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Proverbs from all Spanish speaking parts of the whole world.

A[edit]

  • A caballo regalado no se le mira el diente/colmillo/dentado/pelo or A caballo regalado no le mires los dientes.
    • English equivalent: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • "Do not search for faults in a gift, as in don't try to guess the horse's age by looking at its teeth since it is free."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 54. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Luna, Cari (2004). The Everything Spanish Phrase Book: A Quick Reference for Any Situation. Everything Books. p. 5. ISBN 275 1593370490. 
  • A cabo de cien años los reyes son villanos, A cabo de ciento-diez los villanos son reyes.
  • A cada necio agrada su porrada.
    • English equivalentː Every fool is pleased with his own folly.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "147". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • A cada pajarillo agrada su nidillo.
    • English equivalent: The bird loves her own nest.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "923". Dictionary of European Proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 776. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • A grandes males, grandes remedios.
    • English equivalent: Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies.
    • Meaning: "Drastic action is called for – and justified – when you find yourself in a particularly difficult situation."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 10 August 2013. 
    • Emanuel Strauss (11 January 2013). "812". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 552. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 10 August 2013. 
  • A la ocasión la pintan calva.
    • English equivalent: Opportunity knocks only once.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 400. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A la tercera va la vencida.
    • English equivalent: Third time's the charm.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 80. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A mal nudo, mal cuno.'
    • English equivalent: You must meet roughness with roughness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 12. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda.
    • Alt: Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda.
    • Alt Variation: Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda; el que se apendeja Dios lo deja. (A play with words that rhyme)
    • Translations:
      • God helps those who get up early. / The early bird gets the worm.
      • Alt.Var:God helps those who get up early, and leaves those who are too late.
    • Interpretations:
      • Initiative will be rewarded.
    • Equivalent English proverbs:
      • Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
    • Meaning: "A lifestyle that involves neither staying up late nor sleeping late is good for body and mind and leads to financial success."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 5 September 2013. 
    • Source: Luna, Cari (2004). The Everything Spanish Phrase Book: A Quick Reference for Any Situation. Everything Books. p. 5. ISBN 275 1593370490. 
  • A quien no pide consejo, darlo es de necios.
    • English equivalent: Give neither salt nor counsel till you are asked for it.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 661. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A quien se hace de miel las moscas le comen.
    • English equivalent: He that makes himself an ass must not take it ill if men ride him.
    • ** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 676. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A seguro, le llevan preso.
    • For safety you are taken prisoner.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 881. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A donde el seto es bajo todos pasan.
    • English equivalent: Men leap over where the hedge is lower.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1087. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Al amigo más amigo, no le fíes tu secreto, y así nunca te verás, arrepentido o sujeto.
    • If you tell your secret to your friend, you will make him your master.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 74. 
  • Al árbol por el fruto es conocido.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • Meaning: "Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents."
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Al cuco no cuques y al ladrón no hurtes.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Al hombre osado la fortuna le da la mano.
    • English equivalent: Fortune favours the bold.
    • Meaning: "Those who act boldly or courageously are most likely to succeed."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 38. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Al médico, confesor, y letrado, no le hayas engañado.
    • English equivalent: Conceal not the truth from thy physician and lawyer.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 666. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Al mentiroso le conviene ser memorioso.
    • English equivalent: A liar should have a good memory.
    • Meaning: "Liars must remember the untruths they have told, to avoid contradicting themselves at some later date."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "274". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 257. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. Retrieved on 24 November 2013. 
  • Al ratón de un sólo agujero presto le pilla el gato.
    • English equivalent: It is a poor mouse that has only one hole.
    • "Why don’t we just call plans what they really are: guesses."
    • Jason Fried and David Heinemeier, Rework (2009)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 715. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Al que mucho se le confía, mucho se le exige.
    • English equivalent: Everybody to whom much is given, much is expected.
    • Meaning: "More is expected of those who have received more - that is, those who had good fortune, are naturally gifted, or have been shown special favour."
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 8 September 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1095. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Amores, dolores y dineros, No pueden estar secretos.
    • English equivalent: Love, smoke and cough are hard to hide.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 50. 
  • Antes de criticar pon la mano en tu mecho.
  • Antes de firmar, mirar.
    • Translation: Look before you sign.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1160. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Antes que te cases, mira lo que haces.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1069. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Árbol que nace torcido, jamás su tronco endereza
    • A tree that is born twisted never grows straight.
    • Source: Glazer, Mark (1987). A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 275. ISBN 0313253854. 
  • A lo bueno, dejarlo estar.'
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 166. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • A papaya puesta, papaya partida. (Colombian saying)
    • Alt: No hay que dar papaya...y a papaya puesta, papaya partida
    • Papaya that is served, papaya that is eaten
    • English equivalent: If you turn yourself into a doormat, others will walk over you.
    • Interpretation: If you leave yourself open to abuse, people will abuse you.
    • Source: Munévar, Gonzalo (2006). El amo del destino. Universidad del Valle. p. 208. ISBN 9584400207. 
  • A falta de pan, buenas son tortas.
    • Alt: A falta de pan, galletas
    • Alt: A falta de pan, tortillas (Mexico, Guatemala)
    • Alt: A falta de pan, casabe (República Dominicana)
    • Translations:
      • If there's no bread, cakes will do.
      • In place of bread, cakes are good.
      • Alt. Trans.: If there's no bread, have crackers
    • Interpretations:
      • Settle for the next best thing.
      • Beggars can't be choosers.
      • In times of need, kindness is especially sweet.
    • Equivalent English proverb: Any port in a storm.
    • Source: Klipper, Maya (2006). A falta de pan, buenas son tortas. La Stampa. ISBN 987051362X. 
  • A donde fueres, haz lo que vieres
    • Alt: Allá donde fueres, haz lo que vieres
    • English proverb: When among wolves we must howl.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 673. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Antes con locos, que cuerdo a solas.
    • English equivalent: Better foolish by all than wise by yourself.
    • Emanuel Strauss. "70". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. 
  • Agua blanda en piedra dura, tanto cavadura continua gotera cava la piedra.
    • English equivalent: Constant dropping wears the stone.
    • "A steady effort can achieve, little by little, a great effect, as many drops do by gradually dissolving and eroding the stone."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "71". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 349. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Apretados pero contentos.
    • English equivalent: The more the merrier.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1094. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aprovecha el día presente.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 765. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda.
    • English equivalent: A golden bit does not make the horse any better.
    • "To those who are given to virtue, the boast of titles is wholly alien and distasteful."
    • Petrarch, “On the Various Academic Titles,” De remediis utriusque fortunae, C. Rawski, trans. (1967), p. 73
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Al que Dios quiere castigar le quita la razón.
    • English equivalent: Whom God will destroy, he first make mad.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 841. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Alcalda del mes de enero.
    • New is of the month of January
    • English equivalent: New brooms sweep clean.
    • "We often apply it to exchanges among servants, clerks, or any persons employed, whose service, at first, in any new place, is very good, both efficient and faithful; but very soon, when all the new circumstances have lost their novelty, and all their curiosity has ceased, they naturally fall into their former and habitual slackness."
    • Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 38. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1103. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aquél es rico, que está bien con Dios.
    • English equivalent: He who serves God has a good master.
    • "The greatest weakness of all weaknesses is to fear too much to appear weak."
    • Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Politique Tirée de l'Écriture Sainte (Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture) (1679 - published 1709).
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 873. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aquél va más sano, que anda por el llano.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 701. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ara bien y hondo, cogerás pan en abando.
    • English equivalent: Plough deep while sluggards sleep, and you will have corn to sell and keep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1001. ISBN 0415096243. 

B[edit]

  • Bien predica quien bien vive.
    • English equivalent: Lead by example.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 55. ISBN 0415160502. 

C[edit]

  • Callen barbas y hablen cartas.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 808. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cada carnero de su pie cuelga.
    • English equivalent: Every bird must hatch its own eggs.
    • Meaning: We must depend on ourselves, financially and in other regards.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 777. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cada cosa en su tiempo.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes, God disposes.
    • "Plans are insulted destinies. I don't have plans, I only have goals."
    • Ash Chandler, Freudian Slip, Mumbai Mirror Buzz, April 2006.
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 29. 
  • Cada oveja, con su pareja.
    • English equivalent: Like will to like.
    • Birds of a feather flock together.
    • "Every man loves well what is like to himself."
    • Folk-Etymology. Ardent Media. 1886. p. 216. 
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 51. 
  • Costumbre adquirida en la mocedad, se deja muy mal en la vejez.
    • English equivalent: Old habits die hard.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1122. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Como canta el abad, así responde el sacristán.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 138. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Comprar gato en saco.
    • English equivalent: Let the buyer have a thousand eyes for the seller wants only one.
    • Theodore SturgeonVenture (1957)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1101. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Con el agua de la bañadera echar también al niño.
    • English equivalent: Don't throw out the child with the bath water.
    • "Do not take the drastic step of abolishing or discarding something in its entirety when only parts of it is unacceptable."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 25 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 715. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Con el tiempo todo se consigue.
    • Swedish equivalent: Time heals all wounds.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 87. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Como midais sereis medidos.
    • English equivalent: Whatever measure you deal out to others will be dealt back to you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1219. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Con la gente no es temible la muerte.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Corazón no es traidor.
    • English equivalent: The heart sees farther than the head.
    • "The heart is wiser than the intellect."
    • Josiah Gilbert Holland Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
    • "A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his own thought, because it is his."
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1883), pp. 47-48
    • Manuel de Valbuena (1822). Diccionario universal Español -Latino. Imp. Nacional. p. 273. 
  • Cuando la cabeza duele todos los miembros duelen.
    • English equivalent: When the head is sick, the whole body is sick.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1117. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cuando las barbas de tu vecino veas cortar, pon las tuyas a remojar.
    • Translation: When you see your neighbour's beard being cut, put yours in water.
    • Meaning: Be cautious when you see disgraces to people near you.
  • Cuando todos dicen que eres asno, rebuzna y ponte rabo.
    • English equivalent: When all men say you are an ass, it is time to bray.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1221. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cuando te dieren un condado, agárrale.
    • English equivalent: When the pig is proffered, hold up the poke.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1226. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cuando tu amigo pide, no hay mañana.
    • English equivalent: When thy friend asks, let there be no to-morrow.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 151. 
  • Cuando una puerta se cierra, ciento se abren.
    • English equivalent: When one door closes another opens.
    • Meaning: "When baffled in one direction a man of energy will not despair, but will find another way to his object."
    • Source for meaning: Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). 1859. p. 67. Retrieved on 26 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 845. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cuanto menos se diga, mejor.
    • English equivalent: Least said, soonest mended.
    • Meaning: "In private animosities and verbal contentions, where angry passions are apt to rise, and irritating, if not profane expressions are often made use of, as we sometimes see to be the case, not only among neighbors, but in families, between husbands and wives, or parents and children, or the children themselves and other members of the household, - the least said, the better in general. By multiplying words, cases often grow worse instead of better."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. pp. 125. 
    • Whit Wirsing (9 June 2009). The Ultimate Spanish Phrase Finder: Frases Equivalente: Ingles-espanol, Espanol-ingles. McGraw Hill Professional. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-07-143303-7. Retrieved on 8 June 2013. 
  • Cuídame del agua mansa, que de la brava, yo sólo me cuidaré.
    • English equivalent: Still water runs deep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415096243. 

D[edit]

  • De buenas intenciones esta empedrado el camino al infierno.
    • English equivalent: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 257. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • De grandes cenas están las sepulteras llenas.
    • English equivalent: Gluttony kills more than the sword.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 864. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • De malas costumbres nacen buenas leyes.
    • English equivalent: Good laws have sprung from bad customs.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Del mal el menos.
  • Debajo del sayal hay mal.
    • English equivalent: Judge not a man and things at first sight.
    • "No good Book, or good thing of any sort, shows its best face at first."
    • Thomas Carlyle, Essays, "Novalis" (1829)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 713. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Despues de los años mil, Torna el agua a su carril.
  • Devolver bien por mal.
    • English equivalent: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
    • Meaning: Make something good out of bad things that has happened to you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 838. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Del hombre necio a veces buen consejo.
    • English equivalent: A fool may give a wise man counsel.
    • "Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers."
    • Muhammad, The Last Sermon of Muhammad delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H (c. 630 AD)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 40. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres.
  • Dinero guardado, dinero capado.
    • Translation: The hidden things of wisdom and a treasure that is not seen, what profit is in them both?
    • English equivalent: Money is there to be spent.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1013. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dios que de la llaga, de la medicina.
    • English equivalent: God who gives the wound gives the salve.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 874. ISBN 0415096243.
He who wants the heavens must pay.
The heart sees farther than the head.

Trasnochar

Have you ever left writing a term paper for the night before it’s due? If so, you’re probably going to trasnochar , or stay up late into the night writing it. Trasnochar can be translated as to stay up late or to stay up all night in English, and it doesn’t have to be used only to describe staying up late to finish laborious school essays; you can use it even if you plan on staying up for fun!

Julia y yo vamos atrasnocharpara ir al estreno de medianoche de la nueva película de Star Wars.
Julia and I are going to stay up late to go to the midnight premiere of the new Star Wars movie.
 

Madrugar

Not a night owl? This next one is for you early birds. Madrugar  describes the act of waking up in the early morning, usually before sunrise. Just as trasnochar has the word noche  (or night) in it, madrugar, contains the word madrugada  (meaning dawn or early morning) to give you a hint as to its meaning. Spanish speakers also use this word figuratively, to mean that something is arriving ahead of schedule.

He tenido quemadrugartres días seguidos y ahora estoy muerto.
I have had to get up early three days in a row and now I’m dead tired.
 

Friolento

If you find yourself reaching for a blanket or your jacket the minute you feel a draft, you would most likely describe yourself as friolento . In English, friolento is used to describe someone who is sensitive to the cold.

¿Cierras la ventana? Entra una corriente y abuela esfriolenta.
Would you close the window? There’s a draft coming in and grandma is sensitive to the cold.
 

Soler

Of all the words on this list, you’re likely to hear soler  with the most frequency. That’s because soler is a Spanish verb that can be roughly translated as usually or tends to in English. Because this verb describes the ongoing nature of another action, you’ll exclusively see soler paired up with another verb in the infinitive.

Marcosueleir al café los lunes para asistir a una reunión de su club de lectura.
Marco usually goes to the café on Mondays to attend his book club meeting.
 

Tocayo

Tocayo  or tocaya  is a fun Spanish word that refers to someone who shares the same first name as you! In English, some close translations would be name twin, or even namesake would work in certain contexts, but generally we wouldn’t use a single English word to translate this useful Spanish term.

No lo vas a creer, pero en mi clase de literatura, ¡ya he conocido tres de mistocayas!
You’re not going to believe this, but in my literature class I’ve already met three people that have the same name as me!
 

Sobremesa

Social interactions, especially around food, are paramount in Hispanic culture. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the Spanish language has a word that specifically refers to a conversation that takes place with food. The word sobremesa  is a Spanish noun that means the time spent socializing with family or friends after a meal. Typically, such a conversation will happen sobre lamesa , or over the table, which is how this word came into being. Next time you find yourself at the dinner table with Spanish speakers, try not to get up right after you finish eating; stay for the sobremesa!

La última vez que almorzamos con tus papás, ¡la sobremesase alargó hasta casi llegar la hora de cenar!
The last time we had lunch with your parents, we stayed at the table talking until almost dinner time!
 

Entrecejo

Have you ever wondered what the space between someone’s eyebrows is called? While there might not be a colloquial word in English for this inconspicuous anatomical feature, Spanish has you covered! In Spanish, unentrecejo  literally refers to the space between someone’s two eyebrows. Like sobremesa, this word is another Spanish portmanteau of entre lascejas , or between the eyebrows.

Mi estrategia para ganar una competencia de miradas es mirar directamente alentrecejodel oponente.
My strategy for winning a staring contest is to look directly at the space between my opponent’s eyebrows.
 

Empalagarse

Empalagarse  is a word that Spanish speakers use to describe the feeling they get when they’ve just had a food or beverage that is too sweet to continue eating or drinking. But watch out! Empalagarse is used with only the most sickly sweet of confections. It’s also a good idea to notice that this verb is reflexive and is used with the item that you are describing as too sweet as the verb’s subject.

Tras un año de no tomar Coca Cola, tomé un trago yme empalagó.
After a year of not drinking Coca Cola, I took a swig of it and it tasted way too sweet.
 

Amigovio

Have you been dating someone casually for a while and then overhear them refer to you as their amigovio ? If you’re not on the same page, it might be a good time to define your relationship. Amigovio  or amigovia  refers to a friend that you also have a steady romantic relationship with, also colloquially known in English as a friend with benefits. Another common synonym for amigovio in Spanish is amigo conderechos , literally translated as friend with rights.

Isabel me confesó que ahora mismo no busca nada seria y entonces sugirió que sigamos siendoamigovios.
Isabel confessed to me that right now she’s not looking for anything serious and then suggested that we continue as friends with benefits.
 

Tutear

The final word on our list truly has no English equivalent translation due to its meaning being intertwined with the Spanish language’s grammatical rules on formality and informality. Tutear  literally means to address someone using the informal tú  pronoun or conjugation instead of the more formal usted  pronoun or conjugation. If we really wanted to squeeze an English translation out of tutear, the best way would be to translate it as to address someone informally.

¡No me tutees,niño! ¿Has olvidado que le estás hablando a tu madre?
Don’t use tú when speaking to me, boy! Have you forgotten that you’re talking to your mother?
 

There you have it! Keep these useful words in your back pocket and whip them out when you want impress your Spanish speaking friends or relatives! To explore more words, check out our bilingual dictionary here.

The beauty of learning a second language is that you often learn words for emotions, sensations, and feelings where there weren’t previously words in your native language. Spanish has a plethora of these words, which we can describe in English, but are really sin traduccióndirecta , or without a direct translation. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite words that are lacking an equivalent one-word English translation.

Since soler is a verb that describes the habit of another action, it is always conjugated in the past tense with the imperfect and never with the preterite. In the past tense, soler can be translated as used to.

En España,solíamoscenar a las diez de la noche.
In Spain, we used to eat dinner at ten at night.

 

Don’t restrict yourself just to verbs! You can also use the adjective empalagoso  to describe the next piece of candy, spoonful of ice cream, or slurp of soda that is just too sugary for your tastebuds to handle.

Does this word look like two other related words? You guessed it! Like sobremesa and entrecejo, amigovio/amigovia is another blend of the two words amigo  (meaning friend) and novio /novia  (meaning boyfriend/girlfriend).

Need to brush up on some of these pronouns? Check out our article on all the Spanish pronouns that could mean you in English!

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