aunque la mona viste de seda mona se queda
Literal Translation: Even if the monkey wears silk it still stays a monkey
Meaning: You can’t hide the truth or sugarcoat it
Similar English expression: you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
Aunque la mona viste de seda mona se queda is a very interesting Spanish saying that I have heard on several occasions. During my research I could not find where exactly it comes from and why the Spanish decided to take a monkey as example. But it simply means that you cannot hide the truth, even by sugarcoating it.
Él que se fue a Sevilla perdió su silla
Literal translation: The one who went to Seville lost his chair
Meaning: You lost something or something gets taken from you while you were absent, not taking care of something or irresponsible
Similar English expression: Finders, Keepers
This interesting Spanish expression has a back story I want to tell you about: It looks like this saying comes from the 15th century when the archbishop of Seville, Alonso de Fonseca (nicknamed: El viejo, the old man), went to Santiago de Compostela for a church related visit. He had to decide who to give his power to during his absence. Thinking he could trust his family members he gave his power to Alonso de Fonseca—El Mozo (The Kid). Surprise Surprise! When Alonso de Fonseca senior came back to Seville his nephew refused to give him back his title of archbishop!
Now, we only need to find out why the saying says “ The one who went to Seville..” Maybe because it rhymes?!
“Mientras estabamos pidiendo la comida alguien cogió nuestra mesa! Bueno, quien se fue a Sevilla, perdió su silla!“
Me voy a ir yendo
Literal translation: I am going to go going
Meaning: I’m gonna get going
Me voy a ir yendo is a unique Spanish phrase because we have the word “ir” in three different conjugations (Native Spanish speakers probably thought: The more the merrier!)
But me voy a ir yendo is simply used when you are about to leave a place and are letting everyone know that it’s time for you to make a move. Even though I feel like it’s one of the expressions that is said, but the time until you actually leave can be stretched by quite a lot!
“Ahora en cinco minutos me voy a ir yendo!”
Me parto el culo
Literal translation: I am destroying my ass
Meaning: I am laughing so hard!
Similar English expression: I am laughing my ass off
Me parto el culo seems a little vulgar but this Spanish expression actually means that something is so funny that you are basically laughing your ass off. I would recommend using this Spanish phrase with friends and people you know, as it could seem disrespectful in a formal environment.
Literal translation: Much shit
Meaning: Good luck
Similar English Translation: Break a leg!
Literally translated this Spanish saying means “much shit” but what sounds like a swear word is actually used similarly to “break a leg” in English. Where does this weird Spanish saying come from?
It goes way back to the 16th and 17th century when the rich used to arrive to a theater play in horse carriages. These horses would leave their excrements outside of the theater plays. The more people arrived the more horses would have to wait for their owners outside of the theaters… and the more sh*t was left behind. So somehow, much shit was related to the success of a theater play. And that’s how this crazy Spanish expression was born!
Literal Translation: What a fart!
Meaning: Wow! Crazy! Really?! What the hell?!
You probably already have realized that there are some differences between European Spanish and Latin American Spanish. This expression is mainly used in Mexico. So, if you say this in Spain people will probably not understand what you are talking about!
Qué pedo is used to express surprise, but then it is used on so many different occasions that it even means “What’s up” or even “What’s wrong?”
“Qué pedo con Juan? No le he visto hace mucho!”
Tomar el pelo
Literal translation: to pull someone’s hair
Meaning: to tease someone
Similar English expression: to pull someone’s leg
Tomar el pelo is a nice visual way of saying that someone is teasing someone. This is another Spanish phrase you can use in front of native Spanish speakers to impress them.
“Lo que dices no es verdad. Me quieres tomar el pelo!”
Subir para arriba/ Bajar para abajo
Literal translation: To go up upwards / To go down downwards
Meaning: To go up / To go down
This phrase does not really have a surprising meaning but I just find it funny that it is not enough to say to just go up (subir) but no, some people even add the direction at the end of it. And the outcome is to say subir para arriba (duh! Where else?!) and bajar para abajo (Yes, I got it!!)
Quien no apoya, no folla
Literal translation: Who does not tap it (the glass), does not get laid!
What I am trying to do here is to get you ready for your Spain trip or holiday. So be prepared for this one: Quien no apoya, no folla! It basically is used to say cheers, but wait! When Spanish people say cheers, they don’t just cheers and take a sip of their drink. Before you start drinking you have to make sure to put it down on the table really quick. Why? You need to tap the glass or, I guess it means you won’t get lucky tonight?
I guess it’s similar to the German “you have to look each other in the eyes!”
Al mal tiempo buena cara
Literal translation: Bad times, good face
Meaning: Try to be positive, make the best out of something!
Similar English Expressions: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
Al mal tiempo buena cara is a beautiful Spanish phrase to remind someone to be positive. Things may not always go well but hey, let’s make the best out of it. It is used to lift someone up and to me, it is just a friendly expression in Spanish, isn’t it?
A quien madruga, dios le ayuda
Literal translation: God helps the one that gets up early
Meaning: The early bird gets the worm
I feel like in any language there will be a saying that is supposed to motivate you to get up early. The common Spanish expression for that is A quien madruga, dios le ayuda. Come on, wake up early, get stuff done and god will help you.
Cuando el río suena, agua lleva
Literal translation: If the river makes a sound, it’s carrying water
Meaning: there is truth in all rumors
Similar English expression: when there’s smoke, there’s fire
This Spanish phrase sounds a bit mysterious at first. If the river sounds, like it’s carrying water?! What do we mean by that?! What it means is that there is truth in everything we hear or we see. If we have proof that something is fishy, then it probably is. If it sounds like something is true, even though it is just a rumor for now, there may be truth in it!
Quien tiene boca se equivoca
Literal translation: Everyone who has a mouth can be wrong
Meaning: We all make mistakes, mistakes are human
A humorous Spanish expression that is very easy to understand: Quien tiene boca se equivoca means that everybody makes mistakes.
“No pasa nada! Quién tiene boca se equivoca!”
Lo barato sale caro!
Literal translation: Something cheap turns out to be expensive:
Meaning: If you take the cheap option it might cost you more in the end
And here we have one of my favorite Spanish phrases! Lo barato sale caro means that sometimes the cheapest option might not be the best one and might cost you much more in the end. And it tells us not to be stingy with money, because it could cost us more money in the long run!
Ya vas a ver! Lo barato sale caro!
You can find many blog posts about visiting Madrid here. All written by a local (aka me 😉 )
Abril, aguas mil
Literal translation: April, thousands of water
Meaning: It rains a lot in April
Abril, aguas mil is a popular thing to say in Spain because it does rain a lot in April! So, if you are planning to visit Spain in April be aware that you probably should take an umbrella.
De Madrid al cielo
Literal translation: From Madrid to heaven
Meaning: The only thing more beautiful than Madrid is heaven. Once you are in Madrid the next best thing is heaven
De Madrid al cielo is one of my favorite Spanish expressions. Of course, when you are living in Madrid it just becomes one of your favorite things to say about the city! Nobody can really tell where this Spanish expression comes from. It probably started as something the Madrileños would say proudly about their city. Some people say that it started in the late 18th century when King Carlos III started reforming and rebuilding Madrid. And then, the next better thing only could be heaven!
Meter la pata
Literal translation: to put the leg
Meaning: to mess something up, to make a mistake, to screw up
Meter la pata is a very informal expression in Spanish that is used when you messed something up! It does not even have to be on purpose. It can be a stupid mistake or something you did by accident.
“Te pido que te quedes callado y no metas la pata!”
Literal translation: Water (in plural!)
Meaning: Careful! Attention!!
Aguas! Is a very funny expression because, yes it has to do with water but probably not in the way you would imagine it! This Mexican idiom goes back to the times before there was a modern sewage system in place. People would collect their dirt in buckets at home and before emptying the buckets through the windows they would yell “aguas” to allert any people walking by. And that is how this funny Spanish expression was born!
Literal translation: to be sucked
Meaning: It’s a piece of cake, it’s a walk in the park
This Spanish saying does sound very weird to me… To be sucked?! What exactly could estar chupado mean! It means that something is so bloody easy to do. The English expression it’s a piece of cake would probably the common translation. I kept researching about this phrase but I could not find out where it comes from. But now you know one more Spanish vocabulary you can impress your friends with.
Want to learn some local expressions from the Canary Islands? I wrote a blogpost with 9 typical phrases used in the Canary Islands. You can find it here 🙂
Mi corazón de melón
Literal translation: Melon heart
Meaning: My significant other
Corazón the melón is such a cute Spanish expression! It is used to refer to a significant other or your loved one. Why?! Because the heart of a melon is the sweetest part of the fruit?! Okay, to be honest, I could not find the exact reason why this is used to talk about your significant other…
Por si las moscas
Literal translation: For if the flies
Meaning: In case of…, to be suspicious
I am very happy to end this post with this Spanish expression: Por si las moscas. It probably does not make any sense to someone that is not a native Spanish speaker and hears this Spanish idiom for the first time. Por si las moscas is used to say that you are going to do something “in case something happens” (for if the flies). This expression goes back to the times when there was no fridge to keep food cold. And the only way to make sure that food does not go bad was to cover it with a cloth “for if the flies come”. And this Spanish expression survived until today and is still used when you want to do something “just in case”.
“Me voy a llevar el paraguas, por si las moscas!”